Updated 04:13 PM EST, Sun, Jan 16, 2022

Puerto Rico News: Congressional Rep Believes Federal Board is No Better Than a Dictatorship

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Puerto Rico's congressional representative, Pedro Pierluisi had nixed the idea of a federal board that would be seen as a solution to aid the territory's economic problems. He said that doing so would be much like a dictatorship.

Pierluisi had reportedly dismissed the idea that was presented in the Capitol. He saw it as an "unforgivable breach" on the territory's autonomy, reports The Hill. The congressional representative believes this even as Puerto Rico has often turned to Congress in seeking financial aid regarding its debt load.

While there were some Republicans, particularly Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley who brought up the idea of a federal board similar to the one used in the District of Columbia during the early 90s. Grassley believed that doing so could help Puerto Rico with its crippling financial crisis. However, Pierluisi would have none of it.

The congressional representative added that doing so would only be a "blatant exercise in colonialism". He said that anyone who would suggest a federal board would have to face him, as well as anyone who "believed in democracy."

Pierluisi also added that he was open to things like outside audits by the Government Accountability Office, as an alternative for federal relief. Pierluisi, as well as other Democrats, is opting for legislation that would grant Puerto Rico access to the bankruptcy code of some states. This, he believes would make it easier for many of its political entities who find themselves to be buried under huge amounts of debt.

Officials have already admitted that Puerto Rico is unable to pay back some of the $72 billion in debt it owes to its investors. They have said that the ailing economy, as well as many Puerto Ricans who have chosen to leave the territory in order to look for a better life in the U.S. are among the main factors why the economy is already as crippling as it is. 

Many Puerto Ricans have chosen to leave the island, as many industries have already closed. Many of these Puerto Ricans said that they make better money in the United States than they ever did in Puerto Rico. 

The debt has become so bad that some financial analysts have already expected the island to default as early as next month when more than $350 million in debt payments fall due, reports Reuters.

PREPA has also reached a restructuring deal with some of the island's creditors. However, the deal would also come at a heavy price and would require a debt exchange, which could spell trouble for many consumers on the island. 

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