Newspaper article International New York Times

Congress Urged to Act Quickly on Puerto Rico

Newspaper article International New York Times

Congress Urged to Act Quickly on Puerto Rico

Article excerpt

The counselor to the Treasury secretary told lawmakers "everybody loses" if Congress fails to intervene and Puerto Rico defaults.

Skeptical lawmakers at the House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on a plan to rescue Puerto Rico, as witnesses warned that only quick action by Congress could keep a bad situation from becoming a lost decade.

Antonio Weiss, the counselor to the Treasury secretary, told lawmakers on Wednesday that "everybody loses" if Congress fails to intervene in time and Puerto Rico defaults on big debt payments in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday the committee's draft bill was introduced, proposing to put Puerto Rico under a seven-member federal oversight board and give it extraordinary powers to wipe out debt, something normally available only in bankruptcy. Under existing law, Puerto Rico is barred from declaring bankruptcy. …

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