Sanders breaks with White House on Puerto Rican rescue plan

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking at a rally on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is breaking with the Obama administration and House lawmakers over a plan to restructure Puerto Rico’s $70 billion in debt, saying the legislation “would make a terrible situation even worse.”

The Vermont senator says in a letter released Monday to his Senate colleagues that the deal reached last week between the White House and House Republicans and Democrats would empower an “unelected and undemocratic oversight board” and allow the governor of Puerto Rico to slash the minimum wage.

Sanders trails Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries and is registering his opposition to the deal ahead of the June 5 Puerto Rican caucuses.

It could complicate the measure’s future in the Senate after careful negotiations between the White House and Republicans in Congress.

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