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House Releases New Puerto Rico Debt Legislation

Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) introduced the latest version of legislation to help resolve Puerto Rico's financial crisis.
Washington DC - Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) introduced the latest version of legislation to help resolve Puerto Rico's financial crisis. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act ("PROMESA," HR 5278) gives Puerto Rico tools to restructure its debt and establishes a fiscal oversight board.

"Congress should pass this Puerto Rico debt legislation as soon as possible," stated Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA. "As the Congressional process moves forward we are working to include provisions that reduce child poverty and protect ordinary workers."

Nearly 60 percent of Puerto Rico's children live in homes that receive government assistance and 80 percent of children live in high-poverty areas. Puerto Rico defaulted on a $370 million debt payment earlier this month and faces a July 1 payment of nearly $2 billion which the governor of Puerto Rico says cannot be paid.

"There can be no economic growth in Puerto Rico until the debt is restructured," said LeCompte. "Without a negotiated solution to the crisis, this legislation provides tools that can help get the debt back to payable levels."

The legislation establishes a 7-member oversight board to manage debt restructuring and work on budget matters. The new version lengthens the amount of time that Puerto Rico is protected from debt lawsuits while restructuring debt.

"Through this process we've seen Members of Congress put the people of Puerto Rico in front of a small group of special interests," added LeCompte. "We are very grateful for the leadership of Speaker Ryan, Chairman Bishop and Representative Duffy."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org