Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. issued the following statement in reaction to comments by Alejandro García Padilla, Governor of Puerto Rico, stating that the commonwealth will not be able to pay back its estimated $72 billion in debt.

“The situation in Puerto Rico is dire, and requires immediate action by the federal government. I have, and will continue to, push for federal legislation that would allow the commonwealth of Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy and restructure its debt. This course of action is a better plan than simply allowing the island’s government to default, and I hope that Congress will act on this grim news with haste,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Earlier this month, Borough President Diaz announced the formation of a coalition of elected officials, healthcare and business leaders and others urging action on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. More information on that coalition can be found at