Repeated recess, waterfall of points of order, majority group being outvoted, Minister losing his nerve … The national unity that prevailed at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis shattered on Tuesday evening during the examination of the bill extending the state of health emergency and during which the government reviewed the constitutional arsenal to its personality to resume the primary over the debates.
It was a strange night in the National Assembly on Tuesday 3 November. While the Americans were divided over the choice of their president for the next four years, an equally electric atmosphere reigned over a reconfined Palais-Bourbon The extension of the state of health emergency was only supposed to be a formality, as it was last spring and summer. It finally turned into a battle course, after the President of the Republic
had decided to reconfirm France and the joint commission had failed to find a text agreed between the Senate and the National Assembly. Return on a parliamentary blitzkrieg in three acts.
For almost a month, the deputies had been working on a financial resources bill, after having examined three FDPs that were amended as a result of the economic crisis that followed the health crisis. Whether at the beginning of the legislature, in August 2017, or during the examination of the EGALIM law, in spring 2018, we have already had the opportunity to see that a busy agenda was the fertile ground for exchanges during the sessions.
Add to this the special working conditions in the Assembly due to the health crisis. Teleworking means a reduction in the number of staff in the administrative services and obliges Members to be content with the minimum trade union requirement for their parliamentary teams: one employee per optimum Member and repetition, only when the Member-employer in question is present in the Chamber. The corridors emptied as the mailboxes filled up with requests from local shopkeepers to stay open, as opposed to the requests of health care workers who were caught in the throat by this second unclear, just as threatening as the first
Finally, the government’s prevarication as to which businesses are essential and which are not, the opening or closing of certain sections of the main thoroughfares, and finally the addition of a curfew to reconfinement have not helped Members of Parliament to see things more clearly, giving the opposition some ground to grind, who have not hesitated to play on the breach of trust with regard to the government’s handling of the crisis. With each side sticking to its own positions, the joint commission failed to find a common ground between the National Assembly and the Senate, leaving a c