As Congress releases the "omnibus" package, bankruptcy provisions for Puerto Rico remain noticeably absent according to Jubilee USA, which closely followed the budget negotiations. Over the last week, bipartisan efforts to include Puerto Rico bankruptcy protection in the massive spending bill failed to move forward. Congress will vote on the legislation in as little as 72 hours.
"I'm deeply disappointed by the lack of Congressional action," commented Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA. "We are failing millions of Americans on the island."
Representatives Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico), Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have all introduced separate bills to extend Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico faces a January 1 deadline to pay nearly $1 billion in debt or default.
"It's not too late for Congress to pass bankruptcy protection for Puerto Rico," noted LeCompte. "Time is running out to act and the lives of our fellow Americans hang in the balance."
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 400 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org