While Puerto Rico missed its most recent bond payment on May 1, the United States is trying to find a solution to the problem before its next scheduled payment in July.
In an exclusive interview with the FOX Business Network, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Peter Barnes the best answer to the crisis is restructuring the nation’s debt.
“Here in Puerto Rico you’d have restructuring combined with an oversight board to make sure that the fiscal problems are solved today, tomorrow and in the future,” Lew explained. “I think that is so profoundly the right solution and it is so much the opposite of a bailout that it’s important to make the point and to make it clearly.”
Lew stressed that taxpayer money would not go toward restructuring, and that Congress is working on legislation to help move the process forward.
“I believe we’re making progress,” he said. “I think we’ve made very good progress. We’re not quite there yet, there’s more work to be done.”
The treasury secretary added: “There’s urgency because the kind of chaos that comes from missing July payments will take this to a new level of crisis. We’re at a level of crisis, but that crisis will keep escalating until Congress acts. And the time to act is now.”