Categories: US News

Puerto Rico criticizes treasury’s ‘misguided delay’ in loans

WASHINGTON — Puerto Rico faces a “dangerous financial dilemma” because of the U.S. Treasury Department’s delay in providing billions of dollars of disaster relief, the commonwealth’s governor said in a letter to Senate and House leaders.

Treasury’s “misguided delay and policy decisions contrary to Congressional intent” for the community disaster relief program have created a risk that the island’s electric, water and sewage facilities could shut down in the near term, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said in a nine-page letter dated Feb. 26 to Republican and Democratic leaders.

Treasury reduced the size of a proposed loan to Puerto Rico to $2.07 billion from $4.7 billion on Feb. 20, after imposing restrictions that are “seemingly designed to make it extremely difficult for Puerto Rico to access these funds when it needs federal assistance the most,” Rossello said. Contrary to the frequent practice, Treasury “indicated” that it does not plan to forgive the loan, according to the letter.

About 90 to 95 percent of community disaster loans, or CDLs, are forgiven, according to former Treasury officials.

Puerto Rico officials have been negotiating with the Trump administration to access the community disasters loans since Congress in October approved $4.9 billion of CDLs for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island and municipalities in Florida and Texas after hurricanes struck those areas last year. Puerto Rico was to receive $4.7 billion of the $4.9 billion

The commonwealth had $1.6 billion of available cash as of Feb. 9, according to the island’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority. Governor Ricardo Rossello has requested the loan be dispensed once the island’s cash slips to between $800 million and
$1.2 billion.

Tribune News Service
Published by
Tribune News Service

Recent Posts

The number of missing people in Butte County fire jumps dramatically to 631

The death toll from the devastating Camp fire in Northern California jumped to 63 on Thursday as search crews recovered…

13 mins ago

Films opening Thursday-Friday Nov. 15-16, 2018

FILMS OPENING Burning: Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo and Steven Yeun appear in Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s moody adaptation of Haruki…

4 hours ago

Family continues fight to sue SF over Kate Steinle’s fatal shooting

A panel of federal appeals court judges heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit from the parents of Kate Steinle, who…

5 hours ago

Recycling proposal to require hiring trash sorters held up in board committee

A proposal designed to boost San Francisco’s recycling rate, but which could force large businesses to hire trash sorters, failed…

5 hours ago

Unhealthy haze over SF Bay Area from Butte County fire prompts health warnings

Smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County continued to hang over San Francisco and the Bay Area on Thursday,…

6 hours ago

Smoky skies shut down historic cable cars

San Francisco’s cable cars were taken out of service due to poor air quality conditions, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation…

8 hours ago