Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber has issued an injunction suspending the so-called “rapporteur-designated budgetary grants.” These are opaque and little-understood mechanisms that give lawmakers leeway over the federal budget. However, they are often used as bargaining chips by sitting governments.
In her decision, Justice Weber claims that these grants are “detrimental to the general population” as they reduce transparency and undermine the systems of checks and balances. Earlier this week, the government greenlit over BRL 1.2 billion worth of such grants as a way to gain votes in Congress for a constitutional amendment bill that will free up budget space for the government in 2022.
The bill still needs to pass a second floor vote, scheduled for Tuesday, but House Speaker Arthur Lira reportedly promised BRL 15 million in grants for each lawmaker to side with the administration.
As columnist Beatriz Rey explained back in May, the “rapporteur-designated budgetary grants” are not illegal per se — albeit they are informal and not transparent.