Yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would extend to Puerto Rico the same bankruptcy protections available to states. Watch:
“I rise today, deeply troubled, by the dire economic, financial, and health care situation in Puerto Rico. The island is facing a financial crisis, a health care system on life support, and the situation grows dire each month. Puerto Rico is $73 billion in debt already and large bond payments will continue to come due next month, and in the months to come. Sadly, as Puerto Rico’s economy and health care system has floundered, residents have started to flee their homeland. As the economic situation worsens, the population shift from the island to the mainland will continue until the only ones left are those who don’t have the resources to move. At that point we’re going to have a humanitarian crisis on our hands, if there isn’t one already.”
Sen. Schumer’s bill was blocked by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), however. Mr. Hatch indicated that an alternative solution to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis would be introduced soon.
We’re following developments on Capitol Hill as the crisis unfolds. Check back here often for more updates.