© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his protective face mask during a news conference to announce measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brasilia
By Gabriela Mello
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment for a “war budget” to separate coronavirus-related spending from the government’s main budget and shield the economy as the country surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases.
The war budget, which lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia estimates could unleash up to 600 billion reais in extraordinary spending, still needs the Senate’s approval by three-fifths of the votes in two rounds expected to take place next week.
The lower house approved late on Friday the main text of the bill with 423 votes in favor and one opposed in a second round of voting. In the first round, the tally was 505 votes in favor and two against.