Action plan

December 21st, 2011

President Barack Obama will have to come up with an action plan to address the economic impact of Pacific migration in Hawaii and other states and U.S. territories.

The requirement is part of an appropriations bill approved by Congress. Within 45 days, the president must convene a committee to develop the action plan.

Under the federal Compact of Free Association, the United States provides economic assistance to the Pacific islands and migrants from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau can come to the U.S. and its territories and are eligible for certain programs. The U.S., in return, has military access to the Pacific islands. The U.S. previously conducted Cold War-era weapons testing in the region.

Hawaii has estimated that the cost of providing education, health care and other services to Pacific migrants was $115 million in 2010, up from $32 million in 2002. Members of the state’s congressional delegation have sought help from the federal government to cover migration costs.

“While we continue to abide by the conditions outlined by our existing agreement with the governments of Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands we can no longer absorb the brunt of caring for their communities alone,” U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said in a statement.

“We stand by our neighbors in the Pacific residing in Hawaii but we need increased federal funds and more support from their resident governments to see to it that they continue to receive the quality of education and health care enjoyed by all Americans.  We have long enjoyed a fruitful and cooperative relationship through the compact and look forward to expanding and improving that relationship.”

3 Responses to “Action plan”

  1. Goober:

    Do it for all 100% and not just the 1% or the 99%.

    I am not a number. I am on an Island but not a prisoner.

  2. Ken Conklin:

    Article says “The requirement is part of an appropriations bill approved by Congress. Within 45 days, the president must convene a committee to develop the action plan.”

    Can Congress actually compel the President to do something? Wouldn’t that violate the separation of powers doctrine?

    I’ve seen several news reports like this on various topics during the past few years, and so I’ve been wondering about it. I suspect bills like this say something like: Here’s money to do a project, but as a condition of accepting the money you must agree to do the following …

    I note, for example, the Obama (or Attorney General Holder) recently announced that the feds will no longer defend the “Defense of Marriage Act” in court because they consider it unconstitutional; even though it was an Act passed by Congress and signed by President Bush; so if there’s anything the President is “forced” to do by Congress, surely he must defend the DOMA. If Obama can ignore an Act of Congress on DOMA, then surely he could (not that he would) ignore this new Act of Congress which compels him to create a committee within 45 days regarding the Compact of Free Association.

    Maybe some Constitutional Law genius at the UH law school could sort this out.

  3. Goober:

    “Theory of Relativity” or “The assumptions and approximations.”

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