The House will take up a Puerto Rico relief bill at the beginning of April, according to 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.).
Ryan told reporters Tuesday that the House Natural Resources Committee was closing in on a final bill and are “on track” to take it up after the Easter recess break.
“We’re doing a bipartisan meeting today, and we are working on this on a bipartisan basis,” he said. “And we expect when we come back from the district work period to be acting on it in the Resource committee."
The committee is expected to hold a hearing on the Puerto Rico bill, which has yet to be written, on April 13 with a markup the following day, according to a House Democratic leadership aide.
A committee spokesperson said a discussion draft will be ready by March 31.
Lawmakers will be gone from March 24 to April 11. Ryan had previously set a March 31 deadline for lawmakers to come up with legislation to help Puerto Rico address its economic and debt woes. The Natural Resources Committee has held multiple hearings on the issue, but has not yet produced a bill.
Hammered by years of economic decline, Puerto Rico is struggling to keep up with payments on the $72 billion in bonds it has outstanding in the market. 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 told lawmakers Tuesday he does not expect the island will be able to make sizeable debt payments due in May, underlining the urgency of the issue.
Much of the debate in Congress has centered on some combination of heightened oversight of the island’s finances by some sort of fiscal control board and some ability to let the island restructure some of its debt.
Investors in Puerto Rican debt have fiercely pushed back against extensive bankruptcy power for the island, and made their presence in Washington known on the issue.
Scott Wong contributed to this report.
This post updated at 11:59 a.m and 1:13 p.m.