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Lew Urges Congress to Act on Puerto Rico to Avoid Bailout

  • Island misses deadline for $422 million debt payment
  • Treasury chief warns of `cascading defaults' without action
Jacob Lew.

Jacob Lew.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned that Puerto Rico may need a U.S. government bailout if Congress doesn’t pass a bill that helps the island restructure its debt and prevents a series of “cascading defaults.”

“Unless Congress passes legislation that includes appropriate restructuring and oversight tools, a taxpayer‑funded bailout may become the only legislative course available to address an escalating crisis,” Lew said in a letter to Congress posted Monday on the Treasury department’s website. “Congress must work quickly to resolve the few outstanding issues on the proposed legislation to help Puerto Rico.”