By Rolynda Jonathan
On December 28, page 2012 during its session, the United States Senate rejected the Palau Compact Agreement as rider on the U.S. Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act.
The legislation was introduced as Bingaman Amendment “to provide for the approval of an agreement between the U.S. and the Republic of Palau in response to Super Typhoon Bopha.”
In revealing the news during his latest press conference last week, Palau President Remengesau said the agreement was rejected as the U.S. Senators believed the legislation should have never been attached as a rider to a domestic program.
The President further added that the agreement should be a stand-alone legislation not to be used as a rider.
In response to the latest development in the U.S. Congress, new efforts will now begin for the Compact starting with briefings from those who were involved in the negotiations including U.S. officials.
The President is looking at the month of May for the U.S. Congress to organize itself, as he says key U.S. officials who supported the bill are no longer players in the U.S. Congress. At the meantime, the Republic will be looking into the Compact agreement to identify improvements acceptable to both parties.
The Compact agreement was signed on September 2010, but has since been pending in the U.S. Congress despite tremendous amount of support from top U.S. government officials.