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Congressional Hearing set to Discuss Federal Fiscal Authority over Puerto Rico

By on January 19, 2016

SAN JUAN – The U.S. House Indian, Insular & Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee announced Tuesday that it will hold a hearing Jan. 26 on the potential establishment of a federal fiscal control board on Puerto Rico.

Titled “The Need for the Establishment of a Puerto Rico Financial Stability and Economic Growth Authority,” the latest congressional hearing marks the seventh time a Congress committee publicly discusses issues related to the island’s fiscal and economic crisis.

It follows a Jan. 12 hearing held by the House Energy & Mineral Resources Subcommittee, where energy challenges affecting the commonwealth were discussed. Among the issues visited during that hearing were the troubled Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), and the high energy costs island residents and businesses face.  

The commonwealth government is banking on congressional action, particularly over access to Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code, as it tries to avoid additional defaults amid a debt-service schedule that becomes steeper this summer. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.,Wis.) has said the lower chamber aims to come up with a solution to the Puerto Rico issue before the end of March.

Witnesses for the latest congressional hearing have yet to be announced.

By Luis Valentín

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