May 24, 2019


1. Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters call for marches

President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters have called for a march to show support for the administration on Sunday, March 26th. Bolsonaro and his allies are trying to get the people on their side, after facing criticism for his handling of political negotiations and his lack of regard for input from senators and federal representatives. The President stated he is opposed to how politics is currently conducted in Congress, which he claims is corrupt and that votes are being exchanged for favors. Another reason for Bolsonaro calling on his supporters is in response to the protest on May 15th which brought together students, teachers, unions and activists against budget cuts to public education. It is still difficult to predict how many people will march on Sunday. However, party leaders from the opposition and even many of Bolsonaro’s allies oppose the march, saying that protests will only deepen the political crisis.

Learn more about Jair Bolsonaro’s dilemmas on Brasília Report.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Quais são as pautas da manifestação pró-Bolsonaro em 26 de maio?
Valor Econômico: Apoio a atos pró-presidente divide PSL
Valor Econômico: Manifestação convocada por Bolsonaro é inconsequente, diz líder do DEM

2. Chamber of Deputies approves tax reform

On Wednesday, Brazil’s Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) of the Chamber of Deputies ruled the tax reform constitutional. The reform bill was written by economists and aims to simplify taxes and legal certainty for citizens and companies. Politicians from the political center and from the left have voted in favor of the reform, all led by Chamber of Deputies President Rodrigo Maia. The approval is seen as a response in defiance of Bolsonaro’s administration. The President has called for marches against Congress. The tax reform will now be debated by a special committee, which will analyze the bill’s content.

Folha de S. Paulo: CCJ da Câmara aprova reforma tributária articulada pelo Legislativo
UOL: CCJ da Câmara aprova reforma tributária; texto segue para comissão especial
G1: Comissão de Constituição e Justiça da Câmara dá aval à tramitação de PEC da reforma tributária

3. Congress approves foreign ownership of Brazilian airlines

Brazil’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies approved a provisional measure allowing 100% foreign investment in Brazilian airlines. The measure was approved in response to Jair Bolsonaro’s statements. According to the President, Congress acts only with sinister motives and through corruption. The bill approved by Congress also forbids airlines from charging for checked bags of up to 23kg on domestic flights. The bill will now have to be sanctioned by the President, who has faced pressure from airlines to veto the passage concerning minimum baggage allowance.

G1: Câmara aprova 100% de capital estrangeiro nas aéreas e proibição de cobrança por bagagem
Folha de S. Paulo: Câmara libera capital estrangeiro em aéreas e volta com bagagem gratuita
Estado de S. Paulo: Senado aprova capital externo em aéreas

4. Administration scales up campaign to promote pension reform

President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the administration will spend R$ 37 million (USD $9.2 million) to promote the proposed pension reform. On Monday, in an event at the official workplace of President Bolsonaro, the administration launched a campaign with the tagline “New Pension. Ask away”. The ads will run on social media, radio and television and will be aimed at answering people’s questions on the reform in an attempt to disperse the negative cloud opposition parties have created around the bill. Government allies believe they must gain the support of the people before trying to gain support in Congress, where the proposal – which would involve a constitutional amendment – has yet to be approved due to a political stalemate.

Estado de S. Paulo: Bolsonaro lança campanha publicitária para explicar reforma da Previdência
Folha de S. Paulo: Campanha da reforma da Previdência custará R$ 37 milhões

5. U.S. officially backs Brazil’s entry into the OECD

On Thursday, the U.S. government formalized its support for Brazil’s entry into the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The support came as a result of a deal struck in March between U.S. President Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro. In exchange for American support, the Brazilian government promised to forgo special differential treatment at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The official announcement of American support was made during the OECD’s ministerial meeting in Paris.

O Globo:  EUA apoiam oficialmente entrada do Brasil na OCDE, mas não há acordo sobre data
Folha de S. Paulo: EUA mudam de postura e passam a apoiar candidatura do Brasil à OCDE