Puerto Rico officials yesterday responded to Senate President Kenneth McClintock's criticism of administration officials meeting Tuesday with rating agencies regarding the island's $9.48 billion fiscal 2009 budget, which passed in the legislature on Monday and now awaits Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila's signature.

The governor's chief of staff, Jorge Silva Puras, said McClintock's statements politicized the government's opportunity to meet with Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service and assess the island's credit rating. Fitch Ratings does not rate the Commonwealth.

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