An Emergency Financial Control Board for Puerto Rico

Congress should promptly create an Emergency Financial Control Board to assume oversight and control of the financial operations of the government of Puerto Rico, as Congress successfully did in 1995 with Washington, DC; as New York State, with federal encouragement, successfully did with the insolvent and defaulting New York City in 1975; and as the State of Michigan did with the appointment of an Emergency Manager for the insolvent City of Detroit in 2013. Such Boards have also been used [with success] in Cleveland (1980), Philadelphia (1991), and Springfield, Massachusetts (2004). Under the United States Constitution, Congress has sovereignty over territories and the clear authority to create such a Control Board. In my opinion, with Puerto Rico’s severe and longstanding financial problems, Congress also has the responsibility to do so.

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