Betrayals and the absence of allied deputies waned support for the PEC of the precatório

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Betrayals and the absence of allied deputies waned support for the PEC of the precatório

The preliminary vote that tested the support of the plenary of the Chamber for the PEC (proposed amendment to the Constitution) of the precatoria showed the government’s difficulty in getting support to approve the measure that increases spending in an election year and makes Brazil Aid feasible.

The analysis of the voting map of a request on Wednesday (27) for the text to be removed from the agenda – and which was used as a test of support or rejection of the measure’s merits – revealed betrayals and absences of deputies with acronyms from the base of President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party).

The PL, by minister Flávia Arruda (Government Secretariat) and headed by Valdemar Costa Neto, who is trying to affiliate Bolsonaro to the legend, was one such example.

There were 16 absentees, 2 betrayals and 25 votes in line with the government. As the absences counted, in practice, as a position contrary to the PEC, the PL bench practically split.

Along with the PP, the party leads the centrão, Bolsonaro’s political support bloc.

With bad signs, the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), even met with Flávia and ministers Ciro Nogueira (Casa Civil) and João Roma (Citizenship) on Wednesday night to try to make the PEC vote feasible this Thursday—but that failed.

Insecurity about approval pushed the analysis of the proposal to next week.

For a PEC to be approved, the vote of at least 308 of the 513 deputies is required. In the test application, support for the measure reached only 256, that is, 52 votes less than the minimum necessary.

Interlocutors from Bolsonaro blame the decision of Lira, who wanted to resume voting in the Chamber this week through the face-to-face system. The government calculates that around 50 deputies from the base were not in Brasília on Wednesday.

PP, PL, Republicans and PSC form the bloc of parties most linked to the government — three of them have a ministry. But the number of absentees in this group reached 32 deputies.

To reach the 308 votes needed to approve the PEC, the government will have to mobilize benches that tend to be less loyal than the hard core of the government base.

According to members of the PL, several points weighed on the party’s stance, including pressure from teachers, who lost resources with the measure, and pressure for greater flexibility by the government in releasing resources for the amendments presented by parliamentarians to the Budget.

“There is dissatisfaction with the way the government has been treating the party’s deputies,” stated the vice president of the Chamber, Marcelo Ramos (PL-AM).

He said he presented a proposal for a change to the government so that teachers are covered.

Roberto Jefferson’s PTB, until recently a staunch supporter of Bolsonaro, had a majority against the provision that accelerated the PEC vote.

Another important party that was against the PEC was the MDB — 20 deputies were against and 5 were absent. Only 8 expressed their intention to support the measure.

The leader of the bench, Isnaldo Bulhões (AL), also stated that a set of factors weighed in the decision of the party. He was sought out throughout Wednesday by government officials and ministers in an attempt to get the party to change its mind, but there was no success.

The PSDB, which operates on an independent line, also cracked. There were 19 in favor of the measure and 12 against (including absentees).

Cidadania, another member of the independent bloc, only cast one vote in favor of the PEC. Novo, an acronym with 8 seats in the Chamber, voted in full against the proposal.

The lack of support from this group (MDB, PSDB, Citizenship and Novo) is another obstacle to the progress of the text in the Casa.

Opposition members and members of the center want to approve only the part that guarantees the Auxílio Brasil of R$400 as of December. They say that making room for other expenses, such as the fattening up of parliamentary amendments in 2022, will only help the governing base electorally.

According to government allies, the only objective of the opponents of the PEC is to anticipate next year’s electoral debate.

“In the end, what is not wanted — especially the opposition — is for President Bolsonaro to pay Brazil Aid, for him to be able to help these people who are in need right now. So, it is a political issue,” said the government leader at Chamber, Ricardo Barros (PP-PR).

On Wednesday, Rome even suggested to allies that Lira back down on the decision on in-person votes. Until last week, the House had allowed deputies to vote by a remote system because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the points of divergence in relation to the PEC concerns the guarantee of payment of debts from Fundef transfers (Funding for the Maintenance and Development of Elementary Education and the Valorization of Teaching).

There are about R$ 15.6 billion in court orders on this topic for Bahia, Pernambuco, Ceará and Amazonas.

The opposition uses this as a discourse that teachers will lose resources if the PEC for precatório is approved.

In the face of resistance, including from central and base parties in the government, the rapporteur of the proposal, Deputy Hugo Motta (PB), who is the leader of the Republicans, started to consider removing this amount from the spending ceiling — a rule that impedes the growth of expenses above inflation.

The thesis is that the money for Fundeb (Basic Education Maintenance and Development Fund) is not considered in the calculation of the federal spending limit.

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