House Passes Measure to Avoid Bailing Out Puerto Rico and Help End Humanitarian Crisis in Territory, Thompson Says

Jun 9, 2016

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) today voted in favor of H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which passed the House with bipartisan support by a margin of 297 to 127.

Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States and home to more than three million American citizens, remains in a full-scale economic crisis, having accumulated more than $118 billion outstanding debt originating from municipal bonds and pension liabilities.  The territory has failed to produce audited financial statements for the past two years and has already defaulted on millions of dollars in debt servicing. This week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed that PROMESA will assist the territory in achieving financial stability, without spending American taxpayer dollars, through the creation of a strong oversight board that will restructure debt and put Puerto Rico on a path to fiscal solvency.

Upon passage, Thompson, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee issued the following statement:

“American taxpayers deserve every assurance they will not be on the hook for decades of irresponsible budgeting practices in Puerto Rico. The territory’s debt has caused a humanitarian crisis, where the local government has become incapable of meeting basic services for the more than three million American citizens who reside on the island. The Supreme Court ruled this week in a case that the U.S. Constitution’s Territories Clause places powers related to the island with the United States Congress. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act is a path forward, which will allow restructuring of the debt without a bailout, while creating a strong oversight board to help Puerto Rico regain control of its economic future. By taking action now, we will avoid a major problem in the future.”