'Hamilton' star joins Dems to push for Puerto Rico debt relief
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“Hamilton” star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Tuesday joined Democrats on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to pass legislation allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy amid its growing financial crisis. 
"It's a solvable, fixable issue. What we really need is help, and what we really need is help from Congress," Miranda said during a press conference.
"If 'Hamilton' tickets will help, I'm happy to do that too. I know a guy," he joked.
In Congress, Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits MORE (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to give the island territory access to bankruptcy courts so it can restructure its debt. 
Gillibrand has argued that despite being American citizens, Puerto Ricans "don't have access to some of the basic principles of a financial market and basic principles of our economy." 
Island officials have been pushing lawmakers for months to take up legislation, with Democrats arguing that Congress accidentally withheld bankruptcy power from territories when it rewrote part of the U.S. code. 
But Republicans have appeared unwilling to giving Puerto Rico the ability to declare bankruptcy as they work on their own proposals. Puerto Rico is expected to default on some of its legally owed payments as early as May.
Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish MORE (D-N.Y.) joked that if Miranda would rap with Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (R-Ky.), like he did at the White House earlier this week, that "maybe things would happen."  
"Basically, Puerto Rico is a boat that's taking on water, and it has no tools at its disposal, no buckets to bail out the water," he added. 
Democrats, including Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), argued Tuesday that Puerto Rico's debt is causing both a financial and humanitarian crisis because of the level of unemployment and a lack of "essential services." 
The Gillibrand legislation is separate from a package, spearheaded by Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezKasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage MORE (D-N.J.), that was introduced Monday. Warren and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) suggested they were supporting both proposals. 
"The one consistent theme between all bills ... is that you need bankruptcy protection," Gillibrand added. "There are many more things that can be done ... but the one aspect that everyone agrees on is there must be bankruptcy protection." 
Lawmakers are quickly approaching an end-of-the-month deadline set by House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) to come up with Puerto Rico legislation, with the Senate leaving town until April at the end of this week.