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June 9, 2016
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
On December 1, 2015 and again on May 2, 2016, I called on Congress to stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, and to act expeditiously to ensure that they, particularly those most in need, are assisted in the midst of the current financial crisis. In my May letter, I outlined principles to help ensure that decision-makers safeguard human dignity and ensure the common good
On June 7, Archbishop Roberto González Nieves, the Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, asked all members of Congress to improve and support H.R. 5278, the "Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act" (PROMESA). While far from perfect, he indicated that the legislation was the only immediate solution available, and that it "can provide what the US bankruptcy code provides, a framework that protects the rights and dignity of Puerto Rico's people and bond holders."
I write to you today to echo my brother bishop's call to support PROMESA, in order to provide breathing room and real hope for the people of Puerto Rico. While imperfect, the legislation is certainly a step in the right direction.
I note that some improvements to the bill are still possible at this stage. The House should support provisions that specifically address child poverty. Protecting vulnerable children, who through no fault of their own are impacted by the financial crisis, should be a priority of all of us. Policies that protect workers and the fruits of labor, which is essential for family formation, are important as well.
I commend your work to find responsible and vital solutions to support the people of Puerto Rico at this critical moment.
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice
and Human Development
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