September 26th, 2018

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 099

Intervention at a time of paralyzed parliamentary activity

While we debate politics, we do not do politics; the actors are in their bases looking for reelection votes.

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 099

Two weeks for the elections, the current focus of Brazilian politics is the choice of the next country rulers, whether at the state or national level, the concerns are high. However, is important to note that politics simply stopped during this time. While we debate politics, we do not do politics; the actors are in their bases looking for reelection votes.

It is promised great agendas after the elections, but will the government, already fragmented, get an agreement to vote any relevant Bill until the end of the year?
Reforms are likely to be just promises of a buffer government, that, beyond everything, has the obstacle of the federal intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which is compromising the Constitutional amendment (PECs) voting, until December 31, 2018. (Decree nº 9.288)

We won’t go into the merits of the intervention itself, and its results in the State of Rio de Janeiro, but we will analyze how the Decree affected the Brazilian politics, since from its validity, according to the Federal Constitution[1], this cannot be amended. In other words, any proposal of Constitutional amendment (PEC) can be voted and promulgated during this time.

At the beginning, many argued that the amendment proposals could not even be discussed during this period, however, after consultation with the president of the House of Representatives, congressman Rodrigo Maia (DEM/RJ), it was decided that the discussions could be held, but not the voting. Thus, many works could be advanced and still be at the Legislative Houses, even under federal intervention, and then, the parliamentarians should deliberate such proposals.

We emphasize that important matters to the current government are constitutional amendment proposals, such as: the Previdenciary Reform (PEC 281/2016), which was being widely discussed in Congress at the beginning of the year, and the Tax Reform (PEC 393/2004), which had many public hearings all over the country and has been built since last year by the rapporteur Luiz Carlos Hauly (PSDB/PR).

An interesting character appeared in the meantime was the presentation of a Legislative decree Project (LDP) by the congressman Captain Fábio Abreu (PRPI), that suspend temporarily, for 90 days, the effects of the federal intervention in the State of Rio de Janeiro. The basis for this was the provision of the Federal Constitution that deals with the exclusive competence of the National Congress, art. 49, “IV- approve the defense state and federal intervention, authorize the state of siege, or suspend any one of these measures.”
The congressman justification is that there are proposals for constitutional amendments that will be very effective to the rig of the public security institutions, once they stimulate the investment input; therefore, it is very important that these proposals be voted, and, for this reason, the suspension of the Decree for that period so that the matters can be discussed and approved. However, if there is a gap, in these 90 days, or for any period, other matters could be approved, like the reforms mentioned above.

This LPD authored by congressman Captain Fabio Abreu (PR/PI) – LPD 932/2018 – would be deliberated in the Committee of Citizenship, Justice and Constitution (CCJC) and in the Plenary of the House of Representatives. If approved, it goes to the Federal Senate.

Is important to observe that this kind of LPD is used as a system of checks and balances of the Legislative Branch, to suspend the normative acts of the Executive Branch that overstep the regulatory power (competence constitutionally attributed in the line V, art. 49). Thus, a congressman can submit such a Bill asking for an act of the Executive Branch, ministries or regulatory agencies, be suspended, thus presenting its justifications.
There are several possibilities: the LPD can be approved; Temer himself may suspend the Decree to vote PECs of interest; and the decree may be in force until December 31th as determined, and right from this date, the PECs may be analyzed and approved. However, the detail is that the Legislative will be in recess and a new government will take office inf the Brazilian Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, on January 1.
In addition to the numerous possibilities of action, after the elections, it will require a coalition of the Congress and the Brazilian Presidential Palace to develop the political agenda to eliminate more days with paralyzed activities.
[1] § 1º, art.60 – Federal Constituion.