Hatch: “I Intend to See that We Help Puerto Rico”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT)  summed up his Committee’s activities related to Puerto Rico in a floor speech on December 17, 2015 in which he also laid out his plans for 2016:

[W]ith regard to the looming debt crisis in Puerto Rico. We have taken a close look at this issue in the committee, and we even held a hearing on it. Along with the leaders on the Judiciary and Energy and National Resources Committees, we have introduced legislation that—using the limited information we currently have about Puerto Rico’s dismal predicament—would improve the island’s finances and economy by providing responsible tax relief and transitional assistance to the territory’s government.

In addition, we worked to get a provision in the Omnibus appropriations bill that authorizes the Treasury Department to provide Puerto Rico with technical assistance, including help with budgeting, forecasting, cash management, fiscal planning, improving tax collections, and the like.

This is something we are going to have to continue to work on, and in the coming weeks and months the Finance Committee will continue to consider various proposals—including the bill we introduced last week—aimed at helping the people of Puerto Rico.

By the way, we challenged Puerto Rico to give us audited financials so that we could really work on this under the best possible terms. I intend to see that we help Puerto Rico, and hopefully we can do that. We have now provided them the means so that they should be able to carry on through next February, and hopefully during that time we will come up with some solutions that make sense not only to Puerto Rico but to our taxpayers and others.

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