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November 6th, 2017

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 066

Race against time in Brasilia

The week promises to be an exciting one in Brasilia, either because of the repercussion, inside and outside the National Congress, of provisional measures (MPs, in the acronym in Portuguese) issued last week by President Michel Temer, or because of the definition of priorities of the legislative agenda of the Chamber of Deputies.

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 066

The week promises to be an exciting one in Brasilia, either because of the repercussion, inside and outside the National Congress, of provisional measures (MPs, in the acronym in Portuguese) issued last week by President Michel Temer, or because of the definition of priorities of the legislative agenda of the Chamber of Deputies, which should be decided this Monday.

Protests from various categories of federal civil servants against the postponement of salary readjustments, edited via Provisional Measure by Temer, are expected in several cities of the country. The unions that represent these officials promise to pursue legal action against Provisional Measure 805/17, which establishes the postponement of the salary adjustment of the federal employees from 2018 to 2019, and also increases the social security contribution from 11% to 14% for those who earn above of 5 thousand Brazilian Reais (the national currency).

The works of the Chamber of Deputies will be accelerated, since this week will hold a concentrated effort from Monday to Friday, to advance the deliberations of the House, that currently fall short of what they could be. The focus will also be on consolidating the basis of the government among the deputies for the two main reforms that Temer will work carefully on until the end of the year: the social security and the tax reform. However, as already foreseen, the tax reform should be more lenient so that the government can gain more support.

The tendency is for members of the parliament to try, in the House Plenary, to go through with projects that have been long paralyzed within the Chamber for some time now. The president of the House, Deputy Rodrigo Maia (DEM/RJ) defends a greater role of the Legislative in the political agenda and has the support of the President of the Senate, Eunício Oliveira (PMDB/CE).

After returning from a trip, Maia will have as priority the matters directly linked to the subject of public safety, aiming at providing improvements for his state, Rio de Janeiro. Maia has already asked his fellow leaders to gather projects that deal with the issue, so that they can be assessed this week. Among the possible projects that appear in the Plenary agenda to be deliberated is Bill (PL, in the acronym in Portuguese) 1530/2015, which deals with tougher measures against smuggling and theft of cargo. There is also a possibility of including PL 3722/12, which repeals the Disarmament Statute, in the agenda.

Another issue that should be a priority for the Chamber, according to the president of the Commission on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJC), Rodrigo Pacheco (PMDB/MG), is the project that deals with the end of the privileged forum for authorities in the case committing common crimes (PEC 333/2017).

While the priority projects are not defined, the provisional agenda of the House Plenary includes seven provisional measures, among them MP 786/2017, which creates a fund to finance technical studies that enable concessions and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the states, Federal District and municipalities. Also noteworthy is the proposed amendment to the Constitution that changes the procedure for the assessment of Provisional Measures by the National Congress (PEC 70/2011).

Work on the House committees will be intense, with many hearings and deliberative meetings being scheduled. Among them, this week, we highlight the joint public hearing that the Finance and Taxation Commissions (CFT); Financial Control and Control (CFFC); Economic Development, Industry, Commerce and Services (CDEICS); and Labor, Administration and Public Service (CTASP) to discuss the economy and the composition of the Brazilian public debt, actions for 2017 and new projects included in the Program of Investment Partnerships (PPI) with the Minister of Finance, Mr. Henrique Meirelles, on Tuesday.

The Social Security and Family Commission (CSSF), on Tuesday, discusses the price and validity of medicines marketed in the country, which will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health; of the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance - Anvisa; of the Federal Council of Pharmacy - CFF; of the Market of Regulation of the Market of Medicines - CMED; of the Pharmaceutical Products Industry Union of the State of São Paulo - SINDUSFARMA; and the Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Research - INTERFARMA.

On Tuesday, there is a public hearing at the Commission for the Defense of the Rights of the Elderly (CIDOSO) on the proposed changes to the Health Plans under PL 7419/2006. The representatives of the following entities were invited to attend this hearing: National Regulatory Agency for Private Health Insurance and Plans (ANS); of the National Secretariat for the Promotion and Defense of the Rights of the Elderly; of the National Federation of Supplementary Health; including the rapporteur of the matter in the Special Committee of the project, Deputy Rogério Marinho (PSDB/RN).

The deliberation of the report by Mr. Marinho in the Special Committee to assess Health Plans is scheduled for next Wednesday, 8th. After being approved in Special Committee, the text goes to the House Plenary.

We also highlight the hearing on Thursday in the Committee on Science and Technology, Communication and Information Technology (CCTCI) to discuss the measures arising from the World Trade Organization (WTO) panel on disputes 472 and 479, which condemned industrial and technological policies Brazilians. Among those invited are the undersecretary General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carlos Márcio Cozendey, and the Secretary for Informatics Policy of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Mr. Thiago Camargo Lopes.

In the Senate, the scenario is calm, without major controversial issues for deliberation in the Plenary, which can deliberate on the project of mandatory breast plastic surgery by the SUS in cases of mutilation resulting from cancer treatment (PLC 5/2016); or even a project that amends the Civil Code, to promote action aiming at the declaration of indignity of heir or legatee (PLC 9/2017). Electoral Reform matters such as the one establishing the mixed district vote in proportional elections (PLS 345/2017) remain on the agenda, but without consensus to be voted on; and the proposed amendment to the Constitution that establishes that members of the Electoral Court may not have had party affiliation in the two years preceding the inauguration or the beginning of the exercise of the function (PEC 4/2017).
In the committees, there will be a public hearing on Wednesday, 8th, in the Committee on Social Affairs (CAS) with the President of the Court of Audit of the Union (TCU), Minister Raimundo Carreiro, to discuss the systemic supervision reports in several sectors, containing information on public policies responsibility of the Federal Government.

The Constitutional and Justice Commission (CCJ) will be able to deliberate on Wednesday, among its list of projects, the Senate Bill that deals with safety regulations essential to the operation of nightclubs, concert halls and the like (PLS 26/2013).

The JBS Joint Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (CPMI) will hear the founder and CEO of JBS, Mr. Wesley Batista, in a joint meeting with the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission of BNDES on Wednesday, 08. This hearing is highly anticipated, mainly by the opposition, that wants to pose questions about the involvement of politicians, especially Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB/MG) in cases of corruption with the company.

Finally, meetings of the committees that analyze some of the provisional measures published, such as: MP 788/2017, which deals with the restitution of amounts credited to a financial institution by a public entity in favor of a deceased person, are scheduled to date; MP 792/2017, which creates a voluntary resignation plan for Executive employees; and MP 793/2017, which allows the renegotiation of debts of rural producers with the Assistance to the Rural Worker Program (Funrural).