Clinton backs Puerto Rico debt bill

Clinton backs Puerto Rico debt bill
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Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel OPINION: Trump’s bluff: Perfectly legal Trump supporter buys billboard slamming ABC News over Russia scandal coverage MORE said Friday that she will support House legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Clinton's position runs counter to that of her Democratic rival, Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Sanders to headline 'Don't Take Our Health Care' bus tour Overnight Healthcare: Latest on Senate healthcare bill | Four conservatives say they'll oppose | Obama slams bill | Health groups offer scathing criticism MORE, who on Thursday blasted the measure, saying the legislation represents a move in the wrong direction for the island's $72 billion debt issue.

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“While I have serious concerns about several provisions in this bill, including the creation of an oversight board that would exert substantial control over Puerto Rico, I believe that we must move forward with this legislation,” Clinton said in a statement.

“Otherwise, without any means of addressing this crisis, too many Puerto Ricans will continue to suffer," she said.

Clinton and Sanders expressed similar concerns about the establishment of a board to oversee the restructuring of the territory's massive debt.

But Clinton said she will keep a close eye on the process as the bill wends it way through Congress. 

"As this bill moves forward, I will work to ensure that concerns about the oversight board are addressed and any such entity includes members that will act in the best interest of Puerto Ricans — protecting their health, their pensions and their well-being,” Clinton said.

“We can no longer sit idly by while hedge funds seek to maximize their profits at the island's expense," she added.

The legislation would establish an outside control board to oversee Puerto Rico’s finances while allowing the territory to restructure its debt through the courts.

Sanders has called on Congress to let Puerto Rico declare bankruptcy on its debt, a suggestion that was quickly dismissed by congressional Republicans in early talks about the direction of a bill.

After several delays, a measure emerged early Thursday morning and earned the backing of the White House, Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanHealthcare spending: the elephant in the tax reform room Overnight Healthcare: Latest on Senate healthcare bill | Four conservatives say they'll oppose | Obama slams bill | Health groups offer scathing criticism As Congress debates repeal of the estate tax, why not consider ending the gift tax? MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as well as the progressive and conservative wings of the parties.

A markup of the reworked bill will start Tuesday evening with opening statements. The panel will move to the bill on Wednesday morning, the House Natural Resources Committee announced on Friday.