House Rules Committee Process on Puerto Rico Exposes a Congress Unfit to Meet Our Nation’s Challenges

Washington — Last night, the House Rules Committee met to set the rules for considering H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which attempts to address Puerto Rico’s current debt crisis, brought on by a decades-long depression. Citing germaneness issues, the committee refused to make in order a pro-growth amendment offered by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) 96% that would exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, other conservative amendments. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“The House’s decision to not even allow a vote on a much-needed pro-growth policy for Puerto Rico exposes a Congress that is nowhere near up to the challenges of our time. Puerto Rico clearly needs growth and yet the House could not even bring itself to debate a policy with widely-acknowledged potential to help unleash that growth. Worse still, parliamentary niceties were used as cover to hide from the vote and protect special interests. It is yet another example of why the American people are fed up with Congress.

“Conservative, pro-growth ideas that are essential to jump starting Puerto Rico’s island’s economy have been dropped from conversation because they were regarded as non-starters for the Obama administration and liberals in Congress. Instead of rising to meet a challenge and forcing the issue on these important debates, Congress is squandering an opportunity to truly change course for millions in Puerto Rico.”

Related:
Heritage Action: Key Vote “NO” on PROMESA (H.R. 5278)
Heritage: Minimum  wage lessons from Puerto Rico (May 2015)
Heritage: Sink the Jones Act: Restoring America’s competitive advantage in maritime ­related industries (May 2015)
Heritage: Changing U.S. bankruptcy law will not help Puerto Rico (June 2015)
Heritage: Economic crisis is the heart of Puerto Rico’s financial crisis (July 2015)
Heritage: Allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy is a bailout (July 2015)
Heritage: Puerto Rico needs growth, not bailouts (July 2015)
Heritage: Puerto Rico’s default is just the beginning (August 2015)
Heritage:Puerto Rico’s warning to the mainland (September 2015)
Heritage: Puerto Rico’s pathway forward without bankruptcy (September 2015)
Heritage: Hired labor’s share of income is lowest in Puerto Rico (December 2015)
Heritage: Misguided plan for Puerto Rico would set dangerous precedent (December 2015)
Heritage: Benefits to Sticking With the Framework for Puerto Rico’s Debt (December 2015)
Heritage: Cronyism on display in Puerto Rico (January 2016)
Heritage: How a debt bailout for Puerto Rico short-­circuits options for reform (February 2016)
Heritage: The right solution for Puerto Rico (February 2016)
Daily Signal: Is Obama administration plan for Puerto Rico a ‘bailout’? (February 2016)
Heritage: Puerto Rico can move forward without Congress (February 2016)
Heritage: Why Congress should care about Puerto Rico (February 2016)
Heritage Action: Memo: A Conservative Response to Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis (March 2016)
Heritage: Puerto Rico’s ‘Wal-Mart Tax’ Ruled Unconstitutional (March 2016)
Heritage: Investors Deserve to Know Puerto Rico’s True Pension Liabilities (March 2016)
Heritage: Congress Should Not Give Puerto Rico Federal Tax Subsidies (March 2016)
Heritage Action: Puerto Rico and the PROMESA Act: Claims and Responses (April 2016)
Heritage: Little Improvement in New Congressional Puerto Rico Plan (April 2016)
Heritage: Draft House Legislation Falls Short of Priorities for Puerto Rico (April 2016)
Heritage: Congress Gives Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico a Free Pass as Long as Obama Wants (May 2016)
Heritage: Puerto Rico Defaults Again (May 2016)