WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- It was a day of action on Capitol Hill.
“I want to talk to you about the Puerto Rico I remember,” said Broadway star Lin-Manual Miranda.
Miranda used his own personal story to shine light on the economic struggles the people of Puerto Rico are facing. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is joining his cause.
“We heard from doctors who care for ill and sick children how they are the only specialist on the island, and even they’re leaving. We heard from families,” Gillibrand (D-NY) said.
“They’ve already shut down 150 schools and so this was an opportunity for the people of Puerto Rico to have their voices heard,” she added.
Gillibrand, joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is campaigning for their senate colleagues to move forward with legislation that will give the US commonwealth solutions for its debt and health crisis.
“We don’t win what we don’t fight for,” Warren said.
The two female senators are fighting for Puerto Rico to have the ability to file for bankruptcy protection and restructure its debt. Some Republicans have been opposed to the idea of Puerto Rico filing for bankruptcy. They want to see Puerto Rico restructure some of its 70 billion dollars of debt under the supervision of a federal court. It’s a bill House lawmaker are working on now.
“Congress did this. In the 80’s they removed the islands opportunities to get basic bankruptcy protection, every city in America has that same protection but not Puerto Rico,” Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand said she hopes this bill will encourage congress to act, and act soon so the people of Puerto Rico can regain its status as an economic player in the us economy.
The House of Representatives Puerto Rico bill is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Lawmakers are scrambling to meet the March 31st deadline set out by House Speaker Paul Ryan.