Republican blocks Northern Marianas disaster bill again

3:32 pm on 28 May 2019
US Congress Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan has introduced a bipartisan bill to ban the shark fin trade across the United States.

Gregorio Kilili Sablan Photo: USDA/Lance Cheung.

A bill that would have provided disaster relief funding for the Northern Marianas and more than a dozen US states has been blocked by a Republican lawmaker.

The Northern Marianas delegate to Congress, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, said Texas Congressman Chip Roy killed the bill last Friday, over objections to its swift passage.

The US Senate passed the bill last Thursday and the House of Representatives was expected to do the same, despite objections from President Donald Trump.

Mr Sablan said the bill would have added $US36 million for Marianas Medicaid, $US25 million for food stamps, $US56 million for solid waste facilities, $US10 million for water and sewer repairs, and would have made the territory eligible for tens of millions of dollars in other federal grants.