Summary: S.1237 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (06/18/2014)

Omnibus Territories Act of 2013 - (Sec. 3) Extends through December 31, 2019, a system for allocating and determining the number, terms, and conditions of permits issued to prospective employers for nonimmigrant workers performing work during the transition period (the period for administration of a transition program to regulate immigration to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands [CNMI]) who would not otherwise be eligible for admission under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Revises the treatment of supplemental fees imposed for employment of nonimmigrant workers paid into the Treasury of the CNMI government for the purpose of funding ongoing vocational educational curricula and program development by CNMI educational entities to: (1) require such government to provide to the Secretary of Labor a plan for the expenditure of funds, a projection of the effectiveness of the expenditures in job placement of U.S. workers, and a report on changes in employment of U.S. workers attributable to prior year expenditures; and (2) require a biennial report by the Secretary on the effectiveness of meeting the goals set out in the CNMI's annual plan for the expenditure of funds.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to develop an energy action plan addressing the energy needs of each of the insular areas (American Samoa, the CNMI, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) and Freely Associated States (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau) and assist those jurisdictions in implementing such plan. Requires such plan to include: (1) recommendations to reduce reliance and expenditures on fuel shipped to the insular areas and Freely Associated States from ports outside the United States, develop and utilize domestic fuel energy sources, and improve performance of energy infrastructure and overall energy efficiency; (2) a schedule for implementation of such recommendations and identification and prioritization of specific projects; (3) a financial and engineering plan for implementing and sustaining projects; and (4) benchmarks for measuring progress toward implementation.

Prohibits such energy action plan from being implemented until approved by the Secretary. Requires: (1) the team to report to the Secretary annually on progress made in implementing the plan, and (2) the Secretary to submit to appropriate congressional committees a summary of the team's reports.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Comptroller General (GAO) to report to appropriate congressional committees an evaluation of whether the annual estimates or forecasts of revenue and expenditure of American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are reasonable and make recommendations for improving the process for developing estimates or forecasts.

(Sec. 6) Makes households located in the Virgin Islands with household income up to 300% of the federal poverty level eligible for assistance under the low-income home energy assistance program.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, with respect to housing assistance for the benefit of an alien lawfully residing in the United States, to provide that within Guam, a citizen or national of the United States shall be entitled to a preference or priority in receiving financial assistance before any such alien who is otherwise eligible for such assistance.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Comptroller General to study, and report on, the use of benefit-to-cost ratio formulas by federal agencies for purposes of evaluating projects in American Samoa and to assess, in particular, Samoa's remote locations, transportation costs, airport traffic control towers, and water resources development projects.

(Sec. 9) Exempts vessels from the fishery endorsement requirement that they be rebuilt in the United States if they offload their catch in American Samoa and were rebuilt outside of the United States before January 1, 2011.

(Sec. 10) Amends the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 to require GAO to include in reports assessing the impact of minimum wage increases applicable to American Samoa and the CNMI an analysis of the economic effects on employees and employers of the differentials in minimum wage rates among industries and classifications in American Samoa, including the potential effects of eliminating such differentials prior to the time when such rates are scheduled to equal the minimum wage set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(Sec. 11) Requires the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop and make available to the public a biennial Caribbean Border Counternarcotics Strategy, with emphasis on the borders of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, on terms substantially equivalent to the existing Southwest Border and Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategies.

(Sec. 12) Amends the REAL ID Act of 2005 to provide that citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau who have been admitted as nonimmigrants pursuant to a Compacts of Free Association are eligible for driver's licenses or personal identification cards.