Saipan Senator Celina Babauta, a democrat, held a press conference after Senate President Edith Deleon Guerrero, who recently left the party, removed Babauta as Chair of the Judiciary, Government, and the Law Committee. 

Babauta was off-island when the May 7 memo was issued, joining the Guam Visitors Bureau on their travel mission to Japan.

“I was actually in the air when I was notified that I was removed from the JGL, you know, and that has been a longstanding dysfunctional leadership we've had in the Senate for the last six months. We have had no leadership meetings. Not a single one. We don't know. We are not privy as to when the next senate session will be. The Senate President has basically usurped the powers of the floor leader,” said Babauta. 

The senator who has endorsed the Senate President’s opponent in the upcoming election, also said that she did reach out to senators in the minority from Tinian to include them in the committee. 

She also responded to the Senate President’s assertion that the last committee meeting was held in September and that there are 30 senate bills and 28 house bills pending in JGL.

She said, “As for bills sitting in committee just because it's a committee doesn't mean it's not being worked on.”

KUAM asked, “Where does this leave the public? Because it's a critical time. The economy is tanking and the senate cannot seem to get along so what is your message to the public and how will we get out of the economic crisis if we can’t talk to each other?”

Babauta replied, “You know, I've tried. I've introduced a captive insurance bill, which now is tabled according to yesterday's senate. They didn't want to act on it or they didn't act on it. And that would create a new industry for the CNMI. You know, it's unfortunate that they have to bring people down in order to raise themselves up. Talk is cheap. Let's do the work.”

KUAM reached out to the Senate President and minority members for comment.