Brazil lawmakers pass 'war budget' as coronavirus cases top 10,000

Brazil lawmakers pass 'war budget' as coronavirus cases top 10,000
  • Clock-gray 08:13
  • calendar-gray 05 April 2020

Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment for a “war budget” to separate coronavirus-related spending from the government’s main budget and shield the economy as the country surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases.

The war budget still needs the Senate’s approval by three-fifths of the votes in two rounds expected to take place next week. 

Late on Friday, the lower house approved the main text of the bill with 423 votes in favor and one opposed in a second round of voting after a first score of 505 in favor and two against. 

The amendment creates an extraordinary regime to prevent expenses related to a “state of emergency” decree triggered by the pandemic, which is valid until Dec. 31, from being mixed with the federal budget over the same period. 

Besides easing fiscal and budgetary constraints to speed up measures tackling the outbreak, the war budget also grants the Brazilian central bank emergency bond-buying powers to stabilize financial markets.

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