NYC City Council Speaker: Washington must help Puerto Rico

AP News
Posted: Jul 08, 2015 3:21 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is urging Congress and the Obama administration to help Puerto Rico as it struggles under the weight of its debt.

Mark-Viverto was born in Puerto Rico and is arguably becoming one of the nation's most influential Puerto Rican politicians.

She told The Associated Press on Wednesday that what she deemed "a fiscal crisis" was "personal to her."

Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said last month the island can't pay off its $72 billion public debt.

Mark-Viverto advocated Congress to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt, giving the U.S. territory the same ability as cities under the bankruptcy code.

She said she would rally elected officials to support the plan. The White House has not settled on a course of action.