Government wants to expand the score in the PEC of precatório with defaulters, and the opposition tries to turn votes to the left


To try to expand the narrow margin of votes in favor of the PEC (proposed amendment to the Constitution) of the precatoria, the government intends to focus on articulation with deputies who were not at the early morning session this Thursday (4).

The scoreboard was 312 votes in favor of the proposal, 144 against and 57 deputies did not vote. It takes 308 votes to approve a PEC, which needs to go through two rounds in the House’s plenary. After this phase, the proposal goes to the Senate, where it needs the minimum support of 49 senators and also goes through two rounds.

In the assessment of government leaders, there are potential votes in the DEM, MDB, PSDB, PP, PSL and Republicans. About 30 deputies of these acronyms did not vote in the first round of the PEC — at least 10 would vote with the government if they were in the plenary, according to allies of the Palácio do Planalto.

The basic text of the PEC was approved in the first round by a narrow margin, with only four votes above the necessary minimum. The proposal allows for the expansion of public spending and makes it possible to expand the Auxílio Brasil to R$ 400 promised by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) in an election year.

Among those absent from this Wednesday’s vote, there are deputies who usually vote with the government, such as Geninho Zuliani (DEM-SP), Jerônimo Goergen (PP-RS), as well as the president of Republicans, deputy Marcos Pereira (SP).

The tight approval of the base text left the government’s articulators on alert, mainly in face of the action of opposition parties to reverse votes of left-wing deputies in favor of the PEC. Members of the PDT and the PSB, for example, supported the proposal and resisted the change of position, arguing that there was no reason for it.

The leader of the government in the Chamber, Ricardo Barros (PP-PR), stated that there is room to increase the votes in favor of the PEC next week, when the Palácio do Planalto wants to conclude the analysis of the text in the House.

The government had to give in on controversial points in the text and negotiated the release of parliamentary amendments to deputies who support the proposal. The budget’s budget desk was led by the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), who is an ally of Bolsonaro.

Parliamentary amendment is the way for deputies and senators to send money from the federal budget for works and projects in their electoral bases. This expands the political capital of congressmen and carries even greater weight with the approach of the 2022 elections.

Before the PEC vote, there was a charge for the payment of amendments that had already been promised, and the government indicated that it could retaliate —by cutting the amendments— deputies who did not align themselves with Bolsonaro’s plan.

From the end of last week until this Wednesday (3), nearly R$ 1 billion were committed in rapporteur amendments (which are used in political negotiations). This value, for example, is equivalent to that registered in the entire month of September. The commitment is the first stage of the process for the money to reach the electoral bases.

The rapporteur’s amendment is a type of amendment that was included in the 2020 Budget by Congress, which now has control of almost twice the budget of previous years. Palácio do Planalto and the president of the Chamber have used these resources to privilege political allies and, with that, expand their support base in the House.

The articulation of allies of the Palácio do Planalto unlocked the vote on the PEC, which also facilitates the adjustment of next year’s Budget to accommodate the high value of amendments that have been registered in the Bolsonaro government.

The map of the very tight approval in the first round of the PEC shows that 21 deputies changed their vote against the measure and started to support the government’s proposal, with emphasis on the opposition PDT.

The PDT and PSB summit wants to reverse the position of the members of the acronyms that supported the PEC. The support of part of these benches ensured the victory of the Palácio do Planalto.

In the case of the pedetistas, the favorable orientation to the text opened a crisis in the party. Because of the vote, former finance minister Ciro Gomes suspended the pre-candidacy for the presidency. In addition, the president of the party, Carlos Lupi, said he was not aware of the bench’s agreement to support the proposal and stated that he will try to reverse the favorable votes until Tuesday.

However, the party’s parliamentarians claim that the party’s leadership was aware of the agreement. In addition, some privately say there is no reason for the party to review its position because support for the text was negotiated in exchange for commitments to future votes on projects that favor education.

Ciro’s attitude was criticized in the WhatsApp group of deputies from the bench. The question is what can be expected from a candidate who is already threatening radical attitudes even before the start of the campaign.

To try to expand the quorum of deputies in Brasília, Lira called a session for next Monday. Whoever is absent will have their salary for the day deducted.

“We had almost 60 deputies absent from the vote. This will not happen on Tuesday. The quorum will be greater,” stated the president of the Chamber in an interview on Thursday (4).

He also said that next Monday (8) the board of directors will meet to analyze the case of nine deputies who claim to have comorbidities or some health problem, “subject to an evaluation by the medical department of the Chamber of Deputies”.

“If comorbidity or difficulty is proven, these deputies will also be authorized, as I say in advance, to also vote for Infoleg [aplicativo da Câmara]”he stated.

The calendar drawn up by the president of the Chamber provides for the analysis of the PEC to be resumed on Tuesday morning (9). First, the government has to prevent the proposal from dehydrating.

Voting begins with the final phase of the first round of the PEC. These are called highlights—attempts to change specific parts of the text. Without the guarantee of 308 votes, there is a risk that the government will suffer a defeat that significantly reduces the effect of the measures.

After the conclusion of the first round, Palácio do Planalto wants to accelerate the phase of the second round, which must be voted on Tuesday or Wednesday (10).

In the Senate, the president of the House, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), once again stated that he would give the necessary urgency to the PEC, but he did not rule out the possibility of the text being altered by the senators.

“When I refer to a sense of urgency it is because there is a sense of urgency not necessarily in relation to the PEC, it is in relation to the solution that needs to be given to the issue of court orders, the fiscal space for the solution of these court orders, the obligation of all we must respect the public spending ceiling and, fundamentally, [criar] a social program that fits into the budget and can reach people. So, the Senate’s sense of urgency is to resolve these facts,” he said.


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