Brazil Senate backs spending cap despite violent protests

Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday approved a strict cap on federal spending in a first-round vote that hands a timely victory to President Michel Temer, who is struggling to restore fiscal discipline amid an economic recession and political crisis.

Demonstrators protesting the austerity measure burned cars and smashed windows of government buildings with rocks outside the Congress as the senators debated the spending ceiling.

The Senate voted by 61-14 to back the constitutional amendment that would limit federal spending to the rate of inflation for 20 years, with an option for a presidential revision after 10 years. It is expected to easily clear a second and final vote on Dec. 13.

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