With debt payment looming, House weighs Puerto Rico bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is urging the House to quickly pass legislation to help ease Puerto Rico’s financial crisis.

The House is scheduled to begin debate Thursday on a bill that would create a financial control board and restructure some of Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt.

The White House says in a statement that failing to act could result in a “economic and humanitarian crisis” in the U.S. territory beyond what the island is already facing.

A lengthy recession has caused hundreds of thousands of people to leave for the U.S. mainland.

House Republican and Democratic leaders are supporting the bill, but it faces opposition from some bondholders, unions and Puerto Rican officials.

The island faces a $2 billion debt payment in just over three weeks.