— Resumes January 11
The House of Representatives formally adjourned on Friday, October 9, for its constituency break after two extensions of special sittings in order to ratify the 2020/2021 fiscal budget to the tune of US$570.1 million.
The extensions were also aimed at passing some priority bills that President George M. Weah described as having strong bearings on discharging Liberia’s obligations to international partners and, as such, timely action by the Legislature will contribute to resuscitating the nation’s economy.
The Lower House also set up a 15-person Special Committee to collaborate with the Leadership Committee to steer the affairs of the House of Representatives in the absence of Plenary until the lawmakers return to the chambers of the Capitol in January 2021.
Those appointed are; Rep. P. Mike Jurry (Maryland), Rep. Dixon W. Seboe (Montserrado County) Rep. Matthew Zazar (Sinoe County), Rep. Alex C. Grant (Grand Gedeh County), Rep. Baron Zahnwea (River cess), Rep. Mary Karwor (Grand Bassa), Rep. Alexander Poure (River Gee County) Rep. Joseph Somwarbi (Nimba County), Rep. Tibelrosa Tarponweh (Margibi County), Rep. Beyan Howard (Lofa), Rep. Albert Hills (Bong), Rep Bob Sheriff (Grand Cape Mount), Rep. Haja Fata Siryon (Bomi County), Rep. Joseph Matthews (Gbarpolu) and Rep. Nathaniel Barhway (Grand Kru).
Speaker Bhofal Chambers during the 69th special sitting on Friday, October 9, 2020, in keeping with the House’s rules, adjourned its third session to resume next year for the 4th session.
Addressing his colleagues in the Chambers of the Legislature, Speaker Chambers extended gratitude to them for their ‘selfless cooperation with the Executive Branch’ in fostering the development agenda of President George M. Weah.
He disclosed that during its third session, the House of Representatives had 69 regular sessions, 47 executive sessions, 2 special sessions, including 20 appearances of Ministers, and Directors from the Executive Branch, accumulating to 138.
He added that 49 new bills were introduced in the House, with 26 passed, 17 Executive Bills passed, one Senate bill concurred with, three House bills passed, two joint resolutions passed, two certificates of extensions passed, one single resolution passed, with 23 bills in committee rooms as well as seven petitions in committee rooms.
Also, the Speaker has appointed a specialized Committee to investigate the discrepancy of the illegal redundancy of about 273 workers or employees of the Firestone Rubber Company.
Those appointed are: Rep. Johnson Gwaikolo of Nimba County, Chairman; Rep. Lawrence Morris of Montserrado County, Co-chairman; Rep. Kanie Wesso, Rep. Matthew Zazar of Sinoe County, and Rep. Rosana Shack of Rivercess County.
During the 3rd sitting (January to October 9, 2020), the House of Representatives lost two of its members. One of them, Rep. J. Nagbe Sloh, died on June 30, 2020, at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center. Elected in 2017, Sloh previously served as a freelance journalist in the early 1980s and later with the Sun-Times, the Mirror, and Footprints newspapers. He also served on the executive committee of the Press Union of Liberia. He lastly served as the head of the Liberia News Agency (LINA) before his election in 2017.
The other lawmaker, Rep. Munah Evangeline Pelham-Youngblood, died on 8 July 2020. She was elected twice to the House of Representatives, 2011 and 2017 respectively. The late Rep. Youngblood is believed to be the youngest person ever elected to the Legislature and was a member of the Congress for Democratic Change. She lastly served as chairperson of the Executive Committee in the House of Representatives.
Before being elected, the late Mrs. Pelham-Youngblood worked as a fashion and runway model. She was a beauty queen, and represented Liberia in Miss Malaika International 2004 and Miss Silverbird International in 2005. She was the first runner-up in the Miss Liberia contest of 2005.