Pension reform: why article 38 of the Senate rules could speed up the debates?

Will the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher and the senators Les Républicains resort to article 38 of the regulations? As part of the examination of the pension reform, the majority LR group could decide to activate this article, introduced in 2015 but never used to date, in particular to have article 7 of the text adopted the legal departure age. A way of doing things mentioned on Sunday by the leader of the group, Bruno Retailleau, assuring that the LR senators will do “everything so that the reform can be adopted”.

In reality, this article 38 aims to speed up the closing of the debates, while the deadline for examining the text is set for Sunday 12 March.

“We will use all constitutional means,” said Larcher

At the beginning of March, the President of the Senate had warned in the columns of the Figaro that “if there should be an obstruction, we (the Republicans) will simply use all the means constitutional and those of our rules”. And this article 38 could well be activated this Tuesday, in full mobilization against the pension reform.

Concretely, this details that “when at least two speakers of opposite opinion have intervened in the general discussion of a text (…), the president, a group president (…) can propose the closure of the said discussion”. Thus, when this proposal is formulated, the floor goes to one speaker per group and one senator not appearing on any list.

Then, the regulation provides that the president of the Senate consults the hemicycle by a show of hands, and if the proposal is adopted, the closing takes effect immediately. A legal maneuver that would accelerate the examination of the pension reform in the Senate, while there are still nearly 2,500 amendments to be examined.

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