Brazil lower house passes pandemic aid in first vote, final approval pending

Economy Ministry and central bank officials, as well as investors, have warned that any increase in spending must be matched by savings elsewhere in the budget to show the government’s long-term commitment to reducing its record debt.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil’s lower house of Congress early on Wednesday, March 10th, approved the core text of a constitutional amendment to revive a federal cash transfer program to help millions of poor affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first-round vote approved by 341 votes to 121 the measure to allow emergency cash payments totaling up to 44 billion reais ($7.6 billion), with a second and final vote scheduled for later Wednesday.

Brazil’s Senate passed the amendment last week.

The aid package will not be subject to the government’s usual fiscal rules, but . . .

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