POLITICS

Obama pushing Senate to pass bill to aid Puerto Rico as quickly as possible

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 30:  A woman sorts through her belongings on a park bench a day after the speech Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave regarding the government's $72 billion debt on June 30, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Governor said in his speech that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 30: A woman sorts through her belongings on a park bench a day after the speech Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave regarding the government's $72 billion debt on June 30, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Governor said in his speech that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to swiftly send him a bill to help Puerto Rico manage its staggering debt crisis.

In his weekly Saturday address, Obama says a pending bipartisan bill is not a perfect solution. But he says it's the only option to keep the U.S. territory from spiraling out of control.

The House bolstered prospects for Senate passage by voting overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of a rescue package to ease the island's $70 billion debt.

Puerto Rico owes its creditors $2 billion payment by July 1.

Obama says only Congress can give Puerto Rico the tools it currently lacks to restructure its debt and find a sustainable path toward economic growth and opportunity for its people.

He notes that Puerto Rico's residents are U.S. citizens.

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