Brazil's bill on spending cap waiver must be approved by Dec 10 -official

BRASILIA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian Senator Marcelo Castro, the upcoming author of a constitutional amendment for a spending cap waiver, told Reuters on Thursday that the bill must be approved by Dec. 10 so lawmakers can focus on the country's budget for next year.

The constitutional amendment, known as the PEC for its initials in Portuguese, aims to exempt at least 100 billion reais ($19 billion) from a constitutional spending cap next year in order to boost welfare social programs.

The PEC is backed by President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and is expected to be filed to Congress on Tuesday.

Castro, who is also the author of next year's budget, said approving the PEC and budget are "the two major challenges we have for the country to continue functioning."

The senator added that lawmakers need to pass the PEC before being able to focus on preparing the 2023 budget.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito Editing by Marguerita Choy and Sandra Maler

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