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García Padilla Comments on Hatch’s Appointment to Task Force

By on July 27, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has a positive outlook on Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) appointment as chairman of the Congressional task force in charge of coming up with recommendations at the federal level to help the island tackle its economic woes.

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Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla

“Sen. Hatch, with whom I have had agreements and disagreements in the past, is among those who know the most when it comes to what Puerto Rico needs to develop its manufacturing [sector],” the governor said Wednesday when asked by Caribbean Business.

The governor noted how Hatch, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, presented legislation in the early 2000s that sought to fill the void left by the phase out of tax incentives under Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code.

“I think [Hatch’s appointment] is good, particularly when it comes to the economic incentives Puerto Rico needs to compete in manufacturing,” García Padilla added.

Meanwhile, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi told Caribbean Business in Philadelphia that it is “positive news” for Puerto Rico.

“He is a very powerful senator, it makes all sense that he presides the group. We can have at our disposal the staff of the Senate Finance Committee, which is one of the most powerful committees in Congress,” said Pierluisi, who was also named to the task force.

The resident commissioner seeks to facilitate consensus and achieve a bipartisan pact, as was done with Promesa. “I served as a bridge between the two delegations [with Promesa]. I want to do the same in this commission,” he added.

Earlier this week, Hatch was appointed chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico—an eight-member bipartisan committee comprising lawmakers from both chambers. The group will brief Congress within the first 15 days of September, and present a report by Dec. 31 with its findings, according to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management & Economic Stability Act (Promesa).

In addition to Hatch and Pierluisi, the task force comprises Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Bob Menéndez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).
García Padilla is on hand as a superdelegate of the Democratic Party, which is holding its National Convention in Philadelphia this week. On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was officially declared the party’s presidential nominee.

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