April 8, 2016


Washington, D.C. – Puerto Rico Economic Recovery Initiative (PRERI) Executive Director Javier Ortiz today called on members of Congress to stand with Americans living in Puerto Rico against special interest efforts to block action to address the island’s debt crisis.

“Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions, and Congress is duty-bound to act with speed to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.  It is disgraceful that wealthy Wall Street hedge funds are holding Congress hostage and preventing commonsense actions to help the Americans in Puerto Rico.  These billionaire hedge funds are spending millions of dollars to spread misinformation in an effort to block most important Congressional action.  These special interests are now actively campaigning against a solution to protect their bottom lines at the expense for the millions of Americans in Puerto Rico.  They should be helping American families instead.

“Americans living in Puerto Rico have served our country with distinction, including eight Medal of Honor recipients who died in the defense of our nation – the United States of America.  Next week, U.S. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will lead a ceremony to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award that Congress can confer, on the Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment, a combat unit from Puerto Rico that proved its courage and outstanding abilities in combat.  During the Korean War, the soldiers of the Regiment earned one Medal of Honor, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, approximately 250 Silver Stars, over 600 Bronze Stars, and more than 2,700 Purple Hearts.

“Americans living in Puerto Rico are not a special interest.  They are represented by all 100 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. Congressmen.  Everyone in Puerto Rico deserves the respect of their elected representatives in Washington and every citizen across our great nation.  It’s time for Congress to stand up to the dark money hedge fund groups and support common-sense reforms that include long-term debt restructuring tied to economic growth, and an independent control board that will help restore Puerto Rico’s fiscal integrity.”