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Religious Coalition Organizes National “Call Congress” Day on Puerto Rico Legislation April 27th, 2016
Religious Coalition Organizes National “Call Congress” Day on Puerto Rico Legislation
Washington DC – A religious development group is organizing thousands of calls to Congress on Wednesday, April 27 to urge action on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Jubilee USA, which is organizing the “Call Congress” day, says constituents are asking for legislation that brings the debt to payable levels, reduces child poverty and respects local democracy. HR 4900, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), was introduced by Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) on April 14 and Jubilee advocates that legislation should pass with several improvements.
“Congress should strengthen and then pass Representative Duffy’s legislation,” said Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA’s executive director. “Puerto Rico’s people cannot wait any longer for Congress to act.”
The call-in campaign will urge Congress to include comprehensive debt restructuring tools in its legislation. Groups running anti-PROMESA ad campaigns oppose those tools as “a bailout” though they do not involve taxpayer money. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt but cannot access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and cannot restructure its debt through its own court system unless the US Supreme Court overturns an existing ruling this June.
“There are no budget cuts or tax hikes that can solve this crisis,” shared LeCompte, who wrote a letter to Congress? urging six changes to PROMESA before passage. “Debt restructuring is a necessity before we can see any economic growth.”
The campaign will call for PROMESA to include language setting clear targets for reducing Puerto Rico’s nearly 60% child poverty rate. Four out of every five children living in Puerto Rico live in “high-poverty” areas. The campaign further asks that PROMESA respect democracy in Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico’s people must be part of the solution,” stated LeCompte. “We pray Puerto Rico’s children are front and center on lawmakers’ minds as they debate this legislation.”
See Jubilee USA’s National Puerto Rico Call-In Day campaign page
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