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Brazil’s President prepares for Social Security fight, round two

Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes Contributor

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Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes Contributor

Brazil’s beleaguered president Michel Temer is ready for round two in a very unpopular plan to reform the country’s public pension system. He called House Speaker Rodrigo Maia to the Presidential Palace on Sunday to strategize how to get 308 votes to pass the bill onto the Senate. It will be a hard row to plow.

Temer, who took over last year for the impeached Dilma Rousseff, has an approval rating even worse than his ousted predecessor. Maia will have to convince over 40 colleagues in the lower house to side with this man, who, just last week, only managed the support of 263 coalition members in a vote to kill an obstruction of justice investigation that could have led to his impeachment.

With no interest in running for president next year, Temer is doing what his team promised: cut Brazil’s government spending as much as feasibly possible in a country that remains mired in political scandal. Members of Congress that are definitely interested in running for office, and are already in trouble because of the Petrobras scandal, will tread carefully. Many of them are up for re-election in Oct. 2018.

Meanwhile, the opposition, facing one loss after the other since the April 2016 impeachment of Dilma, has sworn to prepare its smear campaign against political figures pushing pension reform. Look for more protests led by the Central Workers Union, the political base of Dilma’s Workers’ Party.

Brazil’s beleaguered president Michel Temer is ready for round two in a very unpopular plan to reform the country’s public pension system. He called House Speaker Rodrigo Maia to the Presidential Palace on Sunday to strategize how to get 308 votes to pass the bill onto the Senate. It will be a hard row to plow.

Temer, who took over last year for the impeached Dilma Rousseff, has an approval rating even worse than his ousted predecessor. Maia will have to convince over 40 colleagues in the lower house to side with this man, who, just last week, only managed the support of 263 coalition members in a vote to kill an obstruction of justice investigation that could have led to his impeachment.

With no interest in running for president next year, Temer is doing what his team promised: cut Brazil’s government spending as much as feasibly possible in a country that remains mired in political scandal. Members of Congress that are definitely interested in running for office, and are already in trouble because of the Petrobras scandal, will tread carefully. Many of them are up for re-election in Oct. 2018.

Meanwhile, the opposition, facing one loss after the other since the April 2016 impeachment of Dilma, has sworn to prepare its smear campaign against political figures pushing pension reform. Look for more protests led by the Central Workers Union, the political base of Dilma’s Workers’ Party.