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Brazil lawmakers approve spending cap in victory for Temer

A congressional committee in Brazil approved a constitutional amendment on Thursday that would limit public spending increases for 20 years, handing President Michel Temer an initial victory in his plan to plug a widening deficit.

The lower house committee voted 23-7 to pass the proposal, which will be put to a vote in the full chamber early next week. Its approval requires two votes in the plenary of the lower house and two more in the Senate, needing a three-fifths majority in each.

The unprecedented amendment, which limits the growth of federal spending to the rate of inflation, is aimed at gradually closing a yawning budget gap that topped 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

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