WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a letter today to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urging the administration to take concrete steps to support Puerto Rico.
“Since 2006, Puerto Rico has lost 20 percent of its jobs,” Sanders wrote. “About 60 percent of Puerto Rico’s adult population are unemployed or are not looking for work. Over the last five years alone, more than 150 public schools have been shut down, and the childhood poverty rate has shot up to 56 percent. At a time when the rich are getting richer, Puerto Rico now has more income inequality than any U.S. state.”
Sanders asked Secretary Lew to meet with Puerto Rican officials, conduct a transparent audit of Puerto Rico’s debt, ensure the territory is given the same bankruptcy protections as cities in the United States and increase the level federal dollars Puerto Ricans receive for health care.
“In the midst of this massive human suffering, vulture funds and Wall Street investment banks have been calling for even more austerity in Puerto Rico,” Sanders wrote. “That is unacceptable. The people in Puerto Rico should not be forced to suffer even more so that a handful of wealthy investors can make even more money.”
Click here to read the letter.