Washington – Puerto Rico Economic Recovery Initiative (PRERI) Executive Director Javier Ortiz today released the following statement on draft legislation being considered by House Republicans to address Puerto Rico’s economic crisis:
“On Good Friday, as families across Puerto Rico prepare to celebrate Easter, they are still uncertain about how Congress intends to address the island’s fiscal crisis. While the Natural Resources Committee should be applauded for taking an initial step towards a solution to Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, the legislative summary we have seen isn’t a substitute for a concrete plan and won’t assuage their concerns. This proposal is a short-term fix that hopefully will serve as a ‘pause’ in the process that will help bring stakeholders back to the negotiating table. The focus is, and should always be, the 3.4 million Americans living in Puerto Rico who only have Congress and the President as the last line of defense to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
“Congress needs to provide more details about its plans and act quickly. Over the past few years, an average of 48,000 people have been departing Puerto Rico every year for the mainland to find a better way of life – many of them doctors, scientists, technology experts and other high-level professionals.”
“We are concerned that a final version of the Natural Resources Committee proposal will not do enough to promote long term economic growth in Puerto Rico. Creditors should not expect much satisfaction if there is no long term economic plan. There are questions about whether this proposal does enough to recouple Puerto Rico’s economic engine to the rest of the nation.
“We call on the House of Representatives to address these concerns as they finalize the proposed legislation. Time is of the essence. We look forward to reviewing their final language in the near future.”