House Stalls Work On Puerto Rico Bill

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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A bill aimed at helping Puerto Rico climb out of its fiscal crisis hit a speed bump Wednesday when the House Committee on Natural Resources opted to postpone a markup on the legislation following pushback.

“The administration is still negotiating on provisions of the legislation, creating uncertainty in both parties,” Chairman [crscore]Rob Bishop[/crscore] said in a statement. “This legislation needs bipartisan support, but Members need time to understand the complexity of the issue and the ramifications of any proposed changes. It is unfair to all members to force a vote with provisions still being negotiated.”

Earlier in the day at a hearing on the draft legislation, Antonio Weiss, the counselor to the Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, called the committee’s plan in its current form”unworkable” due to a provision allowing creditors to vote on debt restructuring.

Some Republicans, including Rep. [crscore]Jeff Duncan[/crscore], said by rewriting the territory’s restructuring rules the country is heading down a “slippery slope” that could shake Wall Street.

House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] applauded the legislation for giving the island, which faces $70 billion in debt it says it can’t repay, the tools it needs without providing a bailout.

The markup has not yet been rescheduled.

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