“We Should Have No Accommodation for Distractions”

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Former and current Senators welcoming new Senate President (seated), Jewel Howard-Taylor.

Senate President Taylor officially presides over Tuesday’s sitting

The President of the 54th Senate Tuesday presided over her first plenary sitting and hit the ground running by reminding her former colleagues that their job as senators is as sacred as it is demanding, adding, “We should thus have no accommodation for distractions in pursuit of parochial interests.”

Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor made the statement yesterday in the Senate Chambers, less than 24 hours after being sworn-in as Vice President of Liberia.

The former Bong County Senator challenged members of the 54th Senate to recommit their energies to working for the fulfillment and aspirations of Liberians and play well “our respective parts in ensuring the smooth operations and realization of our government’s pro-poor agenda. This may require the reassessment of existing laws and statutes, and or the formulation of new legislation which reflects the current realities.”

“With the elections and attendant euphoria fast receding in history,” Vice President Taylor urged the Senators to settle down and direct their attention to doing the people’s work with a renewed determination to transform, once and for all, the lives of the citizens. “It is also my prayer that we will put aside all actions and attitudes which engender perceptions of adversity and rivalry,” she admonished.

In the constitutional discharge of the duties of lawmakers, Senate President Taylor asserted that it is abundantly imperative that they go the extra mile as the Upper House of the First Branch of government, and “to be hope-givers, pacesetters, and innovators.”

Speaking on the dramatic soaring of the expectations of the people, Vice President Taylor noted: “Out there, we see an ocean of unemployed youth, the unquenched desire for economic and political empowerment of women and an emaciated people waiting for emancipation and relief; we must convince them that in these Chambers we are doing nothing but our very best to address these inadequacies.”

Vice President Howard-Taylor, a former chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Public Administration, promised to commit her gavel of authority to the harmonization of percepts, purposes, and steps that engenders outcomes that positively impact the lives of those “who have placed their trust in us and sent us here.”

She acknowledged and described as awesome and enormous the Constitutional duties and responsibilities which have devolved upon her as Vice President of the country. “The duties so ascribed to this noble office, which I hold in trust, mandate me to use all within my means to maintain and sustain the spirit of collaboration and coordination which will ensure the success of our national agenda,” VP Taylor asserted.

Meanwhile, a cross-section of Senators of the 52nd Legislature led by former President Pro Tempore Isaac Weh Nyenabo (now Liberia’s permanent representative at the European Union) paid a courtesy call on the President of the Senate in the Chambers of the Senate.

In an extemporaneous statement on behalf of the former Senators that included Clarice Jah, Joyce Musu Freeman-Sumo, Jonathan Banney, and Mobutu Vlah Nyepan, Nyenabo urged his former colleagues to help the government, and reminded them that the prediction of the legislature producing the next president came about two years ago.

The former Grand Gedeh lawmakers challenged the 54th Senate embrace the leadership of their former colleagues, to ensure that their (President Weah and VP Taylor) success story can be evenly shared by the Legislature.

The Senate, meanwhile, at its third day sitting yesterday, adopted the Standing Rules of the Liberian Senate of the 52nd Legislature and appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on a Revised Standing Rules of the Senate of the 54th Legislature.

The current Standing Rules of the Senate was crafted by the 52nd Senate, and in accordance with its rules, a new standing rule is crafted by every succeeding Senate, or a motion is proffered for the continued use of an existing one ahead of a new one, or amendment to the existing one where necessary.

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