There were six hours of debate but in the end the Chamber of Deputies approved with 190 votes in favor, 16 against and 43 abstentions, the bill known as “Cold zones” and that expands the regime of benefits in the gas rates they pay. residential users living in locations with low temperatures. The initiative now goes to the Senate, which, if sanctioned, will allow the implementation of a differential gas rate regime that grants discounts of between 30 and 50 percent with respect to the full rate schedule provided by Enargas. Meanwhile, the 2021 Fiscal Consensus, which was signed by the national government with 21 provinces, was approved after a brief debate. At the close of this edition, the deputies were still in session and it was expected that during the early morning the Trans Labor Quota and the Equity Law in the representation of genders in audiovisual communication services would be approved.
“I want to thank because in politics majorities have to be built through consensus. We are making politics recognize rights that are human rights, because the social right to have access to a public service is the human right to live with dignity. Congress of the Nation is celebrating, let’s end the doomsayers who talk about technical issues. This is a law of politics, “cheered the head of the Federal Development Unit interblock, José Luis Ramón, in the most exciting closing of the debate on Cold Zones. Waving the blanket with which he campaigned against the rates of the Mauricio Macri government, Ramón celebrated the political agreement with Consenso Federal, Córdoba Federal and the Frente de Todos that allowed the approval of the initiative that reduces gas rates in certain cold areas of the country .
“Recovering the notion of what a public service means for a community is very important, and this measure goes in this direction. It is something that goes directly into each Argentine home, think how you think, vote how you vote, whatever channel you watch. “, highlighted the head of the Frente de Todos bloc, Máximo Kirchner, who made a tour of the rate increases carried out during the previous government, interrupted from time to time by the shouts of JxC legislators:” Society was faster than Constitution, because the Constitution establishes that you can only be reelected once, well, society in the case of Macri, for these rates, was much faster than the constitutional remedy. ”
The project aims to reduce gas rates for residential consumption by 30 to 50 percent in several Buenos Aires municipalities and the provinces of Mendoza, San Luis and Salta. During the negotiations, the towns of Córdoba, Santa Fe, Catamarca, Jujuy and La Rioja were also incorporated. The ruling party included a series of technical modifications in the wording, such as the decision to define the affected localities based on “bioenvironmental zones”, instead of mentioning specific municipalities. In turn, at the request of Cordoba legislators, article 4 was modified, which empowers the Executive Power to “expand or modify” the localities included in the benefit, leaving only the word “expand” so that it can only increase areas and not reduce them.
Together for Change, on the other hand, voted divided. The majority chose not to vote against the extension (and expansion) of a benefit that has been in force for Patagonia since 2002, but several opposition legislators chose to denounce that the project was an initiative that responded to “electoralist” objectives. from the national government: “This project leaves the door open for new discretionary incorporations with only one criterion: the electoral interest of the Frente de Todos,” denounced Adriana Ruarte, from Cordoba. “They are hoaxes, half of those who are reached by this law are districts governed by the main opposition force,” said Máximo Kirchner during the debate.
The session officially began at 3:30 p.m., but since 10 in the morning all eyes were on the plenary of commissions that would give an opinion to the Covid Emergency project. Until the last moment, all expectations were placed on the fact that the FdT would include it on the agenda to be discussed at dawn. Finally, the absence of the necessary agreements pushed him to within a couple of weeks, after Sergio Massa returns from his trip to the United States. At the beginning of the session, one of the moments of greatest tension occurred when Fernando Iglesias complained about the formal apology of Carlos Vivero (FdT), who had given him a shove in a congressional bathroom a month ago when he was on the premises. Earnings reform was debated. The text was read aloud by a parliamentary secretary, which angered Iglesias: “I don’t know how things are in the neighborhood of Vivero, but in mine, when you apologize, you show your face,” he shot.
With 140 affirmative votes and 104 negative, the Fiscal Consensus 2021 became law. “Given the pandemic situation, it was evaluated convenient to suspend the obligations regarding exemptions and maximum aliquot scales contemplated for the period 2020 – 2021,” the president explained from the Budget and Finance committee, Carlos Heller, who had already introduced the issue three weeks ago when the project was originally debated (but which later had to be postponed due to the length of the session). The project, which was signed in December of last year by 21 provinces, suspends the tax exemptions that had been established in the 2017 Fiscal Consensus, as well as disburses 70 billion pesos to the provinces, on the condition that they do not take on new debt nor that they advance with legal claims against the National State.
The votes to sanction the rule came, in addition to the FdT, from different benches such as minority opposition blocs and even some radical legislators such as Gabriela Burgos and Jorge Rizzotti from Jujuy. “We vote this by holding our nose, it goes against what we vote in Earnings. But the importance we give to the needs of the provinces is higher,” a Federal Consensus legislator told this medium. “This hurts the interests of taxpayers, especially those of the provinces,” denounced, on the other hand, the radical Mendoza, Luis Pastori.