Once again, the House of Delegates has shown shrewd and tough negotiation skills, passing the 2nd supplemental budget on their terms.  With a couple of minor sacrifices, Ngaraard and Ngiwal infrastructure projects were let go in exchange for nearly all of their demands met, including keeping the amendments to the PGST out of the discussion.

Senate, the introducer of the bill, got a few concessions in, including funding for education, health, and Election Commission, and in exchange, agreed to most of the House demands, including amending the languages of previous budget bills, allowing Ngarchelong and Ngatpang States to change the purpose of specific funded projects to projects of their choice. Not a bad deal for the House!

Leverage! And what’s the leverage the House used against the Senate?  Urgency!  Like the previous supplemental budget, the House held the bill until the very last hour, took out what they wanted, attached them to an entirely separate bill, and threw away the rest of the Senate’s version. Senate passed it with a grimace, believing they had no choice, that they needed to save the Republic by passing the budget for the Compact Negotiation legal team.  Now, a new urgency, a budget to hold a special election for a new Senator next Tuesday.  Setting the stage, House moved the Conference Committee meeting to the House, even though it’s a Senate bill.  They took control, put Senators out of their comfort zone and once again, dictated the rules and won the round.

Weaknesses.   The Senate is divided into silos of self-interests. House plays the divide& conquer hand and wins each time. Senate plays the big man, taking the high road, but the spoils go to the winner, the House.  House enjoys the power play.  Senate doesn’t know it is being played.

Senate is filled with highly intellectual professionals who lack old-school cunning.  In a dog-eat-dog world, they are, unfortunately, in the soup.

We wish the Senate all the luck in getting their priority items into the upcoming FY 23-24 Budget bill.  We will root for you in this next contest!

Just an observer…

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