December 21, 2014
Congress prepares for Super Wednesday
Gov’t wants to pass Anti-Hoarding, debt bills
It will be an unusually busy week in Congress as the ruling Victory Front (FpV) will try to pass a number of key initiatives in the Senate, including modifications to the 1974 Anti-Hoarding law and the change in jurisdiction for the country’s debt in a marathon session called for Wednesday.
To top it off, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich will attend the Lower House that same day for his regular briefing to lawmakers.
The unusually intense activity began after the winter recess, with representatives from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration spearheading several committees with presidential initiatives regarding the ongoing conflict between the country and vulture funds and a number of proposals linked to consumer reform legislation.
Last week, the Anti-Hoarding bill and the bill that moves debt jurisdiction back to Buenos Aires were both cleared for debate.
The FpV expects to discuss a total of four bills on Wednesday at a marathon session on the Senate floor — a change of jurisdiction sponsored by the president and three bills related to consumers’ rights.
The Anti-Hoarding bill has sparked the most controversy, as business leaders said it gives more power to governors, who would be allowed to establish a price ceiling for goods.
The other two establish the creation of a nationwide state mediation centre where consumers can file their complaints and have free legal aid and the development of a price-watch centre, where prices of goods and services will be controlled with the intervention of technical officials and consumer associations.
Unlike the Lower House, the government enjoys a comfortable majority in the Senate and thus expects all of them to pass without major setbacks. Nonetheless a hearty debate is expected considering the controversial nature of the bills.
The committee level, activity will resume tomorrow at 4pm, with debates in the Health and Sports committees. One hour later, a plenary of committees comprised by members from the Justice and Penal Affairs, Interior Security and Drug-Trafficking and General Legislation working groups will discuss a number of bills regarding judicial proceedings during drug raids.