This Thursday the 130 new deputies took officeand was voted Martín Menem of La Libertad Advances as president of the Lower House, a position that is third in the line of presidential succession. Karina Milei and Victoria Villarruel were present at the venue, as well as several relatives with the same last name as the former president remembered for the privatizations of the 90s.
The government party that takes office has a strength that does not reach 40 deputies, but managed to impose its candidate at the head of the Chamber in the first vote. thanks to the support given to him by Unión por La Patria, the PRO, the radicals. All the blocks voted for it, except the 5 deputies of the Unity Left Front who announced it by taking the floor and provoked the anger of the libertarian tribune present. “Whistle whatever you want, I’m not going to shut up.” he answered them Myriam Bregman who announced his abstention not out of personal but political challenge, denouncing the adjustment measures against the people, women and youth that the new government has already carried out.
An enormous contrast to the words of those who did vote for him. “We wish you luck, count on our political support for the reforms that this country needs” said Rodrigo de Loredo as president of the UCR. Cristian PRO Ritondo added the wish of “success and strength and support of our bloc for the changes that Argentina needs”.
The left had already been warning about the dynamics of Congress: “without traitors there is no omnibus law”. The fact is that any law that Javier Milei’s government wants to approve will have to have the support of other allies. Something that was demonstrated in this first session of Deputies with the new composition, and very far from the speeches of the forces that today are opposition or semi-opposition. Without going further, The contribution of ministers, officials and ambassadors to the new government is from both the PRO and Unión por la Patria.
In his speech, Martín Menem announced that he will make adjustments in the expenses of the Chamber of Deputies and repeated the motto that Javier Milei has been trying to install: “there’s no money”. From the left they have been running a counter-campaign saying “there is money”, but that the debt with the IMF will be paid, or tax benefits for banks, mining companies, automobile companies, among other large companies.
The session began two hours later than planned due to the notable absence of Unión por la Patria, which was finalizing negotiations with Martín Menem for the distribution of the commissions, and internally for the definition of who they would propose for the 1st vice presidency (it will be Cecilia Moreau). In fact, the session began by reaching a quorum without the presence of Unión por la Patria, which quickly had to go down to occupy the seats.
It started with the swearing in of the 130 deputies, between applause on one side and boos of the other. It was the case of Christian Castillothe new and fifth deputy of the Unity Left Front, where shouts were exchanged from the boxes: “Long live socialism, damn it” and whistles from the libertarian side.
But the session also left a panorama of the new political map of the Chamber of Deputies. Escapes, divisions that were consummated and others that were contained but it is not known for how much.
In the case of Union for the Homeland has already suffered 4 escapes. Three people from Salta, who respond to Governor Gustavo Sanez, left and formed a bloc with the missionaries, Rio Negros and Neuquéns. Guillermo Snopek from Jujuy also put together a monobloc, who entered on Sergio Massa’s ticket. Unión por la Patria remains with 101 deputies and will continue to be the majority force. German Martinez will continue to lead the block.
The rupture of Together for Change: it no longer exists. The novelty is that the UCR (35), the new bloc led by Miguel Angel Pichetto “Cambio Federal” (9) and the Civic Coalition (6) They intend to act together to add 50 deputies. For now they will remain formally separate blocks, but they have already given signs that they will “work together.” On the other hand, the PRO was left with 37 members, reducing their number due to the departure of 5 deputies: 4 with Pichetto’s assembly and 1 from Mendoza who made his monobloc. The days before the session they had intense meetings to maintain a “unity with forceps”, since divisions prevail between three tribes: those who respond to Macri who total 20 deputies, those of Patricia Bullrich 8 and another 9 more related to Larreta. His former partners are confident that they could suffer new breakups sooner rather than later. Ritondo, he was barely able to add 3 more allies from other monoblocs, leaving him with a total of 40 deputies and less weight than his former partners from Together for Change. These are the first costs of having directly joined the government of Javier Milei with Bullrich and Petri as ministers. But surely not the last.
La Libertad Avanza chose Oscar Zago as president of the bloc that will have 34 members. But they will have 5 other wills that made separate blocks but will act in common with the government party: 3 Salteños from Ahora Patria (adding Zapata who was in JxC), Olmedo’s “yellow jacket” party, 1 from Tierra del Fuego and Carolina Píparo who maintained her differentiated space. That is, they will have insured 39 wills as a floor.
“Federal Innovation” It is the new block of 9 members that brings together missionaries (4), the Salteños who left Unión por la Patria (3), 1 from Rio Negro and 1 from MPN-Neuquén. It will be chaired by Pamela Caletti from Salta.
The space of Juan Schiaretti maintains its allies and will be called “We do for Our Country” with 8 members: 4 from Córdoba, 2 socialists and Florencio Randazzo.
He Left Front Unity It will have a bench of 5 deputies: 4 from the PTS (Bregman, Del Caño, Vilca, Castillo) and 1 from the PO (Del Plá).
The fight that started this Thursday for the control and distribution of commissions it’s just beginning. In the session they openly showed an open air thread, even ventilating the negotiations that La Libertad Avanza, Unión por la Patria and the PRO had been doing.
The commissions are important because for a project to be voted on in the chamber, it must first obtain support in the commissions. The agreement between these three forces was to propose a proportional distribution in the commissions to the numerical weight of each block. On the other hand, the alliance between radicals, Cambio Federal and the Civic Coalition wanted the distribution to be done by “group of blocks”, in order to be able to gain more power in the commissions without having to be a formal interblock. After several exchanges and a fourth intermission, the motion that Martín Menem, Germán Martínez and Cristian Ritondo had already agreed upon was voted on.
Milei takes office this Sunday, and will try to get the adjustment against the people to begin via devaluation and tariffs. But what this first session of Deputies leaves us with is that The caste is not afraid, because it is already making an agreement with the new government.