The dismantling of the executive branchs budget toolbox and the control of the budget by the National Congress
Keywords:budgetary process, rapporteur-general, discretion, parliamentary amendments, coalition presidentialism
The main objective of this article is to discuss the results and consequences of the broad budget reform process that took place in the last decade, which aimed to reduce the high levels of discretion of the Executive Branch and introduce equal treatment of parliamentarians, in relation to their amendments, prohibiting the political use for the release of funds. The results of the redesign of budgetary institutions signal, however, to the that the central purposes of the normative changes were not only not achieved, but reversed, from the broad control of the budget assumed by the National Congress, indicating emblematic limitations in the institutional reengineering. The consequences of the change in the budgetary constitutional order of 1988 were the significant reduction of the Executive's discretion, the increase of the National Congress' control in budgetary matters, the expansion of the discretion within the Legislative, the transfer of presidential prerogatives to the budget´s general-rapporteur and the explosion of general-rapporteur´s amendments, with the emblematic reversal of equal treatment, indicating relevant cracks in the budget reconfiguration. The research methodology is qualitative, based on the extensive documentation of the processing of annual budget bills and budget guidelines bills available on the websites of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, as well as in the approved laws themselves (LOA and LDO). In addition, empirical data are used to support part of the conclusions reached in the study.
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