For Immediate Release
Puerto Rico Governor Says Island Will Default on May 1
WASHINGTON - On April 27th, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced his government will not make a $422 million debt payment due May 1. Puerto Rico missed smaller debt payments in January and last August.
"A default signals the situation is getting worse," said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA.
Congress is currently considering legislation known as "PROMESA" (the "Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act") to address the crisis. PROMESA would give Puerto Rico tools to restructure its debt and create a fiscal control board to oversee the territory's finances.
On April 27, in the face of an ad campaign labeling the bill a "bailout," Jubilee USA organized thousands of phone calls to Congress urging lawmakers to strengthen PROMESA's debt restructuring provisions, to reduce child poverty and to respect local democracy. Congress will continue negotiating PROMESA after its May recess.
"I think most members of Congress understand this bill is not a bailout," stated LeCompte, who wrote a letter to Congress detailing six suggested changes to PROMESA. "With some key improvements, PROMESA can pass with broad bi-partisan support."
See Jubilee USA's National Puerto Rico Call-In Day campaign page
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 80 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor, and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.