US Treasury Secretary Lew issues statement on Puerto Rico Oversight Board


WASHINGTON, DC – The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), signed into law by President Obama in June, provides Puerto Rico with critical tools to address its fiscal crisis. As a result of this law, Puerto Rico has access to a restructuring process to adjust its debts to a sustainable level, with no carve outs for powerful financial interests.

Today, the President, in consultation with Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress, appointed members to an Oversight Board, required under this law to provide independent oversight of the Puerto Rico government’s development of a long-term fiscal plan and debt restructuring. The Board must also help Puerto Rico make much needed fiscal reforms, while respecting self-governance and supporting a return to sustainable growth.

Today, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew issued the following statement on the appointment of members to the Puerto Rico Oversight Board:

“I commend all the members of the Oversight Board for stepping forward to serve the 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico in this important role. The collective experience and expertise of the Board Members in the areas of restructuring, economic development, and fiscal governance will provide critical assistance and oversight to Puerto Rico in this difficult time. I encourage the Board to begin its work helping the people of Puerto Rico right away.

“Congress has provided the Oversight Board with important tools that will be essential to stabilize the fiscal situation and restore growth. It is also vital that the Oversight Board engage all of Puerto Rico’s stakeholders to build a better future for Puerto Rico.

“Additionally, the government of Puerto Rico, which retains primary responsibility for its budget and fiscal planning, must develop a multi-year fiscal plan for Puerto Rico that meets the statutory obligations under PROMESA. Time is of the essence. The Puerto Rico government should bring together all of its resources to develop and submit a plan to the Oversight Board as soon as possible.

“We stand ready to provide any additional requested technical assistance to Puerto Rico and the Board. While the road ahead will be challenging, I am confident that Puerto Rico can and will emerge from the current crisis and return to growth.”