WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday has passed a financial rescue package for debt-stricken Puerto Rico, sending the measure to President Barack Obama.
The vote was 68-30. It came two days before the island owes a $2 billion debt payment to creditors.
Obama is expected to sign the measure.
The bill would create a control board that would help the island lessen its $70 billion in debt by overseeing some debt restructuring with creditors. The legislation will also temporarily block lawsuits from those lenders.
The White House and congressional leaders in both parties had warned that without help from Washington, Puerto Rico will descend into economic chaos, with signs already pointing to a humanitarian crisis.
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement late Wednesday expressing relief at the deal, but saying the deal left something to be desired.
“Three million Americans in Puerto Rico need not suffer the repercussions of another default come July 1. The Senate bill passed today allows the debt to be restructured, but it is far from perfect. I am disappointed Senator Mitch McConnell did not allow amendments to strengthen the Puerto Rican health system or strike the $4.25 youth minimum wage,” the mayor said in the statement.
De Blasio commended U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez and José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and the rest of the New York congressional delegation or their work toward protecting Puerto Rico.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)