Rapporteur retreats and will keep the text of the PEC of billions to speed up voting

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Rapporteur retreats and will keep the text of the PEC of billions to speed up voting

Deputy Danilo Forte (União-CE), rapporteur for the PEC (proposed amendment to the Constitution) that authorizes billions for truck drivers, taxi drivers and Auxílio Brasil in an election year, gave up on making changes to the text to avoid delays in voting and to pave the way for for benefits to be paid in August.

Forte spoke as he left the official residence of the Chamber of Deputies, where he met with the president of the House, Arthur Lira (PP-AL). On Monday (4), he had considered including application drivers in the PEC and removing the mention of a state of emergency, which, in the opinion of legislative technicians, would return the text to the Senate. To speed up the vote, the rapporteur gave up making the changes.

“We have the pressure of the work schedule due to the Chamber’s calendar, which has to end everything by July 15th, and we have the demand and the need of the hungry population, which is in need of Emergency Aid, which is in need of gas valley, and which has a logical, natural pressure of social commotion”, he said. “Given these two facts, tinkering with the text creates more difficulty.”

According to him, to include application drivers there was the additional obstacle of the lack of an effective record of these professionals. “So there’s no way you can safely scale the application drivers to be able to offer the benefit of aid”, he added.

Forte said the report would be read on Tuesday and said the text is expected to leave the special commission by the end of the week, considering attempts to obstruct the opposition. “If we are successful in the committee to vote by tomorrow, I think we can vote in the plenary until Thursday. If not, it could be the beginning of next week.”

“If it is extended in the commission, it is logical that we will need a stronger mobilization there to carry out the vote in plenary”, he said. “And I’m also sure that in the plenary the voting facility is greater than in the commission, because in the plenary you no longer have the obstruction kit that you have in the commission. It is even more difficult for the opposition to impose a new calendar.”

The rapporteur criticized attempts at obstruction by left-wing parties, who call the PEC a voter turnout and an exit. “I do not believe that the opposition is so petty as to deny this right to needy families in Brazil. And, on the other hand, the faster we vote, the faster we can disburse the transfer of funds. We can already count on these aids starting next month.”

The deputy also said that he is studying the inclusion of the expression social commotion in the text to provide more legal certainty. “It’s just a normative correction, it doesn’t go into the merits, a correction in the legal understanding”, he said. “I would return to the Senate if there was a change in merit or an addition of some innovation to the project to be voted on in the constitutional amendment.”

The proposal, approved by the Senate on Thursday, institutes a state of emergency to allow President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) to break the spending ceiling and open public coffers three months before the elections.

The PEC gives the government the go-ahead to boost social programs until the end of the year without running into restrictions in the electoral law, which exist to prevent the use of the public machine in favor of any candidate. Bolsonaro ranks second in polls, behind former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

The PEC brings measures that will have a total cost of BRL 41.25 billion – a value greater than the BRL 38.75 billion originally agreed, in yet another move to increase the bill. When the measures to tackle the rise in fuel prices began to be discussed, the extra expense was projected at R$ 29.6 billion.

The text provides for the temporary expansion of Auxílio Brasil by R$ 200, bringing the minimum benefit to R$ 600 by the end of the year. The text also authorizes the government to eliminate the Auxílio Brasil queue, create aid for self-employed truck drivers and double the value of Auxílio Gás.

The senators also included a R$2 billion benefit for taxi drivers and an increase of R$500 million in resources for the Alimenta Brasil program, which finances the purchase of food for donation to low-income families.

The proposal was approved in the first round by 72 votes in favor, including the opposition, and only 1 against, by Senator José Serra (PSDB-SP). In the second round, it was 67 votes to 1. 49 favorable votes were needed in the two rounds of appreciation.

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