While the Government maximizes the tension with the governors after the collapse of the Omnibus Law and moves forward with a cut in funds and subsidies for the provinces, Unión por la Patria is enthusiastic about the possibility that the conflict with the leaders – which impacts strong in the Senate – allows tipping the balance in the Upper House to give a first rejection to Javier Milei's mega DNU. This Thursday, the K bench once again demanded a session to discuss it on the premises. In parallel, the Government makes it known that it is analyzing new deregulatory decrees.
UxP, which is the first minority in both Chambers of Congress, launched a challenge in the Senate 15 days ago when it requested a session for February 1, last Thursday, to discuss the mega-decree signed by the President in December, after the deadline in which, according to the law, it should have been dealt with by the Bicameral of Legislative Procedures, which has not yet been formed.
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Until now, Vice President Victoria Villarruel decided not to call that session requested by Kirchnerism. La Libertad Avanza argued precisely that the Bicameral should be integrated first, and that if it was not formed it is because Deputies did not define its members, as it did, in Instead, the Senate has been around for a long time. Now, through a note signed by its members, UxP once again demanded that the head of the Upper House – whom it accuses of failing to comply with the regulations – convene it for next February 15.
The representatives of the Frente de Todos in the Senate, Anabel Fernández Sagasti and José Mayans (Photo: NA).
Without a call, in UxP – like some deputies from other blocks – they understand that they could convene themselves on the premises. However, as TN reported, by challenging and denouncing as illegal the way in which the Chamber authorities voted, Kirchnerism never proposed a member for one of the vice presidencies, so there would be no authority to start the session. At this point it is already a discussion of interpretation: in general, in Congress “the plenary session” is sovereign, and a majority seated in the chamber usually defines regulatory disputes.
But, the PJ-K first needs to gather those 37 senators necessary for the quorum. Unión por la Patria has 33 members, as long as there are no fissures, such as the one that occurred, for example, in the Deputies during the treatment of the Omnibus Law, with the legislators who respond to the governor of Tucumán, Osvaldo Jaldo, who formed their own bloc.
There are two groups that respond to leaders whom the national government has already put on the list of those who voted “against the people” during the treatment of the Omnibus Law: the Frente Renovador Misionero (2) and Juntos Somos Río Negro (1 ).
Rio Negro senator Mónica Silva publicly confirmed this Thursday that if the DNU is discussed in the Upper House she will vote “against with both hands if possible.” The legislator, who responds to President Alberto Weretilneck, added: “My impression is that the numbers are there to annul the DNU. The precedent is what happened with the law, where many of its contents and the DNU are very similar.”
The two senators of the Frente Renovador Misionero, who until December 10 were allies of the Frente de Todos and usually move in tandem with their counterparts from Río Negro, did not advance their position, but in UxP they took it for granted that, after the discursive offensive of the Executive national against the provincial leaders, and the removal of transportation subsidies, would accompany.
Javier Milei became President with a minority in both chambers of Congress. (Photo: AFP)
In the PRO they flatly rule out supporting any move by Kirchnerism to try to overturn Milei's DNU, although not all its members agreed with the instrument and would not support a vote to approve it.
In the UCR – which as a party has questioned the instrument from the beginning, and several of its members also the content – they warned that there is no intention at the moment to tighten the rope with the national government, but that, with the war unleashed against the leaders provincials and the cutback of resources to the provinces, it was difficult to predict what could happen a month from now.
UxP could look for the legislators it lacks in smaller blocks linked to provincial governors: Cambio Federal (3 former Together for Change, who would not accompany), Unidad Federal (3 senators from the non-Kirchnerist PJ, including Peronism from Córdoba), for Santa Cruz (2 legislators who respond to President Claudio Vidal) and Neuquén senator Lucila Crexell, who aligned herself with Governor Rolando Figueroa.
“The votes are there to turn it around, the issue is that no one wants to give Kirchnerism a quorum. Many of us are not going to lend ourselves to playing into the hands of those who are the reason Milei is president and have now discovered republicanism with the DNU. The hundred unapproved decrees since Macri and Alberto Fernández would have to be dealt with,” says a senator from that group of blocs.
“But Villarruel knows that if there is a session to discuss the DNU, it will be rejected. He has a history that Cristina Kirchner did not call several sessions requested by the opposition as an argument for not being obliged to do so,” added the same legislator.
The ruling party anticipates that the Omnibus Law could be voted on in the Senate at the end of February and does not rule out that it returns with changes to Deputies (Photo: Telam)
For now, the Senate is scheduled to open the premises on February 23 for the preparatory session that must be held for the election of authorities of the Upper House, prior to the opening of ordinary sessions on March 1. The project that modifies the Penal Code regarding the prevention and repression of Money Laundering, which obtained a majority opinion in the Upper House this Wednesday, would also be discussed in that session.
In that session, if UxP wanted to force the treatment of the DNU, it would have to gather two-thirds of the votes to include it on the agenda, something that it definitely has no chance – at least in the current scenario – of achieving.
For a decree to be invalidated, it must be rejected by both chambers of Congress; just one is not enough. For now, in UxP they recognize that the numbers are not there to achieve a quorum in the Deputies and in the Lower House bench they look with expectation to the Senate, where the numbers are finer and where the rejection of the decree, although it does not invalidate it, would be a strong political signal, while Justice advances.