Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Just what we need another BLUE STATE: Puerto Ricans Speak Out on U.S. Territory’s Political Status; Puerto Rico governor hopeful that status bill will move quickly through Congress

AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File
Puerto Ricans speak out on U.S. territory’s political status:
Hundreds of Puerto Ricans crowded into a convention center Saturday where federal legislators held a public hearing to decide the future of the island’s political status as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from hurricanes, earthquakes and a deep economic crisis.
One by one, dozens of people ranging from politicians to retirees to young people leaned into a microphone and spoke against the island’s current territorial status, which recognizes its people as U.S. citizens but does not allow them to vote in presidential elections, denies them certain federal benefits and allows them one representative in Congress with limited voting powers.
The hearing comes two weeks after a group of Democratic congress members including the House majority leader and one Republican proposed what would be the first-ever binding plebiscite that would offer voters in Puerto Rico three options: statehood, independence or independence with free association, whose terms would be defined following negotiations.
Congress would have to accept Puerto Rico as the 51st state if voters so choose it, but the proposal is not expected to survive in the Senate, where Republicans have long opposed statehood.
“Everyone, even congress people themselves, know that the possibilities of this becoming law are minimal and maybe non-existent, but it doesn’t stop being important,” former Puerto Rico governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá told The Associated Press. --->READ MORE HERE
Puerto Rico governor hopeful that status bill will move quickly through Congress:
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi (D) is hopeful that a House delegation due this weekend on the island will return to Washington, D.C., ready to quickly move a bill to update the U.S. territory’s status.
The delegation, led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), will be in Puerto Rico to get feedback on a proposed bill introduced last month that would allow Puerto Ricans to vote between becoming a state, an independent nation or an independent nation with a treaty of free association with the United States.
Pierluisi, who favors statehood as an alternative to the current territorial status, said he believes all options in the proposed bill are democratic, unlike the current status.
“The three options that are given to the public or the people, the residents of Puerto Rico, the American citizens of Puerto Rico, are fully democratic — I have to admit that — the three of them,” Pierluisi told The Hill.
“I much prefer statehood than the others. I think that’s actually the logical next step for Puerto Rico, but I respect the other two and people should be able to vote for them as well.”
The proposed bill was born out of a long negotiation process between Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R). --->READ MORE HERE
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