President Obama praised the House for passing a bill to help Puerto Rico restructure its debt, as the U.S. territory reels from an economic crisis and the spreading Zika virus.
The House earlier this week passed a bill that gives Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt and help protect pensions for the island's retirees. Obama urged the Senate to quickly take up the bill and send it to his desk.
"Right now, Puerto Rico is spending about a third of its tax revenue on debt payments — far more than anywhere else in America," Obama said in his weekly address. "And on July 1, the island faces another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot pay."
Obama said the bill is not a bailout for Puerto Rico. "This bill won't cost federal taxpayers a dime," he said.
The bipartisan effort has gotten fierce pushback from a dark money group called the Center for Individual Freedom, which ran ads in Washington calling the bill a bailout. Hedge funds, which bought up some of Puerto Rico's debt, have fought against the bill.
Obama said the legislation also includes "a temporary system of oversight to help implement needed reforms and ensure transparency."