Sending a provisional measure back to Planalto is a prerogative of the Congress foreseen and established in the 1988 Constitution. It should not, therefore, cause surprise or be seen as a sign of friction between the Legislative and the Executive. So why is it causing so much political noise?
Precisely because the gesture is rare, when it should be commonplace. Over the past 33 years, more than a thousand MPs have been edited, but only five, including this one now that would restrict the fight against false news, have been returned to the government. The first under the José Sarney government, another under Luiz Inácio da Silva and a third under Dilma Rousseff. There are already two under Jair Bolsonaro.
Fernando Collor, Itamar Franco, Fernando Henrique and Michel Temer did not suffer this discomfort. But they could, or should if the parliamentarians did not give up their prerogative of submitting the measures to the criteria and urgency and relevance. Certainly many of them did not meet these requirements, but were accepted bovinely by the Parliament for lack of willingness to displease the mandate of the shift.
Returning an MP is very different from rejecting it in the vote or simply letting it expire due to expiration of the deadline. It signals the bad mood of Congress in relation to the Planalto. This is the message given by the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, when announcing that he would return the Fake News MP even before the opinions of the legal consultancy of the House, the Attorney General’s Office and the decision of minister Rosa Weber in the Supreme Court.