WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today Puerto Rico should be allowed to restructure its debt in a way that protects residents, ordinary investors and pension funds in the United States.
“The economic situation in Puerto Rico will not improve by eliminating more public schools, slashing pensions, laying off workers and allowing corporations to pay workers starvation wages by suspending the minimum wage and relaxing labor laws – you simply cannot get blood out of a stone,” Sanders said during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. “I find it morally repugnant that vulture funds and Wall Street investment banks have been calling for even more austerity in Puerto Rico. In my view, the people in Puerto Rico should not be forced to suffer even more so that a handful of wealthy investors can make a 100 percent return on their investments.”
Sanders sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew asking the administration 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 of federal dollars Puerto Ricans receive for health care.
Click here to read Sanders’ prepared remarks.
Click here to read Sanders’ letter to Secretary Lew.