the government takes the “step” of the Senate with forceps

the government takes the “step” of the Senate with forceps

Right-wing senators, including Bruno Retailleu, president of the Les Républicains group, applaud as the Senate goes to vote on the pension reform bill, in Paris, on March 11, 2023.

At the end of a debate of ten days and as many nights which will have particularly shaken a Senate not accustomed to chaotic sessions, the senators ended up adopting the pension reform at first reading, late in the evening of Saturday March 11. At the Palais du Luxembourg, dominated by the right and the centre, the draft bill on the amending financing of Social Security, which notably provides for the raising of the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, was voted by 195 votes against 112, with 37 abstentions.

For the executive, this adoption makes it possible to confer parliamentary legitimacy on a text decried by public opinion, rejected by the inter-union and which could not be voted by the National Assembly. “I have the feeling of presiding over an institution that has played its role with commitment and responsibility, in the interest of the country and the French,” greeted at the end of the debates the president Les Républicains (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher.

But at what cost ? Whether Prime Minister Elisabeth Borneunderlined, on Saturday evening, a “Important step that has been taken”convinced that he “there is a majority in Parliament” on his reform, the president of the socialist group in the Senate, Patrick Kanner, sees there, him, “A Pyrrhic Victory” of the executive and of the senatorial majority. In his viewfinder, the use, on Friday, by the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, of article 44 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, with the consent of Mr. Larcher, and the presidents of the LR and Union centriste groups (UC ), Bruno Retailleau and Hervé Marseille.

“Our reform”, says Retailleau

With this so-called provision of “single vote” on the entire text which restricts speaking, the executive intended to circumvent the thousand remaining amendments from the senators and their obstruction which jeopardized the holding of a vote on the entire text. With the use of article 47.1 of the Constitution by the government, the senators had until Sunday March 12 at midnight to examine the reform.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pension reform: in the Senate, the government anesthetizes the debates by resorting to blocked voting

During these last hours of debate neutralized by the use of 44.3 and other provisions of the senatorial regulations, the left nevertheless maintained until the last minute the presentation of its latest amendments in the hemicycle to denounce the ” contempt ” of the government. “The play played in the Senate is a dangerous precedent for parliamentary democracy and for the population’s confidence in representative democracy”, said Saturday evening from the podium, the environmental senator of the Rhône Raymonde Poncet-Monge. ” You are sore losers,” replied Mr. Retailleau.

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