It’s the day that never ends.
After a chaotic session in the Lower House that had to be called off due to the violence that broke between national deputies in favor of passing the pension reform bill and those who vowed to oppose it, we all learned that the scandal was far from over after this evening rumors surfaced that the Macri administration was considering passing the bill via presidential decree.
The plan was apparently to have the President not only issue a DNU emergency decree but also to address the nation. The backlash, however, was so immediate – even from people within the Cambiemos coalition – that the Casa Rosada had to take a step back and rethink their strategy.
According to local media outlets, Cabinet ministers were summoned to an emergency meeting at the President’s office in order to discuss the possibility of signing a decree to have this bill passed before the end of the year. As the news of this possibility broke this evening, several versions began making the rounds in the media, with some confirming the Executive’s intentions and others that the Government was debating whether to offer “compensation” to pensioners and recipients of welfare plans once the bill was passed.
An journalists, politicians, analysts and other opinion leaders took to Twitter to express their dismay over the possible decision to pass this bill via decree – and the legal implications that such a decision would have – it was close Macri ally and City legislator Elisa Carrio who suddenly tweeted the unthinkable:
Carrio y la Coalicion Cívica juraron respetar la Constitución Nacional y no la van a violar bajo ningún concepto. Un DNU violaría gravemente la Constitución Nacional.
— Elisa Lilita Carrió (@elisacarrio) December 14, 2017
“Carrio and the Civic Coalition took an oath to respect the Constitution and will not violate it under any circumstances. A DNU decree would gravely violate it,” she said, loud and clear. (In case you don’t recall, the Civic Coalition is Carrio’s party, which at the same time is part of the Cambiemos coalition.)
The legislator, who remains one of the most trusted and admired in the country, was making it clear that to have the President bypass Congress in such a blatant way was unacceptable. It was only a matter of minutes until government sources began saying that the decree option had been taken off the table.
And now we’re basically back where we started this morning. The bill remains a question mark, as the government insists that it will pass it no matter what and those opposing it say they will continue to fight it until it dies on the floor as they argue that the changes in the will would slash welfare plans and pensions across the board.