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Obama Urges Senate to Help Puerto Rico

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama.

U.S. President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to swiftly send him a bill to help Puerto Rico mange its staggering debt crisis.

He said Saturday in his weekly address the House of Representatives has already passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and now the Senate must "move quickly to follow suit."

He said the island is facing another $2 billion debt payment that it cannot pay.

"There is only one way for Puerto Rico to pull itself out of this crisis," the president said, "and that's by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable fiscal path toward growth and opportunity for its people."

Obama said only Congress can give Puerto Rico the tools it needs "to pull itself out of this crisis."

He noted that "Puerto Ricans are American citizens, just like folks in Maine or Oklahoma or New Mexico."

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated, organized territory of the U.S. with commonwealth status.

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