Grijalva on Latest Legislation on Puerto Rico Debt Crisis and Potential Committee Action

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the latest version of legislation (H.R. 5278) to address the ongoing debt crisis in Puerto Rico:

“This is not the bill I would write and we are well aware that an oversight board will never be the first choice of many in Puerto Rico. This legislation is a compromise, so of course there are aspects that cause me concern,” Grijalva said. “But I am even more concerned about the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the island. The Treasury Department tells us that this combination of oversight and debt restructuring will work, and that is a significant achievement.”

“I am pleased that the conveyance of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge has been removed from the bill, thanks to the support of my fellow Democrats, many conservation-minded groups in Puerto Rico, and other organizations that rallied together to oppose this provision.”

Grijalva returned last week from a three-day trip to Puerto Rico, where he met with community leaders and elected officials about how Congress can best address the Commonwealth’s debt crisis. The Natural Resources Committee Democratic staff released a Zika report earlier this month detailing how major spending cuts in Puerto Rico have left the island vulnerable to the virus. Last summer, the Committee released a report documenting the role of hedge funds in manipulating the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.

“It is our understanding that Chairman Bishop intends to bring this bill up before the Natural Resources Committee soon,” Grijalva said. “I am optimistic that this version will receive significant support from our side on the Committee.” 

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