October 2nd, 2017

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 061

The Reformation and the complaint in Brasilia

This week promises great changes in Brasilia.

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 061

This week promises great changes in Brasilia, either because of the denunciation filed against President Michel Temer, or the rush to vote aspects of the Political Reform by the Senate, in relation to the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF, in the acronym in Portuguese) on Senator Aécio Neves PSDB/MG), or even because of the deliberations of the Supreme Court on the possibility of individual candidacies, without the need for party affiliation.

This week, there is an expectancy of a formal answer to the complaint for obstruction of justice and criminal organization in the Commission of Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJC) of the Chamber of Deputies, of the following defendants: President Michel Temer and Ministers Moreira Franco (General Secretariat of the Presidency) and Eliseu Padilha (Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic). In addition, a decision is expected at the PSDB summit on Tuesday, concerning the choice of the rapporteur, Bonifácio Andrada (PSDB-MG), since the party was against the choice, and also requested that no party member was chosen as rapporteur for this matter. The party is currently divided. It should be recalled that Mr. Bonifácio voted in favor of President Temer in his first complaint.

In the Supreme Court, the trial to define the scope of ineligibility set by the so called “Law of a Clean Slate” (“Lei da Ficha Limpa”, in Portuguese) for politicians convicted of abuse of political and economic power will be resumed on Wednesday; besides the aforementioned possibility of individual candidacies.

We also highlight the vote in the Senate Plenary on the decision of the First Panel of the STF regarding the removal of Senator Aécio Neves from office. It is expected that the vote will be secret (meaning not public) and that it will take place on Tuesday, before a decision of the STF Plenary on the subject.

In the Chamber, there is a rush to deliberate some aspects of the Political Reform, since, for it to be applied in the next election (2018), it must be approved and published until October 7th, one year before the next ballot. We emphasize that the original text of the Reform has been completely modified, and at least 13 items proposed were either not appreciated by the special committee installed in the Chamber of Deputies to deal with the reform, or simply rejected at the last minute in the Plenary. The Political Reform was, thus, reduced to three points: the one that establishes the creation of a performance clause so that parties can have access to the Party Fund and TV time; the one which ends with the possibility of the parties joining in proportional coalitions to elect legislative posts, but only from 2020; and the one that creates a public funding fund for the campaigns.

Meanwhile, government members are meeting with several deputies seeking support contrary to the complaint in the Chamber's CCJC; in addition to giving more focus to the public policies implemented by Temer. There is also a greater presence of ministers this week in hearings, especially in the Chamber of Deputies, showing an aspect of the Executive's approach towards the Legislative Branch.
It is also expected that the Plenary will conclude the deliberation of the Provisional Measure (MP 783/2017) that allows for the payment of debts with the Union, both for individuals and legal entities (Refis), later this week. We highlight that on Friday, the 29th, the government issued a new MP that extends until October 31st of this year the deadline for joining the Special Tax Regularization Program (Pert), known as New Refis (MP 804 / 2017).

Among the commissions, we highlight the hearing of the Special Commission on Technological Innovation of Health on Tuesday, which will discuss technological innovation in drug development, which will be attended by the Director of the Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Research - Interfarma, Mrs. Maria José Delgado Fagundes; the General Coordinator of the General Coordination of Health and Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications - MCTIC, Mr. Thiago de Mello Moraes; the Intellectual Property Group - GTPI, represented by Mr. Pedro Villardi; and the Brazilian Alliance of Innovative Industry in Health - ABIIS. On the same day, the Finance and Taxation Commission (CFT) will discuss the project on the incidence of ICMS on Electronic Commerce (PLP 218/2016).

We would also like to highlight the hearing on Wednesday of the Special Commission of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which will receive the Minister of Justice and Citizenship, Mr. Torquato Jardim, to discuss the change in this Code.

In the Senate, in addition to approve the decision of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) regarding the dismissal of Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB / MG), the Plenary will need to deliberate some matters on Political Reform, like the project that establishes the mixed district vote in proportional elections (PLS 345/2017); and the proposed amendment to the Constitution which prohibits partisan coalitions in proportional elections and establishes rules on political party access to party fund resources and propaganda time (PEC 33/2017). It is also noteworthy the deliberation of the Provisional Measure that establishes the basic organization of the organs of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Ministries (MP 782/2017), which gives Ministry status to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, occupied by Moreira Franco, involved in the complaint against Temer.

In the committees, a public hearing was held on Monday at the Human Rights Commission on the performance of Health Plans and possible changes in legislation, with the participation of representatives of the Federal Retirement Federation; of the Movement “Enough!” (free translation); of the National Federation of Supplementary Health - FenaSaúde; of the Federal Council of Medicine; of the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense - IDEC; of the Secretariat of External Health Control of the Court of Auditors of the Union; of the National Union of Self-Management Institutions in Health - UNIDAS; of the Ministry of Health; of the National Agency of Supplementary Health - ANS; and the ONCOGUIA Institute.

On Tuesday, at the deliberative meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs (CAE), we point out the appointment to serve as Counselor of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense - CADE, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Ms. Pollyana Ferreira Silva Vilanova (Message 56/2017). It is expected that there will be a public hearing regarding her nomination next week, as well as its approval in the Plenary of the House.

On Tuesday, the Social Affairs Commission (CAS) will hold a public hearing to discuss the challenges of colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Health's Medium and High Complexity Coordination; of the Brazilian Association for the Prevention of Intestine Cancer - ABRAPRECI; of the Hospital das Clínicas of Unicamp; and the Gaucho Association of Coloproctology - AGCP.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (CPMI) of JBS will meet twice this week, with one hearing of the lawyer of the JBS Group, Mr. Willer Tomaz de Souza, and the Public Prosecutor, Mr. Angelo Goulart Villela, who was accused of having acted as an infiltrator in the Greenfield Task Force in exchange for receiving bribery from the JBS company. In another meeting, the CPMI will listen to the testimony of the former president of BNDES (National Economic and Social Development Bank), Mr. Luciano Coutinho and Mr. Márcio Lobo, lawyer of the JBS minority shareholders' association.

Finally, meetings of the committees that analyze some of the provisional measures are scheduled, as follows: MP 785/2017, which reformulates the Student Financing Fund (Fies); MP 789/2017, which amends legislation on Financial Compensation for the Exploration of Mineral Resources - CFEM; MP 790/2017, which expands the search time and requires environmental responsibility of the miner; MP 791/2017, which created the National Mining Agency - ANM; and MP 796/2017, which extends the deadline for the use of the Special Taxation Regime for the Development of the Cinematographic Viewing Activity (Recine) until December 31st of this year.