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SECTION VII - THE COMMITTEES



 

Article 58. The National Congress and both its Houses shall have permanent and temporary committees, established in the manner and with the incumbencies set forth in the respective regulations or in the act from which their creation
Paragraph 1. In the composition of the Directing Boards and of each committee, the proportional representation of the parties or the parliamentary groups which participate in the respective House shall be ensured to the extent possible.
Paragraph 2 - The committees have the power, on account of the matter under their authority.
I - to debate and vote on bills of law which, in accordance with the regulations, are exempt from being submitted to the Plenary Assembly, except in the event of an appeal from one-tenth of the members of the respective House;
II - to hold public audiences with entities of civil society;
III - to summon Ministers of State to render information on matters inherent to their duties;
IV - to receive petitions, claims, statements or complaints from any person against acts or omissions of Government authorities or entities;
V - to request the testimony of any authority or citizen;
VI - to examine construction work programs and national, regional and sectorial development plans and to report thereupon.
Paragraph 3 - Parliamentary inquiry committees, which shall have the powers of investigation inherent to the judicial authorities, in addition to other powers set forth in the regulations of the respective Houses, shall be created by the Chamber of Deputies and by the Federal Senate, jointly or separately, upon the request of one-third of its members, to investigate a given fact and for a certain period of time? and their conclusions shall, if the case may be, be forwarded to the Public Prosecution to determine the civil or criminal liability of the offenders.
Paragraph 4 - During recess there shall be a committee to represent the National Congress, elected by both its Houses in the last regular session of the legislative session, with incumbencies defined in the common regulations, the composition of which shall repeat, to the extent possible, the proportional representation of the political parties.

SECTION VIII - THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

SUBSECTION I - GENERAL PROVISION

 

Article 59. The legislative process comprises the preparation of:
I - amendments to the Constitution;
II - supplementary laws;
III - ordinary laws;
IV - delegated laws;
V - provisional measures;
VI - legislative decrees;
Sole paragraph - A supplementary law shall provide for the preparation, drafting, amendment and consolidation of laws.

SUBSECTION II - AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION


Article 60. The Constitution may be amended on the proposal of:
I - at least one-third of the members of the Chamber of Deputies or of the Federal Senate;
II - the President of the Republic;
III - more than one half of the Legislative Assemblies of the units of the Federation, each of them expressing itself by the relative majority of its members.
Paragraph l - The Constitution shall not be amended while federal intervention, a state of defense or a state of siege is in force.
Paragraph 2 - The proposal shall be discussed and voted upon in each House of the National Congress, in two readings, and it shall be considered approved if it obtains in both readings, three-fifths of the votes of the respective members.
Paragraph 3 - An amendment to the Constitution shall be promulgated by the Directing Boards of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate with the respective sequence number.
Paragraph 4 - No proposal of amendment shall be considered which is aimed at abolishing:
I - the federative form of State;
II - the direct, secret, universal and periodic vote;
III - the separation of the Government Powers;
IV - individual rights and guarantees.
Paragraph 5 - The matter dealt with in a proposal of amendment that is rejected or considered impaired shall not be the subject of another proposal in the same legislative session.

SUBSECTION III - THE LAWS


Article 61. The initiative of supplementary and ordinary laws is within the competence of any member or committee of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate or the National Congress, the President of the Republic, the Supreme Federal Court, the Superior Courts, the Attorney-General of the Republic and the citizens, in the manner and in the cases provided for in this Constitution.
Paragraph 1 - It is the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic to introduce laws that:
I - determine or modify the number of Armed Forces troops;
II - provide for:
a) creation of public offices, functions or positions in the direct administration and in autonomous Government agencies or increases in their salaries;
b) administrative and judicial organization, tax and budgetary matters, public services and administrative personnel of the territories;
c) civil servants of the Union and Territories, their legal statute, appointment to offices, tenure and retirement;

Letter c amended by CA 18, February 5th 1998. The original text contained references to the militaries, which are now referred to in the letter f.

d) organization of the Public Prosecution and of the Public Legal Defense of the Union, as well as general rules for the organization of the Public Prosecution and the Public Legal Defense of the states, the Federal District and the territories;
e) creation and extinction of the Ministries and public administration agencies, with due regard to the article 84, VI;

Letter e amended by CA 18, February 5th 1998. The original text read "creation, structuring and duties of the Ministries and public administration agencies;"

f) military of the Armed Forces, their legal statute, appointment to offices, promotions, tenure, remuneration, retirement, and transfer to the reserve.

Letter f added by CA 18, February 5th 1998.

Paragraph 2 - The initiative of the people may be exercised by means of the presentation to the Chamber of Deputies of a bill of law subscribed by at least one percent of the national electorate, distributed throughout at least five states, with not less than three-tenths of one percent of the voters in each of them.


Article 62. In important and urgent cases, the President of the Republic may adopt provisional measures with the force of law and shall submit them to the National Congress immediately.

Article 62 entirely changed by CA 32, September 11th 2001. Read comments at the end of the article.

Paragraph 1. No provisional measures should treat about matters:
I - relative to:
a) nationality, citizenship, political rights, political parties and electoral rights;
b) criminal laws, criminal process and civil process; c) organization of Judiciary Power, Public Prosecution, the career and guarantees of their members;
d) pluriannual plans, budgetary directives, annual budgetary law, aditional and supplementary credits, except what is mentioned on art. 167, paragraph 3;
II - which refer to levy or retetion of assets, popular savings or any other financial assets;
III - reserved to supplementary laws;
IV - already disciplined by a law approved by Congress and awaiting sanction or veto by the President;

Paragraph 2. Provisional measures which institute or increase taxes, except for the cases mentioned on arts. 153, I, II, IV, V and 154, II, will produce efects in the following financial exercize only if converted into law until the last day of the year in which it was issued.

Paragraph 3. Provisional measures, except for those mentioned on articles 11 and 12, will loose eficacy, since back to the issuing date, if not converted into laws within sixty days, extendable, once, according to the disposed on paragraph 7, for the same period of time, being up to the Congress to discipline, by means of a Legislative Decree, the juridic relations resulting of them

Paragraph 4. The period mentioned on paragraph 3 will be counted from the date of publication of the provisional measure, being suspended during the periods of recess of the Congress.

Paragraph 5. The deliberation of each House of Congress about the merit of provisional measures will depend on previous judgement on the meeting of the constitutional pre-conditions of admissibility;

Paragraph 6. If the provisional measure is not appreciated in the 45 days after publication, it will gain urgency regime status, subsequently, in each of the Houses of Congress, being postponed, until the end of its appreciation, all the other legislative deliberations of the House in which it is being examined.

Paragraph 7. The validity of a provisional measure will be extended once, for the same period, if, after sixty days counted from the publication, its appreciation is not concluded on both Houses of Congress.

Paragraph 8. Provisional measures will be voted first by the Chamber of Deputies.

Paragraph 9. It will be up to a Committee composed by Deputies and Senators to examin the provisional measures and to issue an opinion about them, before being voted, in separated sessions, by the plenarium of each House of Congress.

Paragraph 10. Provisional measures which were rejected or had lost efficacy can not be reissued in the same legislative session.

Paragraph 11. If the legislative decree mentioned on paragraph 3 is not edited within sixty days after rejection or decay of provisional measure, the juridic relations constituted and consequential of acts practiced during its validity will remain regulated by them.

Paragraph 12. If the draft of law of conversion changing the original text of provisional measure is approved, the measure will remain in full force until being sanctioned or vetoed by the President.

Article 62 entirely changed by CA 32, September 11th 2001. This article used to have only the caput and one short paragraph; the CA changed the caput and original paragraph, and added eleven paragraphs. However, it became a consensus that the Executive Power had been given excessive powers to use Provisional Measures, and was misusing those powers. It became a common practice, for example, that the President of the Republic issued a provisional measure and, on expiration, re-issued it with exactly the same text; the measure which instituted the Real Plan, for example, was re-issued over eighty months; in practice, the Executive was legislating, withouth the participation of the Legislative. The CA 32 intended to rectify these problems.

Article 63. An increase in expenditure proposals shall not be admitted: I - in bills of the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic, except for the provisions of article 166, paragraphs 3 and 4;
III - in bills concerning theca organization of the administrative services of the Chamber of Deputies, the Federal Senate, the Federal Courts and the Public Prosecution.

Article 64. The discussion and voting of the bills of law which are the initiative of the President of the Republic, the Supreme Federal Court and of the Superior Courts shall start in the Chamber of Deputies.
Paragraph 1 - The President of the Republic may request urgency in the examination of bills of his own initiative.
Paragraph 2 - If, in the case of the preceding paragraph, the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate fail to act, each one, successively on the proposition, within up to forty-five days, the deliberation upon other subjects shall be suspended, except for those which have specific Constitutional deadlines, in order that the voting may be concluded.

Text in purple added by CA 32, September 11th 2001.

Paragraph 3 - Amendments of the Federal Senate shall be examined by the Chamber of Deputies within a period of ten days, in accordance, otherwise. with the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
Paragraph 4 - The periods of time referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be counted while the Congress is in recess and shall not apply to the bills of codes.

Article 65. A bill of law approved by one House shall be reviewed by the other in a single reading of discussing and voting and sent for sanctioning or promulgation, if approved by the reviewing House, or it shall be dismissed, if rejected.
Sole paragraph - If the bill is amended, it shall return to the House where it was proposed.

Article 66.The House in which voting is concluded shall send the bill of law to the President of the Republic, who, if he concurs, shall sanction it.
Paragraph 1 - If the President of the Republic considers the bill of law, wholly or in part, unconstitutional or contrary to public interest, he shall veto it, wholly or in part, within fifteen work days, counted from the date of receipt and he shall, within forty-eight hours, inform the President of the Senate of the reasons of his veto.
Paragraph 2 - A partial veto shall only comprise the full text of an article, paragraph, item or subitem.
Paragraph 3 - After a period of fifteen days, the silence of the President of the Republic shall be considered as sanctioning.
Paragraph 4 - The veto shall be examined in a joint session, within thirty days, counted from the date of receipt, and may only be rejected by the absolute majority of the Deputies and Senators, by secret voting.
Paragraph 5 - If the veto is not upheld, the bill shall be sent to the President of the Republic for promulgation.
Paragraph 6 - If the period established in paragraph 4 elapses without a decision being reached, the veto shall be included in the order of the day of the following session, and all other propositions shall be suspended until its final voting.

Paragraph 6 was changed by CA 32, September 11th 2001. The original text contained the expression: "except for the matters referred to in article 62, sole paragraph."

Paragraph 7 - If, in the cases of paragraphs 3 and 5, the law is not promulgated within forty-eight hours by the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate shall enact it and if the latter fails to do so within the same period, the Vice-President of the Senate shall do so.

Article 67.The matter dealt with in a rejected bill of law may only be the subject of a new bill during the same legislative session, upon proposal of the absolute majority of the members of either House of the National Congress.

Article 68. Delegated laws shall be drawn up by the President of the Republic, who shall request delegation from the National Congress.
Paragraph 1 - There shall be no delegation of acts falling within the exclusive competence of the National Congress, of those within the exclusive competence of the Chamber of Deputies or the Federal Senate, of matters reserved for supplementary laws and of legislation on:
I - the organization of the Judicial Power and of the Public Prosecution, the career and guarantees of their members; II - nationality, citizenship, individual, political and electoral rights, III - pluriannual plans, budgetary directives and budgets.
Paragraph 2 - The delegation to the President of the Republic shall take the form of a resolution of the National Congress, which shall specify its contents and the terms of its exercise.
Paragraph 3 - If the resolution calls for consideration of the bill by the National Congress, the latter shall do so in a single voting, any amendment being forbidden.

Article 69. Supplementary laws shall be approved by absolute majority.





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