White House says still not considering Puerto Rico bailout

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 5, 2014 1:50pm EST

1 of 4. A pedestrian walks past the shelter of a homeless person on the steps of an abandoned building in downtown Ponce on Puerto Rico's southern coast, February 5, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Alvin Baez

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it was still not considering a bailout for Puerto Rico after Standard & Poor's on Tuesday cut its credit rating to junk status.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment about the S&P move specifically but said the administration's position had not changed since January 22, when she said that no "deep federal assistance" was being contemplated.

With roughly $70 billion of tax-free debt, Puerto Rico's economy has for months been under threat of a ratings downgrade by all three U.S. credit ratings agencies.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Will Dunham)

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