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Puerto Rico rescue bill clears Congress days before debt cliff

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Rescue legislation aimed at helping Puerto Rico address its mounting fiscal crisis cleared Congress Wednesday, two days before the U.S. territory is set to default on roughly $2 billion in debt payments. The bill passed by the Senate on a 68-to-30 vote opens a path for an orderly restructuring of the island’s $72 billion in bond debt while creating a new federally appointed fiscal oversight board. It passed the House earlier this month, and President Obama has said he will sign it. The passage of the bill — the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA — was in doubt earlier this week, and, had it failed Wednesday, the anticipated missed payments likely would have roiled credit markets and sparked creditor lawsuits.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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