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Rep. Nancy Pelosi Cites “Moral Responsibility to Help our Fellow Americans,” Introduces Legislation to Help Puerto Rico

In recognition of Congress’s failure to include Chapter 9 bankruptcy restructuring  authority in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced the introduction of H.R. 4290, the Puerto Rico Emergency Financial Stability Act, to provide a short-term stay of legal actions by some of Puerto Rico’s creditors while Congress continues to debate bankruptcy protection for Puerto Rico.

In conjunction with the introduction of her legislation, Pelosi, the House’s highest ranking Democrat, made the following statement:

“It is profoundly disappointing that debt restructuring authority for Puerto Rico was not included in the Omnibus.  Puerto Rico faces a dire economic crisis, and we have a moral responsibility to help our fellow Americans.

“The Puerto Rico Emergency Financial Stability Act would protect the 3.5 million Americans who call Puerto Rico home from economic catastrophe while Congress advances a more comprehensive solution to the Commonwealth’s financial emergency.  The bill would give Puerto Rico temporary but essential breathing room from creditor lawsuits until Congress can act.  It is a common sense proposal based on existing legal standards and short-term legal protections that were enacted during the Great Depression to protect hard-pressed homeowners from arbitrary and sudden foreclosures.

“The moratorium on legal action it provides would expire on March 31 – the same date by which Speaker Ryan has promised Congress will complete meaningful debt restructuring legislation.  With the outstanding leadership of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Congressmen José Serrano and Luis Gutiérrez, and Puerto Rico’s many friends in the Congress, we will continue to demand action for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico as soon as possible.”

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