WASHINGTON, July 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today on the financial crisis in Puerto Rico:
“I strongly believe Puerto Rico should be afforded the same bankruptcy protections that exist for municipalities across the United States. We need to do everything we can to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt in a rational way that does not harm its people, ordinary investors or pension funds in the United States. Chapter 9 protections would be a good first step.
“But we also should recognize that the reason Puerto Rico has such unsustainable debt has everything to do with the policies of austerity and the greed of large financial institutions. Puerto Rico has been in a severe recession for almost a decade. Today, more than 45 percent of the people in Puerto Rico are living in poverty, the childhood poverty rate is greater than 56 percent and real unemployment is much too high. Our goal must be not only to give Puerto Rico the flexibility it needs to restructure its debt, but to make sure that it can rebuild its economy, create good-paying jobs and expand its tax base.”