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US Senate to hold 3rd hearing on P.R.’s fiscal problems

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday that he will convene a hearing on the Puerto Rico fiscal situation on Dec. 1., in Washington D.C.

Grassley said his goal with the hearing is to “help committee members and the public identify and gain a better understanding of the root cause of Puerto Rico’s fiscal problems, discuss what’s currently being done, and consider what options are available that could help Puerto Rico get itself out of the present situation.”

The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over bankruptcy policy, but Grassley has reiterated that restructuring debt and throwing taxpayer money at the island, without ensuring the creation and implementation of structural and fiscal reform, fails to resolve the underlying problems in Puerto Rico required to spur economic growth.

He has also said extending Chapter 9 bankruptcy to Puerto Rico so that its municipalities can restructure its debts is not the way to address the island’s $73 billion debt load.

This will be the third hearing that the Republican-controlled Congress will hold to discuss Puerto Rico’s fiscal woes. The first was held in February, with a subsequent one conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance in late September.

At that second hearing, Grassley suggested the creation of a federal financial control board as part of a comprehensive approach to the island’s problems.

A local control board like the one being approved by the local House and Senate this week, would “be ineffective due to local politics and pressure,” he predicted.

Witnesses for the December hearing will be announced at a later date, the congressman’s office said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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