Posts By: Associate Writer

Democrats Urge Pause in Debt Talks

Eight Senate Democrats —including three running for president — and five House of Representatives Democrats have asked the PROMESA Financial Board (FOMB) to halt all Puerto Rico debt payments and negotiations until an independent investigation clears all Board Members of conflicts of interest. The letter led by Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and fomer Sanders campaign… Read more »

Tax Breaks in Puerto Rico Exceeded $20 billion in 2017

The Government of Puerto Rico gave businesses and individuals $20.614 billion in tax breaks during calendar year 2017, a territorial Treasury Department report released over the weekend shows. The savings to taxpayers through 302 exemptions, exclusions, credits, and deductions was more than twice the $8,986,994 in tax revenue that the Government collected. More than three-quarters… Read more »

Ocasio-Cortez Demands Action on Puerto Rico Debt

Freshman U.S. Representative media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued three “demands’ regarding Puerto Rico’s government debts yesterday. The first was to “audit the debt,” referring to a comprehensive audit vs. the review that the PROMESA Financial Board had done. The second was to “cancel the debt,” because the audit would “confirm what we already know,”… Read more »

Pierluisi Inches Towards Governorship

Pedro Pierluisi (New Progressive Party/NPP) will be sworn in today as Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State — but whether he will have the job and become Governor Friday afternoon is uncertain, although it appears to be increasingly likely. Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares (NPP) this afternoon appointed Pierluisi to serve while the Legislative Assembly is in… Read more »

Voting Rights: Woman Suffrage and Puerto Rico Statehood

voting rights

On June 4, America celebrated the 100th anniversary of Congress’s passage of the 19th Amendment. This is the constitutional amendment that gave voting rights to American women. In today’s society, you would be hard-pressed to find many Americans who oppose the Amendment that gave women the right to vote. Yet while it may seem like… Read more »

Congressional Subcommittee Passes Bill to help U.S. Territories under Medicaid

Earlier today, the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed the Territories Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 3631) on a bipartisan basis. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Eshoo (D-CA) spoke in support of the bill, with Eshoo calling the federal Medicaid cap “arbitrary” and  “discriminatory.” She said that “for too… Read more »

House Subcommittee to Consider Puerto Rico Medicaid Proposal Tomorrow

A bipartisan agreement among U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee leaders to grant Puerto Rico $12 billion for Medicaid during Federal Fiscal Years 2020-23 was announced last night. It is expected to be approved in the Health Subcommittee tomorrow and subsequently by the full Committee. Under the proposal, Puerto Rico would get $2.823… Read more »

The Vote in Puerto Rico’s June 11 Political Status Plebiscite: Analysis

Puerto Rico’s most recent plebiscite, held June 11, 2017, had a very clear outcome: 97% of voters chose statehood from the territory’s three status options (nationhood in addition to territory status and statehood). The islands’ political factions supporting nationhood and an unprecedented “Commonwealth status” that Federal officials have said is impossible for constitutional reasons  had… Read more »

Congressional Leaders Oppose Jones Act Waiver

Bipartisan leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have opposed the Rossello Administration’s request for a 10-year “waiver” of the law that requires ocean shipping between U.S. ports be on vessels that are American built, owned, flagged, and crewed for the shipping of liquid natural gas. Recognizing that Congress would… Read more »