Bases Law: what happens if the Senate makes modifications to the project and how it would affect the May Pact

Bases Law: what happens if the Senate makes modifications to the project and how it would affect the May Pact
Bases Law: what happens if the Senate makes modifications to the project and how it would affect the May Pact

The Senate begins today to discuss the Bases Law in a plenary session of committees. Photo: REUTERS/Agustín Marcarian

The Chamber of Senators will begin to discuss this afternoon the Bases Bill that obtained half a sanction in Deputies days ago. In the ruling party they are negotiating against the clock to obtain the votes that guarantee the approval of the initiative, in a limited time frame for the May Pact called by President Javier Milei for next May 25.

The path of the project in the Upper House will begin with the presentation of the Minister of the Interior, Guillermo Francos, who will go to the plenary session of committees this Tuesday. The path of the initiative is also accompanied by Vice President Victoria Villarruel, who does not want to take any false steps after the negotiation that she led almost alone around DNU 70 rejected in March by the opposition in the Senate. Supervising with particular attention from the superstructure is strategist Santiago Caputo, in charge of the negotiations in Buenos Aires while the Milei brothers continued their tour of Los Angeles yesterday.

The outlook is tight“, a high official source participating in the negotiations said last night. There was, however, a moderate illusion of approaching the magic number of 37 senators, the one necessary to sanction the project, at least in general. “With general approval, we advance to May 25,” official sources added.

Since the new Bases Law received half a sanction in Deputies, the Government began to draw up the roadmap with the horizon set in Córdoba. However, beyond the work with some Peronist governors to obtain the necessary votes, The possibility that the initiative could undergo modifications began to materialize as the hours passed.. In the vote in particular in the lower house, chapters such as the delegation of powers, Profits or the Large Investment Incentive Regime (RIGI), were questioned by sectors of the opposition, despite the consensus of a large part of the governors.

The regulations of the National Congress establish the different paths that a project sent by the Executive Branch can follow. In the case of the Bases Law, which has already obtained half a sanction in Deputies, the Senate can take two paths: one of them is the total rejection of the initiative, which would prevent it from being discussed again during the current legislative year. However, that scenario is practically ruled out.

The second possibility is that introduce modifications to the text sent from Deputies. This option can be done with a simple majority or by two-thirds. In this case, the Chamber of origin would have two paths to continue: either it accepts the modifications and approves the project with the changes made in the reviewing Chamber (in this case, the Senate) or it insists with the original text, for which it needs to reach the same majority or higher than that of the Chamber that introduced modifications.

The truth is that, for that instance, there are still hours of negotiations.

Last night, collaborators of the President detailed in the official score a number around the 35 senators who, in principle, could accompany the Bases Law. 36, according to the most optimistic. Among them, in addition to the six senators from the PRO and the seven from La Libertad Avanza, the three from Salta, two from Santa Cruz, the same from Misiones, one of the senators from Río Negro, from Neuquén, and the bulk of the block of the Radical Civic Union, with a huge question mark about Martín Lousteau, the president of the national committee, who, despite mutual distrust, began to weave a rapprochement with Facundo Manes. Last Thursday, the senator shared an event with his brother Gastón. Yesterday, the neuroscientist posted on his networks: ““The same people who already went after Kirchnerism and Macri, now want to go after Milei.”

Over the weekend, in the Kirchnerist Peronist bloc of 33 senators – it was only divided into two groups, 17 and 16, in the maneuver to take advantage of the integration of the Judicial Council – versions of possible leaks circulated in favor of the government. Yesterday, after the meeting of the Peronist bench, it emerged that this possibility was diluted, despite some rumors that still weighed on legislators such as Sergio Uñac from San Juan or the senators from Santiago del Estero referenced in Gerardo Zamora.

On Sunday, in his role as host at the stadium that hosted the final of the Soccer League Cup between Estudiantes de La Plata and Vélez, the governor made it clear that he was not willing to negotiate the vote of those three senators. “They are closed, they do not want to accompany“explained a senator from the interior.

The magnifying glass, for example, was still focused last night on the three senators from the Federal Unity bloc: Carlos “Camau” Espínola, Edgardo Kueider and Alejandra Vigo. None of them appeared in the Casa Rosada count at this time. Despite, in some cases, confusing signals even with their own environment.

On Thursday, the Government will seek to obtain an opinion to bring the project to the premises as soon as possible. As anticipated last week, the idea is to discuss the project at the venue on Thursday, May 16, just 9 days before the call to sign the May Pact.

However, instead of being subject to the approval of the Base Law, as Milei had said on March 1, the great event planned in Córdoba will remain firm no matter what happens in Parliament. “It is done the same”, said, bluntly and in a serious tone, an advisor to the president who, however, was rushing the negotiations with the governors. They maintain hope that it will be approved sooner, but they know that the toughest opposition will not make it easy for them.

 
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