Congress to discuss Milei’s omnibus bill on Wednesday

The Chamber of Deputies confirmed the date after several delays. The bill has seen several modifications but LLA has insisted on giving the president legislative powers

The Chamber of Deputies will debate the government’s controversial “omnibus bill” in a session on Wednesday from 10 a.m. onwards, a Lower House spokesperson confirmed to the Herald on Monday.

The session was originally expected on Tuesday and had been delayed several times over the past two weeks as the ruling coalition La Libertad Avanza scrambled to get support from the opposition.

Since President Javier Milei filed it back in December, the bill has undergone several changes due to intense negotiations with the other blocs. The latest version, released on Monday, has 386 articles compared to the 664 in the original bill. 

On Friday, Economy Minister Luis Caputo announced that the entire fiscal chapter would be removed from the bill.

Last week, LLA got the necessary backing for their final version of the bill to be approved in commissions, a key step that allowed it to be debated on the chamber’s floor. However, out of 55 deputies that backed the document, 34 did so partially, meaning they didn’t agree with some points of the bill.

Deputies from Hacemos Coalición Federal coalition later said the document they had signed differed from the one they had discussed with the Chamber of Deputies President, LLA’s Martín Menem. They claimed they had agreed on some modifications not included in the final version.

The latest final version proposes giving Milei legislative powers for one year instead of two, years as per the original document, and reduces the scope of the issues he would be able to legislate on if the bill is approved. The legislative powers would mean the president could take on legislative powers and rule via decree over issues deemed to be a public emergency. The final version includes economic, financial, fiscal, security, tariff, energy, and public administration matters until December 31, 2024, with the possibility of extending that period for another year.

The original scope of Milei’s proposed legislative powers also included pensions, defense, healthcare, and social issues.

Milei only has 38 out of 257 deputies in Congress, so negotiations with the “moderate” opposition are crucial and still ongoing. Although LLA managed to establish agreements with most of those blocs, some from Hacemos and Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) are still not satisfied and could withdraw their support.

Deputies from UCR, PRO and Hacemos will have a meeting with governors from the Juntos por el Cambio coalition on Monday afternoon to agree on a common position towards the bill, according to Télam news agency.
Meanwhile, Peronist former ruling coalition Unión por la Patria and left-wing Frente de Izquierda are the only two blocs that have confirmed full rejection of the bill, which would total 104 negative votes between them. Last week, however, Unión por la Patrialost three deputies, who formed their own separate bloc after one of them backed the bill.


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