At his daily press conference, White House spokesman Sean Spicer rejected the Democrats’ proposal to provide funds to Puerto Rico in order to save it from a possible default on its debt by including language in the spending bill that has to be passed by Friday.
On Thursday morning, President Trump said on Twitter that Democrats are seeking to "bail out" Puerto Rico as part of the spending bill. He tweeted, "No!"
For his part, Spicer said that the Republicans’ goal now will be keep the federal government operating, rather than stalling the process by adding language to aid Puerto Rico. "The president's tweet and the president's discussion revolves around the continuing resolution to fund our government," Spicer said. "There needs to be a continuing resolution effective this Friday."
"The Democrats at the last minute have come in and thrown a lot of monkey wrenches into the ability of this to get done, despite the president doing everything that he can to show good faith to keep this going," Spicer added.
"They keep moving the goalpost, and the issue right now is to make sure that we do what's in the best interest of this country and our people by keeping the government open," Spicer said.
Spicer added that the language concerning Puerto Rico is not the "most effective way" to deal with its debt problem. Down the road, he said, there will be other means of dealing with the issue. Currently, Puerto Rico in in debt in excess of $70 billion. Last year, it failed to make good on a $2 billion payment. In response, legislation was approved by Congress that created a panel for the purpose of encouraging economic growth in the island commonwealth. However, a debt crisis remains.
Last month, an oversight panel overseeing the debt imposed a plan that made some creditors concerned that they face huge losses.