Lew heading to Puerto Rico to discuss debt troubles

Lew heading to Puerto Rico to discuss debt troubles
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Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis On The Money: Senate confirms Yellen as first female Treasury secretary | Biden says he's open to tighter income limits for stimulus checks | Administration will look to expedite getting Tubman on bill Sorry Mr. Jackson, Tubman on the is real MORE is headed to Puerto Rico, where he will met with island officials to discuss its economic troubles.

The Treasury Department announced Friday that Lew would be traveling to the U.S. territory Wednesday, where he will meet with Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla and other government officials. There, he will discuss the “urgent situation,” as well as the administration’s proposal to provide the island some relief.

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Years of a declining economy, dwindling population, and massive debt burden has left Puerto Rican officials insisting they will not be able to pay back all the money owed to creditors.

The territory’s struggle has emerged as a major issue in Congress, where Democrats are pushing for a law change to grant Puerto Rico access to the bankruptcy code for its agencies. But Republicans, skeptical of years of fiscal mismanagement, have opposed allowing the island to shirk some of its debt, and are instead exploring alternative ways to provide assistance.

Meanwhile, a wide range of investors holding Puerto Rican debt have also made their opposition to bankruptcy known, with several investors establishing a presence in Washington to air their concerns.

In the Senate, a trio of GOP chairmen have put together a relief proposal that would give Puerto Rico up to $3 billion in federal funds, while subjecting it to stricter oversight and outside review.

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) has given the House until the end of March to come up with its own plan.