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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Gutiérrez Says Proposed Control Board Is Not the Right Way to Address Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis

March 29, 2016
Press Release

“The solution is not a tighter rein on self-determination, but a growing, dynamic economy that creates jobs for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in reaction to the release of draft legislation to address the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.  The legislation is part of Speaker Paul Ryan’s effort to have the Republican-controlled House of Representatives address Puerto Rico’s financial situation this spring.  On April 13, a hearing will be held in the House Committee on Natural Resources on Puerto Rico, and Rep. Gutiérrez and other Puerto Rican Members of Congress are expected to attend even though some are not Members of the Committee.

The following is a statement from Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL):

In Congress, the prescription for Puerto Rico’s financial problems is a new layer of colonial oversight from Washington through a Control Board.  Puerto Rico’s problems stem from too much of the power to determine her destiny residing in Washington, a far-off Capitol.  This Control Board proposal just adds to those vast powers and with little transparency or authentic involvement by the Puerto Rican people.

The solution is not a tighter rein on self-determination, but a growing, dynamic economy that creates jobs for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico.  That seems like an afterthought.  Where are the jobs, the development of a high-tech sector, construction, tourism, and agriculture – the things the Island needs to thrive?  I am glad proposals are finally being crafted, but as I feared, at first glance this proposal looks like it was crafted by people who care more about bondholders being paid than Puerto Ricans being employed in building their own economy.

Rep. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  He was born in Chicago to parents who migrated from Puerto Rico and has lived in Puerto Rico at various points in his life.

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