The Puerto Rican Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed an emergency declaration authorizing the governor to suspend payments on $72 billion in public debt—setting up a dramatic showdown between Puerto Rico and hedge funds amid the island’s historic debt crisis. The bill authorizes the Puerto Rican governor to "protect the health, security and public welfare ... [by] using government funds first and foremost for public services." The dramatic move comes one day after a group of hedge funds sued to freeze the assets of Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank in efforts to stop the bank from spending money on the island that the hedge funds want to go toward upcoming debt payments.
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