February 19th, 2018

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 079

Social Security Reform and the Federal Intervention on Public Security Department of Rio de Janeiro

Just days before the voting date of the Social Security reform in the Brazilian Congress, Brasilia got surprised by the decision of a federal intervention on the Public Security Department of Rio de Janeiro.

Legislative Newsletter - Edition 079

Just days before the voting date of the Social Security reform in the Brazilian Congress, Brasilia got surprised by the decision of a federal intervention on the Public Security Department of Rio de Janeiro. The decision might affect the political context not only in Congress itself, but also outside.
On this very Monday, Feb 19th, the lower house of the Congress will hold a meeting to decide about the Decree that authorized the Federal Intervention signed on last Friday, Feb 16th, by president Michel Temer. The higher house should deliberate about this issue probably tomorrow on Tuesday. The Intervention begins only after both lower and higher house authorization lasting until Dec. 31st. The intervention is different from the so called Law and Order guarantee Decree also applicable to authorize the use of the Federal troops in specific situation around the country, but in coordination with state authorities.

In this current situation, an Intervenor was assigned by President Temer, who will directly command all functions related to public security in Rio de Janeiro.
Although the opinion that the situation of public security in Rio de Janeiro be precarious is unanimous, this action of Mr. Temer was criticized by left wing politicians that might vote against the Intervention on the Congress. They may also obstruct the voting. In the lower house the draftsman is the deputy Laura Carneiro (MDB/RJ) who has already declared to be in favor of the Decree. In the higher house there is still no closed name, but the its president, Senator Eunício Oliveira (MDB/CE) has stated that someone also in favor of the Decree should be chosen as the draftsman in Senate.
Talking on the recovery of the peace and security on the streets of Rio de Janeiro has switched the previous top theme of the political scenario: The Social Security Reform.
Although the government has done a major effort to put forward the voting to implement this Reform through a Constitution Modification Bill, the intervention decree changes everything. According to the Brazilian Constitution, it is prohibited to change the Federal Constitution during a Federal Intervention, what is exactly the case of the Social Security Reform.
About this issue, there are opinions that states the possibility to suspend the intervention in order to create a legal break and open space to approve the Reform. Some others say also that the Reform may be approved, but not enacted until the Intervention is still in effect. In any case, the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) should come to the stage to state its opinion about the legality of such alternatives.
On the other hand, some news tell that the government could be using the Intervention to eclipse the fact that the government does not have so many votes to approve the Reform.
The intervention should be also used on the presidency election debates, since it might improve the government image among the electors.  
In addition to the voting of the Federal Intervention, the House of Representatives shall also decide about three Provisional Measures: MP 800/2017 about new rules on investments rescheduling for road concession companies. MP 801/2017 that ease debts renegotiation between the Union and States and Municipalities. And, finally, MP 802/2017 that enlarges the Microcredit Federal Program.
On the Senate, we shed light on PLS 477/2017 that simplifies the steps to verify the taxpayer fiscal good standing.
According to the released Congress schedules, Senate commissions shall take place normally. The House of Representatives is still in standby.
On Tuesday, Feb 20th, the parliamentary committee of inquiry responsible for investigating suspicions on The National Bank for Development will present the final report in charge of Senator Roberto Rocha (PSB/MA).
There will be possibly a joint session of the Congress on Tuesday aimed at deciding about presidential vetoes on congress bills and about the budget bill.