Senate Votes on Puerto Rico Debt Legislation

Jubilee USA

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Senate Votes on Puerto Rico Debt Legislation

WASHINGTON - The United States Senate plans to vote on Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation on Wednesday, June 29th. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act gives Puerto Rico tools to restructure its $72 billion debt, establishes legal protections from debt lawsuits and creates a fiscal oversight body. The US House approved the legislation on June 9. The US territory is expected to default on nearly $2 billion in debt payments on July 1.

"We're running out of time to pass this bill and protect Puerto Rico from a very damaging default," noted Eric LeCompte, a United Nations debt expert and the executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA. LeCompte wrote a letter to the Senate detailing the consequences for Puerto Rico if the Senate fails to pass the legislation before July 1.

Senate rules require 60 Senators to vote for "cloture" to advance the bill forward for a final vote. The Senate would then have up to 30 hours to debate the legislation before a final vote by June 30th. President Obama would then need to sign the legislation before midnight on June 30th to protect Puerto Rico from default.

"We are hopeful we have the votes to pass the legislation," stated LeCompte. "Ultimately I believe Senators from both parties understand the humanitarian crisis and the urgency to pass this bill right away." 
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Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 650 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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