Puerto Rico Bill ‘A Big Win For Limited Government Conservatives’

‘Not A Single Taxpayer Dime Will Be Spent On Paying Puerto Rico’s Debt’

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “Today we have an opportunity to help the Puerto Rican people in the face of this crisis and prevent a taxpayer bailout by passing the responsible, bipartisan bill before us. This bill won’t cost the taxpayers a dime. What it will do is help Puerto Rico restructure its financial obligations and provide much-needed oversight to put into place reforms.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 6/29/16)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): ‘With PROMESA, not a single taxpayer dime will be spent on paying Puerto Rico’s debt’ “The Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) is an appropriate first step by Congress to deal with this calamity. The bill would create a fiscal oversight board to help fix the mess, ensure that bondholders’ rights are protected and make sure a taxpayer bailout does not happen. …most importantly, with PROMESA, not a single taxpayer dime will be spent on paying Puerto Rico’s debt.” (Sen. Rubio, Op-Ed, “Helping Puerto Rico Without A Bailout,” Florida Today, 6/28/16)

CONSERVATIVES: ‘PROMESA … Is The Fiscally Responsible Solution To The Island’s Debt Crisis’

GROVER NORQUIST: “The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), H.R. 5278, is the fiscally responsible solution to the island’s debt crisis. … Congress needs to step in now; otherwise, a huge taxpayer bailout is the likely outcome. PROMESA is the best, most fiscally responsible way to prevent a bailout from occurring.” (“PROMESA Is the Way Forward for Puerto Rico,” National Review, 5/26/16)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: “PROMESA contains no federal bailout and does not leave taxpayers on the hook... In fact, even expenses for setting up and operating the Oversight Board will come from Puerto Rico, not federal taxpayers.” (“PROMESA Contains No Bailout, No ‘Super Chapter 9,’” Americans for Tax Reform Website, 4/19/2016)

DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN: ‘PROMESA… addresses the crisis without a dime of taxpayer money. No bailout.’ “On addressing the debt burden, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) features a voluntary-first debt workout that respects the priority of creditors and asks all key stakeholders to contribute to solving the burden problem. It creates a strong control board that has the authority to rationalize the Puerto Rico budget and put it on a sustainable path. And it augments these reforms with regulatory and labor market laws to enhance the capacity of the island to grow. In short, it addresses the crisis without a dime of taxpayer money. No bailout.” (“The Daily Dish,” American Action Forum, 5/5/16)

STEPHEN MOORE & ART LAFFER: “The Republican plan that has the support of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, would create a strong financial oversight board to take control of the government’s finances, taxes and budgeting decisions. This is an absolute must because the government in San Juan has proven itself incapable of governing. We know this model works. In the 1990s it helped save Washington, D.C. during its darkest hours of financial troubles. Now the city is booming.” (Op-Ed, “How To Turn Puerto Rico Into Hong Kong,” Washington Times, 5/1/16)

COUNCIL FOR CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: “This legislation creates an essential mechanism to thwart a taxpayer bailout of Puerto Rico’s fiscal failures. . . . The legislation provides reforms that will allow the territory to fulfill its debt obligations responsibly and efficiently. It will also help the citizens of Puerto Rico prosper from a growing economy. The bill is designed to address problems related solely to Puerto Rico and will not have any impact on existing bankruptcy provisions that govern states or their municipalities.” (Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Press Release, 4/19/2016)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM & THE R STREET INSTITUTE: “The bill has been strengthened, and currently represents Puerto Rico’s best chance to return solid fiscal footing. It is now the Senate’s turn. By voting for passage, Senators will fulfill their obligation under the Constitution to ‘make all the needful rules’ regarding the territories.” (ATR And R Street Institute, Letter to Senators, 6/21/2016)

  • “While this oversight control is the required first step toward abating Puerto Rico’s crisis, PROMESA also enacts several immediate pro-growth reforms, including altering the island’s unemployment generating minimum wage requirements and overtime regulations, and putting a plan in place for infrastructure improvements.” (ATR And R Street Institute, Letter To Senators, 6/21/2016)
  • “PROMESA lays out a process to ensure the island’s creditors are treated justly during any future debt restructuring. It encourages voluntary restructuring, requires the Oversight Board to ‘respect the relative lawful priorities’ of the various debt classes, and distinguishes between debt obligations and pensions.” (ATR And R Street Institute, Letter To Senators, 6/21/2016)

RYAN ELLIS, CONSERVATIVE REFORM NETWORK: “In many ways, the bill is a big win for limited government conservatives. It has no taxpayer bailout of Puerto Rico–not a single dime of taxpayer money is sent down there. Rather, Puerto Rico will have to work their own way out of $72 billion in debt and defaults. They will be helped by an ‘oversight board’ majority-appointed by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.” (Ryan Ellis, “Puerto Rico Reform Bill Is A Conservative Win, But It Needs Pro-Growth Tax Reform,” Forbes.com, 5/24/2016)

NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: “The current version of PROMESA … contains many elements worth supporting... [T]he oversight entity must also ‘respect lawful priorities or lawful liens’ as outlined in Puerto Rico’s constitution. Furthermore, more robust provisions have been added to guard against employing the full faith and credit of the United States on Puerto Rico’s behalf.” (Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union, “An Open Letter To The U.S. Senate: NTU’s Views On The PROMESA Vote,” 6/29/2016)

EDITORIALS: PROMESA ‘An Example Of Conservative Reform In Action’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “[T]he Republican Congress is using conservative principles to solve an urgent problem caused by progressive government... [T]he overall bill steers the commonwealth in the direction of free-market reforms and fiscal discipline after years of welfare-state politics.” (Editorial, “Puerto Rico Breakthrough,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/2016)

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: “If orderly procedures are not instituted to determine how much of a haircut various creditors will take, we run the risk of a humanitarian crisis on the island or a taxpayer bailout... [T]he imperative here should be to enact a law that reduces the likelihood of a bailout. The House Republican bill does that.” (Editorial, “The Puerto Rico Debt Bill Is a Good Start,” National Review Online, 4/20/2016)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “[The bill] would put a temporary halt to lawsuits by creditors and put an oversight board, appointed on a bipartisan basis by Congress and the president, in charge of Puerto Rico’s finances. . . [N]ow the referee will be an impartial panel of experts armed with a reliable audit of the island’s obligations.” (Editorial, “Much-Needed Relief For Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico,” The Washington Post, 5/19/2016)

  • “Puerto Rico’s governor protested an ‘attack [on] our self-government,’ which is actually a reassuring sign the measure has teeth, much like the rescue plan for the District, upon which it is modeled. The District’s current prosperity is due in no small part to that plan’s success in resolving its fiscal crisis two decades ago. With any luck, Puerto Rico will find a road to a similar recovery, starting with passage of this bill.” (Editorial, “Much-Needed Relief For Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico,” The Washington Post, 5/19/2016)



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