Protests erupt in Brazil over controversial 20-year austerity plan

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest in front of the National Congress in Brasilia on December 13, 2016.

Story highlights

  • Brazil approves a constitutional amendment that caps public spending
  • Protesters take to the streets in 15 cities over the amendment

(CNN)Fierce protests erupted in 15 Brazilian cities Tuesday as the country's Senate approved a controversial 20-year austerity plan.

Known as PEC 55, the constitutional amendment imposes a cap on public spending that will limit federal investment in social programs for the next 20 years.
Brazil's Senate approved the spending bill 53 to 16, and it is expected to become law Thursday.