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Chairman Bishop’s Opening Statement for Full Committee Markup of H.R. 5278

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2016 -

Today, during the Committee’s markup  on H.R. 5278 (Rep. Sean Duffy), the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA),” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) delivered the following statement:

As prepared for delivery:

“Puerto Rico is in the midst of a financial and economic crisis of historic proportions.

“Article IV of the U.S. Constitution states:  “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory and other Property belonging to the United States.”  Stating the obvious, Puerto Rico is an American territory.  Therefore, Congress has the power to enact laws affecting Puerto Rico. 

“However, with power comes responsibility.  Power without responsibility leads to tyranny on one hand, or abject neglect on the other.  For too long, Congress has neglected its duties under Article IV.  Congress has sown the wind, and Puerto Rico has reaped the whirlwind.  We have a constitutional, political, and moral imperative to act, and this Committee has done so.

“Given the crisis, the question before us today is whether we fulfill this constitutional responsibility.  H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or “PROMESA” establishes an Oversight Board to work with the government of Puerto Rico.  The Board will audit their finances, figure out the true asset picture and develop fiscally responsible budgets to repay creditors and meet basic human needs. It will restore the island’s access to credit markets, and review laws, regulations, and expenditures to assure compliance with fiscal plans and fair treatment of investors. […]

“This bill is Puerto Rico’s last and best chance to get on sound financial footing and put its economy on the path to recovery and prosperity…”

Read more HERE.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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