Puerto Rico fiscal crisis

Senate Approves Puerto Rico Rescue, Sends to Obama
Bill would set path for territory's restructuring debt, establish oversight board

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, left, seen here with Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez at a May news conference on the Puerto Rico rescue bill, which he has called "neo-colonialism." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation aimed at rescuing Puerto Rico from its debt crisis, and President Barack Obama said he would sign it.  

Although the measure passed easily, 68-30, there was strong opposition from some Democrats, including Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who said the action treated the people of Puerto Rico "like subjects, not citizens."  

Puerto Rico Rescue Bill Moves Forward
Vote comes ahead of Friday deadline for default on debt

Puerto Rican flags hang from windows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate agreed Wednesday to move forward with legislation to rescue Puerto Rico from its fiscal crisis just days ahead of a July 1 deadline when the island would default on as much as $2 billion in debt.  

Despite reservations from Democrats and Republicans alike, the Senate voted 68-32 to close debate on a measure already approved by the House.  

In Puerto Rico, One Expectant Mother's Zika 'Nightmare'
Slathered in mosquito repellent, wearing a citronella bracelet and protective clip-on fan

Ceciliana Carrion and her husband Daniel Bautista, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, are expecting their first child in October.

In Florida, the first case of a baby born with Zika-related microcephaly — an abnormally small head — was confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the total in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to five.  

On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats spent the day killing $1.1 billion in funding to fight the mosquito-borne virus. (This over GOP provisions involving the Confederate flag, a ban on any Zika-related funding going to Planned Parenthood, and a proposal that would have weakened environmental restrictions on the use of insecticides.) Now, the Senate won't even consider Zika funding again until July 7 at the earliest, after the Fourth of July recess.