Friday, March 1, 2024

The friendly opposition will give Javier Milei the quorum and the votes

There are less than 12 hours until the beginning of the session that will deal with the first and most important law of Javier Milei and no one – whether pro-government, opposition or opposition – knows what will be approved or rejected by the chamber. There is no text or final document, only negotiations against the clock and promises of changes that even the most straightforward representatives are not sure that, the next day, the ruling party in the area will announce. Only one thing is certain and that is that La Libertad Avanza will have the number to open the session and generally approve its Omnibus Law. The UCR and Hacemos Coalión Federal promised to provide a quorum and generally support the megalaw, promising to bring their differences to the discussions in particular. This is a marathon session of more than 35 hours, where the official fantasy intends to be divided into two: the vote in general on Wednesday and the vote in particular on Thursday. However, there are no guarantees.

The strong discussion is on the particular vote, where if an agreement is not reached with the friendly opposition, Milei may lose some of its most important chapters, such as privatization. The general approval of the Omnibus Law will be guaranteed: La Libertad Avanza, if it does not explode with its own law, will almost guarantee about 150 votes, including itself, of PROs, radicals, HCF and others.

The quorum

The atmosphere in the Chamber of Deputies is thick. The decision of Casa Rosada to come out to deny the content of the meeting of Guillermo Francos with the governors last night: the legislators cannot believe that the spokesperson of the president denied the discussion about the possibility of sharing the Taxes of the NATION.

Distrust prevailed, as well as the fear that Milei himself – who spent the day insulting the opposition deputies through social networks – will lower the session because of the chapter on the privatization of public companies. Counselor Santiago Caputo thus slipped the radicals: if they do not support privatization, the session has no reason to exist. The LLA recently saw how its Omnibus Law was brutally destroyed – it lost about 139 articles during the ruling and then more when Minister Luis Caputo lowered the fiscal package – and the resignation of privatization chapter is too much.

Considering this possibility, UCR moved first. “From all radicalism we will provide a quorum to make the parliamentary debate on the Omnibus Law tomorrow and we will support it in general. We understand the responsibility of the time and the emergencies of the country,” said the head of the radical bank. Rodrigo De Loredo, for tomorrow. Therefore, De Loredo expects not only that they will get all their objections to the vote specifically, but that the 34 deputies of the block will vote in favor in general. The rebellion initiated by Facundo Manes and a dozen disobedient radicals will not be seen with a vote against. Not in general, at least.

“We will go and sit and give a quorum. If the law is not passed, it is not our business,” said a heavy weight of radicalism, thus seeking to reject the machine gun of criticism of the President.

A similar attitude was adopted by the 23 representatives of the We Make Federal Coalition. After a meeting that lasted for hours, the bench decided that it would also provide a quorum and vote in favor of the whole. All but two representatives of the Socialist Party -Mónica Fein and Esteban Paulón-, who decided to vote against, as well as Natalia de la Sota. Miguel Ángel Pichetto, Emilio Monzó, Nicolás Massot – who criticized the pressures of the ruling party -, the people of Córdoba, the Civic Coalition, Margarita Stolbizer and Florencio Randazzo will join them. “We have always raised our commitment to provide governance tools and respect that principle that we will provide a quorum,” they said, solemnly, from the bench.

Already with 23 deputies from the HCF, 34 from the UCR, 40 from the ruling party and 39 from the PRO Front, Milei has the numbers to approve the law in its entirety. Most likely, it has many votes: the 9 of Federal Innovation also analyzed together – it depends on the non-elimination of the LLA in the “Cold Zone” of the gas rate -, as well as the three Tucumán Peronists who responded to Osvaldo Jaldo. There are also doubts about what to do with the four Catamarcas from the Unión por la Patria who responded to Raúl Jalil (whose vice president participated in the meeting with Francos on Monday).

The rest of the Unión por la Patria and the FIT go to war: no quorum, no affirmative votes, no peace in the room. They will try to challenge the judgment and make noise.

Project changes

Of the 664 original articles of the Base Law, and despite his kicks, Milei has eliminated 278. However, no one knows what the final text will be voted on in the room. It is the president of the General Legislation Commission, Gabriel Bornoroni, who must detail – article by article – the changes included as a result of the negotiations. First he will announce the articles that have been abolished, then he will continue the talks with more than 200 deputies who want to speak and, then, the law as a whole will be voted on. Expect early mornings Thursday. The purpose of Martín Menem, head of the Chamber, is to call an intermediate room and, there, continue to vote especially.

There are many points on which the LLA cannot reach a consensus with the opposition and that may fall. The most thorny chapter is about privatization. Although the Government has agreed to remove YPF from the list, as well as to make only a partial sale of three companies considered strategic -Arsat, Nucleoeléctrica and Banco Nación-, the friendly opposition demands more changes. Radicalism demands that the privatization of each company must be passed, one by one, through Congress. HCF has a similar position. Milei does not want to know anything and, until the end of this edition, it is not known if they can make an agreement. In the event that the LLA refuses to include the changes, the article may fall.

Another request for change refers to the criminal chapter, which criminalizes protest and legitimizes trigger-happy action. According to their trust in radicalism, the LLA would have committed to eliminating the article from the law that defined a “demonstration” of any congregation with more than 30 people in public streets.

At this time, it was discussed what will happen to the hydrocarbons and biofuels chapter, which the governors asked. The friendly opposition speculated that, if an agreement could not be reached, the ruling party could remove them to discuss it later (as was done in the fiscal chapter, referring to restraints, retirement movement and money laundering ). There are also requests for changes to change environmental laws. But nothing is certain: the text is still being written.

World Nation News Desk
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