Members of Congress Consider a Fiscal Control Board for Puerto Rico
(Washington, D.C.) – With Puerto Rico’s debt projected to grow by $27 billion over the next five years – on top of over $70 billion in current debt – members of the House of Representatives are suggesting a fiscal control board to oversee the island’s budget and spending. Later this month lawmakers will come together on a hearing on the bill – sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) – that would give the territory authority for bankruptcy access in return for creation of a financial stability council, which would oversee fiscal and economic reforms on the island.
Jorge Lima, Vice-President of Operations and Policy for The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“The Puerto Rico debt crisis cannot go ignored. We need to dispel the notion that fiscal problems are due to nothing more than bad luck. The current problems in Puerto Rico are due to a combination of fiscal recklessness, cronyism, and curtailment of economic freedom by the government of Puerto Rico, as well as federal regulations that are a bad fit for Puerto Rico’s economy.
Finding a solution to the problem will require an examination of various options. Congress needs to identify those laws and regulations that have crippled economic development on the island, and remove barriers to success. Likewise, the Puerto Rican government needs to rely on growing the private sector to lift themselves up from this crisis. Puerto Rico’s challenges are ultimately the result of a problem of growth combined with fiscal mismanagement, and only policies that expand economic freedom offer a permanent solution. It won’t be easy or fast, but the first steps must be taken.”