Photo via Télam. Osvaldo Fanton

The different opposition caucuses that oppose the utility hikes implemented by the government considered that its decision of activating an alternative payment method don’t mitigate the impact they will have on users, and announced their intention to hold another special session in the Lower House next month.

The Frente Para la Victoria (FpV) caucus, led by Agustín Rossi, issued a release claiming that Macri is a “bad joke to all Argentines who are overwhelmed by the increases in utilities… They are aimed at causing distraction and ending the debate in Congress.”

Argentina Federal caucus member Diego Bossio joined the criticism saying that “postponing or dividing the cost of bills is not a solution, it actually makes it worse.” And leader of Frente Renovador Graciela Camaño, on her end, said “we are going to continue demanding a solution that gives Argentines a break,” and that they “invite Cambiemos’ deputies to be part of the solution, rather than the distraction.”

“There’s no reason why we have to force users to owe money to companies that did not make any effort [during the Kirchner administrations] and actually played a role to reach the situation of energetic collapse the country is currently in. That is what the government is proposing,” she added.

The caucuses tried to session last Wednesday, but fell short by one deputy from getting the 129 necessary to make quorum. They intended to vote on a bill aimed at having the government roll back utility hikes.

But even if they manage to form quorum this time, it will still be practically impossible for their initiative to be fruitful. Since they called for a special session, the bill will not go through the regular legislative process: it will not approved by a special commission before reaching the floor. And therefore, it would need two thirds of the deputies present in the House to be passed. And since the Cambiemos caucus has more than one third of the members of the Chamber, they only have to show up and vote against the bills to quash them.

Its importance is symbolic, aimed at showing the government they have the ability to unite against it and pass bills that do go through the regular legislative process, which need the positive votes of more than half of the deputies present at a given session.