Paul Ryan Teams With Pelosi and Obama to BAIL Out Puerto Rico
June 10, 2016
The House on Thursday passed legislation to tackle Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, as Congress took a large step towards addressing the economic and humanitarian crisis enveloping the island.
The carefully crafted compromise passed 297-127, earning majorities in both parties.
The passage of the carefully crafted compromise is a significant win for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who was an early and active supporter of the legislation, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House, which also pushed the package. In a rare move, both Ryan and Pelosi took to the House floor to urge support for the legislation, shooting for broad bipartisan support to encourage speedy action through the Senate.
Ryan made a moral case for the bill, arguing that the island’s 3.5 million residents — who are American citizens — need Congress’s support.
“The Puerto Rican people are our fellow Americans. They pay our taxes. They fight in our wars,” he said. “We cannot allow this to happen.”
The bill now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers appear lukewarm about the measure. Still, there is little evidence senators are eager to remake the bill wholesale, particularly as conditions on the island continue to worsen.
“The Senate should act expeditiously to review and vote on this measure, so the President can sign the bill into law ahead of the critical July 1st debt payment deadline,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest after its passage. “We urge leaders in both parties to build on today’s bipartisan momentum and help Puerto Rico move toward lasting economic prosperity.