The so-called “permanent committees” in Brazil’s Congress are crucial to the country’s legislative process. Whenever a new bill is submitted to the House or Senate, the first course of action is its assignment to up to three congressional committees for analysis. Both chambers have dozens of these boards, comprising members of parliament, each focusing on specific issues. After the committee debates a given bill, an appointed rapporteur produces a review — which may include changes to the proposal — that is then voted on by the full board.
Only after a bill is approved by all relevant committees may it go to a final floor vote in the House or Senate. Indeed, some proposals may be enacted into law solely with committees’ approval.