STATEMENT: CAP Supports Long Overdue Reforms To Stabilize Puerto Rico’s Economy and Financial Crisis

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), along with Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), José Serrano (D-NY), Darren Soto (D-FL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and others, introduced legislation to amend the controversial Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) that has failed the people of Puerto Rico.

The bill reinstates the Commission for the Comprehensive Audit of Puerto Rico’s Public Credit, protects essential services, and provides a robust and democratic debt cancellation mechanism while making sure that the federal government covers the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico’s (FOMB) costs, among other provisions.

Erin Cohan, chief of staff and vice president at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement supporting this action:

PROMESA has fallen far short of achieving its original objective to stabilize Puerto Rico’s economy and address the severe financial crisis. The crippling austerity measures instituted by the FOMB, sweetheart deals for Wall Street, and pain and suffering borne by the working families of the island can be directly attributed to the law. The legislation introduced today by Chairman Grijalva, the Amendments to PROMESA Act of 2020, takes the steps needed to give Puerto Rico and its U.S. citizens the opportunity they so desperately need to have a fair shot at rebuilding their island.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how bittersweet this bill introduction is for us at CAP, as our colleague Enrique Fernández-Toledo, inaugural director of CAP’s Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy Initiative, is no longer with us to see the fruit of his hard work. Enrique would have been proud that his tireless engagement with the committee will result in improved accountability and transparency of the board. Puerto Ricans deserve legislation that works for them instead of wealthy hedge funds that are not interested in advancing the well-being of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

Related source: “The Time Has Come for Progressives To Support Self-Determination for Puerto Rico” by Erin Cohan

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