I take issue with Representative Rangel on two counts. The first is that Extending bankruptcy protection is not enough for Puerto Rico. Second is that Detroit is in Michigan.
Puerto Rico is in financial trouble, and everyone knows it. The declaration by Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro García Padilla, on Monday that the island’s $72-billion debt is “not payable” was stating the obvious. It was putting Washington on notice that Puerto Rico needs help.
The governor is not asking for the federal government to bail them out of this problem. Puerto Rico is only asking for the right to declare bankruptcy, which is the same right that states have. Because Puerto Rico is not a state, it cannot avail itself of the provision in federal bankruptcy law that enables cities like Detroit to restructure its debt in an orderly fashion…When Detroit was in financial trouble, the Illinois legislature allowed them to restructure their debt through bankruptcy. There is no reason that Puerto Rico should not have the same ability to restructure government-owned corporations’ debt.
Statehood is the answer.