The PSOE has decided to reserve commission presidencies in Congress to its partners of United Podemos, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and the PNV, following the same distribution scheme as the last legislature, and will leave a quota at the commission tables to be it is distributed by the PP, Citizens and Vox. That provided that the Socialists do not veto, as six months ago, that those of Santiago Abascal occupy a presidential armchair.
The Congress will approve on Tuesday the corresponding reform of the Regulation of the House of Representatives to accommodate the commissions to the ministries that make up the Coalition Government, which includes the implementation of 21 legislative commissions, the same that were before the elections last November , despite having increased the size of the new Executive (from 17 to 23 ministries).
The coupling between commissions and ministries has not only brought about a change in the denomination of some commissions (that of Fomento for example will now be called Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda), but also that some of them will control more than one ministry .
Such is the case of Health and Consumer Affairs, which in the Government has been divided into two portfolios – Salvador Illa (PSOE) in Health and Alberto Garzón (IU) in Consumer Affairs; Science and Universities – Pedro Duque and Manuel Castells, respectively–; and Employment and Social Security – Yolanda Díaz and José Luis Escrivá -.
In addition to these legislative commissions, the agreement reached by socialists, ‘popular’ and purple formation included the creation of five permanent non-legislative commissions (Toledo Pact, Road Safety, Children, Anti-Corruption and Gender Violence), and that of the own commissions of the Congress (Regulation, Statute of the Deputies and Petitions).
FRIDAY, MORE THAN 20 COMMISSIONS WILL BE CONSTITUTED
In total, more than twenty parliamentary committees, all legislative, will be constituted next Friday, February 7, and by then the groups must have already closed the distribution of the presidencies and the other components of the Tables (two vice-presidents and two secretaries).
In the ‘lot’ of presidencies to negotiate will also enter the seven mixed commissions (Congress-Senate) that will be constituted on February 13 and that are the same that worked in the last legislature: control of RTVE, Study of the Drug Problem , Court of Auditors, Ombudsman, European Union, National Security, and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to Europa Press confirmed to parliamentary sources, the idea of the PSOE goes through relinquishing commission presidencies to its Government partners, United We, which in the last legislature had four presidencies (Budgets, Work, Science and Ecological Transition. if the parliamentary commissions where the leaders of United Podemos must appear, such as Social Affairs or Equality, will remain in the hands of the PSOE or the purple formation.
In addition, the PSOE also wants ERC and the PNV, which facilitated the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, to maintain the presidencies they obtained in the last legislature, one each. The Catalan independentistas aspire to be able to preside again the Commission of Industry, which fell into the hands of Joan Capdevilla, and the Basque nationalists do not have closed what will be. Six months ago his deputy Joseba Aguirretxea chaired the Agriculture Commission.
It is expected that the PSOE, which in the past legislature came to chair up to 14 commissions, placed in the presidencies of these bodies those ministers and senior officials who left the Executive in January, such as Magdalena Valerio, Luisa Carcedo or Ana Botella, as well as to prominent members of the Executive of the party, such as exlehendakari Patxi López, Santos Cerdan or Pilar Cancela.
In the short term of 2019, López became elected president of the Constitutional Commission, considered one of the most important; Cancel, of the Equality; and Cerdán, of the Mixed (Congress-Senate) of Relations with the Court of Auditors. The longest-running deputy and in charge of presiding over the constitutive session of the Congress of the last two legislatures, Agustín Zamarrón, was awarded in his day with the Petitions Committee.
WILL THE PSOE VOTE AGAIN?
The commissions that do not occupy neither the PSOE nor its partners will be distributed mainly by the PP, to whom the Socialists will leave the decision to assign or not put Citizens and Vox. It is the same tactic followed a few weeks ago for the distribution of the seats of the hemicycle. Yes, Abascal could be complicated by their presence in the presidencies or placed at the tables if the left insists with the veto imposed on them last legislature.
Six months ago, the PP was made with the presidencies of four commissions (Treasury, Interior, Health and National Security) and Citizens with four others, although it is assumed that in this term the ‘oranges’ will significantly reduce their number having lost parliamentary weight
And Vox, who when he was 24 deputies did not get any presidency in the last legislature, was able to sit at least on the Committee tables occupying three vice-presidencies (Budgets, Work and Ecological Transition) and a secretariat in the Health Commission. Now with 52 deputies and being the third group of the Chamber, he aspires to preside over some and, if they are not assigned, he does not rule out presenting candidates unilaterally.
NO BIG CHANGES IN THE SENATE
As for the Senate, between 32 and Wednesday the 32 commissions that will work in this legislature will be constituted. Given the distribution of forces, the five positions of the tables that direct them correspond to PSOE (three) and PP (two), which together add 210 of the 265 senators.
The Socialists have in principle the intention of retaining all the presidencies except that of the Committee on Budgets, which traditionally holds the opposition, in this case, the PP. However, nothing is closed, say PSOE parliamentary sources to Europa Press, who remember that decisions taken in Congress also influence the Senate.
The Socialist Group of the Senate will decide on Monday afternoon who it proposes for each table and spokesperson and that is where it will be confirmed if it gives up a position or not to its parliamentary partners, such as the Confederal Left (United We Can) and ERC. The PNV is also a member, but this party already has thanks to the PSOE a position in the Senate Bureau and does not aspire to another position, nationalist sources have confirmed to Europa Press.
Majorities in this legislature are not insured because the PSOE has lost the absolute majority. This barrier is located in the 133 senators and the Socialist Group has 113, that is, it lacks 20 votes that it can reach with its partners, but it must negotiate each issue.
In the Upper House, the commissions will have 29 members this legislature, so the majority will be 15 votes. The agreed distribution is 12 senators for the PSOE, 10 for the PP, two for ERC-Bildu and one, respectively, of the other five groups: PNV, Citizens, Confederal Left, Nationalist Group and Mixed Group.