Recast Budget Passage Backfires; As Rep. Solomon George Requests Kickbacks

In the wake of the economic instability faced by Liberians from across all sector of the society, controversial passage of the 2022 recast budget by the House of Representatives in Liberia has backfired amid huge public condemnation.

The budget was recently passed by the Houses’ plenary following a submission from President George Weah at US $806,587,341 million United States dollars.

Following the controversial passage, several lawmakers alleged that they did not peruse the instrument before passage.

The issues raised by those lawmakers prompted a huge public outcry as some members of the public are now accusing the body of allegedly receiving kickbacks from the executive to quickly pass the budget into law.

Meanwhile, the controversial passage has resulted in a serious misunderstanding amongst lawmakers as some of them are threatening to drag the body to court for illegally passing the budget.

Several screenshots from the Houses of Representatives WhatsApp chart room clearly show how some lawmakers are disenchanted over how the instrument was passed while others are requesting their shares.

For instance, Montserrado County District #7 legislator Solomon George wrote in the group chart, asking for kickbacks for passing the budget.

“What is our benefit after passing the recast Budget?” Me, I say me I want my benefit, oh!” he said in the group chart.

Meanwhile, Montserrado County District 8 lawmaker, Acarous Gray says his fellow lawmakers, George was not requesting kickbacks but rather asking for what his district stands to benefit.

For his party, Grand Bassa Lawmaker Vincent Willie asked whether the recast passed the same day of submission, stressing it was a violation of the House’s rules. although he did not state which provision.

Meanwhile, Representative Samuel Enders said, “I defended the process.” Not the outcome. No one has shown me a rule that the process was wrong. “

Meanwhile, as the debate was intensifying, Representative A. Chersia Grant announced the immediate dissolution of the chart room.

“I am effectively closing this chatroom and will migrate people to a new common ground on a case-by-case basis. It is observed that people a…” he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview with reporters assigned to the Legislature, the Deputy House Speaker said the House was not in error to have passed the instrument quickly.

“You cannot take us to court.” There were no rules violated, and the motion for reconsideration was not filed properly. As such, the recast budget has been forwarded to the Senate, “he emphasized.

Despite, the justification, members of the public are angry that the lawmakers will enact a financial instrument into law without reviewing it to ensure value for money.

For now, the document has been sent to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.

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