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Brazilian president urges Congress to approve controversial social security reform bill

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Brazilian President Michel Temer Monday urged Congress to approve the social security reform bill, which has run into controversy for its retirement policy.

Temer highlighted the importance of the reform for the country at the opening of this year's Congress session.

Though the Temer administration has a congressional majority, the bill is so controversial that the government has difficulties in getting enough support to have it approved, even after months of pressure.

The bill is scheduled to be put to vote on Feb. 19. To get it passed, the government needs 308 votes from 513 representatives. There has been only 270 votes so far, according to local news site G1.

The reform becomes controversial partly because it sets a minimum retirement age of 65 for men and 62 for women. Critics say it will have an adverse impact on poor workers and those in physically demanding jobs.

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