Brazil’s deputies: second vote on aid plan for the poor

Brazil’s deputies: second vote on aid plan for the poor
Fecha de publicación: 
21 December 2022
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Brasilia, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies will hold a second vote on the base text of the so-called Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC) of the Transition that opens space to keep a social aid program for the poor.

The day before, the lower house approved the content of the PEC, in first round voting, by 331 in favor and 168 against, .

As expected, the right-wing and liberal legislators, who belong to the coalition that supports the defeated ultra-right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro opposed it.

The parliamentarians also voted on two salient points, suggestions for amendments to the text, one of which was approved and the other rejected.

They also cut the deadline for the implementation of the social program to one year, instead of two years contemplated in the bill previously approved in the Senate.

Shortly thereafter, Assembly Speaker Arthur Lira announced that the last highlight, and the second round of voting will take place this Wednesday.

The argument extends the spending ceiling and, with that, frees up budget for the government of President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula d Silva to continue the payment of 600 reais (about $112) of the Bolsa Família plan in 2023.

Despite the fact that on Sunday the Supreme Court (STF) Justice Gilmar Mendes decided that the resources to finance Bolsa Família must remain outside the spending ceiling (fiscal rule that limits public expenditures), the elected government team continues to defend the approval of the PEC.

The initiative is Lula’s big bet to fulfill his main campaign promises, including an additional contribution of 150 reais (US$28) for each child up to six years of age. Likewise, he has until the end of August for the next government to send to Congress a new fiscal regime to replace the spending ceiling.

Monday’s decision of the STF, to consider the so-called secret budget as unconstitutional, should give Lula negotiating power.

This mechanism is of uncertain clarity and transparency which the Parliament applies since 2019. It allows legislators to decide on state budgets, without consulting the Executive.

Being an amendment to the Constitution, the PEC needs to be approved by 308 legislators, in two rounds of voting.

In case of modification, the matter will need to return to senators for analysis.

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