Puerto Rico Statehood Bill Will Enter Congress in Mid-March, Says Governor

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The argument for Puerto Rican statehood, at least as far as its proponents in the 117th Congress are concerned, is twofold: First, it gives the Democrats a senator. Second, it gives the Democrats another senator.

For Puerto Ricans, the argument is a bit more nuanced. For Democrats who want to take it up, it’s little more than that. Felicitously, now that the Democrats control both houses of Congress and the presidency, both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., are suddenly ready to be admitted to the union as states. What luck!

The District of Columbia has its own issues, but the workplace counter that ticks off the years in which Puerto Rico hasn’t been plagued by massive political turmoil caused by structural ineptitude at the governmental level has been reliably stuck at zero. Last year was no exception, as protests broke out on the island after a citizen journalist posted a video of supplies from 2017’s Hurricane Maria rotting in a warehouse.

Well, it’s a new year. Puerto Rico has a relatively new governor — Pedro Pierluisi, elected last November. Puerto Ricans also voted for statehood, albeit by a thin margin, over independence. That means they’ll be delivering their request to be admitted to Congress, although Congress doesn’t necessarily have to take it up.

Regardless, Pierluisi fully expects the request to be delivered in the very near future.

In an interview with “Axios on HBO” that aired Sunday, Pierluisi said he expects a bill to be introduced in the House of Representatives that would make Puerto Rico a state by mid-March, telling interviewers that “Congress is morally obligated to respond” to the territory’s 52 percent to 47 percent vote in favor of admittance to the union. – READ MORE

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