Two days after imposing a defeat on the Bolsonaro government by returning the Fake News MP, the Senate decides to proceed to install a temporary commission to debate the energy crisis that lies ahead in the country.
The expectation of the leader of the Minority of the House, Jean Paul Prates (PT-RN), one of the authors of the request for the creation of the collegiate, is that the work will start next week. He puts himself as a candidate to take care of the rapporteurship.
“We are going to check whether the government deliberately let the hydroelectric plants go down to the point that it was too expensive to activate the other alternatives or if it simply neglected it, it did not know what it was doing,” he said in a statement.
The application was approved in the Senate plenary on July 13, and today, the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), read the committee members in plenary. Not all positions have been filled yet, however, the measure is one of the steps necessary for the collegiate to be effective.
The intention is for the commission to last 180 days and investigate the causes and effects of the energy crisis, in addition to proposing solutions that guarantee energy security and affordable rates for users of the Brazilian Electric System, explained Pacheco.
One of the topics to be debated in the new commission will be the return of daylight saving time, senators are betting.
The group will also monitor the performance of the Exceptional Rules Chamber for Hydroenergetic Management, made up of the Ministries of Mines and Energy, Economy, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Environment and Regional Development.
The Chamber is responsible for defining mandatory guidelines for the operation of the country’s hydroelectric power plant reservoirs, which involve limits on use, storage and flow, according to the federal government.
Commission should not oppose government fiercely
Senator appointed to one of the commission’s positions, Carlos Portinho (PL-RJ) usually follows the government in matters in the Senate, but believes that the commission comes at a good time for considering the matter “urgent” and deserving due responsibility.
“The matter is moving forward. It gives hope and it is necessary. I lived as Secretary of the Environment the beginning of this water crisis, in 2014, in Rio de Janeiro. We managed to overcome it without rationing, but the crisis is continuous and worsening. It impacts the account. of light, affects everyone, including the low-income population greatly. It reduces purchasing power,” he said.
Although the commission, in principle, foresees to investigate the causes of the crisis, Portinho stated that the collegiate should not act as a staunch opposition to the government, unlike the CPI to Covid, evaluates. He defends that the commission has a more constructive profile, he explained.
Although it will have a collaborative aspect to improve the country’s energy situation, the commission must not fail to shed light on any omissions that may have occurred over the past few years, which include the Bolsonaro government. Just the fact that the crisis has a commission to itself has the potential to damage the image of those in power.
Bolsonaro Senate Defeats
This is another one of the losses that Bolsonaro has been facing in the Senate. On Tuesday (14), for example, Pacheco decided to return the MP (Provisional Measure) edited by the head of the federal Executive which limits the removal of content published on social networks by changing the Marco Civil da Internet for “legal uncertainty”, among other points.
According to the MP signed by Bolsonaro, social networks cannot moderate content on their own and exclude, suspend or block profiles or posts according to the rules of the companies.
For specialists, the new rule has signs of unconstitutionality and makes it much more difficult to fight fake news calls. Consequently, it also makes the fight against misinformation difficult.
The decision to return an MP is rarely taken because it is considered drastic in the relationship between the Legislative and the Executive. In general, when Congress does not agree on a Provisional Measure, lawmakers let the text expire.
The president of the National Congress has the prerogative of returning an MP to the Executive when he judges that the text does not meet the necessary requirements set out in law.
In another defeat by Bolsonaro, just over two weeks ago, the president of the Senate had shelved for “lack of just cause” the impeachment request of the minister of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) Alexandre de Moraes, signed by Bolsonaro and filed at the House.
The rejection by Pacheco less than a week after the request was presented was seen precisely as an attempt to empty acts with coup pretensions and against Moraes himself on Independence Day.
Although he came to command the Senate with the support of the Planalto Palace, Pacheco has reinforced his speeches and supported pro-democracy manifestos in the plenary that take him away from Bolsonaro in recent weeks.
Pacheco initially resisted the idea of creating the CPI to Covid in the Senate and only accepted the opening of the commission after a decision by the Supreme Court. However, since then, he has not hindered the actions of the opposition in the collegiate — he was also elevated to the presidency of the Senate with the support of the PT, for example —, and he gave the approval to the extension of the works without needing to be so pressured.
Pacheco still resists trying to streamline in the Senate the analysis of the nomination made by Bolsonaro for André Mendonça to take over the open seat at the Supreme Court.
Finally, the plenary of the Senate overturned a Provisional Measure dealing with mini-labor reform, taken over by ministers Paulo Guedes (Economics) and Onyx Lorenzoni (Labor and Social Security), with the support of the President of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL).
For the next few weeks, the senators must also block several sections taken over by the center — Bolsonaro’s current base in Congress — of electoral reform, as approved by the Chamber of Deputies.