Chapter 1 Sections 1-3

The Legislative Power Icon

November 20, 2021

Section I The National Congress

Article 44. The Legislative Power is exercised by the National Congress, composed of:

  • the Chamber of Deputies
  • the Federal Senate.

The legislative term is 4 years.

Article 45. The Chamber of Deputies is composed of representatives of the people, elected, by the proportional system, in each state, territory and in the Federal District.

Paragraph 1. The total number of Deputies, as well as the representation of the states and of the Federal District shall be established by a supplementary law, in proportion to the population, and the necessary adjustments shall be made in the year preceding the elections, so that none of those units of the Federation has less than eight or more than 70 Deputies.

Paragraph 2. Each territory shall elect four Deputies.

Article 46. The Federal Senate is composed of representatives of the states and of the Federal District, elected by a majority vote.

Paragraph 1. Each state and the Federal District shall elect three Senators for a term of office of eight years.

Paragraph 2. 1/3 and 2/3 of the representation of each state and of the Federal District shall be renewed every four years, alternately.

Paragraph 3. Each Senator shall be elected with two substitutes.

Article 47. Except where there is a constitutional provision to the contrary, the decisions of each House and of their committees shall be taken by a majority vote, when the absolute majority of its members is present.

Section 2: Powers of the National Congress

Article 48. The National Congress shall have the power, with the sanction of the President of the Republic, which shall not be required for the matters specified in articles 49, 51 and 52, to provide for all the matters within the competence of the Union and especially on:

  1. system of taxation, collection of taxes and income distribution;
  2. pluriannual plan, budgetary directives, annual budget, credit transactions, public debt and issuance of currency;
  3. establishment and modification of Armed Forces troops;
  4. national, regional and sectorial plans and programmes of development;
  5. boundaries of the national territory, air and maritime space and property of the Union;
  6. incorporation, subdivision or dismemberment of areas of territories or states, after consulting with the respective Legislative Assembly;
  7. temporary transference of the seat of the Federal Government;
  8. granting of amnesty;
  9. administrative and judicial organization of the Public Prosecution and the Public Legal Defense of the Union and of the territories, and judicial organization of the Public Prosecution and the Public Legal Defense of the Federal District
  10. creation, change, and abolishment of public offices, positions and functions, with due regard for article 84, VI, b;
  11. creation and abolishment of Ministries and Government bodies
  12. telecommunications and radio broadcasting;
  13. financial, foreign exchange and monetary matters, financial institutions and their operations
  14. currency, currency issuance limits, and amount of federal indebtedness;
  15. stipulation of the compensation for the Justices of the Supreme Federal Court, with due regard for articles 39, paragraph 4; 150, II; 153, III; and 153, paragraph 2, I.

Article 49. The National Congress shall:

  1. decide conclusively on international treaties, agreements or acts which result in charges or commitments that go against the national property
  2. authorize the President of the Republic to declare war, to make peace and to permit foreign forces to pass through the national territory or remain therein temporarily, with the exception of the cases provided by a supplementary law
  3. authorize the President and the Vice-President of the Republic to leave the country, when such absence exceeds fifteen days
  4. approve a state of defense and federal intervention, authorize a state of siege or suspend any of these measures
  5. stop the normative acts of the Executive Power which exceed their regimental authority or the limits of legislative delegation
  6. transfer its seat temporarily
  7. establish identical compensation for Federal Deputies and Senators, taking into account the provisions of articles 37, XI, 39, paragraph 4, 150, II, 153, III, and 153, paragraph 2, I
  8. to establish the compensation of the President and the Vice-President of the Republic and of the Ministers of State, taking into account the provisions of articles 37, XI, 39, paragraph 4, 150, II, 153, III, and 153, paragraph 2, I
  9. to examine each year the accounts rendered by the President of the Republic and to consider the reports on the execution of Government plans;
  10. to supervise and control directly or through either of its Houses, the acts of the Executive Power, including those of the indirect administration;
  11. to ensure the preservation of legislative competence in the face of the normative incumbency of the other Powers;
  12. to consider the acts of concession and renewal of concession of radio and television stations;
  13. to choose two-thirds of the members of the Federal Audit Court
  14. to approve initiatives of the Executive Power referring to nuclear activities
  15. to authorize a referendum and to call a plebiscite;
  16. to authorize, in Indian lands, the exploitation and use of hydric resources and the prospecting and mining of mineral resources;
  17. to give prior approval to the disposal or concession of public landswith an area of over two thousand and five hundred hectares.

Article 50. The Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, or any of their committees, may summon a Minister of State or any chief officers of agencies directly subordinate to the Presidency of the Republic to personally render information on a previoulsy determined matter, and this absence without adequate justification shall constitute a crime of malversation:

Paragraph 1. The Ministers of State may attend the Federal Senate, the Chamber of Deputies or any of their committees, on their own initiative and by agreement with the respective Directing Board, to report on a matter of relevance to their Ministry.

Paragraph 2. The Directing Boards of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Federal Senate may forward to the Ministers of State, or any of the persons mentioned in the head paragraph of this article, written requests for information, and refusal or non-compliance, within a period of thirty days, as well as the rendering of false information, shall constitute a crime of malversation.

Section 3: The Chamber of Deputies

Article 51. The Chamber of Deputies shall:

  1. authorize, by two-thirds of its members, legal proceeding to be initiated against the President and the Vice-President of the Republic and the Ministers of State
  2. effect the taking of accounts of the President of the Republic, when they are not presented to the National Congress within 60 days of the opening of the legislative session;
  3. to draw up its internal regulations;
  4. to provide for its organization, functioning, police, creation, change or abolishment of offices, positions and functions of its services, and the introduction of a law for the establishment of their respective remuneration, taking into account the guidelines set forth in the law of budgetary directives
  5. to elect the members of the Council of the Republic, in the manner prescribed by article 89, VII.