WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives introduced H.R. 5278, legislation to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis:

“I commend House negotiators for making a good faith effort towards trying to find a solution to the crisis affecting 3.5 million Americans living in Puerto Rico. While the latest draft legislation brings us closer to reaching a bipartisan consensus, I still have significant concerns with some of the provisions. In particular, I am deeply troubled by the bill’s unclear path towards a meaningful restructuring of debts, the priority of hedge funds over low-income retirees, the imposition of a neocolonial-type control board that does not reflect the people of Puerto Rico and usurps the rights of self-determination from these American citizens, and the unrelated, harmful labor riders. Finally, I still believe we must enact pro-growth reforms, such as my legislation to equalize tax credit and health treatment for Puerto Rico, in order to promote long-term economic recovery. While these flaws are significant, I remain hopeful that they can be addressed so this bill can become a consensus, bipartisan solution that brings Puerto Rico back from the brink of total collapse."

Earlier this year, Menendez introduced a comprehensive legislative package comprised of the Puerto Rico Stability Act and the Puerto Rico Recovery Act. Together, the package would help Puerto Rico avert a complete financial collapse, stabilize its financial standing in an orderly and legal fashion, and provide for equitable tax credit treatment and health care equity for the 3.5 million U.S. citizens residing in Puerto Rico.