House Speaker pleads for consensus against Covid-19

Bolsonaro buying support in Congress, and it's all legal
House Speaker Rodrigo Maia (L), President Bolsonaro (C), and Senate President Davi Alcolumbre. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

During a televised interview, House Speaker Rodrigo Maia indicated that he expects Congress to fast-track Covid-19-related bills on healthcare, education, and social aid for low-income populations. Mr. Maia, however, failed to offer details related to what these bills would entail.

He further added that the House is working alongside the Central Bank on a bill about interests on deposits—but also didn’t give any detail. He also indicated that he will fast-track an aid package for state administrations, pending on further adjustments to be made in conjunction with the Economy Ministry.

Mr. Maia has shown strong support for the creation of a “war budget,” differentiated from the “regular” budget. He claimed it was necessary in order to avoid creating long-term, crippling debts in order to fund the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. He expects this “war effort” to push the primary deficit to over BRL 200 billion this year. 

The House speaker claimed that 90 percent of economic agents with whom he has talked backed the idea, including the government’s own economic team. According to Mr. Maia, “We must not let the expenses created now become permanent, compromising our future.”