Rivera Schatz: Uncomfortable Decisions Will Be Made
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said Wednesday that, considering the commonwealth’s difficult economic situation, the decisions that the new administration will carry out are going to be “difficult” and “uncomfortable,” adding that they will require a measure of “sacrifice” from every sector on the island.
The senator took the opportunity to wish Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González good luck with her recently submitted bill before Congress to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the U.S. although he added that “the U.S. has never conceded anything on good terms.”
“I wish her and the governor [Ricardo Rosselló] the best of luck…but I believe we must also use other strategies. The admission bill [nevertheless] has all of my support, the same with the governor, who was the only candidate who said that one vote for him equaled one vote toward statehood,” said Rivera Schatz in a radio interview (Notiuno).
The legislator noted that, to leave the island’s colonial status behind, another referendum on the island will be needed, as González’s bill states, with the only political options being statehood or independence. “The ELA [commonwealth] status is dead,” he added.
Rosselló’s other campaign to achieve statehood, based on the Tennessee Plan, represents an “additional effort,” Rivera Schatz went on to say.
When asked about which actions could be carried out in the new term that weren’t in the previous term, Rivera Schatz said the government should first “address all the budgetary and fiscal problems it has, which are serious.”
“There will be uncomfortable decisions that will require sacrifice…. There’s no money and ensuring basic services and payroll, especially to the more vulnerable sectors, will be complicated,” he said.
Unlike previous occasions, the Senate president acknowledged that this time, “there’s a very general consensus that things are in a very bad way…we are recognizing that the economic situation is so grave that it will require more attention and even an amputation, in some cases.”