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But a closer look at the latest deal may confirm that the islands problems may not be over yet. While Puerto Rico remains a territory, it is no longer a colony and is now technically an independent country and as such it is free to negotiate with the federal government on debt. But a significant portion of the islands debt is not federal debt: Puerto Rico is still required to make payments that are more or less guaranteed by the federal government. It does so by tapping into the pay as you go funds in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, also known as food stamps. Congress passed a law in 1996 that allowed Puerto Rico to make up to 3 percent of its pension obligations directly from TANF funds, effectively making the money available to the government and the islands teachers, police, and firefighters. But the territory still has to pay the remaining 97 percent.

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famous black irish celebrities