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Senate Faces Puerto Rico Vote Before July 1 Deadline

The United States Senate faces a likely vote on Puerto Rico debt crisis legislation this week. Puerto Rico's Governor, Alejandro García Padilla, called on the Senate to pass the bill by July 1, when the US territory owes a nearly $2 billion debt payment. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act passed the House on June 9.
"If legislation doesn't pass before July 1st, we are opening the door for vulture funds to exploit Puerto Rico," noted Eric LeCompte, a United Nations debt expert and the executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA. "Up to now we've seen very little predatory behavior, but if Puerto Rico defaults without protections, the vultures will swoop in."

Several Senators are looking to amend the legislation before a potential default on July 1. If the Senate passes amendments, the House would have to approve the new bill after July 5th when it is back in session.

"The legislation provides critical breathing space," stated LeCompte. "Before Puerto Rico's next default, it needs the protection of this legislation. The bill in front of the Senate allows Puerto Rico to pay pensions and social services before it pays the debt."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org