Hugo Chavez has won preliminary approval to rule by decree for 18 months. The Venezuelan president has said he intends to enact sweeping reforms, including the elimination of term limits for the president and the nationalization of some key industries.
Mr Chavez said he wants to approve “revolutionary laws” to enact sweeping political, economic and social changes.
He has said he wants to nationalise key sectors of the economy and scrap limits on the terms a president can serve.
Mr Chavez began his third term in office last week after a landslide election victory in December.
The bill allowing him to enact laws by decree is expected to win final approval easily in the assembly next week on its second reading.