What gives the law?
In accordance with Article 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly; ” only a deputy belonging to a group that has declared itself opposition can be elected to the post of chairman of the committee on finance, general economy and budget control It is clear that the chairman of the finance committee does not have to be from the largest opposition group, but must be a member of the opposition group with the most votes, since this is an election.
What are the powers of the chairman of the financial committee?
In addition to the honorary nature of the function, the Chairman of the Finance Committee sets the agenda of this committee, in particular when considering the draft budget. And he can request tax reports of companies or individuals. This point is especially sensitive, since tax secrecy cannot be opposed to the chairmen of the financial committees, the National Assembly and the Senate. One can imagine what the transfer of tax data into the hands of the chairman of the Finance Committee from the far right can bring. If greater transparency of tax information is needed, in the current environment, personal tax information can be used for partisan purposes far from democratic issues. Conversely, a finance committee chairman who is determined to fight tax evasion and defend tax fairness would be good news.
What is the role of the finance committee?
The Finance Committee controls the state’s accounts (its members have access to a certain amount of information, even if the President has more, as noted above), in particular, about the reforms desired by the government at the time of deciding on the annual budget. . All files relating to purchasing power must be discussed by this committee. Finally, he has the role of control over the state budget, he can demand the opening of a parliamentary commission of inquiry, reject amendments, or even request thematic reports from the Accounts Chamber.
Article 145 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly also provides for the possibility for permanent commissions of which the Financial Commission is a member to establish temporary fact-finding missions. These commissions have the right to hear (e.g. ministers) and can ask the National Assembly to use the prerogatives of commissions of inquiry (right to control documents and on the spot, hearing under threat of criminal punishment, right to communicate) for a specific mission limited in time to 6 months.
In general, the Finance Committee monitors and controls the implementation of financial laws and evaluates any matters relating to public finances. In this work, the President, as well as the General Rapporteur and the Special Rapporteurs, play a special role. Thus, given the composition of the new National Assembly, this is a strategic position.
What are the political issues?
If the RN claims to chair the finance commission, NUPES, with its original design of several opposition groups and an intergroup, can legitimately claim it. On paper, the LR group can also, even if it has fewer elected members, only make up the 3rd group. Thus, by law, each of these groups, as well as other opposition but less important groups, can nominate a candidate.
Usually during this vote, the majority group abstains. In this case, this function will be entrusted to a person supported by the largest opposition group. Mathematically, it could be RN or NUPES, at least if the intergroup decides to submit only one candidate. Another unprecedented alliance may also emerge to block RN. But this could be supported by the deputies of the Republic of Lithuania, in particular, some of whom, on the contrary, may consider that the position belongs to the Republic of Moldova… Negotiations are underway. They can chart future alliances.
Therefore, it will be especially instructive to see what will be the attitude of the deputies and groups that support Emmanuel Macron. as they cannot claim to chair this commission. Will they change their habits to avoid being elected a member of the RN (Eric Werth, president of this commission during the previous legislature, thus stated that he was ” dangerous “let RN or Insoumis be elected) at the risk of ” To choose » Their opponents with a certain complicity in case of choosing in the direction of LR? Will they consider that this position cannot be transferred to either RN or LR (3e group) and play the Republican game of allowing opposition MPs to vote, which would favor the personality of NUPES? Or we will again hear the discourse that we should block NUPES, which in a particular case would mean that no longer blocking the RN, this is the most ” barrage what allowed the election of Emmanuel Macron?
Thus, these choices will be anything but trivial… Moreover, in the context of the Finance Committee, much remains to be done in terms of financing bills, initial or amendments to them, budgetary control, purchasing power measures, and so on.