U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew and Puerto Rico's Governor Garcia Padilla listen to kindergarden teacher Rivera during their visit to the elementary school Eleonor Roosevelt in San Juan

Puerto Rico authorizes debt payment suspension; Obama signs rescue bill

U.S. President Barack Obama signs into law S. 337: FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and S. 2328: Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act at the Oval Office of the White House in WashingtonBy Nick Brown SAN JUAN (Reuters) – Puerto Rico authorized suspension of payments on its general obligation debt on Thursday just minutes after U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law creating a federal oversight board with authority to negotiate the restructuring of the island’s $70 billion in debt. The executive order issued by Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, comes just one day before the U.S. territory was due to make $1.9 billion worth of debt payments on July 1, including some $780 million in constitutionally-backed, general obligation bonds. It remains to be seen whether Puerto Rico will pay part of the GO debt or any of the non-GO debt.

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