It is estimated that around US$ 44.44 million (95 million reais) were spent to remunerate lawmakers and staff and cover operating expenses in the Chamber and the Senate for meetings during congressional recess.
Brazil’s National Congress met in a special session that lasted two months, beginning on December 16 and ending Wednesday, February 15. Floor sessions began on January 16.
According to the president of the Chamber, Aldo Rebelo (Partido Comunista do Brazil, PCdoB, São Paulo), over half the money spent by the Chamber was to pay staff members.
In an interview in which he analyzed the cost of the special session, the deputy said the country would be better off if this money had been saved.
"Who knows whether, if we had saved US$ 44.44 million, it wouldn’t represent a significant contribution to defraying at least part of the cost of one day’s interest payments on the federal government debt," he pondered.
At the same time, however, he pointed out that the payment of additional salaries for special sessions will no longer exist, since a law was passed and promulgated abolishing the payment of additional salaries to legislators for special sessions.
He stressed the deputies’ effort during the session to vote on what were considered priority issues, such as shortening the parliamentary recess from 90 to 55 days.
"Judge me by what was debated and approved. Whether what was debated and approved is important to the country, the society, and the population should be analyzed by whoever is interested."
Of the 72 proposals before the Congress during the special session, 34 were passed, including 12 temporary measures, seven laws, 12 legislative decrees, a resolution, and five constitutional amendments.