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Brazil Senate passes 20-year spending cap, Temer saved

Staff Writer |
Brazilian senators a 20-year public spending ceiling proposed by President Michel Temer to control a ballooning budget deficit.

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Approval of the centrepiece of his fiscal plan handed a welcome victory to Temer's scandal-plagued government, which is threatened by corruption accusations and citizens' deep frustration with economic malaise.

The Senate approved the cap by a 53-16 margin, though leftist opponents sought to delay the vote as long as possible.

Temer said the move to limit spending by constitutional amendment was unprecedented and will be followed by an equally unpopular reform of Brazil's generous pension system.

"You need courage to govern and we have courage," he said. Senators must still vote on some details of the bill, such as requests to exempt education and health spending from the cap, which are expected to be rejected by lawmakers.

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