With seventeen days still left before the inauguration no budget has been appropriated in the scheduled Inauguration festivities on Jan. 19, but the Executive Branch called for a leadership meeting today and is expected to discuss the impasse with members of the Senate.
Senator Uduch Senior in an interview confirmed a leadership meeting is set today and is expected that Remengesau will again bring up the issue on the inauguration funding.
Senior said the Senate is waiting for the House of Delegates to schedule a conference committee to discuss the proposed inauguration budget.
She clarified that the senators who voted to reject the bill containing the proposed budget is not against the funding but should be allowed to ask questions on why procurement laws are being waived.
Senior also said following legislative process, if the HOD schedules a conference committee it will enable lawmakers to work out the kinks in the bill.
Senior also said that especially questionable about the measure is waiver of procurement law which to some senators was surprising coming from the president since it has never been done before for Remengesau’s inauguration.
She also noted that senators who was not in the leadership meeting can’t be bound by the agreement made by select members of the Senate during the Dec. 16 joint leadership meeting.
Meanwhile, in a letter to Senate President Elias Camsek Chin dated Dec. 30, Sen. Surangel Whipps Jr. , chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means said that his committee “believes that funds should be appropriated for the inauguration, though the waiver of the procurement law should be removed.”
Whipps said that the HOD failed to appoint members to the conference committee and stressed that “we have made all attempts to address the issues regarding the inauguration funding while keeping the process open and transparent.”
For the executive branch, the inauguration and arrangement committee is continuing preparation for the event.
The program is scheduled for Jan. 19 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
In 2012, Remengesau Jr. has opted for a low- key inauguration in 2012.to focus on disaster relief efforts after the impact of typhoon Bopha. [/restrict]