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Argentine President Javier Milei suffered a major defeat yesterday when his Omnibus bill, the monstrosity he submitted to the Congress to completely deregulate the economy, privatize all public companies and impose savage austerity, failed to garner enough votes in the Chamber of Deputies for passage and has been sent back to committees to begin the debate process all over again. Milei is apoplectic that he hasn’t forced enough Argentines to accept his fascist policies.

After obtaining a vote last week to approve the bill “in general,” this week’s debate was supposed to focus on the bill’s specific articles, and that’s when things fell apart. Although enough legislators voted to approve Milei’s request to bypass Congress and grant him extraordinary powers for one year to oversee “emergencies'’ in the economic, financial, security, energy, tariff and administrative sectors, that was the extent of it. Milei couldn’t even count on his erstwhile allies in the non-Peronist “collaborationist” opposition as governors and business groupings affiliated with those sectors split over mass privatizations, revenue sharing, hydrocarbon, taxation and pension policy. Aside from making changes in the inserts included in specific articles, no progress was made at all on the articles themselves. It reached the point when Martin Menem, president of the lower House, declared the session to be closed and announced that the process of debating the bill must begin again.

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