BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress was due to vote on Tuesday on a flagship overhaul to the pension system but by early evening the debate had still not begun, calling into question whether the government had the votes it needs.
The lower house speaker, Rodrigo Maia, determines when a vote occurs but will only proceed when he is confident he has support from the house, which is comprised of representatives of more than 20 political parties.
Vote - Test - Support - President - Jair
The vote is a test of support for President Jair Bolsonaro, who has made it his key economic policy and is banking on the reform to bring the country’s public finances back to health.
His economy ministry says Brazil’s economic growth and inflation prospects for years to come rest on closing the massive budget gap created by the country’s generous pension system.
Joice - Hasselmann - Government - Leader - Congress
Joice Hasselmann, the government’s leader in Congress, told reporters it was possible the vote could be delayed until Wednesday. The bill additionally is expected to face obstruction from opposition parties, she said.
“Even with obstruction, we will overcome the obstruction and vote, no problem,” Hasselmann said.
Day - Bolsonaro - Maia - Bill - Rounds
Earlier in the day, Bolsonaro and Maia both said they were confident the bill would pass two rounds of lower house voting this week...
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