GOP to allow votes on Dem bills changing policies in the US territories

When she introduced the bill in July, Christensen said the recommendation and her bill making the formal change would mean U.S. Supreme Court review of decisions by the Virgin Islands' top court, which is how appeals work in every other U.S. territory.

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"With all that the Virgin Islands Supreme Court has accomplished over the short time that it has been in existence, all Virgin Islanders will look back upon this time with great pride and gratitude for the way in which it laid the foundation for appellate jurisprudence in the territory that is second to none," she said.

The bill is sponsored by about three dozen Democrats, but the Republican decision to put the bill on the suspension calendar indicates it will likely be passed this week, as early as Wednesday. The bill will need a two-thirds majority for passage.

Also this week, the House expects to vote on H.R. 5934, the Stop Tobacco Smuggling in the Territories Act. This bill, from Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), would make it unlawful to traffic in contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam territories, as it is in the United States.

Faleomavaega's bill will also be a suspension vote.