Puerto Rico’s governor issues ‘distress call’ to Congress

Chuck Grassley
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa holds the gavel close while listening to testimony by Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla on Puerto Rico's fiscal problems, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Puerto Rico and its debt crisis takes center stage in Congress as its governor testifies before a Senate panel about the U.S. commonwealth's financial woes and the demands of creditors.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor is issuing a “distress call” to Congress to help his heavily indebted government while signaling he will reroute money to make a Tuesday bond payment.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla asked Congress to create a legal framework that would give the territory the authority to restructure its liabilities.

He said after the hearing that his administration will “do our best” to make a $355 million bond payment that is due Tuesday and is key to the U.S. territory’s economic future. He said he is attempting to divert money from other debt payments to pay what is due.

Failure to make the bond payment could complicate the island’s efforts to reach restructuring deals on its $72 billion of public debt.

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