Politics

Treasury Secretary Pushes for Vote on Puerto Rico

McConnell sets cloture vote for Wednesday

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew wants the Senate to act on Puerto Rico legislation before July 1. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew is pushing the Senate to take up a House-passed compromise measure this week to address the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico.  

"The Senate should take up the matter immediately. Delay will only jeopardize the ability of Congress to conclude its work before July 1, a critical deadline Puerto Rico's leadership has publicly highlighted for months," Lew wrote Monday in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  

McConnell on Monday set a Wednesday vote on limiting debate on the House-passed bill without any amendments.  

Lew wrote that some creditors are pushing to stall Senate floor action.  

"In the event of default, and if creditor lawsuits are successful, a judge could immediately order Puerto Rico to pay creditors over essential services such as health, education, and public safety. This could force Puerto Rico to lay off police officers, shut down public transit, or close a hospital," Lew wrote. "Even a retroactive stay on litigation passed by Congress a few days later would not reverse such a court order. This is one of many reasons Congress must act before July 1."  

Jon Miller contributed to this report.

Contact Lesniewski at  nielslesniewski@cqrollcall.com  and follow him on Twitter  @nielslesniewski .

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