Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday night formally asked Congress to declare “a state of national calamity,” a measure which would free the administration from current budget restraints. Congress is expected to act quickly on the request. In a brief statement, Bolsonaro said the measure is needed in order to fight the spreading coronavirus. Under the current budget law, the government is limited to a 2020 primary budget deficit of no more than R$124.1 billion. The administration has said it would like to hike spending for healthcare and welfare in the face of the virus. Earlier this week, the government announced a series of measures designed to help workers and consumers by allowing them to tap unemployment and other existing funds. Ending budget restraints would free the government for more direct action.
Link to government news agency release.More Testimonials