FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2016
Congressional Puerto Rico Task Force Releases Recommendations
Washington DC - A Congressional task force released a report proposing changes to US law impacting Puerto Rico. Congress created the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico in June as part of legislation addressing the US territory's debt crisis. The report recommended changes to federal tax and health care policy. Puerto Rico owes $70 billion in debt and avoided default in July when President Obama signed the debt crisis legislation.
"The task force did important work to examine Puerto Rico's treatment under US law," noted Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious anti-poverty coalition Jubilee USA. "Congress should implement many of the bipartisan recommendations."
The task force report recommended that Congress extend the Child Tax Credit to additional families in Puerto Rico, which could inject nearly $3 billion into the economy over the next decade. Currently only families with three or more children are able to claim the credit.
"It's important that the task forces recommends that American citizens in Puerto Rico should be able to access the same healthcare funding and child benefits that citizens can access on the mainland," stated LeCompte. Jubilee USA won an amendment to the debt crisis legislation to require the task force to address Puerto Rico's high child poverty rate.
The task force included Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin), Representative Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey), Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Representative Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico) and Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-New York).
Read the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico Report to the House and Senate
Read more about Jubilee USA's child poverty amendment to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act
Read a timeline of Puerto Rico's debt crisis
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of 75 organizations and 650 faith communities. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org