Centrão gains in power to manage the Budget: understand how

President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) has put an end to the standoff behind the scenes between the economic team and the political articulation of the government. In a victory for Centrão, Thursday (13), he issued a decree that distributes the responsibilities for the management and execution of the 2022 budget between the Ministry of the Economy and the Civil House.

Bolsonaro’s decision is unprecedented not only in his tenure, but since re-democratization. In summary, the measure was taken with the aim of organizing the government in such a way that it is possible for the execution of the budget to consider agreements with the allied base, admit the interlocutors of the Palácio do Planalto.

Since the start of the government, there has been a battle between the Minister of the Economy, Paulo Guedes, and the political articulation of the government, currently led by the Chief Minister of Civil House, Ciro Nogueira. The economic team leader’s continued quest to contain public spending led him to constant clashes with Planalto, following deals signed with Congress – many of which involved freeing up resources from the budget through parliamentary amendments.

In addition to opposing the execution of certain agreements, Guedes was also against the payment of Auxílio Brasil of R $ 400. The average amount had been agreed between the political articulation of Planalto and the allied base, but the Minister of the Economy defended the advantage of R $ 300 – which it would be possible, according to him, to pay without exceeding the ceiling. spending.

Faced with the struggle between the economic team and the political articulation, Bolsonaro’s desire to share the execution of the Budget between the economic team and the political wing of the government prevailed.

The main reason would have been the non-respect of an agreement signed with the base, which had led the allies to start a process of political frying of the chief minister of the Secretariat of the government, Flávia Arruda.

At the end of 2021, the government negotiated with the grassroots the release of 600 million reais in resources from parliamentary amendments. But, at the last meeting of the Budget Execution Council (JEO), a body that directly advises the president, made up of the Civil Chamber and the Economy, Guedes said he would not execute the funds. The head of the economic team blocked the payments on the grounds that he would use them to pay debts to international organizations.

The blocking of resources has prevented the political articulation from fulfilling the execution of funds pledged by members of grassroots Congress in parliamentary amendments. As resources were negotiated by the Government Secretariat, local leaders criticized Portfolio Minister Flávia Arruda and called for her resignation. Bolsonaro, however, assured that he would keep her in office until the ministerial reform.

What does the decree dividing management say about the Budget?

With the exception of the distribution of budget execution powers between the Ministry of the Economy and the Civil Chamber, the decree is customary in public administration. At the beginning of each year, the President of the Republic delegates by decree the competences of the economic team in the management and execution of the budget.

Published Thursday (13) in the Federal Official Journal, decree n ° 10.937 / 22 entrusts the Ministry of the Economy with responsibility for actions such as budget reallocation, the opening or reopening of extraordinary credits, and the variation in spending.

The originality proposed by Bolsonaro appears in the only paragraph of the article. “The practice of the acts referred to in the caput is conditional on the prior and favorable expression of the Minister of State, head of the civil chamber of the Presidency of the Republic”, informs the provision.

That is to say that although at no time does the decree deprive the economic team of the competence to execute the budget, in practice, it gives power to the Civil Chamber to have the last word. In an election year, it is an asset that Bolsonaro grants to Centrão, in the figure of Ciro Nogueira, national president of the PP, who will be able to choose how and where to spend public resources.

Planalto interlocutors assure, however, that everything has been discussed and communicated to Guedes. By the way, the decree bears his signature and that of Bolsonaro. “Guedes must be happy? No, but everything was already sewn. It was all very well done,” said a source from the palace heard by Gazeta do Povo.

What does Planalto think of the distribution of powers?

If the decree undeniably strengthens political articulation, Planalto’s interlocutors minimize its practical effects. “It’s not as if the president did it to take power away from Guedes and strengthen Ciro. It’s a decision to organize the government so that we can fulfill what we set out to do. agreement, and this strengthens the government as a whole, “argues a grandiose interlocutor. .

Members of the political articulation, however, recognize that the measure increases Ciro Nogueira’s powers over the budget. “It really increases, because he keeps the pen in his hand [para executar o Orçamento]», Specifies a second interlocutor of Planalto. The reading made by the political core is that the decree will serve as a “clearing brake” for the government.

Planalto expects the measure to bring practical and even immediate benefits to political articulation, as it will allow the Civil Chamber autonomy to comply with the agreements.

“The decree does not hand over the key to the Union safe to Ciro, it only allows an organization for the administration of the government as a whole”, underlines another interlocutor of the government. “Just as Guedes took the R $ 600 million and Flávia could not meet the agreements, the commitments were not released at the end, at the Ministry of Health, at the Ministry of Regional Development. She and Ciro don’t have any resources; they don’t have any. Do nothing, “he adds.

The decree will therefore allow the government to organize itself not only to fulfill the payment of the agreement of 600 million reais, as well as other commitments that could be signed within the framework of the 2022 budget. Union to states and municipalities and, therefore, parliamentary amendments, ends three months before the election. This means that, this year, the government will have until July 2 to implement the parliamentary amendments committed, with the first round of elections taking place on October 2.

What does the economic team think of the decree

Despite the unprecedented decision to extend the powers of the Civil Chamber in the execution of the budget, the economic team ensures that the minister is calm about the decree. “It’s a relief for Guedes because he has to work within the limits of the controls. He has no way of knowing what he is going to cut and what is going to happen. [de recursos à base]. He must be the guardian of the budget balance, “assures a Guedes interlocutor.

Just as, in practice, the decree empowers the Civil Chamber to have a say in the execution of the budget, it will also impose the same responsibilities in terms of public accounts on the political core. In other words, if Planalto does not endorse the management led by the economic team and increases spending too much, Ciro Nogueira will shoulder the burden.

“For someone to win, someone will lose. Who will arbitrate this, now, is the Civil House. Guedes has always tried to stay within the limits [fiscais], because there are people who want to blow up the roof. The bursting of the ceiling, it is the bursting of the herd, which starts with this case of readjustment of wages “, explains a second interlocutor of the minister.

The balance sheet of the economic team is that Guedes will work less under pressure in 2022. “The way in which these resources have been distributed is what had been the reason for the friction, even because the parliamentarians go there directly. [no Planalto negociar recursos]. They [articuladores políticos] taken and approved. From now on, it will be up to the Civil House, as the president’s political coordinator, to make the distribution “, maintains an interlocutor.” This relieves Guedes of the responsibility.

The interlocutors of the economic team deny, however, that Guedes has blocked the resources resulting from the agreements signed by the political nucleus. “Now that will put an end to this affair that the minister [Flávia Aruuda] say no [os recursos] because Guedes stopped. He did not make anything crash, “said a government technician.

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