UPDATE 1-Brazil may complete 'war budget' vote by Friday amid coronavirus crisis – lower house speaker

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BRASILIA, April 2 (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Thursday he believed the country’s Congress could vote by Friday on the so-called “war budget” to bolster Latin America’s largest economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The war budget was proposed by Maia and other lawmakers to help shield the economy from the impact of the public health crisis. The constitutional amendment must be approved twice in both chambers and receive three-fifths of the votes each time.

“I am optimistic that we can conclude voting by Friday,” Maia said.

He also said measures directly related to the coronavirus crisis should be voted in a more “organized” way.

“What frightens me now is that everyone is having good ideas, some to help the public sector, others for the private sector… But in the end, these conflicts may end up disorganizing the process,” Maia said.

He noted that discussions related to Brazil’s tax reform were advanced in Congress, and added the government has yet submit the administrative reform.

According to Maia, the government could wait another 30 days to send the administrative reform. (Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello Writing by Ana Mano and Gabriela Mello Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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