Late opposition from Democrats couldn’t stop PROMESA
President Obama signed the PROMESA bill, which paves the way for the creation of a control board, on June 30, and even though PROMESA is known to be bipartisan, it was called ‘colonial’ by various officials.
This new law was designed to support Puerto Rico with its fight against its debt and financial crises. The United States government will be responsible for assigning seven members to the board, who will become the ultimate supervisors overseeing the territory’s finances.
Because the bill was pursuant to H. Res. 770, it was automatically considered as passed by the House. Consequently, the bill passed the Senate with 68 Yeas and 30 Nays.
The bill received notable opposition from many reputable Democrats. Sen. Bob Menendez noted that a vote for PROMESA “is a vote to disenfranchise 3.5 million Americans.”
Menendez continued by adding “I came to the floor last week to ask for consent to bring the floor the bill that the House of Representatives sent called PROMESA, which in Spanish means promise, but it is anything but a promise to the challenge the people of Puerto Rico had, because I knew we needed time to be able to make a horrible bill a lot better.”
Similarly, Sen. Sanders also hasn’t been a fan of the PROMESA. He gave a speech to the Senate on Wednesday, June 29 addressing his negative opinion on the bill.
He stated that “this legislation takes away their democratic rights and self-governance and will impose harsh austerity measures, which will make the poorest people in Puerto Rico even poorer.” and continued “The United States of America should not treat Puerto Rico as a colony. We cannot and must not take away the democratic rights of the 3.5 million Americans of Puerto Rico and give virtually all power on that island to a seven-member board that will be dominated, as it happens, by four Republicans.”
It is too late to make any changes to PROMESA, as it officially became law. Let’s hope PROMESA will be any help.