By RICARDO CASTILLO
After just nine hours of debate, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved President Andrés Manuel López Obrador´s (AMLO) 2020 budget during the early morning hours of Friday, Nov. 22.
The new budget — which cuts 4.282 billion pesos for autonomous organizations such as the National Human Right Commission (CNDH) and the National Electoral Institution (INE) — was approved at 6 a.m. on Friday by a majority of 302 votes in favor, 65 against and one abstention.
The Budget and Public Account Committee of the Chamber of Deputies had approved the government’s expenditures allotted for the year 2020 34 in favor over 12 against late Thursday, Nov. 21 and sent it on to the entire Chamber of Deputies to review.
The full Chamber of Deputies almost immediately ´gave their approval of the 17 trillion peso budget at a convention center in the plush Santa Fe shopping district.
The INE saw its annual budget slashed by nearly 40 percent, with a nearly 90 million peso reduction in salaires.
As expected, the minority opposition deputies belonging to the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) voted against the bill sent to Congress by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
The opposition attacked the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party, accusing its members of blindly obeying the president because it is almost exactly the same draft they received from his office on Sept. 5.
”This is merely a symbolic vote getting the electoral budget,” deputies from opposition parties claimed.
The new budget provides for in allowances to rural municipalities and priority programs the AMLO administration ad the avoiding third-party representations to give farmers the funds to either borrow for planting or outright subsidies, based on a case-by-case situation.
Both the Chamber of Deputies and the Budget and Public Account Committee held their session at the Expo Bancomer Santa Fe convention center, given the fact that the Chamber of Deputies Building, best known as San Lázaro, is currently surrounded by farmer organizations, amounting to up to 10,000 protesters who claim they are being left out of the budget.
Among complaints by the opposing deputies was the fact that the committee members had been bused “to this bunker, surrounded by riot police, tanks and plain clothes vigilantes who were there to stop the protesting farmers in case they wanted to shutter the session.“
The budget will now go to the executive.