November 21st, 2017

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 068

Parliamentary immunity and social security reform


Legislative Newsletter - Edition 068

Political negotiations have been intense in the federal capital, even though last week Congress has not discussed any bills. The government negotiating agenda includes a ministerial reform and social security reform.

This Sunday, the 19th, President Michel Temer invited Deputy Alexandre Baldy (Podemos/GO) to occupy the Ministry of Cities, whose former lead was Deputy Bruno Araújo (PSDB/PE). Baldy's name is a consensus among the leaders of the base of the government. However, Baldy is expected to leave the party (Podemos) this week to join PP (Progressives), who appointed him to the post of minister. This consensus and negotiation have as final objective for the government to be able to deliberate the Pension Reform.

Government advertising defending changes in the Social Security system is already being broadcast nationally, and this reform will be more concise than the original proposal by the Temer administration. The central focus, now, is the time of contribution and the age for retirement.

Still on the ministerial reform, Michel Temer will define in a meeting with his team the future minister of the Secretariat of Government of the Presidency of the Republic, which takes care of the political articulation. The strongest name at the moment is that of former Transport Minister João Henrique de Almeida Sousa (PMDB), former deputy from Piauí. He would enter in the position of Antonio Imbassahy (PSDB), whose exit is claimed by the parties of the old political center, a request that will be fulfilled. Imbassahy, however, should remain in the government, being quoted to assume the Secretariat of Human Rights.

Another issue that will be a highlight this week in Brasilia is the discussion in the Federal Supreme Court (STF, in the acronym in Portuguese) about the parliamentary immunity, a sort of privileged forum for judgments in Brazil. What is at stake in the Supreme Court is whether the prerogative of the immunity, provided for in the Federal Constitution and in the state Constitutions, should be applied only to crimes committed in the exercise of the mandate and if there is any relation to the position occupied. Currently, the rule apply indiscriminately to those who have a mandate or occupy some public positions, which ends up delaying the coming and going between the courts.

The subject of privileged forum is also scheduled for Wednesday in the Commission of Constitution and Justice (CCJC) of the Chamber of Deputies, which ends with this sort of priviledge, except for the Presidents of the Republic, the Chamber, the Senate and the Supreme Court.

Other controversial issues will be discussed this week, such as the issue of abortion prohibition, in the Special House Committee on the subject; or the legalization of gambling (PLS 186/2014) in the Senate Committee on Constitution and Justice (CCJ).

The House Plenary continues to discuss matters of public security, however, there are ten provisional measures, including three that change mining rules, which bar the agenda for further deliberations. Also worthy of mention is the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC, in the acronym in Portuguese), which amends the procedure for the assessment of Provisional Measures by the National Congress (PEC 70/2011).

In the Chamber committees, in addition to the matter of the forum in the Constitution and Justice Commission, we highlight the agenda of the Committee on Economic Development, Industry, Trade and Services (CDEICS), which has among its items a bill that imposes a maximum tima-frame for the examination of requests for registration of trademarks and patents (PL 3406/2015) and a project that deals with the inclusion in the label of the products of the value of the taxes embedded in the price (PL 7428/2017).

The Special Committee that discusses a project that changes the tax burden (PL 8456/2017) will hold two public hearings to discuss the topic this week, Tuesday and Wednesday, with representatives of the following institutions on the first day: from the Brazilian Association of Machinery Industry and Equipment - ABIMAQ; of the Brazilian Association of the Textile and Apparel Industry - ABIT; of the Brazilian Association of Furniture Industries - ABIMÓVEL; of the Center of Industries of Tanneries of Brazil - CICB; of the Brazilian Association of Footwear Industries - Abicalçados; of the Association of Furniture Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul - MOVERGS; of the National Union of the Industry of Naval and Offshore Construction and Repair - SINAVAL; of the Brazilian Association of the Industry of Equipment and Medical, Dental, Hospital and Laboratory Equipment - ABIMO; of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein - ABPA; and the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives - OCB. On the second day of the hearing are invited representatives of the National Association of Cargo Transport and Logistics - NTC; of the Brazilian Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies - Brasscom; of TOTVS; of TI Rio; of the Brazilian Association of Software Companies - ABES; of the National Federation of Information Technology Companies - FENAINFO; of the Brazilian Association of Aerial Companies - ABEAR; of the Brazilian Association of Air Transport Auxiliary Services Companies - ABESATA; of Assespro Nacional - Federation of Associations of Brazilian Companies of Information Technologies; of the Brazilian Association of Telesservices - ABT; of the Union of Workers in Data Processing and Information Technology of the State of São Paulo - SindPD; and the Central of Brazilian Trade Unions - CSB.

In the Senate, there are 12 items do be discussed, including a bill that amends electoral legislation to establish the mixed district vote in the elections for members of the parliament and city council members (PLS 345/2017). Another proposal links the collection of federal taxes on tobacco products to the National Health Fund (PLS 145/2015). There are also projects to extend the term of scholarships in cases of maternity and adoption (PLC 62/2017); and to create the National Fund for the Development of Public Security (PEC 24/2012).
The Committee on Science, Technology, Innovation, Communication and Information Technology (CCT), on Wednesday, will hold a hearing to discuss the theme "Trends, Challenges and Obstacles to the Internet 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence", which will be attended by the Center for Research and Development in Telecommunications - CPqD, the National Union of Telephony Companies and Mobile and Personal Mobile Service - SINDITELEBRASIL, the Brazilian Association of Consumer Protection - PROTESTE, the Internet Management Committee in Brazil - and the Brazilian Association of Internet and Telecommunications Providers - ABRINT.

On Thursday, the Committee on Economic Affairs (CAE) discussed the Brazilian fiscal crisis and the importance of improving fiscal coordination in Brazil with Felipe Salto, executive director of the Independent Fiscal Institution (IFI), linked to the Senate, and Leonardo Ribeiro, advisor of the office of Senator José Serra (PSDB) and specialist in public accounts.

The Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry (CPI) of JBS and BNDES will be active this week. The first, on Tuesday and Wednesday, will hear the Attorney General, Mr. Eduardo Button Pelella, former chief of staff and right-hand man of Attorney Janot; in addition to conducting a hearing to discuss the institute of the award, the impacts on the Brazilian criminal justice system, after four years of its application and propose legislative changes. While the BNDES CPI will hear the former president of the Cold-Storage Warehouse Independência, Mr. Roberto Graziano Russo.

It is important to note that JBS's CPMI is not over, but the final report that its commanders plan will have as a resistance piece the request for indictment and imprisonment of Rodrigo Janot and his surroundings in the PGR, according to information from the journalist Lauro Jardim.

Finally, a meeting to discuss a provisional measure published as MP 800/2017, which establishes the guidelines for the reprogramming of investments in federal road concessions, is scheduled.