By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Opposition lawmakers in brazil are in an uproar after news came out over the weekend that the Temer Administration authorized more than R$15 billion worth of funds for amendments sponsored by lawmakers who voted to dismiss a complaint against the President in the Chamber’s Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission (CCJ).
“We found that in the first months of the year the allocation of public funds for the payment of legislative amendments was very small. However, when the accusations against Temer came to light, they surged,” wrote Representative Alessandro Molon in his social media page.
“In May, they grew by 1,514 percent. In June, by 1,916 percent. And in July, even without us having reached the end of the month, they already surpass the total value of the previous month, June. Meanwhile, resources for essential public services, such as the rescue of victims of traffic accidents, are lacking. It’s absurd!” concluded the lawmaker.
The story, first published by O Globo on Sunday, states that the Administration authorized R$15.3 billion in funds to lawmakers and the municipalities they represent to guarantee the support of allied parties in the overturning of the recommendation that Temer be charged corruption.
Last Thursday (July 13th) the Chamber’s CCJ voted not accept the recommendation made by Representative Sergio Zveiter that there was enough evidence to bring Brazil’s leader in front of the Supreme Court to be prosecuted for passive corruption.
Hours after the story was released, the Planning Ministry released a press statement that said that the ‘authorization of resources to municipalities is an absolutely normal procedure’. The note also said that the disbursement of those funds had already been discussed and planned several months ago, before charges were brought against President Temer.
“As for the mentioned parliamentary amendments, the Ministry clarifies that this is a required procedure specified in the Constitution and in the budget legislation,” concluded the note from the Ministry.
Despite the decision by the Committee, the charges against President Temer will still be brought in front of the entire Chamber of Deputies to be voted on in early August.