Should Puerto Rico Be Included in Federal Loan Program?

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) asked why Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories were not included in the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program at a House Financial Services virtual round table discussion.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair of Supervision Randal Quarles said that Puerto Rico was not eligible for the loans, and that additional debt would not be in the territory’s best interest. “The territories, their problems are really not a Covid-induced cash flow issue,” Quarles said. “If the territories were to take on a substantial amount of additional debt, that’s not going to improve their situation.”

Rep. Velazquez did not argue with the answer, but she does not agree. “This provision may provide a valuable option for some municipalities in Puerto Rico that are struggling with additional costs associated with their local response to the pandemic.” Velázquez told El Nuevo Día, a major news outlet in Puerto Rico.

Quarles believes that Puerto Rico needs to focus on forgivable loans and grants, rather than adding more debt. The PROMESA Financial Oversight and Management Board has expressed a hope that Puerto Rico businesses will benefit from loan programs, but has also said that they are worried that businesses will go under even if they receive loans. If this happens, the business owners could be worse off than before they acquired the funds.

Effects of coronavirus in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has had more than 2,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 120 deaths. These numbers are lower than some States with similar populations, such as New Mexico. This has allowed Puerto Rico to handle the virus in spite of its fragile healthcare system.

Puerto Rico’s economy has also been affected, with unemployment reaching 37% and many small businesses unable to sustain themselves through the shutdown. Businesses are beginning to reopen, but continued restrictions will affect the profitability of the reopening. Estimates suggest that Puerto Rico may see a 10% dip in the territory economy as a whole.

However, Puerto Rico’s economy was contracting even before the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the earthquakes, and COVID-19.

4 Comments

Dennis Freytes

**FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for all Americans!**
Fellow, but, 2d Class US Citenzens in the US Territory of Puerto Rico (with more US Citizens than about 22 States; part of “WE THE PEOPLE”), face Federal discrimination since 1898!

THE TIME IS NOW (affetr 123 years of Federal discrimination) for the Federal Government to Fairly Treat US Citizens in Puerto Rico, as it treats other US Citizens in the States. The People are supreme (per, US Constituion); not the Federal undemocratic Control of the Territory or Land! The Federal Government should be the Servant of ALL the People; not the MASTER of some (like Puerto Ricans).

The Federal Government must provide EQUAL RIGHTS; PARITY IN FEDERAL LAWS, PROGRAMS, and FUNDING; ADMIT US Territory of Puerto Rico to the UNION of STATES!

EQUALITY+PROGRESS=STATEHOOD with DIGNITY! UNITED with truth, reason, courage, and Civic ACTION for the Good of ALL!

Dennis Freytes

**FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for all Americans!**
Fellow, but, 2d Class US Citizens in the US Territory of Puerto Rico (with more US Citizens than about 22 States; part of “WE THE PEOPLE”), face Federal discrimination since 1898!

THE TIME IS NOW (after 123 years of Federal discrimination) for the Federal Government to Fairly Treat US Citizens in Puerto Rico, as it treats other US Citizens in the States. The People are supreme (per, US Constitution); not the Federal undemocratic Control of the Territory or Land! The Federal Government should be the Servant of ALL the People; not the MASTER of some (like Puerto Ricans).

The Federal Government must provide EQUAL RIGHTS; PARITY IN FEDERAL LAWS, PROGRAMS, and FUNDING; ADMIT US Territory of Puerto Rico to the UNION of STATES!

Puerto Rican EQUALITY+PROGRESS=STATEHOOD with DIGNITY! UNITED with truth, reason, courage, and Civic ACTION for the Good of ALL!

Dennis Freytes

***EXAMPLE EQUALITY LETTER-EMAIL-POST:
TO: US Federal Government (US Congress; US President; US Federal/Supreme Court)
RE: **FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL “WE THE PEOPLE”!**
HI!
Fellow, but, 2d Class US Citizens in the US Territory of Puerto Rico (with more US Citizens than about 22 States; part of “WE THE PEOPLE”)– face Federal discrimination; NO Federal “Consent of the Governed”; NO Vote for US President; NO just Representation in Congress; NO Parity in Federal Laws, Programs or Funding; NO FAIR opportunity in a Level Playing Field… since 1898!

Loyal US Puerto Ricans sacrifice; make great contributions (in all spheres of endeavor) to our noble US, since 1513, when their Ancestors (1st Governor of Puerto Rico) came to the now US–107 years before the Pilgrims! They fought in the War of Independence (1776-)… as today brave US Veterans from the US Territory of Puerto Rico-sacrifice; shed sweat, blood, and tears for our US Flag!

THE TIME IS NOW (after 122+ years of Federal discrimination) for the Federal Government to Fairly Treat US Citizens in Puerto Rico, as it treats other US Citizens in the States. The People are Supreme- (per, US Constitution in our US Republic (a Government of/for the People with a Representative Democracy)! NOT the Federal Government’s wrong undemocratic control of the Territory or Land!

The Federal Government should be the Servant of ALL the People; not the MASTER of some (like Puerto Ricans); must do RIGHT– provide EQUAL RIGHTS; PARITY IN FEDERAL LAWS, PROGRAMS, and FUNDING; ADMIT US Territory of Puerto Rico to the “UNION of STATES”!
Puerto Rican EQUALITY+PROGRESS=STATEHOOD with DIGNITY!

UNITED with Truth, Reason, Courage, and Civic ACTION for the Good of ALL!
Very Respectfully (V/r),
________________________________
XXX
(Drafted by: Dennis O. Freytes—Florida Veterans Hall of Fame (BY FL Governor; House; Senate)

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