Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Lawmakers of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) continued their efforts Wednesday to block a draft infrastructure bill, insisting that it be withdrawn and sent back to the Cabinet for redrafting.
KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said the government is determined to ram though the draft Special Statue for Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Projects without any room for revision, which is unacceptable.
The KMT caucus has taken issue with the processing of the bill, saying that the majority Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pushed it through a joint committee meeting on April 26 without substantive discussion.
At a press conference at the Legislature, Lin said the KMT caucus’ main demand is that the bill be returned to the Cabinet and re-written.
However, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), convener of the Economics Committee, said there was no reason for the bill to be retracted since it had already passed the first reading in the Legislature last week.
While KMT lawmakers continued to filibuster and protest Wednesday, the DPP caucus adopted a strategy of not provoking the opposition legislators or taking any action against them, which resulted in no progress in the review session. Gao later said that the review session had been adjourned until Thursday.
Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday criticized KMT lawmakers for their filibustering of the draft bill.
The benefits of the infrastructure construction projects will be shared by everyone in the country regardless of their political affiliation, Tsai said.
Under the bill, the government will spend NT$882.49 billion (US$29.32 billion) over eight years on infrastructure projects around Taiwan, including new light railways and several rail extension or improvement projects.
KMT legislators, however, have taken issue with elements of the bill, saying that it lacks any comprehensive policy assessment and that the budget allocations are unfair.