Grassley Says Puerto Rico Mishandled Its Economy

Sep 26, 2017

Along with overwhelming destruction, Hurricane Maria has brought renewed attention to the US government's role in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

For years the US territory had been prohibited from restricting its debt through bankruptcy proceedings, which made the island’s economic woes worse. Last year's passage of the Promesa Act gave Puerto Rico protections from debtors and an avenue towards debt restructuring. 

Some criticize Congress for allowing the Puerto Rican economic crisis to careen to the brink of catastrophe, but Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says many of the territory's money problems are its government’s own fault.

"You got to look at the bankruptcy in Puerto Rico and how they mishandled their own economy and their own government," he says. "You’d find that people who have a retirement system that’s probably more than Puerto Rico can afford."

Earlier this year Grassley said that Puerto Rico’s debt crisis should be a wake-up call for other fiscally distress states, cities and territories.