Due to time constraints, the limited timetable set in the President’s call for a short four-day special session for the House to consider and approve the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) without further delay, and the insistence of some Senators for the House to submit soonest to the Senate the copy of the GAB, the House approved on second reading the GAB SUBJECT TO THE AMENDMENTS TO BE APPROVED BY THE SMALL COMMITTEE, WHICH COLATILLA NECESSARILY APPLIED TO THE APPROVAL ON THIRD READING.
What was approved on third reading is the second reading copy of the GAB subject to the amendments to be approved by the Small Committee.
Consequently, the amendments to be approved by the Small Committee are pursuant to the conditional approval of the GAB on second and third readings pending the incorporation of the amendments to be effected by the Small Committee.
This tradition on the work of the Small Committee dates back to the 8th Congress, and the composition and task of the Small Committee to effect amendments were authorized and ratified by the Plenary on 16 October 2020.
This more than three-decade old tradition is well known to the Senators who have accepted it for a long period of time.
In the authorization stage of the annual budget process, both the House and the Senate conduct hearings/meetings where the departments and agencies justify their budget proposals and may request for institutional amendments.
The House and the Senate do not perform their respective roles during the authorization stage in a vacuum.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN