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GMA: House didn’t withdraw its version of budget, will insist on no lump sums

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House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday denied that the House had “withdrawn” its version of the 2019 budget as a concession to the Senate.

“No, we have not withdrawn our version,” she told reporters.

“We’re in discussions about what is the proposed new version,” the former President said.

“I’m going to meet today with the House members… and with Congressman Ronnie Zamora,” she added.

Asked if the House would insist on House version of budget, Arroyo said the House would insist on no lump sums in the budget.

“We will insist on no lump sum because that is what is unconstitutional. That’s what we will insist, no lump sum. Now, as to the details, that’s the one that we’ll see,” she said.

“If we don’t come to an agreement and then Tito Sotto does not sign the bill, then there’s no bill to send to the President. So I do not know if we will but I would wish we would,” Arroyo said.

On Monday, Senator Ping Lacson told reporters the House, through San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, agreed to withdraw the enrolled budget bill the House had transmitted to the Senate for Senate President Vicente Sotto’s signature.

Zamora, in a phone-patch interview with an ABS-CBN reporter, said the senators “basically wanted a sign of good faith in order to continue discussing.”

But House committee on appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. later said he had no clue about the negotiations between Zamora and the Senate leadership over the 2019 budget.

“No congressman has the authority, without plenary approval, to order the recall of the enrolled form of any bill already transmitted to the Senate,” Andaya said.

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