Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently stated that “special money interest groups on Wall Street” are trying to sabotage a bill on Puerto Rico by billing it as a “bailout.”
Ryan said that the government will be forced to actually bail out the island if Congress fails to act, predicting massive defaults on its bonds.
“Many big-money interest groups on Wall Street know this and have put a lot of money toward sabotaging this legislation in order to force a last-minute bailout upon Puerto Rico, putting U.S. taxpayers on the hook for their bad loans,” his office said in a lengthy statement.
“They call this a bailout, because they know it is not. And a bailout is what they want.”
The website The Hill states that GOP leaders are trying to pull in enough support from both parties to clear legislation that would impose a fiscal oversight board on Puerto Rico and allow it to restructure some of its debts.
The Washington Post:
“A draft measure proposes a mechanism by which the island could restructure its obligations in cooperation with creditors and, crucially, with diminished opportunities for a minority of “holdouts” to block agreements satisfactory to most. It would establish a financial control board similar to the one that helped bring the District back from financial near-death in the 1990s. The proposed design of the board includes a number of provisions that respect and protect the legitimate prerogatives of the island’s legislature and governor, while ensuring that they would not be able to prevent necessary fiscal reforms imposed by the board. Importantly, the bill would present Puerto Rico with a tough but realistic goal — four straight years of balanced budgets — which, once achieved, would release it from board control.”
Breitbart writes that President Obama agrees with Paul Ryan on the issue.
Press Secretary Josh Ernst stated recently, “Just to be clear, because there does appear to be some misinformation that’s being spread about this, this is not a bailout,” he said during the White House press briefing. “I’ve said many times the administration doesn’t support a bailout of Puerto Rico. We don’t. We have never and we don’t now.”
Debt restructuring is not the same as paying for the loans.
Ryan dismissed “buzzwords and special interest ad campaigns” that describe the package as a bailout, and instead argued the House plan imposes much-needed fiscal rigor on the island while avoiding a messy set of defaults.
But at a hearing Wednesday on the bill, several conservative lawmakers argued the GOP-crafted legislation is effectively a bailout for an island struggling with an ailing economy that is billions of dollars in debt.