Ryan demands plan to save Puerto Rico

House Speaker Paul Ryan has instructed House committees to devise a legislative plan by early next year that will help debt-ridden Puerto Rico.

Democrats and some Republicans had lobbied congressional leaders to include in the fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill a provision that would allow Puerto Rico to restructure its $70 billion in debt through the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process. But it was excluded from the deal, mostly due to opposition from Republicans who do not want to alter bankruptcy laws to accommodate the financially struggling U.S. territory.

Ryan said in a statement Wednesday he wants lawmakers to work on a plan to help Puerto Rico resolve its fiscal crisis.

"While we could not agree to including precedent-setting changes to bankruptcy law in this omnibus spending bill, I understand that many members on both sides of the aisle remain committed to addressing the challenges facing the territory," Ryan said in a statement. "That's why I am instructing our House committees of jurisdiction to work with the Puerto Rican government to come up with a responsible solution by the end of the first quarter of next year."

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