December 13, 2013
Gov't secures budget bill at Lower House
After an 18-hour debate, the Lower House passed the budget bill and the extension of other 3 economic laws paving the way for Senate treatment.
In a 134-113 vote, the 2014 budget was the first project to be approved. Opposition MPs that joined the Kirchnerite move were Blanca de Peralta, Sergio Pansa, Nora Vidla, Ramona Pucheta, Jorge Garramuño and Mauricio Ibarra.
The 2-year prorogation of the check tax and cigarettes' sale price was later passed with a 132-110 vote.
Although the opposition demanded bills to be passed with a qualifying majority voting -129 votes-, Lower House chairman Julián Domínguez stressed the simple majority would be the session "criteria."
It was then the turn of the Economic Emergency law that grants the government extraordinary faculties. The ruling Victory Front secured the passing with 135 votes. “The opposition has never supported the government in budget terms,” head of the Kirchnerite Lower House caucus Juliana Di Tullio said blasting opposition resistance to approve the government’s economic guidelines for next year.
“They have always tried to put a spoke in the wheel bringing arguments against a model they seek to destroy,” Di Tullio, who is also running for October’s legislative elections to renew her parliamentary sit, insisted heating up a marathon-like debate.
Meanwhile, the head of the Radical Party caucus Ricardo Gil Lavedra considered the budget a “drawing” accusing the government of “permanent liar.” “How are we supposed to believe inflation will be of 10 percent,” Gil Lavedra affirmed targeting a controversial issue surrounding the administration of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The opposition indeed presents a monthly inflation index contradicting –and doubling- official figures by the INDEC statistics bureau.
Socialist Juan Carlos Zabala joined the Radical lawmaker criticism. “It is based on growth and inflation estimations that contradict the reality we live in,” the MP stated.
Regarding the Economic Emergency law, PRO Party Federico Pinedo warned “we are not under emergency but we will be due to the government’s drivels.”