April 21, 2016


Speaker Paul Ryan: “There Will Be No Taxpayer Bailout.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress needs to ‘bring order to the chaos’ in Puerto Rico and prevent U.S. taxpayers from having to eventually bail out the territory, which is facing a $70 billion debt.  Ryan said a control board would help the U.S. avoid an eventual bailout of the territory if there is total economic collapse.  ‘My No. 1 priority as speaker of the House with respect to this issue is to keep the American taxpayer away from this,’ he said.  ‘There will be no taxpayer bailout.’” (Mary Clare Jalonick, “Ryan: Congress Needs To Bring Order To Puerto Rico Crisis,” The Associated Press, 4/14/16)

Americans For Tax Reform President Grover Norquist: “My Understanding Is That There’s No Federal Dollars Flowing As Part Of This.” “In a brief interview with Morning Consult on Thursday, the Americans for Tax Reform president downplayed rhetoric that the bill, H.R. 4900, constitutes a bailout for San Juan.  ‘My understanding is that there’s no federal dollars flowing as part of this,’ he said.  ‘My sense is that the House is on track, in the right direction.’” (Ryan Rainey, “Norquist Doesn’t See Bailout in Puerto Rico Bill,” Morning Consult, 4/14/16)

U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah): “There Will Be No Bailout, No Bankruptcy, No Super Chapter 9.” “‘The purpose of the bill is to create a board to help fix the financial house in Puerto Rico without harming taxpayers,’ Bishop said.  ‘There will be no bailout, no bankruptcy, no super chapter 9.  These issues were eliminated before we started working on a draft, therefore any reference to them now is a scare tactic.’” (Thomas Burr, “Utah Ads Rip Rep. Rob Bishop Over Puerto Rico Deal,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 4/7/16)

Representative Raul Labrador (R-Idaho): “There’s No Taxpayer Money Going To It.”“‘You’ve got all these ads saying this is a bailout.  There’s no taxpayer money going to it,’ said Rep. Raul Labrador (R., Idaho), who said he spoke at last Friday’s closed-door meeting of House GOP lawmakers and was leaning in favor of the legislation.  ‘My fear, and I think it’s a pretty well-founded fear, is that if we don’t give them the tools, there will be a bailout request because they’re going to go under,’ said Mr. Labrador, who is a member of a separate group of more conservative lawmakers called the House Freedom Caucus.” (Nick Timiraos & Kristina Peterson, “Puerto Rico Debt Legislation: Where It Stands in Congress,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/18/16)

Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin): “Bill Does Not Include Any Taxpayer Dollars.” “Republican backers and detractors of the measure emerged from a closed-door meeting agreeing that depictions of the measure as a taxpayer bailout of the island are false … [Rep] Duffy said he believed that leaders have adequately debunked assertions in television some outside groups’ attack ads that the measure is a ‘bailout.’  He said that the bill does not include any taxpayer liability – ‘no money that goes to the Puerto Rican debt.’” (Billy House & Erik Wasson, “‘Modest’ Tweaks for Puerto Rico Bill as Republicans Mull Stance,” Bloomberg, 4/15/16)

National Review: “The Puerto Rico Debt Bill Is A Good Start.” “Conservatives should work to strengthen the bill, but they should also keep in mind that a perfect bill will not get President Obama’s signature, and the imperative here should be to enact a law that reduces the likelihood of a bailout.  The House Republican bill does that.” (Editorial, “The Puerto Rico Debt Bill Is A Good Start,” National Review, 4/20/16)

Council For Citizens Against Government Waste: “Supports Bill Which Thwarts A Taxpayer Bailout Of Puerto Rico.” “On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I strongly urge you to support H.R. 4900, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).  This legislation creates an essential mechanism to thwart a taxpayer bailout of Puerto Rico’s fiscal failures … Indeed, without the enactment of H.R. 4900, taxpayers will inevitably be forced to bailout Puerto Rico in the near future.” (Press Release, “CCAGW Supports Bill Which Thwarts A Taxpayer Bailout Of Puerto Rico,” Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, 4/19/16)

R Street Institute: “There Is No Bailout.” “Some opponents of the bill, in a blatant misrepresentation, have been calling it a ‘bailout’ to generate popular opposition.  To paraphrase Patrick Henry, these people may cry: Bailout! Bailout! … but there is no bailout.  Enacting this bill is the first step to get under control a vast financial mess, the result of many years of over borrowing, over lending and financial and fiscal mismanagement.  Again to cite Patrick Henry, ‘Why stand we here idle?’” (Alex J. Pollock, “Puerto Rico: Time For Congress To Act,” R Street Institute, 4/15/16)

Americans For Limited Government: “Restructuring $72 billion Puerto Rico Debt Necessary To Protect Taxpayers.”“Americans for Limited Government would look favorably upon any legislation which meets these criteria, in particular by protecting taxpayers from bailing out creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt, and would urge passage of said legislation.  If taxpayers are protected and creditors get a real haircut when there are no funds to pay the debts, then by definition it is not a bailout.” (Press Release, “Restructuring $72 Billion PuertoRico Debt Necessary To Protect Taxpayers,” Americans for Limited Government, 4/15/16)

The New York Times: “They Have Argued That Bankruptcy Protection Would Amount To A Bailout.  That Is Nonsense.” “Wall Street investors that own bonds issued by the island mounted an aggressive lobbying effort, aimed primarily at Republicans, to stall legislation. They have argued that bankruptcy protection would amount to a bailout.  That is nonsense.  The island’s financial problems are severe, and bankruptcy, which will not cost the federal government any money, is the only viable option.” (Editorial, “Don’t Abandon Puerto Rico,”The New York Times, 12/26/15)

The Wall Street Journal: “Restructuring Puts No Taxpayer Dollars At Risk.” “The upshot is that some creditors have been reluctant to offer concessions in voluntary restructuring talks.  They are also lobbying heavily on Capitol Hill to weaken restructuring legislation, which some have characterized as a bailout even though restructuring puts no taxpayer dollars at risk.” (Nick Timiraos, “What Washington Risks By Stalling On Puerto Rico,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/27/16)

The Washington Post: “A Puerto Rico Rescue Would Be Progress, Not A Bailout.” “In fact, there’s no new federal cash in the draft proposal.  Even so, conservative GOP back benchers are objecting on the grounds that the bankruptcy-like restructuring plan would set a precedent U.S. states might ultimately cite to ask Congress for help wiggling out of their obligations.  Actually, there’s little danger of that, since the proposed rules for Puerto Rico would be enacted pursuant to Congress’s special constitutional powers over the federal territories, not federal bankruptcy law, which would have to be applied uniformly to all states.” (Editorial, “A Puerto Rico Rescue Would Be Progress, Not A Bailout,” The Washington Post, 4/14/16)