The leadership of the Natural Resources Committee talked with former Revitalization Coordinator Noel Zamot, who recently denounced that the government of Puerto Rico blocked critical infrastructure projects.
"Staff of the Committee have spoken to him," said yesterday the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Democrat Raúl Grijalva.
Grijalva said he has no details about the initial talks with Zamot.
Among his allegations, Zamot said that the government wanted to control projects for infrastructure revitalization and even shared an investor´s project with third parties.
Last week, after Zamot´s allegations, Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares exhorted Zamot to deliver all the information he has for the authorities to open an investigation.
"Former employees are eager to talk and our officials are talking to them," said Grijalva.
Grijalva insisted that -without imposing a specific work schedule- he wants to analyze the Board´s powers over the government of Puerto Rico, to make PROMESA "less oppressive", to limit its "negative consequences" and to set the “interests of the people of Puerto Rico as a priority."
Grijalva reiterated his intention to question austerity measures imposed to the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and to the education system in general as examples of those consequences.
"We must invest in education," said Grijalva, at a press conference after the public learning session held by his committee on Friday at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, where they listened to 38 speakers.
Since Republicans control the Senate (53 to 47) and that PROMESA was created as a quid pro quo – control over the Puerto Rican government in exchange for debt restructuring – Grijalva acknowledged that it will be difficult to reach consensus.
Spokesman for the Republican minority in the Natural Resources Committee, Rob Bishop (Utah), said that he never says “never to anything” and added that if there were a logical argument on the reasons to make changes to the Board´s powers, he “would consider it”.
The fact that the Boston First Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the appointment of the Board members was unconstitutional may represent an incentive for Congress to review PROMESA.