John Oliver Highlights The Dark Money Trying To Stop Congress From Helping Puerto Rico Restructure Its Debt

Oliver: “We Need To Stop Treating Puerto Rico Like It’s Just A Tax Haven … We Have To Start Treating It Like An Island Of American Citizens Whose Fate Is Interwoven With Ours”

From the April 24 edition of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

JOHN OLIVER (HOST): Puerto Rico is currently about $70 billion in debt. And it is wreaking havoc on the island.


Now the good news here is Congress is currently considering a bipartisan bill that would give Puerto Rico some breathing room to negotiate with creditors. And the details are still being worked out, but if this is done well, it could be a real help to Puerto Rico. Unfortunately there is now a coordinated campaign to kill it.


OK, everything you just saw was bullshit. First, it's not a bailout. No one is suggesting a cash infusion. Second, that ad wasn’t paid for by Savers And Seniors, but by the Center for Individual Freedom who spent nearly $2 million on ads like that. They are a dark money group, so it’s impossible to say where that money came from. Hedge funds. Hedge funds. Hedge funds gave them the money. It’s impossible to say. Hedge funds. Impossible.


Look, the point is 3.5 million Americans are facing a dire crisis right now and the clock is ticking. Their next debt payment is due on May 1 And in the short-term, they need relief from hedge fund lawsuits and an opportunity to try to restructure their debt. And in the long-term, we need to stop treating Puerto Rico like it’s just a tax haven or a place to have terrifying sex with a stranger in a coconut mask and instead we have to start treating it like an island of American citizens whose fate is interwoven with ours.


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