S. 256: A bill to amend Public Law 93-435 with respect to the Northern Mariana Islands, providing parity with Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa

S. 256

A bill to amend Public Law 93-435 with respect to the Northern Mariana Islands, providing parity with Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa

Sponsor
Sen. Ron Wyden

Date
September 10, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the House will consider S. 256, a bill to Amend Public Law 93-435 with Respect to the Northern Mariana Islands, providing parity with Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced in the Senate on February 7, 2013, by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).  The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent.  S. 256 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.  The bill was also referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, which waived consideration. 

Bill Summary

S. 256 amends Public Law 93-435 by inserting “the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands” after “Guam” each place it appears.  This legislation would convey the government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) all the submerged lands surrounding the islands extending three geographical miles outward from their coastlines.  It also includes the CNMI among the islands where the President may establish naval defensive sea areas and airspace reservations when necessary for national defense.

Finally, it amends the Fair Minimum Wage Act to provide no minimum wage increases in 2013 and 2015.  The primary difference between S. 256 and the House companion bill, H.R. 573, is that it includes this provision.

Background

Currently, Public Law 93-435 conveys certain submerged lands to the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.  This legislation would have the same effect on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  The House companion bill, H.R. 573, passed in the house on May 15, 2013, by voice vote.

Cost

The CBO estimates that this legislation would have no significant impact on the federal budget.[1] 

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.