After three days of discussions, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved on Friday (2) the general conditions of the “ómnibus” bill, a package of measures taken by President Javier Miley that concentrates power in the hands of the executive, changes the distribution of taxes, and also brings changes On issues important to the country such as debt rules and privatization. But the discussion is not over yet: Next Tuesday, representatives will return to the plenary session to vote on the huge package item by item.
The final vote on Friday was as follows:
- 144 votes in favor;
- 109 votes against
The number of deputies is 257 deputies. The government has 38 seats in the council, but has the support of the center-right opposition.
Shortly before the plenary vote, the presidency issued a statement in which it stated that it was time “for the representatives of the people to decide whether they are on the side of the freedoms of Argentines or on the side of the privileges of caste and social class.” “corporate republic.”
Shortly after the vote, the session ended and the return session is scheduled for Tuesday.
More than half of the original text has already been abandoned or changed, and even with a vote in favor, this represents agreement to the general terms, as there will still be discussions on the materials.
382 articles and their appendices will be discussed. Originally, the text contained 664 articles. The government stated in its statement that the proposals were accepted, amendments were added, the tax chapter was abolished, and “we reached a consensus draft.”
Discussing article after article
In discussing each article, the government will try to convince opposition members who are open to dialogue to vote on some of the most controversial issues, such as the centralization of power, privatization, a change in the concept of self-defense and the possibility of Argentina contracting debts without the approval of Congress.
After passing the House of Representatives, the law goes to the Senate.
Negotiating with the rulers
On Thursday night, state governors, who have great influence in Congress, pressured the government to include states' participation in the tax that should be created.
One of the ministers entered the field to try to negotiate this point, but he was unable to convince the governors.
In the coming days, the government will try to hold a meeting with the governors to discuss tax distribution issues to try to facilitate approval of the articles.
Representatives negotiating with the government also did not accept the proposal to privatize state-owned companies. There has already been a reduction in the number of state-owned enterprises to be privatized (from 26 to 27), but they are still not satisfied.
They want the National Auditor General to issue a report to determine what the sales values should be for each of the state-owned enterprises to be privatized. But the government does not want to do this and they say that there is already an analysis by the Chief of Staff on this subject.
Representatives from the radical Civil Union Party, one of the most traditional parties in the country, want the privatization decision to be specific to each state-owned company, and not in general, as it currently exists in the text.
Voting on Argentina's reform package extends into the third day
Within two days, clashes occurred between demonstrators and police outside Congress.
On Thursday, Argentine police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
The discussion ended on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. On Thursday, Congress suspended discussions at midnight after a long session. The talks began on Friday at 10 a.m.
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