Opinion

House Speaker Lira tries (and fails) to push through ‘impunity bill’

While his maneuver was unsuccessful, civil society must keep the pressure on, says columnist Beatriz Rey

impunity bill arthur lira congress
Arthur Lira speaks with reporters. Photo: Michel Jesus/CD/CC-BY

Newly elected House Speaker Arthur Lira suffered his first legislative defeat last week. Members of the lower house failed to reach an agreement to vote on a constitutional amendment that would shield federal lawmakers from arrest and other criminal consequences. Despite promising to respect congressional rules, Mr. Lira tried to go over lawmakers’ heads and force a floor vote on the controversial proposal. 

Under normal circumstances, constitutional amendment bills must be analyzed by a special committee before going to a floor vote. Mr. Lira hoped to skip this step and take it straight to a final vote, but failed after...

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