Puerto Rico Again in Focus of Congress
Sharon Edmondson, Washington Legislative Team Member | December 01, 2015
Today a hearing was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss Puerto Rico’s debt crisis at the same time that the governor of Puerto Rico faces a decision on whether to make a $354 million bond payment due from a government-owned bank.
The governor of the island wants to declare chapter 9 bankruptcy, while it owes $73 billion. The Obama Administration has formally endorsed changing the law to provide Puerto Rico access to Chapter 9 as part of a broader debt refinancing package, but will not bail out the island government from its troubles.
In other action on the crisis, top Senate Republicans are working on a legislative proposal to help the commonwealth. A spokesman for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee said if the crisis can not be solved lawmakers would probably seek to impose a federal control board. Senator Grassley (R-IA), who is key to advancinig Puerto Rico legislation also believes the island needs a federal control board to resist local pressure and implement necessary reforms.
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