Rob Bishop warns Oversight Board is violating PROMESA

by | Jun 29, 2017 | Congress | Comments

The Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob Bishop (R) of Utah, recently sent a letter to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico Chairman Jose Carrion stating that he believed that the Oversight Board was in violation of PROMESA. PROMESA, the 2016 economic rescue bill, originated in Bishop’s committee, and included language that kept previous legislation and compromises out of the Board’s reach.

One such compromise concerns the Puerto Rico’s power utility service, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, and its debt. A restructuring agreement was created, and approved by Congress, but the Oversight Board, who Bishop has stated has no authority to review the compromise, is dragging their feet on reviewing and approving it.

Bishop, in his letter, cautioned that the Board overstepping its bounds could “result in severe, adverse effects for the island, including a dampening of the board’s ability to negotiate in good faith with creditors,” and that “the ongoing actions taken by the Oversight Board towards the [agreement]… are outside the scope of the Oversight Board’s powers and a violation of PROMESA.”

Others disagree, including Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez (D) of New York and Raúl Grijalva (D) of Arizona, who wrote a letter to Carrion stating that they believed that the Oversight Board should reject the PREPA agreement, believing it to be possibly harmful to Puerto Rican citizens while helping wealthy creditors.