Types of Legislation

Types of Legislation laid before the National Congress


Proposal to Amend the Constitution (Constitutional Amendment): Propose changes to the original constitutional text. Because it may alter the Organic Law, which prescribes the State’s structure and the fundamental principles, the amendment is submitted to a more cautious process not required to any other measure. The constitutional amendment must pass through two qualified rounds of voting (3/5 of favorable votes) in each House. The Proposal to Amend the Constitution (Joint Resolution) does not need Presidential approval. Besides, some constitutional principles are so important to the Brazilian structure that they cannot be modified. They are the permanent clauses listed at the article 60, § 4 of the Constitution:

a) The Federation
b) The direct, secret, universal and regular vote;
c) The separation of Powers (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary),
d) The individual rights and guarantees.


Proposal to Supplementary Law (Bill): Regulates matters explicitly and exclusively stated by the Constitutional text. To become law, this bill requires at least an absolute majority (half the members plus one) vote of each entire chamber – which means 257 Representatives’ votes and 41 Senators’ votes. The bill must be signed into law by the President.


Proposal to Statutory Law (Bill): These are general or ordinary laws. Though the Proposal to Statutory Law requires the presence of the absolute majority of members to be considered on each chamber floor, the quorum for approval is not qualified, and, therefore it requires simple majority vote (a sufficient second of those present) in both houses before being enacted into law. Presidential approval is necessary before the bill becomes public law.


Temporary Orders: These are temporary rules that act as laws. They are issued by the President, but they need Congress referral to be enacted into law. If Congress does not consider the Temporary Order within 120 days, it is declared null and void.


Proposal to Legislative Decree and Resolution Proposals (Concurrent Resolutions): these are rules with a specific purpose. They regulate matters within the competence of the National Congress and/or its houses; therefore, they are not sent on to the President.


Delegated Laws: These are laws issued by the President, but with explicit permission of the Legislative branch.


Proposal to Oversight and Control: This is the instrument used by a representative or a Committee to promote the oversight and control of government branch departments or agencies. They are presented to the Committee whose jurisdiction includes the body, agency or activity subjected to oversight or to the Committee of Financial Oversight and Control – CFFC. It is also possible to request to the CFFC to pursue procedures, examinations, auditing, and inspection in any agency or government body of the three branches.