Deceitful attack ads from dark-money special-interest groups have surfaced in recent weeks calling previous drafts of the bill a “bailout.” These claims are false and ignore the basic federalist and constitutional principles that are the foundation of the legislation. To the contrary, PROMESA prevents taxpayers from being on the hook for Puerto Rico’s irresponsible behavior and it does so within a constitutional framework that will provide real, long-lasting reform for Puerto Rico. The bill also respects the priority of legal claims and rejects outright an amendment to Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code from which the territories were expressly excluded.
First, a bailout would be an absolute disaster for Puerto Rico’s citizens. It would reward the policies that have failed them for so long, continuing the vicious cycle of poverty. Under PROMESA, not a single dime of U.S. taxpayer money will go toward paying Puerto Rico’s debt. This is one reason why many conservative think tanks, conservative news publications, and leading financial institutions all agree PROMESA is the framework to responsibly address the crisis.
Second, PROMESA is not Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code governs adjustments of debt for municipalities and instrumentalities of sovereign states with Tenth-Amendment protections, not territories such as Puerto Rico.