Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla will be part of the bipartisan task force appointed by Congress as part of the legislation recently passed to tackle Puerto Rico's debt crisis.
The PROMESA bill, which is short for the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, establishes a seven-member control board to oversee negotiations with creditors and the courts over reducing some debt. The bill requires the territory to create a fiscal plan to bring the island back from its current financial situation, all without using any taxpayer funds.
"Puerto Rico's debt crisis is very severe, and it's clear they will not only have to cut their way out of this mess, they are going to have to grow their way out of it," Rubio said. "While much of Puerto Rico's current problems stem from poor leadership in San Juan, there has been neglect from Washington."
PROMESA passed 68-30 in the U.S. Senate June 29 with support from three Puerto Rican members of Congress: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID). Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) did not support the bill.
The creation of a congressional task force to oversee the debt negotiations has been a point of contention in the island and on the mainland.
Puerto Rico, unlike the 50 U.S. states or its cities, cannot restructure its debt by filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
"Congress has a responsibility to create the conditions that will spur job creation, reduce poverty and drive investment in the island," Rubio said. "This is one of the first steps in the process of turning Puerto Rico around, and I'm eager for the opportunity to share my pro-growth agenda for Puerto Rico as a part of this task force."