October 20, 2015 / 8:08 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Puerto Rico Senate committee hearing includes Treasury's Weiss

(Adds details about other witnesses, background)

NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Puerto Rico scheduled for Thursday includes Antonio Weiss, counselor to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, as a witness, according to a schedule posted on the committee's website.

The U.S. Treasury has repeatedly said it is not bailing out indebted Puerto Rico but said last week it has been trying to find ways to help the Commonwealth return to a sustainable economic path.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday met with Puerto Rican and Hispanic interest groups to talk about the U.S. territory's fiscal problems and address the administration's efforts to help speed its economic recovery, the Treasury said in a statement at the time.

Puerto Rico, in recession for nearly a decade, is trying to restructure its debt, which amounts to $72 billion, after defaulting in August.

The island has had an uphill battle getting its concerns heard in Washington. Bills in a Republican-dominated Congress aimed at extending U.S. bankruptcy laws to the U.S. territory and giving it improved healthcare funding have not progressed.

Other witnesses due to speak at Thursday's Senate hearing include Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla and Puerto Rico's representative in Congress Pedro Pierluisi. (Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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