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Support for Puerto Rican Bankruptcy Builds

Schumer wants Congress to authorize Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Schumer wants Congress to authorize Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Puerto Rico’s slide toward Chapter 9 bankruptcy continues to gain momentum; Sen. Charles E. Schumer announced Tuesday his intention to introduce legislation allowing such a move.  

The New York Democrat, along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is bringing to the Senate the companion bill to the measure Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, Democrat Pedro R. Pierluisi , introduced in the House. “Senator Blumenthal and I will introduce this bill either way, but we are hoping to get Republican cosponsors to make this bill bipartisan,” Schumer said in a statement.  

Schumer and Blumenthal’s announcement came a day after the White House issued tepid support for the measure, as White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Congress should “take a look at” granting Puerto Rico the ability to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy but ruled out a bailout of the U.S. territory .  

Although pressure has been building for some time — Pierluisi introduced bankruptcy legislation last Congress as well  — the island’s finances have garnered widespread attention since the governor said recently the territory’s $72 billion debt is “not payable.”

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