Lula government faces complaints counter in the Senate – 05/23/2023 – Power

Lula government faces complaints counter in the Senate – 05/23/2023 – Power

Described so far as a safe haven for the Lula (PT) government, the Senate has taken complaints to the Planalto Palace that include non-compliance with agreements and lack of communication of decisions.

Although government articulators offer justifications for different instances of discontent, the complaints are cross-party and threaten to undermine the relationship with the government.

Senator Chico Rodrigues (PSB), for example, not only had his appointment frustrated for a position at Dnit (National Department of Transport Infrastructure) but also learned from the Official Gazette that the vacancy had been occupied by a political godson of former Senator Romero Jucá, his rival in Roraima.

Palace advisors say that, in case of dispute for a position, preference in the nomination is for the ministers’ co-religionists, as a tiebreaker. The Dnit is subordinated to the Ministry of Transport, whose holder is Renan Filho (AL), from the MDB of Jucá.

Chico Rodrigues complained to senators that he was surprised about the deliberation. Former deputy leader of the Jair Bolsonaro government (PL) in the Senate, Rodrigues joined Geraldo Alckmin’s PSB to reinforce Lula’s base.

Senator Eliziane Gama (PSD-MA) complained to her peers that she was not attended by the Minister of Institutional Relations, Alexandre Padilha (PT), after bitterly waiting more than an hour in her anteroom at the Planalto Palace.

It was the day of the vote on the Sanitation Framework, from which the Lula government was defeated. Eliziane was accompanied by the leader of the PSD in the Senate, Otto Alencar (BA), and was looking for a solution to an impasse with the party’s bench in the Chamber, which had presented another name for the same vacancy claimed by the senator in the Ministry of Fisheries.

The Institutional Relations Secretariat had referred Eliziane to the ministry, which is headed by André de Paula, from the PSD. To resolve the dispute, Padilha would meet with PSD leaders in the House and Senate.

But the leader of the PSD in the Chamber, Antonio Brito, did not attend. Without him, the meeting did not take place. The senator was not received and left the Palace complaining of discourtesy.

Also in the PSD, a source of dissatisfaction refers to the fate of former senator Kátia Abreu (TO) in government. After having her name boycotted by the CNA (Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil) for Sebrae (Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Companies), she had been nominated for the vice-presidency of Agribusiness at Banco do Brasil.

But, as she is the mother of Senator Irajá Abreu (PSD-TO), her appointment would be against the law of state-owned companies. This explanation did not satisfy the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), who recalled other government appointments that would run into the law — among them, that of the current president of the BNDES, Aloizio Mercadante (PT). But, in the case of the former senator, the government’s political coordination pointed out that the rule is clear regarding the prohibition of first-degree relatives of parliamentarians.

Pacheco still demands a satisfactory exit for Kátia. He also complained of having been surprised by the news that Gabriel Galípolo, executive secretary of the Treasury, would be chosen for the directorship of the Central Bank.

On the day the name was announced, Pacheco was at an event in São Paulo and learned of the decision from the press.

Complaints even come from the opposition. Minister of the Bolsonaro government, Tereza Cristina (PP-MS) expressed her annoyance during a meeting of Senate leaders, after being “uninvited” to the MP’s rapporteur on environmental regularization.

Invited by the leader of the government in Congress, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (AP), Tereza pored over the text over a weekend. But Pacheco nominated Efraim Filho (União Brasil-PB) to be the rapporteur.

Palace advisors claim that Pacheco’s option for Efraim was due to the fact that União Brasil had modified the text in the Chamber, including a tortoise that loosened the protection of the Atlantic forest during a plenary vote.

With the change, government supporters opted for a senator from União Brasil to exclude the amendment presented by the party itself. Even so, the senator recorded her protest at the meeting.

Last week, Padilha met with Pacheco with the aim of oiling the relationship at the House. For Randolfe, these are solvable problems.

The leader of the government of Congress admitted that there is, in the Senate, a stress arising from the lack of deadlines for the vote. But, in these specific cases, it is possible to find solutions negotiated with their peers, according to Randolfe.

About Tereza Cristina, he says that the invitation was a gesture to the opposition. But the final word fell to Pacheco.

Privately, one of the base’s leaders jokes that he wouldn’t be able to work if he decided to set up a complaints desk in the Senate.

Despite this, he claims that the House also recognizes the efforts of Padilha and Minister Fernando Haddad, of Finance, who have been looking for Parliament to deal with the fiscal framework.

Another point that weighs in Lula’s favor is the leader of the government, senator Jaques Wagner (PT-BA), known as an accord-abiding person.

According to allies, the President of the Republic maintains a good relationship with Pacheco, with whom he talks frequently.

The government is betting on the Senate to reverse the defeats suffered in the Chamber, as happened with the MP on environmental regularization.

The Planalto Palace also relies on senators to maintain the decrees issued by the president on the Sanitation Framework, already overturned by federal deputies in the government’s first major defeat in Congress.

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