Obama Signs Puerto Rico Rescue Bill | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Obama Signs Puerto Rico Rescue Bill

The bipartisan bill creates an oversight board that will supervise some debt restructuring and negotiate with creditors

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images, File
    In this file photo from June 30, 2015, American and Puerto Rican flags fly in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nearly a year later, Congress has passed a bill to help the island deal with its $70 billion debt.

    President Barack Obama has signed a rescue package for financially strapped Puerto Rico, which is facing more than $70 billion in debt and a major payment due Friday.

    Obama signed the bill Thursday, hours after it won final passage in the Senate on Wednesday night.

    Obama says the bill isn't perfect but is an important first step to help the U.S. territory and its 3 1/2 million citizens avoid plunging into an even deeper crisis.

    The bipartisan bill crafted after months of work creates an oversight board that will supervise some debt restructuring and negotiate with creditors. It temporarily blocks creditor lawsuits.

    Puerto Rico will also be allowed to temporarily lower the federal minimum wage for some younger workers.

    The Senate passed the bill on a bipartisan 68-30 vote, three weeks after the House overwhelmingly backed the measure.  

    Puerto Rico is in a decade-long recession and has $70 billion in debt. Thousands have fled the territory for the U.S. mainland. Businesses on the island have closed, schools have struggled with limited electricity and hospitals have asked for cash payment in advance for some medication.