November 19th, 2021


1. Former judge Sergio Moro joins Podemos party to run as presidential candidate

This week, former judge and former Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro joined the Podemos party as a third candidate in the polarized presidential race between Bolsonaro and Lula in 2022.

The ceremony in which Moro became a party member took place in Brasilia with the executive board of the party, members of Congress, public servants, and executives. During the event, Moro gave an hour-long speech.

He defended Operation Car Wash and the fight against corruption, criticized both the PT and Bolsonaro administration, and said he was willing to become a candidate.

Moro became an important political figure after he sentenced former president Lula to jail in 2019. In April 2020, after one year and four months as the Minister of Justice, he quit the administration after accusing Bolsonaro of interfering with the Federal Police.

Valor Econômico: Sergio Moro se filia ao Podemos e diz ‘chega de mensalão e rachadinha’
G1: Em ato em Brasília, ex-juiz Sergio Moro se filia ao Podemos
Folha de S. Paulo: Moro se filia ao Podemos, ataca Bolsonaro e PT e defende Lava Jato em discurso de candidato

2. Federal government reassesses and eases labor standards

A new decree by the executive branch reassessed and simplified labor standards in the country. According to official estimates, the new rules compress approximately 1,000 norms into 15. They cover issues such as worker documents, benefits, work hours, professional learning, professional registration, and union membership and monitoring.

According to the Labor and Social Security Ministry, the plan is for the standards to be reassessed every two years. Updates will be adopted according to technological developments and workers’ and companies’ changing needs.

Some of the most significant changes concern meal vouchers for employees, who can now choose more flexible ways to use that benefit. The administration is considering granting companies 18 months to implement and adapt to the new rules.

G1: Governo revisa e consolida portarias, instruções normativas e decretos com regras trabalhistas
Exame: Governo reduz mil normas trabalhistas a 15 e flexibiliza vale-alimentação
Folha de S. Paulo: Governo flexibiliza regras trabalhistas e revê mais de mil normas

3. Federal Supreme Court suspends rapporteur amendments in the Federal budget

This week, the Federal Supreme Court approved an injunction, proposed by Justice Rosa Weber, prohibiting the Federal Government from creating rapporteur amendments—also known as “secret budgets”—for the federal budget. The amendments, which amount to R$ 1 billion, are used by members of Congress to procure funds from the federal budget without disclosing their ultimate destinations.

The prohibition directly affects Federal Government plans to ensure its agenda is approved by Congress, including the Precatory Constitutional Amendment Bill. The bill would fund the new “Auxílio Brasil” social benefit, which Bolsonaro planned to use to boost his chances in the 2022 presidential race.

Vice-President Hamilton Mourão complemented the Federal Supreme Court’s decision, saying it was important to ensure transparency when it comes to public funds.

Folha de S. Paulo: Governo corta projeção do PIB e espera inflação maior em 2021 e 2022
CNN: Governo piora previsão para PIB de 2021 e 2022, mas mantém acima de 5% e 2%
G1: Governo revê para cima projeção de inflação e salário mínimo

4. Long lines as Auxílio Brasil payments begin

This week, the administration began Auxílio Brasil payments – the new benefit that replaces Bolsa Família. With some trepidation, people went to Caixa Econômica Federal branches for information about how to register for the benefit.

According to the Ministry of Citizenship, in the month of November, over 14.5 million families will receive the benefit, which will total R$3.25 billion. The average amount families will receive this month is R$ 224.41.

People who were registered with Bolsa Família have been automatically migrated to Auxílio Brasil and will not need to reregister. Cards and passwords previously used to withdraw Bolsa Família benefits remain valid and can be used to access the new benefit.

The federal government said it will intensify communication efforts to inform people about the new benefit and avoid long lines.

Gi: Auxílio Brasil: pagamento do ‘novo Bolsa Família’ começa com filas pelo país
CNN: Agências da Caixa têm filas no 1º dia de pagamento do novo auxílio emergencial

5. Brazil approves third dose of the COVID vaccine for people over 18 years old and changes Janssen vaccine rules

This week, the Brazilian Ministry of Health announced that every person over 18 years old is eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have been fully vaccinated for at least five months.

According to Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga, the country has enough doses in its 38,000 health centers to distribute new vaccines from November 2021 to May 2022.

The Ministry also made rule changes for people vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine. The government now recommends a booster shot with the same vaccine for every person who has been vaccinated for at least two months. Those people will also have to take a third booster shot with any other vaccine at least five months after receiving the second dose.

G1: Como vai funcionar dose de reforço da vacina contra covid para maiores de 18 anos
BBC: Vacina da Janssen: como vai funcionar reforço para quem tomou ‘dose única’ contra covid