May 16, 2016


(Washington, DC) – Puerto Rico Economic Recovery Initiative (PRERI) Executive Director Javier Ortiz released the following statement today blasting Senator Bernie Sanders opposition to a provision to establish a control board in legislation to address the island’s fiscal crisis:

“We are saddened and puzzled by Senator Sanders’ opposition to the establishment of a bipartisan, common sense control board that will help the 3.4 million Americans living in Puerto Rico address the island’s fiscal crisis. It seems Sen. Sanders is calling for Congress to abdicate its responsibility to the 3.4 million Americans living in Puerto Rico and has joined the ranks of the hedge funds and ultra conservatives whom believe that doing nothing is in the best interest of those seeking to profit from the suffering occurring in Puerto Rico today.

“The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) currently being debated in Congress would unequivocally help Puerto Rico move toward the sustained economic growth needed to avoid a humanitarian disaster. A key component of this bill is the establishment of a fiscal control board to provide oversight to the debt restructuring process. There is no evidence that PROMESA violates Puerto Rico’s sovereignty. In fact, the opposite is true – Congress will no longer be able to forget about the Americans living in Puerto Rico and most Puerto Rico residents overwhelmingly support the guidance and assertiveness the board will bring to Puerto Rico.

“The oversight board is needed to initiate the restructuring of our $72 billion debt under a court-supervised process, helping to fulfill the island’s ‘full faith and credit’ obligations. After years of mismanagement and without the tools to restructure its debt, Puerto Rico faces years of ongoing litigation from creditors seeking to collect and this will further hamper investment in its fledgling economy. It is time for Senator Sanders to put aside politics and join the bipartisan effort to help address this humanitarian crisis affecting Americans in Puerto Rico.

“Senator Sanders – you should get the facts right before deciding to confuse Americans. ”