LULAC Calls Upon the White House and Congress to Work with Puerto Rico to Solve the Territory’s Debt Crisis

July 22, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today called for the White House and Congress to work closely with Puerto Rico to find a solution to the territory’s $72 billion debt crisis. LULAC has long advocated that Puerto Rico should receive the same treatment under our laws as U.S. states. Specifically, LULAC has advocated that the territory receive the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the full extension of Earned Income Tax Credit, full reimbursement parity under Medicare and Medicaid, and the ability to file bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Such a move would allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt in an organized manner and provide more financial options that ultimately help the Puerto Rican people.

LULAC National President, Roger C. Rocha Jr., met with the newly appointed Chair of the LULAC National Committee on Puerto Rican Civil Rights, Charlie Rodriguez. The former Puerto Rico Senate President discussed the many challenges faced by the Puerto Rican people, including the $72 billion debt, a limited tax base and the federal obstacles that need to be addressed.

Following the meeting, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha Jr. made the following statement: “A considerable portion of the LULAC membership are U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico who have been hard working loyal Americans, but have not been treated equally by our federal government. Ultimately, the best strategy for strengthening the territory’s economy would include a transition to statehood for the people of Puerto Rico. In the end, all parties will need to work together to ensure that Puerto Rico's debt crisis is dealt with in a fair manner which provides the Puerto Rican people with the financial stability they deserve."

LULAC will continue to work aggressively to bring a national focus to Puerto Rico's economic crisis and equal treatment by the U.S. government. This effort will include pressing Congress, the Obama Administration, and others to take action to address these issues.

"We are very much pleased and satisfied with the direction that LULAC will be taking under President Rocha's leadership with respect to Puerto Rico and the territory's economic crisis," said Charlie Rodriguez, Chair of the LULAC National Committee on Puerto Rico Civil Rights.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

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