House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is heavily opposed to the Republican Party’s newly proposed plan to create an oversight board for Puerto Rico’s massive $70 billion debt crisis, according to Fox News Latino. Pelosi claims the initiative will only serve “undue and undemocratic control,” over the U.S. territory.
Republicans released a statement on Tuesday (Mar. 29) that read a five-person board would be designed to audit the island’s government and create budget measures along with new fiscal plans. What’s more, the board will have authority to take off with their plans if Puerto Rico’s governor and legislature fail to do so.
The Republican Party believes these are the necessary steps to get the commonwealth’s economy back on track. Still, in another statement released on Tuesday, Pelosi, of California’s 12th district, said the board will be too much of a force. “The sweeping powers of the oversight board proposed in Republicans’ current discussion draft are far from what Democrats can support,” she said.
Puerto Rican officials also disagree with the proposal. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the island’s governor, called the legislation, “shameful and degrading.” The President of the Puerto Rican Senate, Eduardo Bhatia, added that the legislation perpetuates “the worst colonial subjugations.”
Other democratic and Puerto Rican governmental representatives like New York reps Nydia Velasquez and Jose Serrano also share similar sentiments, while House Speaker Paul Ryan describes it as “thoughtful, comprehensive legislation that gives the U.S. territory the tools it needs to deal with its systemic fiscal and budgeting problems — without a taxpayer bailout.”
Regardless of the promised help, Puerto Rico isn’t keen on giving up their political party of choice in exchange for the financial assistance being offered. “People who hand over democracy in exchange for economic security end up losing both things,” affirmed Senate President Eduard Bhatia. “I don’t have a problem with a board that advises, that supervises, one with which we can have a discussion. But we will never accept a board that has control over Puerto Rico’s affairs.”