מליאת הכנסת
מליאת הכנסתצילום: Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90

The Knesset convened Tuesday morning, kicking off marathon deliberations on the government’s state spending plan.

The government faces a statutory deadline Thursday night for passing a state budget, with the automatic dissolution of the Knesset and snap elections mandated should the coalition fail to win Knesset approval for its spending plan by Friday.

Deliberations are set to begin at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, with MK Alex Kushnir (Yisrael Beytenu), chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, giving the first address, with some 33 hours of Knesset addresses expected ahead of the Knesset votes, ending Wednesday night with addresses by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Avidgor Liberman, and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The spending plan must pass both the second and third readings in the full Knesset.

Voting is slated to begin Wednesday night following the final addresses in the Knesset plenum, with thousands of modifications to the spending plan and changes to laws included in the votes.

With a minimal majority of 61 MKs, the coalition must maintain full support from all of its members, or find replacements from the Opposition.

The coalition is reportedly preparing for a scenario in which a Knesset Member defects at the last minute, and has prepared in advance proposals that have been custom made for Knesset members in the opposition in exchange for those MKs supporting the budgets. Most of these MKs are from the predominantly Arab Joint List party, but there are also MKs from other factions.