Tuesday, August 20, 2019

U.S. House holds public hearing on Promesa

By on May 2, 2019

Watch Natural Resources Committee effort to ensure austerity measures ‘are not worsening the humanitarian crisis’ in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN – The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources was holding a hearing Thursday on the status of Puerto Rico under the federal law enacted to stabilize the island’s finances. Watch the hearing here.

The hearing is titled “The Status of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA): Lessons Learned Three Years Later.”

“We must ensure that we are not worsening the humanitarian crisis on the island through austerity,” the committee tweeted. “If Congress truly wants to help the Puerto Rican people in the effort to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we must understand the impact of fiscal austerity and Promesa on working families.”

The hearing takes place as the Financial Oversight and Management Board, which Promesa established, has been nominated for Senate confirmation to continue its term after a ruling that declared it unconstitutional because its members did not go through the Senate consent process stipulated by the Appointments Clause.

Since its creation in 2016, Promesa, through its executive entity, has been used as a basis to reduce government spending, often affecting essential services the government provides to residents.

Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), along with several lawmakers, recently held an open meeting in Puerto Rico, where they visited several municipalities and met with local officials and representatives of nonprofit organizations, to hear firsthand the issues that affect Puerto Ricans.

During that visit, Grijalva opened the door to potential amendments to the statute, created to oversee the fiscal policies of the elected government of Puerto Rico, that would allow for a “less oppressive” law.

The hearing will take place in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Witness List

Panel I

  • The Honorable Ricardo A. Rosselló, Governor, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Panel II

  • Ms. Natalie A. Jaresko, Executive Director, Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico 
  • Mr. Martín Guzmán, Non-Resident Senior Fellow for Fiscal Policy, Espacios Abiertos
  • Ms. Amanda Rivera, Executive Director, The Institute for Youth Development of Puerto Rico
  • Dr. Ana Cristina Gómez-Pérez, Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico

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