January 1, 2016 / 6:39 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil's Rousseff signs budget law, vetoes congressional amendments

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has overruled more than 50 amendments made by lawmakers in the nation’s budget guidelines law for this year, including reductions to her flagship social program and a ban on state foreign financing for some projects.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff rides her bicycle near the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, December 31, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

According to the government’s official gazette, Rousseff signed the so-called LDO law on Thursday. Congress passed the LDO last month, following months of bickering over Rousseff’s failure to meet deficit-reduction targets that almost led to a government shutdown.

According to the gazette, Rousseff reversed a congressional ban on the approval, disbursement and refinancing of existing or new loans by state development bank BNDES to help Brazilian companies fund investments outside the country. Rousseff overruled that decision, saying the ban could weigh down the ability of local corporations to compete globally.

Rousseff also overruled congressional restrictions on the way the Bolsa Familia program, which gives low-income families a monthly stipend under certain conditions, could be financed. According to the gazette, maintaining the restrictions would force Rousseff’s government to cut existing beneficiaries of the stipends or add new ones.

The online edition of newspaper O Globo cited Senator Eunício Oliveira, the leader of ruling coalition member PMDB party in the upper house as saying that Rousseff’s vetoes “could create more problems” to the already tense relationship between lawmakers and the president.

Efforts to obtain a detailed explanation of the LDO vetoes from the presidential palace were unsuccessful. Oliveira could not be contacted to confirm his comments.

Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Bernard Orr

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