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Senate Republicans are Scrambling to Save Puerto Rico From Default

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Sen. Orin Hatch in WashingtonPhotograph by Paul Richards—AFP/Getty Images

As Puerto Rico tumbles toward defaulting on its general obligation debt on Dec. 1, Senate Republicans are rushing to come up with their own solution to the cash-strapped territory’s problems.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said his committee would soon submit legislation that would establish a federal control board, taking away fiscal decisions from the local government, according to a report Thursday in Bloomberg News,

That approach is not the one that President Obama and Congressional Democrats have argued for. The President’s plan, while also including
provisions that ensure “independent fiscal oversight,” would work to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt through a bankruptcy process. The President also wants to give Puerto Ricans access to the earned income tax program, which subsidizes low-income workers.

Puerto Rico‘s Government Development Bank is meeting with lawyers and financial advisers to its creditors in New York Friday to discuss ongoing restructuring talks for its $72 billion in debt.

–Reuters contributed to this article.