WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest ranking Latino in the U.S. Congress, and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, reintroduced the Puerto Rico Recovery Accurate in Disclosures Act (PRRADA). This bipartisan and bicameral piece of legislation would impose robust disclosure requirements on all of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board’s advisers and consultants, closing a loophole in existing law that currently disadvantages the people of Puerto Rico. PRRADA would require vendors to disclose potential conflicts of interests, ensuring that the people of Puerto Rico have access to the same transparency and disclosure practices required by law in U.S. mainland bankruptcy cases.
In 2016, Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), an effort to provide the people of Puerto Rico with a standardized bankruptcy process that would allow the island to restructure its debts, pay off creditors, approve crucial infrastructure projects, and promote economic growth and development. However, the law failed to require bankruptcy advisers and consultants to disclose their conflicts of interests with creditors to whom Puerto Rico owed money.
“I opposed PROMESA because I did not believe it did enough to protect the people of Puerto Rico in restructuring its debt, and now we are facing but one of the consequences of the bill—failing to hold the Board’s advisers and consultants to the same transparency standards required on the mainland,” said Sen. Menendez. “Our bipartisan and bicameral legislation will close the current loophole in the law, establishing robust disclosure requirements for bankruptcy advisors and consultants that will serve to protect the interests of working families in Puerto Rico. We cannot afford to wait any longer in getting this done.”
“The people of Puerto Rico deserve to know that those credited with restructuring the debt have their best interests at heart—not personal financial stakes,” said Rep. Velázquez. “This commonsense bill closes a loophole to require the disclosure of any conflicts of interest between those working on the bankruptcy and the debtor. To put the Island on the path to a brighter future we must weed out corruption and self-interest by strengthening oversight, which is exactly why I’ve introduced this bill.”
The Senate version of the PRRADA is cosponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
The House version of the PRRADA is cosponsored by Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Jenniffer Gonzalez (R-PR).