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Newhouse Statement on PROMESA

June 9, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA):

“It is critical for Puerto Rico to begin to live within its means and address years of fiscal mismanagement. However, the answer to the long term fiscal outlook facing territories and states is to implement pro-growth conservative solutions and decrease the government red-tape, which is currently hindering economic growth in Puerto Rico. Without changing the root cause of economic problems, we will not solve Puerto Rico’s hardships. Additionally, I could not vote for the precedent set by this bill. Constitutionally-guaranteed debt backed by the ‘full faith and credit’ of the issuing government, in this case Puerto Rico, represents the highest level of financial commitment behind any public liability. I am deeply concerned that applying Chapter 9 bankruptcy provisions in Puerto Rico’s case in order to discharge constitutionally-guaranteed debts would create the dangerous political precedent on restructuring debt by disregarding constitutional obligations. Any state or territory’s ability to provide essential services may be negatively impacted if bondholders can no longer trust the fiscal promises made by states and territories. Territories and states must be held to the promises that they make to secure debts, and I oppose this legislation because it does not go far enough to ensure that the principle of full faith and credit is honored.”