On Puerto Rico, The GOP’s Livin’ La Vida Koch-A

December 2, 2015

Ricky Martin’s in Orlando today, drawing attention to the GOP agenda that hurts his fellow Puerto Ricans, as well as Latinos in Florida and across the country. That GOP agenda is one and same with Charles and David Koch’s selfish agenda — a reality that’s no more evident this week than in the singer’s home island of Puerto Rico, just over 1,100 miles to the southeast of Martin’s Orlando event.

Tuesday’s initial debt deadline required Puerto Rico to make a payment of $354 million, or face a default — all thanks to heavy lobbying by the billionaire Koch brothers and a Republican Congress eager to do their bidding.

How did we get here? The Kochs have been using several organizations, including Main Street Bondholders, a “concerned retirees” front group — yes, seriously — to get congressional Republicans to block the passage of legislation that would allow Puerto Rico to access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

Why are the Kochs so interested in all of this? Because Koch allies stand to lose a lot of money if that happens. And that means they’ll protect their profits — at all costs — by pursuing any means necessary.

Down to the wire, the Kochs are still running a full-court press. Mainstreet Bondholders on Tuesday sent members to a Senate Judiciary Committe hearing on the Puerto Rican debt crisis and afterwards held a press conference to draw attention to their opposition to fair treatment for Pureto Rico under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.

“Puerto Rico’s leaders continue to lobby Congress to violate the Island’s Constitution and wipeout bondholders by restructuring all of the Commonwealth’s public debts,” argued the Kochs’ concerned retirees group in a recent press release. Sounds hollow, but it doesn’t matter: congressional Republicans have got their backs, regardless.

That’s nothing new. As usual, Republicans are Livin’ La Vida Koch-A — siding with the Kochs and hedge funds instead of giving fair treatment to Puerto Rico. 

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation