Brazil’s Congress, in a joint session Tuesday night, unanimously passed a supplementary credit bill that will allow the government to continue functioning despite continued deficits. The panel authorized the issuance of up to R$248.9 billion in new debt during 2019. Without congressional authorization, Brazil’s government would have violated a constitutional norm against deficit spending for operational purposes. The norm is known as “the Golden Rule,” but it can be set aside if Congress authorizes the additional credit. Failure to pass the bill might have led to a partial government shutdown later in the year.
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