Sunday, September 22, 2019

Trump sends nominations of current Puerto Rico fiscal board members to Senate

By on June 18, 2019

(quapan on Visual hunt)

Oversight panel requests court to extend July 15 deadline to operate

SAN JUAN — President Donald Trump nominated Tuesday the seven members of Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board to remain in their current positions, five months after the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals declared their nominations unconstitutional and 73 days before their original terms expire.

In a case brought by Aurelius Capital Management, a New York hedge fund, on Feb. 15, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals declared the island’s fiscal oversight board unconstitutionally appointed because its members were not confirmed by the Senate as stipulated in the Appointments Clause.

The Appeals Court gave the parties, the president and the Senate until July 15 to fix the constitutional problem.

On Tuesday as well, the board again asked the Court of Appeals to extend the stay it had issued May 6 to allow the entity to continue to operate beyond that date.

“Without this extension, the Oversight Board would not be able to carry out its responsibilities after July 15, throwing away everything that has been achieved in the restructuring process. Likewise, the economy and citizens of the Island would suffer irreparable damage,” the board said in a statement.

The board had already appealed the circuit court’s Feb. 15 ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeals court did validate the board’s actions in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy-like process and gave Congress until May 16 to remedy the constitutional issues. Aurelius and other entities, such as the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union (Utier by its Spanish acronym), also have gone to the Supreme Court to invalidate the board’s actions.

On Tuesday, the president appointed the members again, three days after the board announced a planned support agreement that would restructure some $35 billion in general obligation bonds, or about half of the island’s debt. It was not immediately known when the Senate would take up the nominations or whether Trump intends to nominate other members after Aug. 30, their original expiration date.

The board said in a statement that it welcomed Trump’s decision to send their nominations to the Senate for confirmation.

“The members of the Oversight Board thank President Trump and his administration and look forward to continuing their service under Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act,” the board wrote.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, “said it expects to receive paperwork for the nominees ‘within several weeks and will announce a hearing for (the nominations) shortly thereafter,’” Reuters reported, adding that the Supreme Court “could announce as soon as Monday whether it will review the First Circuit’s appointments ruling.”

The White House’s release on the appointments reads as follows:

Andrew George Biggs, of Oregon, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

Jose Baldomero Carrión, of Puerto Rico, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

Carlos M. Garcia, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

Jose R. Gonzalez, of New York, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

Arthur J. Gonzalez, of New York, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

Ana Matosantos, of California, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

David Skeel, of Pennsylvania, to be a Member of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for the remainder of the term expiring August 30, 2019. (New Position)

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