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Wed Jun 29, 2016, 05:03 AM

Puerto Rico debt bill gains backers in U.S. Senate; close vote seen

Source: Reuters

Politics | Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:29am EDT

Puerto Rico debt bill gains backers in U.S. Senate; close vote seen


The Obama administration and U.S. Senate Republican leaders scrambled on Tuesday to garner enough support to get a Puerto Rico debt relief bill through a critical procedural vote set for Wednesday which several lawmakers predicted would be close.

After months of waiting for Congress to act as Puerto Rico's economic crisis progressively worsened, the Caribbean island appeared to be on the verge of securing a relief plan from Washington aimed at helping it address a hobbling $70 billion debt.

The leaders of both political parties in the Senate are on board, but the outcome appeared uncertain.

The Obama administration sent Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to try to persuade recalcitrant Democrats, while Republicans heard arguments for the legislation from fellow senators at a closed-door luncheon.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-puertorico-debt-idUSKCN0ZE2EP

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