MPs: Centrão evaluates random division to limit government – 03/17/2023 – Power
Faced with the discussion of a new model for processing provisional measures (MPs), members of the centrão in the Chamber have defended the random distribution of texts between the two Houses of the National Congress.
This would reduce the Planalto Palace’s room for manoeuvre, which could act so that more controversial MPs receive the final word from the Senate.
The government has been trying to mediate an agreement between deputies and senators and is considering changing the Federal Constitution to end the power dispute that has dragged on since last month between the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and the president of the Senate , Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG).
One of the ideas is to put an end to the creation of committees made up of parliamentarians from both Houses to analyze MPs, as provided for in the Constitution, before voting in the plenary of the Chamber and Senate.
The main proposal under discussion foresees that half of the provisional measures begin to be processed by the Chamber, and the other half by the Senate. This alternating division —one House followed by the other— gives the government predictability.
But the plan for members of the centrão includes the distribution of MPs randomly, which reduces the control of the Planalto Palace.
Lira’s allies are considering proposing that there be a draw for each block of provisional measures. For example, after six MPs edited by the Executive, a system would distribute the proposals between the Chamber and the Senate. Thus, there would be three for each House, but randomly.
The final word on the legislative text belongs to the House where it begins to be analyzed. Therefore, members of the centrão are interested in continuing to influence important agendas for the Planalto.
The argument is that, in the assessment of these House leaders, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) would prefer to leave the most important MPs with the Senate, as the base of government senators would be more stable. Furthermore, they believe that Pacheco would not hand over these proposals to opposition senators.
The clash over the MPs’ rite has stalled the progress of proposals sent by Lula, such as the reorganization of the Esplanada and the re-encumbrance of fuels. Provisional measures take effect immediately – as soon as they are published by the government.
The government has supported the idea of a constitutional change to end joint committees. With that, he meets Lira, who is against these collegiate bodies.
The actions of Planalto interlocutors could generate quarrels with Pacheco, who is an ally of Lula and defended the return of the model that prevailed until the pandemic. However, the government wants to avoid attrition with Lira, who has a majority in the Chamber, where Lula is still trying to consolidate political support.
The Constitution establishes that MPs edited by the President of the Republic must be analyzed by the National Congress within 120 days. The rite begins with a commission made up of deputies and senators, who take turns as president and rapporteur.
The scheme was suspended in March 2020 amid reduced activity in Congress to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Since then, the MPs were being voted directly in the plenary of both Houses, starting with the Chamber.
Since then, Lira has controlled the pace of processing and the appointment of rapporteurs. As the federal deputies did not have a deadline to discuss the text, the senators say that they have become mere “stamp stamps” of what has already been negotiated and decided.
In early February, Pacheco edited an act of the Board of Congress to resume the constitutional rite of the MPs. Lira, however, resisted and argued that the determination needs to be made jointly by the two legislative houses.
The leader of the government in Congress, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), said this Thursday (16) that the proposal to end the joint commissions is “the best way to resolve the situation now while preserving the powers of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate”. He said, however, that this would be done “alternately”.
“The idea is to adopt a proposed amendment to the Constitution (PEC) that institutes the alternation of the House initiating the provisional measures. A provisional measure would enter the Chamber of Deputies, the following provisional measure would enter the Senate”, completed Randolfe after the meeting of leaders of the Senate.
The solution has gained support in the Senate, as the House will have the power to initiate and close the discussion of the texts sent by the government.
This Thursday, MDB leader Senator Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM) also spoke on the subject. Braga stated that, “if this proposal for understanding stands, there are no losers or winners”. “There is no finished solution. There is still no defined text. We are talking about a proposal for an understanding.”
Pressured by the deadline for processing the provisional measures, the Lula government has stated that it only wants to resolve the impasse.
“I think that the two Houses and the two presidents are very close to hitting the hammer. And we, who have the task of leading the government, insist: we do not have a preference for one methodology or another, we have a preference for the methodology to be decided “, said the leader of the government in the Senate, Jaques Wagner (PT-BA), this Thursday.
The clash between the Chamber and the Senate also reached the STF (Federal Supreme Court). Senator Alessandro Vieira (PSDB-SE) alleged “inertia” on the part of the mayor and asked that he be obliged to comply with the Constitution —since Lira refuses to sign the document edited by Pacheco that provides for the return of joint committees .
Another issue being negotiated behind the scenes in the Chamber is the division between the parties that should nominate members of the CCJ (Committee on Constitution and Justice) of the Chamber and the Budget Commission.
Lira wants to close an agreement between PT, PL, União Brasil and MDB for a rotation in the presidency of the CCJ during the four years of the Lula government – the PT will occupy the post this year.
For vacancies in the Budget Commission, the idea is that the division be between PT, PL, União Brasil and PSD. There is still no decision on which party will occupy the rapporteurship of the 2024 Budget, which begins to be discussed this year.
Under Congressional rules, it is the House’s turn to appoint the Budget rapporteur. Next year, he will chair the committee. In other words, there is an alternation.
The most quoted for the budget report are Luiz Carlos Motta (PL-SP) and Celso Sabino (União Brasil-PA) – depending on which party will start the rotation.