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Rep. Engel Calls for Immediate Action to Address Puerto Rican Debt Crisis

Rep. Engel Calls for Immediate Action to Address Puerto Rican Debt Crisis

Washington D.C.– Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today made the following statement regarding the Puerto Rican debt crisis:

“Puerto Rico is in serious trouble, and this is no time to play political games. Millions of Americans living on that island are facing major disruptions of services, layoffs, and a deepening economic crisis. Congress could ease this pain by creating a new pathway for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt—authority every American municipality enjoys.  No one is talking about a bailout; this solution wouldn’t cost American taxpayers a penny.

“But after months of negotiation, Republican leadership is putting politics ahead of the wellbeing of Americans. They’re making preposterous demands, like reducing the Puerto Rican minimum wage to $4.25.  It’s hard to imagine lawmakers demanding such cruel and draconian measures if their own constituents were in trouble.

“We have until the first of May to sort this out.  I hope Congress can do its job and get Puerto Rico the relief it needs before then.”