ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday issued the following statement on a proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives to put Puerto Rico under control of a congressionally-appointed financial control board:
“We must never give an unelected control board the power to balance Puerto Rico’s budget on the backs of children, senior citizens, the sick and the most vulnerable people in Puerto Rico while giving the people of Puerto Rico absolutely no say at all in the process.
“We cannot allow Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to determine the fate of Puerto Rico by handpicking a majority of the control board’s members, while the people of Puerto Rico would be in charge of choosing none. That may make sense to groups representing Wall Street, but it makes absolutely no sense to me.
“Among other efforts, what Congress should do is to act immediately to give Puerto Rico the same authority granted to every municipality in this country to restructure its debt under the supervision of a bankruptcy court.
“The billionaire hedge fund managers on Wall Street cannot get a 100 percent return on their bonds while workers, senior citizens and children are punished. Wall Street vulture capitalists must not be allowed to get it all.
“Today, I am proud to stand in strong opposition to this bill not only with the people of Puerto Rico, but the AFL-CIO, UAW, SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW and other unions that recognize just how bad this bill would be.
“We must stop treating Puerto Rico like a colony and start treating the American citizens of Puerto Rico with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”