The federal legislature is bicameral in Brazil, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Thus, the development of the laws begins in the Chamber of Deputies and is revised by the Senate, and vice versa. House and Senate form the National Congress, the Brazilian Parliament located in Brasilia, Brazil's capital, where the senators and congressmen work.
The upper house, the Senate, represents the federal units, i.e., the 26 states and Federal District. Each federal unit elects three senators each, regardless of the size of its territory or the number of inhabitants. Altogether, 81 senators are elected for eight years. Their main functions are to propose, debate and pass legislation of interest to Brazil.
It is also the Senate's responsibility to approve names of ministers of the Supreme Court, the Court of Audit, the president and directors of the Central Bank, heads of diplomatic missions, among others. They can also bring an action and judge the president, vice president, ministers of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Attorney-General, among other authorities.
It is also the exclusive competence of the Senate to fix the debt limit of states and municipalities and authorize international financial operations.
However, the lower house, known as the House of Representatives, discusses the adoption of laws on various subjects, and supervises the use of the funds raised by the people. The division of seats is proportional to the number of inhabitants of the states and the Federal District, respecting the minimum of eight and the maximum of 70 parliamentarians per federation unit. The total number of members is 513 and each is elected for a term of four years.
It is incumbent upon Congress to check whether the use of public funds is in accordance with the law. For this, the Brazilian Parliament relies on the assistance of the Court of Audit (TCU). The organ judges the public accounts of administrators, being responsible for the supervision and control of public spending. The watchdog function of the TCU comprises of audits and inspections of federal agencies and requires clarification on any server that manages revenue, property and public values.
State and municipal legislative
Each state has a Legislative Assembly, which is the local Legislative Branch. Their representatives are the state representatives, elected for four years, responsible for creating and approving state laws - in accordance with each state constitution - and oversee the executive branch of the state.
But the Legislature of each city consists of the City Council, made up of councilors elected every four years. The council is responsible for inspecting and assisting the local Executive Branch - City Hall - as well as developing the so-called organic laws of the city.