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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor has no objection to budget structuring established by the House

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that he has no major objections to the structuring of the budget established by the island House of Representatives, but the determination of how it will be structured will be up to the Financial Oversight and Management Board.

“We have been working with the [oversight] board, because it is the board to which [the House] is going to submit the budget, the budget request of the Legislative Assembly, and it should be doing so sometime in the coming weeks,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “We are working with the board, we agree with the amount of the budget, while there may be some differences in particular allocations. I have to say that the areas that the speaker of the House mentioned as priority areas coincide with proposals that I have made before the board; that is, attending to the University of Puerto Rico, attending to the municipalities, among others, so I see a convergence.”

Regarding funds for the municipalities, Pierluisi said he believes that there is openness to consider them.

He added that his government is following the discussions in the United States on the federal budget and the implications it would have for Puerto Rico.

“We are monitoring the matter; like the entire legislative process, there is a negotiation taking place and what the Republicans want is not what is necessarily going to be approved,” he said. “That applies to what perhaps Democrats want as well. There will come some kind of middle ground. What I have said, and I repeat, is that if what you are thinking, cut or eliminate unobligated funds related to the pandemic, the vast majority of the funds we have to address the impact of the pandemic have been obligated; that is, the amount in the case of Puerto Rico on that issue should not be so significant. Hopefully, there will be no cut, but what we have done is we have been accelerating the use of all those funds and the obligation of all those funds related to the pandemic.”

President Joseph Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are holding debt limit negotiations to prevent the nation from defaulting on its obligations.

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