Bloomberg News

Brazil Bill Freeing Spending Passes First Round in Congress

November 09, 2011

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved in a first-round vote today a bill that would free up as much as 20 percent of government revenue for discretionary spending through 2015, according to lower house website.

The constitutional amendment, which must pass a second- round vote in the lower house before moving to the Senate, would give President Dilma Rousseff’s administration unfettered use of 62.4 billion reais ($36 billion) of the 2012 budget, according to the Planning Ministry. The lower house will vote today possible changes to the bill before the second round of voting.

Without the bill, known as DRU, the government would have to increase public debt to finance key projects, given that as much as 90 percent of the budget is earmarked, the law’s sponsor Odair Cunha wrote in a report. Failure to approve the bill could also force the government to reduce its primary fiscal surplus target, he said.

The measure, which passed by a 369-to-44 vote, was first implemented in 1994 and has been re-approved four times.

--Editors: Harry Maurer, Philip Sanders

To contact the reporter on this story: Andre Soliani in Brasilia at asoliani@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.


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