Conservative Washington, D.C. lobbying and PR firm DCI Group, which represents general obligation bondholders affected by Puerto Rico’s ongoing debt crisis, has retained West Front Strategies regarding recently passed legislation that oversees the cash-strapped U.S. territory's debts.
Puerto Rico, which on July 1 defaulted on a $2 billion debt payment to creditors, had for years borrowed money by issuing tax-exempt municipal bonds, and later found itself more than $71 billion in debt after it took out high-interest loans from financial institutions to repay the interest on those bonds.
Congress on June 29 passed a rescue bill that would enact a financial control board to manage Puerto Rico’s debts and oversee its budgets. That legislation would also prevent the U.S. commonwealth from participating in debt markets for several years.
Edelman in May was retained to advise a group of bondholders that supported this bill.
DCI also in May recruited Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and consulting firm The Raben Group to lobby on the public affairs powerhouse’s behalf, as Congress mulled over the possibility of extending Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections to the U.S. territory, which has previously been used by states to restructure their cities' debts. DCI Group last year also hired Alexandria, VA-based conservative group 60 Plus Association to coordinate a media and lobbying effort against those efforts.
A five-person team will manage the DCI account, which includes Cindy Brown, former chief of staff to Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI); Ashley Davis, former special assistant to Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and deputy director of management and administration under the Bush administration; Malloy McDaniel, former Policy Advisor to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Floor Assistant and a Cloakroom Assistant to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MI); Kristi Remington, former deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department and senior counsel on the House Government Reform Committee; and Shimon Stein, former senior policy advisor to then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and advisors to Sen. John Ashcroft (R-MO) and then-Rep. Jim Talent (R-MO).
Puerto Rico also missed its first scheduled May debt repayment of approximately $400 million.
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