Appearing before the Senate yesterday, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña hinted that President Mauricio Macri would be willing to veto a bill that would have the government reduce the hikes on utility bills it implemented this year.
This basically means that the previous and following debates in Congress are mere political games aimed at capitalizing the social discontent over the increases. Even though the opposition has the way paved to approve a bill – after the Cambiemos caucus agreed to discuss it in commission – they already know any initiative is destined to perish under Macri’s pen.
Nonetheless, they plan to continue anyway. Since this time they will follow the standard legislative process, their bill would only need a simple majority to make it to the Senate, as opposed to the two thirds of the deputies present needed on the special sessions that took place yesterday and the previous week. And they already know they are able to muster more than half the deputies of the House.
It is not entirely certain how much support the bill would have in the Senate. If the different opposition caucuses joined forces (a similar situation occurred in the House), it would pass without problem. But it will be key to know what Miguel Ángel Pichetto, the leader of the PJ caucus, is planning to do. For now, it seems he would be willing to vote in favor of it.
After the opposition failed to muster enough deputies to form quorum and session last week, he announced he would introduce a bill that was exactly the same as the one from the Argentina Federal caucus. And considering the caucus led by former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is more than willing to vote in favor of the initiative too, it would surely cross Macri’s desk.
Where it would probably die.