Dear Friends –
Thanks to your efforts, late last night Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). It is now on it's way to the President to be signed in to law.
Passage of PROMESA assures that Puerto Rico will not default on loans, which could have deepened an already critical humanitarian crisis. Faith advocates were able to secure the inclusion of important provisions in the bill - like the ‘Jolly-Curbelo Amendment,’ which prioritizes the need to urgently reduce child poverty as the island’s debt is restructured. With nearly 57 percent of children in Puerto Rico living under the poverty line - nearly three times the rate on the U.S. mainland - inclusion of this provision was critical.
This legislation achieved bipartisan support in both chambers and represented a hard won compromise. Addressing the debt crisis was critical, but even as we celebrate this effort we acknowledge and regret that a controversial provision creating an oversight board to oversee the implementation of the debt relief plan was included. Although imperfect, the bill provides a much-needed way to restructure and manage Puerto Rico’s debt.
I am so grateful for your advocacy. Together, we helped move Congress to action on this important issue – no small feat in a time of partisanship and gridlock! Thank you for raising your voice.
Rev. Michael Neuroth
Policy Advocate for International Issues
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries