Amendments to PROMESA

PROMESA, known in full as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in June. Prior to being considered by the full House of Representatives — where the bill passed with a large bipartisan majority — the legislation went through a “markup” in the House Natural Resources Committee. During the markup, members of the Natural Resources Committee offered numerous amendments — changes — to the bill.

Here is a list of the amendments offered during the committee markup:

  • Graves (R-LA) and Polis (D-CO) suggested that a report be drawn up and submitted to the committees responsible for Puerto Rico. The report is to describe the causes of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, the actions taken by Puerto Rico’s government that made the situation better or worse, and the actions that should be taken in the future to avoid a repetition of the problem. Read the amendment.
  • Graves (R-LA) and Beyer (D-VA) proposed an investigation into the buying and selling of the bonds sold by the government of Puerto Rico. Read the amendment.
  • Polis (D-CO) suggested changes in the way members of the board were to be chosen. Read the amendment.
  • Bishop (R-UT, Committee Chair) proposed a list of edits, including comma additions and deletions and individual word changes. Read the amendment.
  • Gallego (D-AZ) asked that at least one of the meetings of the Task Force be held in Puerto Rico. Read the amendment.
  • Gallego (D-AZ) also asked that the inequity of access to federal programs in Puerto Rico be recognized. Read the amendment.
  • Hice (R-GA) added language promoting private enterprise in place of government contracts. Read the amendment.
  • MacArthur (R-NJ) suggested a “sense of Congress” note favoring “pro-growth fiscal reforms” and “a free flow of capital” to be added at the end of the bill. Read the amendment.
  • Torres (D-CA) asked that section 403 of the bill be stricken, but this amendment was not accepted. Read the amendment..
  • Polis (D-CO) proposed specific tax reforms regarding income earned in Puerto Rico, but this amendment was not accepted. Read the amendment.
  • Polis (D-CO) also proposed that Puerto Rico be designated a HUBZone (“historically underutilized business zone”), but this amendment also failed. Read the amendment.
  • Polis (D-CO) further asked that section 404 be removed from the bill, but this amendment also failed. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) asked that the bill be delayed until the IRS provided guidance on certain tax issues, but this amendment was voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) then asked that section 405 of the bill be stricken, but this amendment was also voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Zinke (R-MT) offered some edits, which were accepted. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) proposed several edits, and also included language giving certain bonds priority. This amendment was voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Graves (R-LA) added language saying that no federal funds would be used to pay Puerto Rico’s debts. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) offered further edits which were not accepted. Read the amendment.
  • McArthur (R-NJ) offered and then withdrew an edit correcting “Puerto rico” in one line of the bill to “Puerto Rico.” Read the amendment.
  • McClintock (R-CA) attempted to limit the application of the act to certain debts, but this amendment was voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Labrador (R-ID) proposed and then withdrew language supporting the payment of pensions. Read the amendment.
  • Bishop (R-UT, Committee Chair) suggested some small edits. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) reintroduced an edited version of an earlier amendment, but it was voted down.
  • Fleming (R-LA) then offered language related to possible interpretations of the Spanish translation of the bill; this amendment was voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) offered a variation on the previous amendment, which was also voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) then proposed a number of edits, plus language limiting Puerto Rico’s options for funding pensions. The amendment was voted down. Read the amendment.
  • Fleming (R-LA) also attempted to add language making it clear that Puerto Rico should not receive federal funding to pay its bills, but this amendment failed by a Point of Order. Read the amendment.

Unless otherwise stated, all these amendments were accepted. For each amendment click “Read the amendment” to read the full text of the amendment as a PDF.

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