Siniora flanked by March 14 lawmakers at Parliament.
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The Future bloc and its March 14 allies will not attend Thursday's Parliament session, a Future lawmaker said Wednesday, after parliamentary blocs failed to reach agreement over funding the public sector's wage hike bill.Only 63 lawmakers showed up, well below the 86 of the legislature's 128 lawmakers required for the session to begin. As in previous sessions, lawmakers from MP Michel Aoun's bloc, Hezbollah's bloc and their March 8 allies boycotted the session in a bid to pressure their March 14 rivals into a deal over a consensus candidate for the presidency. Houri said a lengthy meeting held at Berri's office in Parliament to narrow differences over the salary scale bill made some progress but did not result in "a real balancing" between spending and revenues from proposed taxes to fund the salary increases estimated to cost the cash-strapped treasury $1.6 billion annually. Khalil said the meeting at Berri's office made "tangible progress" in the issue of figures concerning revenues to fund the wage hike bill.
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