A man trusted by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), the current minister of the Secretariat of Government, Célio Faria Junior, had his first test in office during the vote on the MP (Provisional Measure) that instituted the Auxílio Brasil of R$ 400.
With the possibility of the MP lapsed approaching, the government started the articulations for the approval of the measure, pointed out as a fundamental electoral banner of Bolsonaro and the parliamentarians of the allied base.
In Congress there was a movement – both from the opposition and from the allied base – to try to increase the amount paid in Auxílio Brasil. Some parliamentarians wanted to raise the benefit to R$ 600.
The government’s challenge – and Célio’s mission – was to get the MP approved without changing the value of the benefit, since any increase would have the potential to create political wear and tear for Bolsonaro in the elections.
The legal impossibility of expanding benefits in an election year would mean that Bolsonaro would have to veto the measure if the Chamber approved the increase. And the president didn’t want the problem of explaining to voters why he barred an increase in a benefit for people in need.
The approval of the MP was being considered at the Planalto Palace and in Congress as the first great test of Célio Faria Junior as minister of government articulation, a position he has held since March 31, after the departure of deputy Flávia Arruda (PL) to run. in the October elections.
Célio, who before taking over the ministry was Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, always had influence in the government and had a good relationship with parliamentarians, but he still did not have the official attribution of taking care of the articulation and the famous releases of amendments.
To the column, the minister stated that he is not in office “to be tested”. “I have always worked, as a public servant, to serve the Brazilian people. This was not my work, it was the work of the entire government, guided by President Bolsonaro, as well as the Legislative Power,” he said.
Appeal to Lira and choice of Rome
Last Monday (25), the minister had a meeting with the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and with the minister of the Civil House, Ciro Nogueira (PP-PI), to discuss the matter.
In the conversation, according to the column, Faria Junior asked for Lira’s commitment so that the matter was guided and articulated the choice of the former Minister of Citizenship, João Roma (PL-BA), to report changes in the measure.
Célio Faria even went personally to the Chamber to talk to parliamentarians at the beginning of the week and together with Roma, who was Minister of Citizenship when the measure was edited and is a pre-candidate for the government of Bahia, managed to gather more than the necessary votes to avoid this problem, which could be an electoral bomb for Bolsonaro, but would also affect deputies and senators.
“There are 18 million families that depend on the aid that are grateful for President Bolsonaro’s initiative endorsed by the Chamber of Deputies. That’s what matters”, said the minister.
The text still needs to be approved in the Senate and, according to the minister, the expectation is that the senators will have “the same referendum for the benefit of the most needy”. “For now (it has passed) up to the House, but I’m sure the Senate will also do an excellent job,” he said.