House accuses Senate of politicizing budget process
Senate passed on 3rd reading two bills, the FY 2024 proposed budget bill HB 11-114-11, HD1, SD6, and a bill to criminalize the distribution of intimate or sensitive images that also contained a Continuing Budget Resolution for FY 2024.
Both bills passed 3rd reading on September 19, 2023, and were transmitted to the House for their action as both bills are House bills.
The bill proposing Continuing Budget Resolution was objected to by the delegates during the 12th Special Session held on September 21st, with House Speaker Sabino Anastacio accusing the Senate of not respecting the budget process
“Senate has addressed the budget three times, so it’s a little upsetting, and I don’t know if they are not being serious or playing,” commented Anastacio, referring to the process where Senate and House alternate each year, taking the lead on the national budget promulgation.
The bill proposing Continuing Budget Resolution states, “the Olbiil Era Kelulau finds it needs additional time to deliberate on the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Unified Budget thoroughly. With the forthcoming deadline, the Olbiil era Kelulau finds it necessary to enact a Continuing Budget Authority for the Fiscal Year 2023 and to allow for the continued operation of the national government while the Olbiil Era Kelulau works on the Fiscal Year 2024 Unified Budget.”
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Delegate Mengkur Rechelulk, in response to the Senate proposal, argued that there is still enough time to deliberate the budget and it’s better to focus on the national budget bill at this time.
In addition to the bill proposing Continuing Budget Resolution, the Senate also passed and transmitted the FY 2024 Unified Budget bill proposal with its amendments to the House.
House of Delegates is handling the budget this year even though the proposed budget bill was submitted to both houses of Congress (Olbiil Era Kelulau). Senate Ways & Means proactively began intensive public hearings with all government ministries, agencies, and state governments.
The House did not broadcast hearings or meetings but said it held meetings and took into consideration statements from those meetings in their deliberation of the budget.