García Padilla meets with U.S. Treasury, Agriculture Officials
SAN JUAN – In his third and final day in Washington, D.C., Gov. Alejandro García Padilla met with officials of the Barack Obama administration, including Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse.
As part of efforts to address the fiscal and economic situation of the island in conjunction with the federal government, La Fortaleza confirmed to Caribbean Business that García Padilla met Friday with Lew and Antonio Weiss, an adviser to Treasury on the Puerto Rico issue. However, no further details were provided about the meeting.
Later on Friday, the governor met with Scuse and other U.S. Agriculture officials, during which time they discussed the current state of the agricultural sector on the island and his administration efforts to reignite this sector so it can provide economic benefit to Puerto Rico, according to a press statement.
García Padilla’s visit to the U.S. capital takes place while his administration finishes the revision of its long-term fiscal and economic growth plan, which is expected to be released before the end of the month. The document must be submitted to Promesa’s fiscal control board, as required by the federal law.
Meanwhile, the governor held on Thursday individual meetings with seven of the eight members of the Congressional task force on Puerto Rico’s economy. The bipartisan committee must present before the year’s end its recommendations to achieve economic development in Puerto Rico, including any federal legislation that may be needed to that end.
During the meetings, the governor insisted on obtaining parity in federal healthcare funding —particularly in the Medicaid program— more resources to fight the Zika virus on the island and amendments to the federal Internal Revenue Code in a bid to achieve tax incentives for U.S. companies doing business in Puerto Rico.
Earlier Thursday, the task force released its first report as required by Promesa, in which it briefly details its initial findings and status of its work.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) chairs the group, which includes Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).