Treasury’s Weiss to be witness at House Puerto Rico hearing: official

NEW YORK Puerto Rico will be the subject of two U.S. House of Representatives hearings on Feb. 25, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Counselor Antonio Weiss the sole witness at one, Pedro Pierluisi, the island’s non-voting representative in Congress, said in a statement on Thursday.

Following the hearings, Pierluisi said he expected that the drafting process would begin “in earnest” for legislation for the island and that he would be involved in negotiations.

Republicans plan to bring a bill addressing Puerto Rico’s debt crisis to the floor of the House by the end of March.

The first hearing next Thursday, examining the impact of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis on the bond market, will be in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services.

The second, examining the Treasury’s analysis of the island, will be a full committee hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee, according to Pierluisi’s statement.

Puerto Rico, with around $70 billion in debt, has been trying to solve a fiscal crisis before substantial debt payments come due in May and July. It has already defaulted on some debt and is trying to persuade its creditors to take concessions.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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