Although the Executive had announced it would call for extraordinary sessions in February to discuss the Labor Reform bill; on January 16th, the Chief of Cabinet Marcos Peña ruled out that the Casa Rosada will promote the debate of the bill before March 1st. Therefore, it will be debated in ordinary sessions. Among the main topics of the reform is the creation of an agency specialized in the evaluation of medicines, medical products, techniques and procedures that must be incorporated into the set of benefits covered by the public sector and the Compulsory Medical Program.
Towards the legislative agenda, the government had stated in December that it hoped to give prompt discussion to the articles and that it planned to call for extraordinary sessions in February to discuss this initiative. However, political scenario influenced on this schedule at the end of 2017. The decision to postpone its debate is due to the fact that without the support of opposition groups, the ruling party Cambiemos does not have enough legislators to start the debate of the bill.
In this regard, Miguel Pichetto, the president of the parliamentary coalition Argentina Federal, the largest bench in the floor and key to forming quorum, imposed as a condition that the General Confederation of Labor (Conferencia General de Trabajadores – CGT) expressly endorsed it.
The day before the postponement of the debate was announced, one of the CGT leaders, Carlos Acuña, stressed that the reform bill “shows no benefits or balance” for workers and that as it is written “it has no future”.
Bearing in mind Argentina Federal and the CGT’s point of view of, Marcos Peña announced that the Government will not call for extraordinary sessions. The Chief of Cabinet concluded the press conference highlighting that the bill is beneficial for workers and that had been prepared with the support of that trade union.