Democratic News

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) today called for substantial improvements to the House Natural Resources bill on Puerto Rico. Senate Democrats urge Republicans to continue working across the aisle to find a responsible, long-term solution to this deepening emergency.

“Senate Democrats are united in our belief that any legislation to solve this crisis must include an effective restructuring process that allows Puerto Rico to adjust all of its debt. While we appreciate House Republicans’ acknowledgment that Congress must swiftly act to address this crisis, the legislation introduced yesterday falls short in several key areas.
“We have concerns about whether the debt restructuring process provided for in the bill is workable, and we believe that – a despite improvements – the oversight board has excessive powers and an unacceptable appointment structure. We oppose the inclusion of partisan riders that weaken American worker protections and other problematic and extraneous provisions, such as land transfers. The legislation also continues to lack appropriate safeguards for pension holders and retirees. In addition, any comprehensive solution to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis must address healthcare disparities that, if maintained, will jeopardize any meaningful economic recovery.  
“Time is of the essence, and we urge ‎Republicans in the House to continue working in a bipartisan manner to improve this legislation so that it has the support needed to pass the Senate.”