Congress approves the rapporteur’s amendment rules: how it was

Deputies and Senators approve the bill from the top of Congress which promises to give more transparency to the rapporteur’s amendment | Photo: Marcos Oliveira / Senate Agency

By 34 votes to 32, the Senate approved the draft resolution of the National Congress (PRN) n ° 4/2021, which regulates the rapporteur’s amendments, known as RP9. The text seeks to establish transparency rules required after determination by the Supreme Court (STF), but still does not fully comply with what the Supreme Court has demanded. The question goes to the promulgation of Congress. Previously, the proposal had been approved by the deputies, by 268 votes in favor and 31 against.

The text even tries to give more transparency to the rapporteur’s amendments. The opinion presented by the rapporteur, Senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), establishes that indications and requests should be published on the Internet in certain areas of the Joint Budget Committee (CMO) and forwarded to the federal government. However, transparency will only apply from the 2022 budget.

The article also sets the volume of RP9 to be the sum of the values ​​of the individual amendments and bench. The 2022 budget bill submitted by the federal government sets aside BRL 10.5 billion for individual amendments and BRL 5.7 billion for seat of state amendments, for a total of 16.2 billion. billion BRL for mandatory amendments. Next year’s budget has yet to be voted on this year and the approval of PRN 4/21 helps trigger discussions.

By setting rules on the value of the rapporteur’s amendments, Castro wanted to ensure some restraint in RP9, used as a bargaining chip between the federal government and the grassroots in Congress. If Budget 2022 does not modify the values ​​suggested by the economic team for individual and state amendments, the 16.2 billion BRL for the rapporteur’s amendments in 2022 would be close to the volume approved for 2021, of 18.5 billion BRL. BRL.

Why the text still does not meet the transparency required by the STF

Although it guaranteed some regulation, the substitute presented by Senator Marcelo Castro still does not require the retroactive disclosure of the names of the senators and deputies who appointed and requested appeals against the rapporteur’s amendments before 2020. Parliamentarians who received appeals from RP9 in 2020 and 2021, for example, cannot be identified.

The STF approved, by 8 to 2, the injunction of Minister Rosa Weber, who demanded greater transparency of the rapporteur’s amendments to the molds of individual and bench amendments. Information on these resources is entered into the Union’s execution and transparency systems available on the internet, making it possible to identify the parliamentarians and the training groups benefiting from the resources.

During the vote in the House, where the text was approved by 268 votes in favor and 31 against, the non-inclusion of rules guaranteeing retroactive transparency was criticized by lawmakers, such as the leader of Novo, Paulo Ganime (RJ).

“Why do they want to make it known now? Because there will be a lot of problems among those who have signed an agreement if they know that one has received 10 and the other 100 to participate in the same agreement”, a- he accused. “It will be nice to see that, it will highlight all the negotiations here. I want to see them doing business from now on, when it becomes public,” he added.

Ganime’s criticism refers to the lack of equality in the publication of the amendments. Since PR9 are resources released at political convenience and do not follow – nor will they follow the ratio – equity parameters, MPs and Senators of the same party, for example, may receive different amounts. resources to vote with the government on the same project.

What the rapporteur and the presidents of the House and Senate say about the rapporteur’s amendments

Senator Marcelo Castro acknowledges that retroactive transparency of amendments could be made, but he refused to regulate this by replacing the draft resolution. “It’s a question of the table [diretora] not the resolution. The resolution is not about the past and could not. Who can give an explanation is the table, “said the rapporteur.

In his drafting of the deputy, the senator also rejected all 22 amendments presented by deputies and senators in order to modify the text. Many of them advocated the equal distribution of resources from RP9 resources among members of Congress. The rejection of the amendments was maintained during the vote in the hemicycle.

Castro’s speech according to which his text conforms to the directives of the Administrative Council of Congress refers to the defense of the presidents of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), and of the House, Arthur Lira (PP-AL). Both argue that it is not possible to respect the desire of the STF to ensure transparency before 2022.

A document signed by the two asserts that there is a “de facto impossibility of retroactively establishing a procedure for registering claims.” The Senate Council in matters of budget, inspection and control, however, guarantees that it is possible to give transparency to the rapporteur’s amendments.

A technical note signed by consultant Fernando Moutinho Ramalho Bittencourt guarantees that Congress’ argument presented to the STF to maintain the confidentiality of appointments made to the general rapporteur “is manifestly false”.

“The press inquiries, using the prerogatives of the law on access to information, gathered an abundant official documentation related to the requests for amendments of the general rapporteur, as well as other sources which had the documentation but have quite simply refused to make it public, ”he maintained.

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