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Temer says Brazilian gov't may postpone social security reform bill
Last Updated: 2017-12-13 11:50 | Xinhua
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Brazilian President Michel Temer said Tuesday that the government may have difficulty having the social security reform bill approved at the Congress before the end of the year, and may have to postpone the bill to 2018.

The government needs the votes of three-fifths of house representatives, or 308 votes, to approve the bill, but finds it hard to achieve the goal.

The president said that if the government does not get enough votes to approve the bill by Dec. 19, they will have to postpone the voting until February 2018, when the Congress returns from summer recess.

"If we get 308 votes, it will be submitted now. Otherwise, we will wait until the return of the season in February and will submit it to vote then," said Temer.

Among other changes, the highly controversial bill features a minimum retirement age regardless of how many years one has worked, a longer minimum period of work to be eligible for retirement (40 years), and changes to the special retirement regulations of some professions.

The bill faced a lot of opposition even among the president's coalition in the Congress. Lawmakers hesitate to approve it less than one year away from the congressional election, for fear that voting for the reform will hurt their chances for re-election.

The bill must be approved twice by both chambers. Its approval in the Senate is expected to be easier.

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