Senator Warren Statement Against Use of Puerto Ricans’ Pensions to Pay Off Wall Street Bondholders

Boston, MA – A representative from the office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivered the following statement on the Senator’s behalf at a rally, held by Vamos4PR, to protest the use of public pension funds to pay off Puerto Rico’s debt:

«The Trump administration’s callous neglect of the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is unconscionable, but this is not the first time our government has failed Puerto Rico. The island was hit by an economic disaster long before it was struck by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As Puerto Rico has struggled to get out from under the crushing weight of its debt, Congress has failed to provide real relief from the debt that already promised to cripple its economy and its future. Instead, Congress and the Oversight Board it installed, have allowed Wall Street to pillage the resources Puerto Ricans need to survive and recover.

This is what happens when you have a government that works great for the big banks and the big corporations but not for anyone else. It’s time for big, structural change to get the government working for all of us, including our fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.

I’ve introduced major pieces of legislation to help address Puerto Rico’s economic devastation, including the U.S. Territorial Relief Act, which provides an avenue to comprehensive debt relief for Puerto Rico and other hurricane-ravaged U.S. territories. I also worked on a bill with Senator Bernie Sanders that I think of as a ‘Marshall Plan,’ because the bill would provide Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with $146 billion for economic development and investments in renewable energy. In addition, I introduced the Housing Victims of Major Disasters Act, a bill that would make it easier for survivors of Hurricane Maria to access stable, high-quality housing.

Today, we’re standing up and fighting back against Wall Street firms that want to profit off of Puerto Ricans’ pensions. To everyone gathered here: thank you for the opportunity to send along this message. And most importantly, thank you for being in this fight.

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