Let voters on the left, right or far right be warned: no, the Macronist majority is not in the process of being undone. No one intends to vote for a motion of censure, neither today nor tomorrow. No one, either, really questions the political direction of the executive. Which is already a lot in these troubled times. But for the rest, on the occasion of the beginning of the budgetary discussion in the hemicycle of the National Assembly, it squeals a little in all directions.
There are, of course, the Renaissance (RE) deputies who are already wrung out by a week of debates in which they have lost many votes. “There have been quite a few fairly vehement feedback from deputies to say that if it is to be tired and spend hours and hours in session without it being of much use, it was better to send 49.3 earlier! “, Recounts a macronist deputy from Ile-de-France after the group meeting on Tuesday morning. So much so that, to protect itself, the government could send a second (already!) 49.3 this weekend on the first reading of the Social Security finance bill. Remember that there should, a priori, be seven 49.3s by the end of the budget sequence.
A resignation in the balance
But the main topic of conversation for a week has been the defeat of the government on an amendment by the president of the MoDem group, a member of the majority, Jean-Paul Mattei, to temporarily increase the taxation of “super dividends”. Seen as a compromise proposal, it was widely voted by the left, the RN, the MoDem and even around twenty votes from Renaissance macronists (RE, ex-LREM), with the abstention of Horizon, the last group of the majority. Except that for the government, there is no question that this amendment survives the passage of 49.3. Bruno Le Maire even put his resignation in the balance, during a meeting of majority executives on Monday.
Tuesday noon, the president of the Democratic group did not let go. Does the amendment go against the government’s “no new tax” line? “The France of 2022 is not that of 2017, we have the right to ask questions”, answers Jean-Paul Mattei. The amendment is “poorly written, full of flaws”, as described by an RE deputy? “My amendment is amendable, it is not perfect, assures the Béarnais. I am completely open to it in form, but not in spirit. »
What a bit to annoy his colleagues: “But he knows very well that there will not be his amendment! He was told, says a majority executive. He even already knows his consolation prize ”, namely the survival of some less symbolic MoDem amendments. “Mattei I adore him, but he carries an easy amendment. He plays Zoro, and everyone loves heroes! “Everyone, except perhaps Elisabeth Borne, who, Tuesday morning, in front of the RE deputies, put the kibosh: “Yes, we can dialogue, but there will be no bonus for the solitary breakaway”.
The president of the Democratic group does not feel concerned by the Prime Minister’s warning, but still warns, if ever: “We will not be prevented from legislating. We support the government without concern, but we will bring our stone to the building, our original word. We will not be prevented from being creative. “Yes, but not like that, replies an RE deputy opposed to the amendment because” it creates a small form of disorder or lack of clarity on our line. That there is debate, I understand, but I think it is not the right method. »
Between urban people
The attitude finds however a certain echo in the majority. On the substance, first of all, the government line which absolutely does not want tax increases – even minimal ones like here – has difficulty in passing into the social context: “I find the amendment good, assures the framework mentioned above. I find it hard to be completely convinced of the merits of “we don’t touch companies at all, even if they do anything”. The super profits pose a display problem for us. “And then on the form, from a strategic point of view, the left wing of Renaissance finds that the government played the trick badly. “We only have a relative majority, recalls the RE deputy of Hérault, Patrick Vignal. It will be obligatory to make concessions to show that there are oppositions which only want to divide. »
Everyone tries to relativize the events of the last days in the majority: “Frankly there is no drama, even at RE”, affirms the deputy quoted above. We want to believe them, since there will be no direct consequences of this event. “We are urban people,” said Erwan Balanant, MoDem deputy on Monday evening to recall, unsurprisingly, that his party would obviously not vote for any censure. The question nevertheless arises of a certain contempt on the part of Renaissance for its “junior partners” of the majority. “I don’t feel despised,” commented one of them. But it must be clearly understood in the configuration of the country and of the Assembly that there are no small ones and no big ones. I don’t know if they are aware of this at Renaissance. This is obvious for the majority, obviously united. But we should be careful not to take everything for granted. The government will not always be saved by 49.3.