June 11, 2019 / 11:52 PM / 8 days ago

Brazil's National Congress approves supplementary credit to meet expenses

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during a ceremony of the 154th anniversary of the Riachuelo Naval Battle at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s National Congress on Tuesday approved a supplementary credit worth 248.9 billion reais ($64.62 billion) to ensure the government can make payments for social programs and meet other expenses.

The bill was unanimously approved by the lower house and the Senate in a joint session after it had been endorsed by the federal budget committee earlier on Tuesday. It still needs to be signed by President Jair Bolsonaro.

The bill is a priority for Bolsonaro’s government, currently struggling to repair what most economists call an unsustainable public deficit. The legislation is seen as a way to work around the “golden rule,” a fiscal regulation that prevents the government from borrowing to pay for recurring expenses.

“It is the largest credit ever approved by the National Congress,” Senate President David Alcolumbre said briefly before announcing the result, saying that the decision shows “political maturity” by the parties.

Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Leslie Adler

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