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Parties fail to narrow differences over extra budget, govt. reorganization bills

Rival parties on Tuesday failed to narrow their differences over bills on an 11.2 trillion won (US$9.9 billion) extra budget and government reorganization amid a drawn-out partisan standoff.

The ruling Democratic Party hoped to set up votes on the bills at the National Assembly's plenary session in the afternoon. But the efforts floundered, as opposition parties did not budge from their demand for modifications to the bills.

The legislature is expected to hold another plenary session Wednesday to handle the stalled bills that President Moon Jae-in has been pushing for to carry out his key policy agenda, including creating jobs in the public sector, observers said.

The major bone of contention over the budget bill was the allocation of 8 billion won to create public-service jobs.

Opposition parties rejected the idea of using the supplementary budget for job creation, claiming it could pose a financial burden on future generations.

Regarding the government restructuring bill, parties clashed over the plan to dissolve the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and move some of its functions into the Interior Ministry.

Critics said the change could weaken the state safety and disaster management system.

The parliamentary deliberations on the bills had been delayed due largely to a partisan stalemate over Moon's disputed personnel choices. (Yonhap)