In this Aug. 2, 2015 file photo, a private security guard sits in front of a closed down business in the colonial district of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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Porfirio Guerrero has grown increasingly frustrated as a decadelong recession has sapped business from his tailor shop in the Puerto Rican capital.The island's economic crisis – including a $70 billion debt and looming default – have pushed many like Guerrero toward statehood.That feeling has been reinforced by Congress' approval Wednesday of a measure meant to help the island out of its deep economic malaise.It also creates a board appointed by Congress and the White House that will oversee the debt-restructuring process and Puerto Rico's finances, including requiring the island to have balanced budgets.The measure came too late, with Puerto Rico's governor Thursday declaring a debt moratorium on nearly $2 billion worth of debt that is due Friday, marking the largest default in the island's history.Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1898 and it gained limited political autonomy when the U.S. approved its constitution in 1952 .Regardless of the outcome, the U.S. Congress has final say, and it may be reluctant to welcome an island of nearly 3.5 million people in economic shambles that could change the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
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