Argentina lower chamber approves Milei's 'omnibus' reform bill

Credit: REUTERS/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN

Adds details in paragraphs 2-3 and background in paragraphs 4-5

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Argentina's lower chamber of deputies gave overall approval to libertarian President Javier Milei's sweeping "omnibus" reform bill in a vote on Friday after days of debate, paving the way for a decisive vote in the Senate.

The controversial reform package was approved on a vote of 144 votes in favor, and 109 against.

Lower-house lawmakers will also vote on the legislation article by article, which is expected to begin on Feb. 6, but the general approval means it will now proceed to the upper house in some form.

The mammoth bill is a key plank of Milei's reforms plans for Argentina's embattled economy, which is grappling with inflation above 200%, depleted foreign currency reserves and a time-bomb of debt repayments owned to creditors and investors.

Milei's Libertad Avanza party only holds a small number of seats in the 257-seat chamber, but was still able to muster enough support from likeminded allies to advance the bill.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin and Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Diane Craft and Sandra Maler)

((david.aliregarcia@thomsonreuters.com; +52 55 5282 7151; Reuters Messaging: david.aliregarcia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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