Bill passed to help Puerto Rico's financial crisis

With debt payment looming House weighs Puerto Rico bill
Bill passed to help Puerto Rico's financial crisis
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17 June, 2016

The Senate, however, has yet to act. Among other requirements, the plan would have to provide "adequate" funds for public pensions, which the government has underfunded by more than $40 billion.

"Absent this bill", he said, "almost nobody wins and nearly everybody loses". The island's only active air ambulance company announced Tuesday that it has suspended its services.

The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act - or PROMESA, which is Spanish for promise - passed 297-127, which Plaskett characterized as a strong bipartisan vote.

The territory, which has a 45 percent poverty rate amid high unemployment, is also plagued by a growing migration of residents to the USA mainland. Republicans and Democrats worked together and were able to get this legislation passed. Puerto Rico faces payments of $2 billion on July 1 and defaulted on a payment of about $400 million in May. "That is exactly what we should suspect will happen".

The White House has supported the bill, despite having some reservations about certain aspects of it. They've made clear that the legislation is a first step in helping people have suffered under the economic conditions on the island.

"Is it a flawless bill?"

The Obama administration, led by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, has pushed hard to give the US commonwealth some kind of relief, arguing that it has already cut back government services and needed some assistance. You can also blame the board for all the bad decisions from here on in. "All the House really voted on today was to create a stay of time to create an oversight board to create a new review of how to restructure the debt". But two major organizations of conservative House members - the Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus - did not take positions on the bill.

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A handful of progressives in both chambers haven't warmed to the bill either, but passage came as no surprise as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders in the House indicated support for the legislation early on.

"This bill prevents a bailout; that's the entire point", Ryan said.

"I suspect that now that the House has passed it, we're going to look for an opportunity to take it up here", Sen.

Unions have lobbied against the bill because of a provision that would allow the Puerto Rican government to temporarily lower the minimum wage for some younger workers. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.).

Opposing the bill were 103 Republicans and 24 Democrats. "I now call on the Senate to act quickly and send this bill to the President for his signature". The next big deadline is July 1, when the island owes creditors almost $2 billion.

Some people in the ranks of both parties opposed the bill despite the support from island's leadership. "Legislation which focus more on better equipping Puerto Rico and the other territories with the mechanisms to grow their own economies rather than imposing Orwellian oversight boards".

The measure now heads to the senate with just three weeks until Puerto Rico has to make a $2 billion debt payment.


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