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Thu May 19, 2016, 09:38 AM

House panel delivers Puerto Rico crisis bill, debt looms

Source: Reuters

World | Thu May 19, 2016 10:22am EDT

House panel delivers Puerto Rico crisis bill, debt looms

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK | BY DANIEL BASES AND SUSAN HEAVEY

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee released late on Wednesday a revised Puerto Rico fiscal crisis bill that leaves in place many of the original provisions, including an oversight board to direct how and when the island pays its bills.

Puerto Rico has already defaulted on some of its roughly $70 billion in debt while trying to cope with a staggering 45 percent poverty rate among its 3.5 million U.S. citizens.

A vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on the bill is now expected to take place in the first week of June, ahead of a looming $1.9 billion debt payment due on July 1.

In recent months, the debt crisis has threatened a deepening humanitarian crisis as hospitals close wards, social services decline and emigration saps more economic activity.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-puertorico-debt-idUSKCN0YA1TU

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