Perelló Urges People to Call US Congress Ahead of House Hearing
SAN JUAN – The president of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, Jaime Perelló, urged Puerto Ricans Sunday to express their support for federal legislation on Puerto Rico that includes a mechanism for restructuring the public debt as well as economic development measures.
The speaker’s appeal is to call the U.S. Capitol, at 202-224-3121, or write an email to members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, which will hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss legislation that proposes a fiscal oversight board for Puerto Rico.
It is expected the bill will be voted on this week.
In his statement, Perelló said any fiscal oversight board “must be accompanied by a debt restructuring mechanism that protects the interests of the Puerto Rican people in negotiating with creditors, as well as economic development measures.”
He noted that if a fiscal oversight board is all that is voted on, “only bondholders would benefit.”
He explained that those who call or write to Congress should emphasize the need for a debt restructuring tool “that protects Puerto Rico” to be part of the proposed legislation.
Last week, Perelló convened a roundtable on the fiscal situation with representatives of the Puerto Rican diaspora, economic and social organizations, and local leaders.
During the meeting, consensus was reached on seven points to propose during visits to the U.S. capital as well as for lobbying efforts. Among the first points are the need for a debt restructuring mechanism and technical assistance to audit it locally.
Finally, Perelló announced he would fly to Washington, D.C., Monday to hold meetings with several congress members and participate in the the Natural Resources Committee hearing Wednesday.
The politician explained that, as part of the common cause before Congress, he will be accompanied by a bipartisan delegation comprising majority Reps. Carlos “Charlie” Hernández, Rafael “Tatito” Hernández, Ángel Matos and César Hernández, as well as minority Reps. Antonio “Tony” Soto and Ricardo Llerandi. He also urged island residents to ask stateside relatives “to actively join such an important appeal for [Puerto Rico].”