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Old 01-20-2016, 07:47 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ed2bf...o-ricos-crisis

Quote:
Lew is scheduled to meet on Wednesday [today] with officials and community leaders to talk about the proposal that President Barack Obama's administration presented Congress to create a territorial bankruptcy regime that would allow Puerto Rico's government to restructure its debt and impose new oversight on finances and expand Medicaid benefits, among other things.

Puerto Rico does not have access to any local or federal bankruptcy laws. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it would hear an appeal on a ruling that barred Puerto Rico from giving municipalities the power to declare bankruptcy.

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the speaker has ordered the House committees of jurisdiction to work with the Puerto Rican government, review options, and report back by the end of the first quarter. Ryan has pledged the House will come up this year with "a responsible solution" for Puerto Rico's debt problems. Meanwhile, Garcia praised Lew's letter.

"We thank Secretary Lew for reminding Congressional leaders that they can still prevent this humanitarian crisis from spinning out of control," he said.

Republican leaders including Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have demanded to see audited financial statements from Puerto Rico, but they have not materialized. Jesus Manuel Ortiz, public affairs secretary for the Puerto Rican government, said Friday that the statements are nearly ready and would be produced soon, although he didn't specify a date.

Puerto Rico is struggling with an increasingly dwindling cash flow that has threatened to cut off gasoline and electricity to certain public and private institutions. Almost 10 percent of Puerto Rico's population has left since 2006 and hundreds of businesses have closed, with Walmart announcing Friday that it would shutter seven supermarkets on the island as part of a global restructuring.

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