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June 23, 2017

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Premier to report on flood control budget Friday

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A cross-caucus negotiation held by Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday made a resolution to invite Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to deliver a report regarding the special budget proposal for flood control on Friday.

Wang said lawmakers hope that the budget proposal will be sent to a committee next week after Jiang' report and complete the required deliberation before May 30.

The ruling party caucus and the opposition caucus, however, failed to reach a consensus on the issue of whether or not to extend the current legislative session or to convene interim meetings.

The current legislative session is scheduled to end on May 31, however, given that the Legislature was occupied by student activists for 24 days, deliberations for many major bills were postponed.

Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Lin Hong-chih (林鴻池) yesterday said the ruling party caucus hopes to hold interim meetings to focus on reviewing the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan's personnel nomination proposals, the draft bill on Free Economics Pilot Zones and the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement.

When asked why the KMT does not agree to extend the current session, Lin responded by saying that as the ruling party lawmakers and the opposition lawmakers have been opposing each other aggressively on various topics in this session, it is better to have a pause for a while and then to deliberate the bills in the interim meetings.

Lin further explained that if the Legislature extends the session, the tense atmosphere between lawmakers would not change and the bills would not be passed. "Then why bother to extend the session?" Lin asked.

Lin added that if the lawmakers reach a consensus on the issue, interim meetings can be held in mid-June at the earliest.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus on the other hand suggested extending the current session for another two months to fill the time that was occupied by students.

DPP lawmaker Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said his caucus considers that instead of picking a few topics to discuss in the interim meetings, the Legislative Yuan should keep deliberating bills in committee meetings and Yuan Sittings.

The negotiation convened by Wang only lasted for 30 minutes before DPP lawmakers Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Gao left the meeting room and ceased the negotiation.

Gao said there is no way the DPP caucus would accept any ruling party attempt to pass certain bills by the "tyranny of the majority" during the interim meetings.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip Lai Zhen-chang (賴振昌) said holding interim meetings will cause a more serious polarization between pan-blue and pan-green camps, adding that not many bills are so urgent that they must be passed at the moment.

According to the Central News Agency, Wang will convene another cross-caucus negotiation over the issue today.

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