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National Assembly reviews extra budget bill, government reorganization bill

National Assembly reviews extra budget bill, government reorganization bill


Now to the latest at Korea’s National Assembly…
lawmakers are deliberating a multi-billion dollar extra budget bill plus the government
reorganization plan proposed by the Moon administration. They’re aiming for a full floor vote on Tuesday,
that’s tomorrow, but it looks far from smooth sailing. Our Kim Min-ji now joins us on the phone from
the parliament to tell us more. Min-ji, fill us in. That’s right. Marathon review sessions have been ongoing
since last Friday, in order to get the bill ready for a vote on Tuesday, when the National
Assembly holds its full meeting. A subcommittee will be fine-tuning the details
of the bill throughout today — but it’s not a simple task. Rival lawmakers are at odds, especially over
the portion of the budget directed at increasing the number of public sector jobs. The ruling party say this is needed so as
to recruit more workers starting this year,… but the opposition is refusing to budge — saying
it needs to be revised… as it will be a bigger burden on taxpayers in the future. Meanwhile, the National Assembly’s public
administration committee has begun deliberating on the government’s reorganization plan. It calls for the establishment of a new ministry
supporting small and medium-sized companies,… as well as designating the fire service and
the Coast Guard as independent agencies,… rather than part of the public safety ministry. The committee plans to put that bill for a
full floor vote on Tuesday as well. The review was to take place earlier this
month, but was delayed due to deadlock in parliament over President Moon’s cabinet picks. And speaking of which, confirmation hearings
are still in the process for his Cabinet. Who do we need to look out for today, and
can we expect the hearings to be finalized this week? In the hot seat today is Choi Jong-ku — tapped
as the chairman of the Financial Services Commission. He was the head of the Export-Import Bank
of Korea,… so ruling lawmakers are throwing him questions regarding his expertise and
the policies he wants to pursue,… to assess his fitness for the job. But opposition lawmakers are closely scrutinizing
him over ethical issues as well. Before his hearing began,… Choi vowed to
pursue financial policies for the under-privilleged and socially vulnerable,… in line with the
government’s plan to pursue income-led growth that’s centered around job creation. He also said the biggest tasks ahead are stabilizing
people’s livelihoods and managing the country’s high household debt,… while adding that
he would take “bold steps” in the restructuring of the petrochemical and steel industries. Now, there’s a string of hearings lined for
this week for the remainder of President Moon’s Cabinet, including welfare and trade ministers. But still undecided is the labor minister
pick,… which the President yet has to nominate,… after his first choice withdrew his nomination
last week,… amid fierce objection from opposition parties. Back to you.

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