The Report's Conclusion / Recommendations
Puerto Rico and its citizens are inextricably intertwined with the United States by history, emigration and economics. Puerto Ricans, both on the island and stateside, have fought valiantly in every war since World War I, and its citizens have contributed to this nation in innumerable ways. Its diaspora – five million strong, still intimately connected to the island – are a visible presence in communities throughout the fifty States of the Union. Just as significantly, three out of every four municipal funds in the country hold Puerto Rico’s bonds.
Because of these intimate interconnections, what affects Puerto Rico affects the U.S. The fact that Puerto Rico faces the worst economic crisis in more than a century should be of the highest concern to all Americans. If Puerto Rico is forced to enact even more draconian cuts to its budget, the island will almost certainly spiral into an even deeper crisis. Given the interpenetration of the Puerto Rican population and economy with the U.S., this will have incalculable repercussions on communities, towns and cities stateside.
The time to debate or assign blame is past, as is any hope that the U.S. could avoid economic fallout from this crisis. The real question is, do we have the will to act in order to ameliorate its very worst effects?
To do so, we urge the Administration and Congress to resist calls by hedge funds to force more cuts to social services.
We urge Congress to give Puerto Rico the ability to file for bankruptcy protection and to pass legislation rectifying economic inequities including the Jones Act and Mi Salud. We urge the President to call for a full federal agency review of policies that are economically harmful to Puerto Rico, including health care reimbursement, and convene his Working Group on Financial Markets to develop an in-depth debt relief, repayment, and investment plan to stabilize the island’s economy. A focus on sustained growth and prosperity for the people of Puerto Rico must be at the core of this fiscal reform plan.
We urge the President and Congress to take strong, substantive and constructive action now to stabilize Puerto Rico and protect the current and future livelihood of millions of American citizens living on the island.