Velasquez and Serrano Express Concern About Austerity Measures to PROMESA Board
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) have written to the PROMESA fiscal oversight board to encourage caution about implementing austerity measures.
“We are pleased,” they wrote in the May 11 letter “that last week the Financial Oversight Management Board for Puerto Rico took advantage of the powerful court-supervised restructuring tools provided by the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) of 2016. The Board should seize this as an opportunity to revise the Fiscal Plan in a manner that would ease the burden on working families and students, while also prioritizing economic growth.”
In April, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) wrote to the board expressing concern that certain creditors were being treated unfairly and calling for greater austerity measures. Velazquez and Serrano took the opposite view.
“The Island’s unsustainable debt has been a result of decades of poor government accountability – the overstatement of revenues, the understatement of expenses – and debt-fueled economic promises, as well as the unequal treatment it receives under many federal programs,” they wrote. “Unfortunately, we fear the Board has gone too far with the imposed austerity measures.”