First of all, the name “Colonial Control Board” sounds hella bloody. That’s not okay. Couple the name with the approved measure of lowering the minimum wage to just over four dollars and the entire proposal is a big fat “No”.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as soon as today to set up a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy to help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis. The bill, known as PROMESA, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 297 to 127. In the Senate, Robert Menendez has led the opposition to the bill. On Tuesday, he waged a four-hour filibuster to protest the bill.
AMY GOODMAN: Juan, before we move on with the rest of the show, there is a major vote on Puerto Rico in the U.S. Senate today.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yes, there is. The Senate will—looks like, will finally vote on what to do on the so-called PROMESA bill. This is the bill that both the Obama administration and Republicans in the House passed, you know, got through the House, initially, a couple of weeks ago, which would establish a means for Puerto Rico to restructure its $72 billion in debt, but would also impose a financial control board—what I and other people call a colonial control board—over the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved this week to have a cloture vote, which will occur today, because McConnell wants to prevent any amendments on the Senate floor from those who might have problems with the current bill. So he wants to—he’s going to go for a 60-vote cloture vote and then proceed to have a vote on the full bill, because they’re trying to rush to get this bill through before the July 1 deadline, in a few days, when Puerto Rico is sure to default on a huge portion of its debt. It has to pay about $2 billion on July 1.