Puerto Rico Defaults On Massive Debt Payment, Continues Negotiations

By Juliegrace Brufke

Puerto Rico defaulted on most of its $422 million debt payment Monday, but will continue its negotiations in an attempt to try and work out a deal.

The Government Development Bank (GDB) reached an agreement with several of its creditors just prior to its announcement it wouldn’t pay the majority of what it owes, according to Reuters.

The GDB said under the deal it has 30 days for negotiations before legal action is taken.

In a televised speech Sunday, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said it was a “difficult choice” not to make the payment, but felt it was the right decision.

“I decided that essential services for the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico came first,” he said.

The island faces an even bigger debt payment in July.

Congress has been working on legislation to help the island restructure its debt.

A bill was set to be marked up by the House Committee on Natural Resources, but it was postponed following pushback from members of both political parties.

Committee Chairman Rob Bishop said he expects a redrafted bill to be released shortly after Congress returns from its week-long recess.

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