“Immigration” bill: everything you need to know about the issues and the balance of power within the CMP

At 5 p

“Immigration” bill: everything you need to know about the issues and the balance of power within the CMP

At 5 p.m., Monday, December 18, seven deputies and seven senators will meet in a room at the Palais-Bourbon, behind closed doors, to try to find a version common to both Chambers on the bill aimed at “controlling immigration” and to “enhance integration.” Despite the surprise rejection in the National Assembly of its text on December 11 by an alliance of circumstances between the left, the National Rally (RN) and the Republicans (LR), the executive wanted to continue the parliamentary shuttle by convening this commission Joint Joint Committee (CMP) “as quickly as possible”, in the words of government spokesperson Olivier Véran. Article 45 of the Constitution provides that in the event of disagreement between the two Chambers on a text, the Prime Minister has the possibility of calling a CMP in order to reach a common text.

“We have decided to quickly convene a joint committee to try to find an agreement on this text, which must be able to find a majority in the Senate as well as in the National Assembly,” explained the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, on Tuesday during of a heated session of questions to the government. Before assuring: “The search for agreements remains our method. »

The executive will nevertheless be absent from this body where only the fourteen elected officials and their substitutes are present who participate in the debate but cannot vote. “During the entire legislative procedure, from the presentation of the text until its promulgation, the government has the means to intervene, block, accelerate parliamentary work. The only black hole for the government is the CMP,” summarizes Jean-Jacques Urvoas, former minister of justice (2016-2017) and professor of public law at the University of Brest.

This is why Ms. Borne increases consultations until the last moment before the holding of this CMP with Macronist leaders and LR leaders, whose support is essential to have a majority in Parliament. A final meeting to find a compromise is planned for Sunday evening in Matignon with the president of the Republicans, Eric Ciotti, and the presidents of the right-wing groups in the Assembly and the Senate, Olivier Marleix and Bruno Retailleau.

Distributed according to the political balances in the National Assembly and the Senate and deciding by a simple majority, the fate of this CMP is in the hands of the parliamentarians of the presidential coalition and the right. The first camp will be able to count on five elected officials: the president of the law committee, Sacha Houlié (Renaissance, Vienne), the general rapporteur of the text to the Assembly, Florent Boudié (Renaissance, Gironde), the Renaissance deputy of Essonne , Marie Guevenoux, the Modem deputy from Isère, Elodie Jacquier-Laforge, and the RDPI senator from Orne, Olivier Bitz.

For its part, the right holds four seats with the deputy for Doubs, Annie Genevard, the boss of LR senators, Bruno Retailleau, the president of the law committee in the Senate, François-Noël Buffet, and the senator for Morbihan, Muriel Jourda . The senatorial majority will also be represented by the senator from Tarn, Philippe Bonnecarrère, whose centrist group is an ally of LR in the Senate.

The left has three seats which will be occupied by the “rebellious” MP Andrée Taurinya and the socialist senators Marie-Pierre de La Gontrie (Paris) and Corinne Narassiguin (Seine-Saint-Denis). The RN group which holds a seat has designated its deputy for Gard, Yoann Gillet.

While the CMPs are held alternately in the National Assembly or the Senate, the one on the “immigration” bill will take place within the walls of the Palais-Bourbon. It will therefore be led by Mr. Houlié, as president of the commission to which the text is attached. An advantage according to Jean-Jacques Urvoas. “The one who chairs has the police power within the commission, it is he who decides on the end of the CMP,” he explains, before downplaying the importance of Monday’s meeting. “The CMP is useless, what matters is the pre-CMP, that is to say the negotiations which take place before. You do not enter a CMP when you do not know the outcome,” continues the former president of the Laws Committee in the Assembly (2012-2016). This is the whole point of the discussions in recent days between the executive, Macronist leaders and the right.

Faced with a government weakened by the rejection of its text in the Assembly, the right is in a position of strength. If usually the CMPs are convened to find a compromise between the texts voted in the National Assembly and the Senate, the negotiations around the “immigration” bill are carried out on the basis of the only text adopted in Parliament, the one voted on November 14 at the Luxembourg Palace from the right and the center. And the LR leaders have shown themselves to be inflexible, until today. “We confirmed to the Prime Minister this morning our desire to see the Senate text adopted by the joint committee,” Eric Ciotti repeated on Thursday after an interview with Ms. Borne.

Especially since during the examination of the text in the Senate, the senators significantly toughened the bill presented by the government. Passing the text from 27 to 94 articles, the elected representatives of the Palais du Luxembourg notably restricted the measure aimed at facilitating regularization for workers in professions in shortage, eliminating state medical aid to transform it into medical aid for emergency, restore the offense of illegal residence or even establish migration quotas. Several voices within the presidential camp are calling for satisfying the demands of the LR in order to promote a conclusive CMP and the adoption of the text. “What is the only way today for such a law to pass? It’s to take the Senate’s version,” defended the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, in an interview with Le Figaro on Thursday, who nevertheless calls on LR “to move” on “the AME [state medical aid ] and the conditions of access to social assistance”.

A scenario rejected by part of the relative majority at Renaissance or at Modem, which instead calls for relying on the version of the text adopted in the law committee at the National Assembly on December 2, where the harshest measures voted by the Senate were abolished. The president of the Renaissance group, Sylvain Maillard, notably outlined "the red lines" of the Macronist deputies, such as the maintenance of the AME, the absence of restriction of land law or even the withdrawal of the article which conditions the benefit from certain social assistance after five years of residence in France. “I will not vote for the immigration text based on the polls, nor on the temperature felt. But depending on its content. The Senate version, I would have voted against. That of the Law Commission, for. I therefore reserve the right to vote against" according to the text resulting from the CMP, said the Renaissance deputy for Côtes-d'Armor, Eric Bothorel, on Thursday, in a message posted on within the presidential camp itself. Traveling to Calais on Friday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, wanted to dramatize the issues by estimating that in the event of disagreement in the CMP, “the big winner” would be “neither the Republicans nor the presidential majority, but the National Rally, which does not want a solution, which only wants problems”.

As the CMP approaches, which is to be held behind closed doors on Monday, several left-wing deputies called on the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, to make the debates public. “Too many suspicions of dark maneuvers have surrounded this debate for months. I solemnly ask the President of the Assembly to allow this transparency which nothing in our regulations prohibits,” urged the environmentalist deputy for Yvelines, Benjamin Lucas. For the “rebellious” deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis, Thomas Portes, “we cannot accept that seven senators and seven deputies meet behind closed doors to decide on an “immigration” law which has been swept aside. of hand in Hemicycle”. But the request is unlikely to succeed.

The debate had already taken place at the time of the CMP on pension reform in March. Faced with the pressing request from the left to allow the live broadcast of the debates, the President of the National Assembly, Ms. Braun-Pivet, rejected the request, relying on the institution's regulations. . “The publicity of the work of the commission is ensured only by a written report which sets out the work and votes of the commission, as well as the interventions made before it, to the exclusion of any other process,” she ruled. .

If parliamentarians reach an agreement on Monday, a solemn vote will take place in both Chambers the next day: in the Senate at 2:30 p.m., then in the National Assembly after questions to the government, around 4:30 p.m., for a possible final adoption. Elected officials will not have the possibility in the meantime to amend the bill; it is the version resulting from the CMP which will be put to the vote.

While the Prime Minister has the possibility of resorting to article 49 paragraph 3 of the Constitution to have the text adopted without a vote by holding her government responsible, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has made it known that he was “out of the question”, even if it meant losing once again in the Assembly on its bill. In the event of another failure in the Hemicycle or in the event of an inconclusive CMP, the Head of State also warned that the “immigration” text would be abandoned.