Puerto Rico Religious Leaders Urge Congress to Pass Healthcare Laws as Debt Crisis Looms

Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto González and Bible Society head Reverend Heriberto Martínez are asking Congress to pass child tax benefit and healthcare recommendations made by a bipartisan Congressional task force. The House of Representative's rules committee is debating some of the recommendations for a possible floor vote a part of the American Health Care Act. Passing this legislation, the religious leaders argue, will help as the island restructures its debt.

"You moved Congress to act for Puerto Rico," the religious leaders write in a letter sent to Republican and Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate. "As our island prepares to restructure its debt, we need you to act again."

In addition to focusing on the island's evolving financial crisis, Archbishop González and Reverend Martínez encouraged Congress to move forward additional actions that could stop future debt crisis in Puerto Rico and in developing countries across the globe.

"We want to prevent financial crises that impact all children in our world‎," González and Martínez write in their letter to Congress. "Many of these countries, like Puerto Rico, find themselves in crisis because of the need for US law that promotes conservative, responsible lending and borrowing."

‎The religious leaders in their letter acknowledge working on resolving the crisis in Puerto Rico since 2015 with their partners at Jubilee USA and national religious groups like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United Church of Christ.

"The Archbishop and Reverend Martínez are a steadfast and critical moral force working to solve this crisis," stated Jubilee USA director Eric LeCompte, who advises the religious leaders and testified to Congress on solving the crisis. "They are tireless and work on every possible solution to help their people."

Read the full letter the religious leaders wrote to Congressional leadership

Read the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico's recommendations