The Brazilian Congress definitively approved on Wednesday (12.21.2022), in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the amendment to increase social spending proposed by the President-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The Senate approved, by two votes and a large majority, the changes to the amendment, which were passed by the plenary session of the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday afternoon the same, in two sittings.
The amendment, which guarantees Lula’s fulfillment of his electoral promise, received more than 308 votes in the two sessions of the House of Representatives necessary for approval, and in the Senate, he received 63 votes in favor and 11 against in both votes.
The approval, which Congress will now pass after several days of intense negotiations between allies and opponents, is an important victory for Lula, who will take over the Brazilian presidency on January 1.
Subsidies for the poor
The vote in parliament has taken place despite the fact that a decision this week by the Supreme Court has already empowered the executive to amend the budget to ensure subsidies for the poor without relying on approval of the amendment.
On December 7, in two votes and by a large majority, the Senate plenary session supported the preliminary text increasing the spending cap in the budget to fund this massive support program for the poorest.
However, in the Chamber of Deputies, the text was passed between Tuesday and Wednesday to make some amendments, such as a two-year reduction – as the new government had intended – of the validity of the procedure and for this reason the proposal was returned to the Senate.
The main point was retained in the amendment and it guarantees support for the poorest 600 riyals (about 115 dollars) per month, starting in January, which was one of the main electoral promises of both Lula and the incumbent and defeated president. Jair Bolsonaro.
However, despite his commitment to his unfulfilled re-election campaign, Bolsonaro has not included provisions to guarantee such aid in next year’s budget.
According to official data released at the beginning of the month, about 62.5 million out of 213 million Brazilians live in conditions of poverty, the highest level in the past ten years.
jc (efe, Folha de S.Paulo)
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