Palikir, Pohnpei ( June 2, 2014) – the FSM Congress has overridden President Mori’s decision to veto a subsidy request of $1,000,000 to expand “Our Airline” to the states of Kosrae and Pohnpei.
Currently, “Our Airline” services destinations in the RMI, Kiribati, Australia, Fiji and its home country of Nauru. If it were to extend its services to the FSM it would alleviate the rising costs of flying. At present, only one airline services commercial flights to the FSM (United Airline).
The President made a statement to Congress to explain why he vetoed the subsidy:
"While I agree on the importance of seeking air service alternatives for our nation, I prefer that we wait for the Airline Task Force to conduct and submit a cost-benefit analysis to support the $1,000,000 subsidy... Absent this analysis, I am again compelled to line item veto the $1,000,000 appropriation for the airline subsidy. As a matter of fact, there is no committee report that explains the rationale for the airline subsidy and the strategy employed to recoup it. Also, there is no justification given as to why two states could not be accommodated [sic] in the subsidized airline services. These are major considerations that require in-depth analysis before the National Government can knowingly commit its resources."
Congress replied to President Mori’s veto stating that,
“Your Committee [on Ways and Means] notes that the reason stated in the veto message did not say there was a lack of funds available for the airline subsidy. Furthermore, your Committee notes that the veto message did not point to a problem with the drafting or raise a legal/constitutional objection to the airline subsidy. The veto message merely questioned the economic wisdom of the subsidy that your Committee had already determined was in the best interest of the FSM… [Your Committee] has found the vetoed items to be consistent with sound public policy, and therefore disagrees with the decision to veto".
It is important to note that Congress has not explained how the $1,000,000 will serve “the best interest of the FSM”, since there hasn’t been a “cost-benefit analysis”.