Local October 3, 2013 | 10:38 am

US$147.5B budget spurs lawmakers to play U.S. pork barrel politicks

Santo Domingo.- The Senate on Thursday named the bicameral Commission that will study the draft of the RD$605.0 billion (US$147.5 billion) Budget for 2014, as several senators warned they won’t vote to approve it unless it includes works for their provinces.

Senate president Reinaldo Pared said Pedernales senator Dionis Sánchez will chair the Commission, and includesTommy Galán, Rafael Calderón, Julio Cesar Valentín, José Rafael Vargas, Charlies Mariotti, Euclides Sánchez and Félix Nova.

Vargas was the first to demand the "earmarks" by slamming the proposed budget, for what he affirms were unfulfilled promises of public works in his province, Espaillat. "If the works pledged for my province aren’t built, I will not vote for the 2014 budget.”

He said the works planned for province two years ago don’t figure in the budget, and when they do, aren’t materialized.

Bahoruco senator Manuel Paula didn’t hesitate in demanding a cool US$100 million to build the dam at Monte Grande, the repaving of the streets of provincial capital of Neyba, among other works. “If that budget is submitted the way it now is, we are willing to not vote for the legislation.”

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