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Puerto Rico

Recent treatment of Puerto Rico by the Congress has made it clear that Puerto Rico is essentially a U.S. colony. Puerto Ricans live under harsh austerity measures imposed on them by a Congress in which they have no representation. This is unacceptable in a democratic society. I will push for the following policies to change this:

  • Give Puerto Rico the same Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections that exist for municipalities in the United States. Puerto Rico should be able to restructure its debt in a rational way that protects its people without harming ordinary investors and pension funds in the United States.
  • Reverse austerity measures that have harmed children, senior citizens, and the most vulnerable people in Puerto Rico.
  • Create new jobs and make Puerto Rican businesses more competitive in the global economy by enacting a federal jobs program.
  • A Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico, helping the island not only recover from Hurricane Maria, but thrive with modern infrastructure and renewable energy systems.
  • A community-led, sustainable, and just recovery - including protections for Puerto Rico’s public education system from kindergarten to college and trade school.
  • An immediate waiver and full review of the Jones Act, which hamstrings the Puerto Rican economy with restrictions that other American communities do not have to face.
  • Cancellation of Puerto Rico’s Wall Street debt: this debt has been accrued by vulture funds using irresponsible and unjust behavior reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Condemnation of the PROMESA Act, which handed over the island to “La Junta,” a corporate governance board installed with the support of my opponent and his private equity donors.
  • Fight for a referendum in which the Puerto Rican people would be able to decide on whether to become a state, an independent country, or to reform the current Commonwealth agreement. This is an issue that should be decided by the Puerto Rican people.
  • Move aggressively towards energy efficiency and sustainable energy production. Puerto Rico is blessed with abundant solar and wind resources, and has great potential to expand biomass and geothermal energy.