Pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers take crucial committees in Congress. Why it matters

Bia Kicis and Carla Zambelli are elected as chairs of two important congressional committees and will wield power over key policy areas

Bolsonaro loyalists take crucial committees in Congress. Why it matters
Carla Zambelli will head the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. Photo: Luis Macedo/CD/CS/CC-BY

Last year, Brazil’s Congress quickly adapted to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic by conducting its voting sessions remotely. However, this change was confined to floor sessions. Permanent congressional committees — crucial to Brazil’s lawmaking process — have lain dormant since December 2019.

All new ordinary bills or constitutional amendment proposals in Brazil must be approved by one or more committees before approval. In some cases, the committees have the final say and may enact laws without the need for floor votes. Clearly, the inactivity of these panels has hamstrung Brazil’s legislative efficiency.

Last week, lawmakers took the first...

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