The president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, will prioritize the budget debates on the motion of censure of Vox if, as it seems, they coincide in time during the second half of September.
This intention, they say to Vozpópuli Parliamentary sources close to Batet, is “common sense”. But politically it has its importance, because Santiago Abascal would be thrown into a debate in which he intends to overthrow a government that would have just received the support of Parliament to a new deficit path, and also probably with Ciudadanos and not with Catalan separatism.
Batet, who has the power to set the date of the motion, will always put first the plenary sessions related to public accounts, as these sources explain. And in any case they remember that at the moment they are all speculation because there is no date for the motion of censure, or for the Budgets.
“The president will apply common sense,” say these sources. “AND Budgets are the most important thing now “.
Path of deficit and censorship
The coalition government negotiates with Citizens, PNV and other minority partners the General State Budgets. The Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has said that she wants to meet the deadlines “in a timely manner”. That is, the Executive would take the accounts to Parliament before October 1.
This decision forces Montero to approve a new deficit path (spending ceiling) before that date. And the third or fourth week of September is being considered for that debate, according to sources familiar with the negotiation. The dates of the Treasury would overlap with the intention expressed by Vox to register its motion of censure as of September 15.
And that’s where Batet, is supposed to agree with Pedro Sanchez, you can give priority to the convocation of one or the other plenary session. Finance sources maintain that the new deficit path, essential for the Budgets, will be sent to the Courts for processing by the urgent means.
The approval of the spending ceiling would turn Vox censorship in a complicated debate for Abascal. It is not only that he lacks the support, as is already known, but that he would also face a debate in which he intends to relegate a government with a majority to carry out the Budgets. Even if Vox holds out a little longer, the censorship would remain embedded in the complex budget debate process: amendments to the whole, commissions, intervention of each minister to explain the priorities of his area, etc.
The motions of Iglesias and Sánchez
The parliamentary rules of the motion of censure are more lax than those of Budgets, which have a very time and form. The only established norm for censorship is that a minimum of five days must elapse from its qualification to hold the debate. From there, there is no maximum term. The presidency of the Congress chooses a date and the plenary session is ordered with the duration of the same and the times of intervention.
The closest examples of the arbitrary capacity, if you will, of the presidency of the Lower House occurred two legislatures ago, when Congress held two motions of censure: that of Pablo Iglesias and that of Pedro Sánchez. In the case of the one presented by United We Can, then-president Ana Pastor (PP) took almost a month to set the date. The purple party registered it on May 18 and the debate took place on June 13.
Pastor did just the opposite in the case of Sánchez’s motion. The PSOE registered it on May 25. And the plenary session began on May 31. Sánchez won the vote for evict Mariano Rajoy and became Prime Minister the next day. The subsequent consensus is that Rajoy and Pastor made a strategic mistake in thinking that the PSOE leader would not be able to tie up the support with so little margin.