The proposed continuing budget resolution bill hits a wall with only fourteen (14) days remaining before the current fiscal year expires.
The conference committee’s latest draft which was expected to resolve the budget impass last night was ditched at the last minute and new terms were introduced.
According to Delegate Jonathan Isechal, Chairman of House Ways & Means Committee, the conferee members were expected to resolve their differences last night after four days of working through the proposed budget resolution but all went back to drawing board when a senate member of the conference committee went on the radio and disparaged the items in the bill proposed by the House and bashed the House for not taking action on the Senate maternity bill.
As result, the House decided to discard the proposal and proposed new terms. “The House had proposed to adopt the maternity bill as is on second reading this Friday and pass it in the 3rd reading on Saturday and send to the Senate as is. In exchange, we ask the Senate pass the HDI version of the budget resolution bill we sent them. We will give them what they asked for and ask that they pass our version of the continuing budget resolution bill,” stated Delegate Isechal.
President Remengesau during this week’s press conference urged OEK to pass the Continuing Budget Resolution as is. “Let’s give the next administration the chance to decide on the budget according to their priorities, and policies promised to the people. Let’s maintain that respect that we have practiced all these years when a new administration comes in,” stressed Remengesau.
President Remengesau submitted a bill proposing a Continuing Budget Resolution for FY 2021 which basically means that the current budget for FY 2020 will serve as the budget for the first quarter of the next fiscal year until the new government enact its own unified budget.
Majority of the Senate decided to amend the Continuing Budget Resolution by cutting 5% to 15% across the board for Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and other agencies and state governments. Their justification was to begin preparing Palau for the expected financial hardships post 2021.
House of Delegates and the Executive branch are in favor of maintaining the Continuing Budget Resolution as is citing that funding has been sourced for FY 2021 and that the next government should be allowed to set its own priority through the promulgation of its own budget.
If budget is not enacted by September 30, the government will be forced to close.

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