The pension reform bill remains the Brazilian government’s priority, even amid the legal difficulties to move the bill forward in Congress, said Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles.
Last Friday, the Brazilian President Michel Temer decided in favor of federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro state security, giving the army control over police, fire departments and the prison system in the region.
The move, however, acts as an obstacle to a House of Representatives floor vote on the pension system reform because constitutional changes are forbidden during intervention periods.
Temer, who is still chasing favorable votes for the pension reform bill, said that he would temporarily suspend the intervention in Rio de Janeiro to vote on the legislation if the government garners enough support for it.
“We are working with pension reform as the number one priority,” said Meirelles. “If congressional leaders conclude that they have enough votes to approve it, the idea is to adopt measures that will enable the vote to meet all constitutional requirements. The intervention would be interrupted,” said the Finance Minister, echoing Temer’s plan.
He also said that the government is discussing the need for extra money to support the intervention and that it may be necessary to relocate resources from other areas since the 2018 budget is near the current spending limit.