Ranking Member Grijalva Praises Expected Senate Passage of Puerto Rico Relief Bill, Highlights No Special Treatment for Hedge Funds

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva today praised the Senate’s expected passage later this evening of the bipartisan Puerto Rico relief bill, which cleared a key procedural hurdle this afternoon and will likely be signed by the president before Puerto Rico defaults on July 1. Grijalva pointed in particular to the fact that, contrary to the demands of certain hedge funds and institutional investors, the law will not give preferential treatment to institutional creditors.

Under Grijalva’s leadership, House Natural Resources Committee Democratic staff published a report in September 2015 titled “Profit at Any Cost” highlighting the disingenuous campaign by some wealthy investors to demand full restitution for making investments they knew to be risky. As the report noted, “[H]edge funds have tried to maximize their returns at the expense of Puerto Rican families by pushing extreme funding cuts for Puerto Rican social services. A group of investors known as the Ad Hoc Group paid for a report in June [2015] that advocated a series of devastating measures such as firing teachers, cutting Medicaid benefits and reducing financial assistance to the University of Puerto Rico in order to increase bond repayments.” The full report is available at http://1.usa.gov/1F1BoP6.

The bill set to be approved this evening rejects those demands and declines to withdraw money from Puerto Rico’s social safety net or civil services for the explicit purpose of increasing payments to institutional investors.

“Speaker Ryan did the important work of getting this through the House and rejecting the extreme demands in his own party, and now it’s time for the Senate to finish this process,” Grijalva said. “This has been a long and difficult road, and I’ve been candid about the fact that this is not the bill I would have written. But I firmly believe that the totality of this bill is a step in the right direction, the alternatives are worse, and we’re out of time. I sincerely look forward to seeing this through every step of the way and making sure this process plays out fairly for the people, not just the powerful and well-connected.”

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626