On Tuesday (6), the Argentine Chamber of Deputies witnessed a significant drawback on a bill proposed by the government of libertarian president Javier Milei. This bill, which outlines a series of economic and social reforms, was met with severe resistance and failed to gain sufficient support from the Deputies, causing a setback in its implementation.
The proposed bill, which was initially approved in general terms on Friday (2), was returned to the original committee due to the resistance it faced. The specific votes on several key articles, which were deemed critical by the government, suffered some defeats, causing further delays in the bill’s progress.
The bill, known as the Ómnibus Law, is a comprehensive package that contains the fundamental principles and points for the freedom of Argentines, as per the Milei government’s slogan. It addresses various issues such as the privatization of public companies, reductions in taxes and spending, among other measures. However, by the time it was generally approved on Friday, it had already become quite diluted, having lost half of its initial articles.
The government bloc, represented by deputies from the A Liberdade Avança coalition, was unable to secure sufficient support from other parties and deputies. For instance, they could not rally enough votes to approve all the sections of article 5 of the law. This article grants the Executive extensive powers to alter the structure and functioning of public administration. Due to the lack of consensus and opposition pressure, the bloc’s leader, Oscar Zago, a close associate of Milei, called for the project to be returned to the Constitutional Affairs committee for further dialogue. Consequently, the session was interrupted.
According to the Argentine newspaper Clarion, Zago attributed the impasse to the violation of agreements by certain provincial governors. These governors allegedly influenced their deputies to vote against several articles of the project, leading to its eventual downfall.
Zago was quoted saying, “There were deputies who committed to monitoring (the approval of the project) through the governors, and the governors did not keep their word.” He denied that the day’s events were a defeat for the government.
President Javier Milei, currently on an official visit to Israel, expressed his dissatisfaction with the results of the parliamentary session through a message on his X profile (formerly Twitter). He referred to the situation as “The caste against the people” and accused the political sectors of opposing the change that Argentines voted for in the elections.
Milei said, “We know that it will not be easy to change a system where politicians have become rich at the expense of Argentines who get up every day to work.” Despite the setback, he vowed to move forward with his government program “with or without the support of policy diligence that destroyed our country.”