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Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt? Maybe.

Pierluisi wants Congress to authorize Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt. That's something Puerto Rico's voice in Congress supports, as does Jeb Bush, and now, maybe, the White House.  

President Barack Obama, whose campaign mercilessly ripped Mitt Romney for his "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" column, appears open to bankruptcy for Puerto Rico.  

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday Congress should "take a look at" granting Puerto Rico the ability to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  

That's the same chapter of the bankruptcy code used by Detroit, ironically. The governor of Puerto Rico has said the island cannot afford to pay its $72 billion in debt. Earnest said the White House is not considering a "bailout" of Puerto Rico, but is willing to work with local Puerto Rico officials on their finances. He likened the efforts of an interagency task force to one put together for Detroit.  

"Ultimately this is going to be the responsibility of the Puerto Rican government," he said.  

Jeb Bush has already come out in support of Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi introduced legislation in February that would authorize Chapter 9 for Puerto Rico.  

Correction 2:50 p.m. A previous version of this article misspelled Pierluisi's last name.  

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