GLOBAL ECONOMY

Puerto Rico senators reject debt moratorium bill as bond payment deadline looms

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 30:  The Puerto Rican flag flies above the Capitol a day after Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave a televised speech regarding the governments $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: The Puerto Rican flag flies above the Capitol a day after Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave a televised speech regarding the governments $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)

Senators in Puerto Rico say they will not approve an amended bill that would exclude certain bonds issued by the government from a debt moratorium.

A caucus of senators from Puerto Rico's ruling party said Tuesday that the bill is not consistent with the $70 billion debt restructuring that the U.S. territory is seeking from Congress.

The amended bill sought to exempt general obligation bonds and others from a recently approved law that allows the governor to declare a debt moratorium amid a dire economic crisis. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla had repudiated the amendments sought by a majority of representatives.

Senators are scheduled to vote on the amended bill on Tuesday.

The debt-ridden island faces a $422 million bond payment deadline Sunday with no sign that the U.S. Congress will act in time to help.

Further complicating lawmakers' efforts to steer the U.S. territory away from economic collapse are ads airing nationwide that claim the legislation amounts to a financial bailout, even though the bill has no direct financial aid.

Some House conservatives have latched onto that argument, making it difficult for Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to garner enough support for the bill. Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, says he is reworking the bill, and a new version could come as soon as this week.

It's unlikely, however, to come in time for Puerto Rico to avoid default on the nearly half-billion-dollar debt payment.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram