The opposition has vowed to block the president's mega bill to reform the economy, politics and even some aspects of personal life.
Argentina's lower house of Congress has begun what is expected to be a marathon debate on libertarian President Javier Mili's mega-bill to reform some aspects of the economy, politics and private life.
The government raced to secure votes for a key „universal bus” reform bill on Wednesday, even as the left-leaning opposition vowed to block it.
The bill initially contained 664 articles, but nearly half of these were lost in tough negotiations with the opposition, which outnumbers Mili's Libertad Avanza party, which has just 38 of the 257 seats in the lower house of Congress.
The bill is one of the main planks of Millay's reform drive to tackle the South American country's worst economic crisis, with inflation of more than 200 percent and state coffers running dry.
It is the first major test of the president since the „anarcho-capitalist” took office in December after a shock election victory.
Miley, 53, faces a challenge to win over allies and pass the bill. His government last week removed a divisive funding clause from the bill to boost support.
„Today, politicians have an opportunity to begin reversing the damage they have done to the Argentine people,” Millay's office said, urging lawmakers to support the bill.
In a sign of the challenge ahead, the main Peronist opposition Union por la Patria, which is the single largest group in Argentina's National Congress, said it would reject the bill, posting a picture with the slogan: “No omnibus bill” in X.
„We reject the omnibus bill because it puts fuel on Millay's chainsaw to hurt everyday life in Argentina,” wrote Peronist politician and former foreign minister Santiago Cafiro, referring to his austerity plans to reverse deep fiscal deficits.
Milei began his term by devaluing the peso by more than 50 percent, slashing government subsidies for fuel and transportation, halving the number of ministries, and eliminating hundreds of regulations meant to regulate the economy.
His massive reform package touches on all areas of public and private life, from privatization to cultural issues, penal law and divorce to the status of football clubs.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the legislature to express their displeasure at the reform bill, AFP news agency reported.
Moderate opposition lawmakers have warned they will seek further changes to the bill, particularly on granting special powers to the executive in economic emergencies and the scope and scale of privatisation.
If the legislation is approved in the lower chamber — a debate that could extend beyond Wednesday — it will move to the Senate next week.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.