Beau Boughamer,, 202-765-9143

Issued October 22, 2015

SEIU’s Henry: President Obama’s plan for Puerto Rico is “significant step forward”

WASHINGTON—In response to the release by the Obama administration of a proposal to resolve Puerto Rico’s financial crisis, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement:

The plan announced by President Obama and the Treasury Department to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic crisis represents a significant step toward a solution that's in the best interest of the island's working families. The austerity imposed on the Puerto Rican people in recent years has been economically counterproductive and devastating to the island’s families, and the administration’s plan begins to reverse this approach. Creating parity between Puerto Rico and the 50 states in terms of access to federal healthcare funding and the Earned Income Tax Credit will both address a longstanding injustice and provide crucial economic stimulus. The plan’s call for an orderly restructuring of the commonwealth's debt properly balances the need for sustaining an economy that supports working people in Puerto Rico with the concerns of creditors.

SEIU’s 29,000 members in Puerto Rico, as well as their families appreciate the president’s leadership in tackling the crisis in Puerto Rico. We urge Congress to exercise similar leadership and collaborate with the administration on a solution that offers stimulus, not austerity, and that respects the democratic rights of Puerto Ricans. Congress should act, but if it does not, we look forward to working with the administration on action it can take directly to address the crisis and bring creditors to the table.