Why the Nupes and the RN are fighting over the very powerful Finance Committee of the Assembly

With 135 and 89 deputies respectively, the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) and the National Rally (RN) are, by far, the leading opposition forces to Macronie (245 deputies). A position which, since the 2008 constitutional revision led by Nicolas Sarkozy, confers “specific rights”, in particular certain key positions such as the presidency of the Finance Committee. Occupied by Éric Woerth (LR who joined the presidential party) during the last term, this position is among the most prominent in the Palais-Bourbon since it intervenes directly in the budgetary mechanics of the State.

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Indeed, the chairman of the finance committee sets the agenda of this committee, and in particular when examining the finance bill. He can also refer to the Competition Authority, request the opening of a parliamentary commission of inquiry, reject amendments which would affect the State budget or even lift tax secrecy to access the files of individuals or businesses. An important position whose president will be elected on June 30, and claimed by the far-right party.

This Monday, June 20 in the morning, Marine Le Pen abounded in this direction: “The position of chairman of the Finance Committee must be awarded to an opposition group, given the results it must obviously come from the National Rally group”, she told the press from her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont. A claim also made by the RN mayor of Perpignan Louis Aliot in the morning on France Inter.

Traditionally for the First Opposition Group

In the eyes of the head of the RN, the Nupes cannot claim the presidency of the commission since it is composed of four distinct parliamentary groups (LFI, PS, PCF, EELV). The reason ? Traditionally, the post goes to the main opposition group (LR in 2017) and the far-right party has won more deputies than La France insoumise – unless it wins the support of many left-wing deputies or Nupes forms a single group, which seems unlikely.

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An objection that sweeps the union of the left: “La Nupes is far ahead of the National Rally”underlined LFI MEP Manon Aubry, this Monday morning on BFMTV. “The Nupes is very clear, it will have a candidate in common, all the elected representatives of the Nupes will vote for this common candidate (…) and therefore in principle the Rassemblement national mathematically cannot obtain this” presidency.

Because if the tradition wants that this key post returns to the first opposition group, it is not exactly what explains the regulations of the National Assembly. Indeed, article 39 only explains that “can only be elected to the presidency of the Finance Committee by a deputy belonging to a group that has declared itself to be in opposition. » Since then, nothing prevents the members of the commission from electing an opposition deputy, whether from the left, the far right or even the right.

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If the deputies decide to make an application to the letter of the regulations of the Assembly, the Nupes, which has more deputies than the RN, therefore hopes to have its candidate elected. On the side of the 61 LR deputies, if it is very unlikely that they will support a far-right candidate, they can hardly claim the position. For the deputy LFI Clémentine Autain, it is therefore clear: the Nupes is “best placed” to obtain the presidency of the Finance Committee because “It’s not the biggest opposition group [qui gagne] but the candidacy which receives the most votes, the deputies of the majority not voting”.

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Except that the fact that the majority does not take part in the vote is part of parliamentary tradition, but is not compulsory, the regulations not explicitly preventing anyone from voting. It is then quite possible to imagine that the deputies of Ensemble! members of the Finance Committee break tradition to take part in the vote, in order to tip the scales in favor of an opposition deputy… who is not too opposed.

The regulation stating that “the composition of the bureau of each committee strives to reproduce the political configuration of the Assembly”, the macronists will therefore be in the majority in the commission and could tip the vote in favor of an LR candidate or a left-wing deputy closer to their ideas. Thus, if the member “rebellious” Eric Coquerel and the economist Aurélie Trouvou (LFI deputy in Seine-Saint-Denis) are approached, some fear a maneuver by the macronists to divide them, thinking rather of the socialist Valérie Rabault, ex-budget rapporteur. A source within the executive confides to Public Senate the will to“prevent it from being an LFI deputy” who chairs this commission, lest he “plant”, ” blocked “or at least delay the examination of the budget as much as possible.

The macronists have not yet decided

Let the RN and the Nupes fight to lead the commission? Consider that the far right can obtain the presidency? Or impose a candidate with a more Macron-compatible profile? The macronists have still not decided. “The Finance Committee must constitutionally go to an opposition group, so we will see who is in charge of the Finance Committee, there is no certainty when you read the Constitution”underlined the spokesperson of the government, Olivia Grégoire.

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Asked about the subject, Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture, gave a completely different speech on Franceinfo: “It’s not a question of preference, constitutionally, it’s up to the first opposition group” that she comes back according to him. “Of course it would shock me” to see Marine Le Pen at the head of this commission, but “The Constitution is binding on us, we must never play with the constitutional elements”he added.

A statement that took offense to Clémentine Autain: “What are you playing by choosing the RN? »

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