The new Chief Lawyer, Fernando Galindo, and the president of the Congress of Deputies, Francina Armengol, were present during the ordinary activity of the Foreign Affairs commission on December 4, 2023, in Madrid, Spain. The Congress has constituted a total of 28 parliamentary committees, marking the beginning of the ordinary activity of the 15th legislature. The commissions have chosen the composition of their tables, including a presidency, two vice-presidents, and two secretaries. This allows the commissions to organize their work, starting with hosting the appearance of the ministers of the new coalition Government to explain the plans in each department.
The Congress Board is expected to decide on the deadline to renegotiate the Amnesty Law after Junts dropped out in the Plenary of the Chamber, preventing its approval and forcing the submission of the text to the Justice Commission. The Plenary Session of Congress approved the text of the opinion from the Justice Commission but did not allow the referral of the law to the Senate due to its organic rank, which needed minimal support of 176 votes and Junts preferred to vote against.
Article 131.2 of the Regulation establishes that when a legislative initiative of organic rank does not achieve the absolute majority necessary to be approved by the Plenary, the text is sent to the commission from which it came to draft a new opinion “within the period of one month”. The Amnesty Law went through the emergency procedure, which shortens the deadlines by half, and the Congress Board will have to make a decision following a report from the legal services.
The Bureau will also determine which text will be taken as a starting point and which amendments of those presented in mid-January are still in force, since it is not possible to present new ones. In any case, any living amendment can be the hook to introduce changes through transactional amendment, and unlike what happens in the Plenary, the approval of all groups is not necessary for its vote.
The situation that has arisen in Congress only has two precedents of laws fallen due to lack of absolute majority, both related to reforms of the Law of the Judiciary in the first term of José María Aznar. One initiative failed and the other was redirected and moved forward after a new opinion was approved in committee twenty days after the failure in the chamber.
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