Darren Soto and Jenniffer González-Colón Team Up on Puerto Rico Statehood Legislation
Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) last week introduced the Puerto Rico Admission Act, legislation that would provide for the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico as a state of the union and is the first-ever direct Statehood admissions bill. “For more than a century the people of Puerto Rico have been U.S. citizens, but has been denied the right to vote for the President and members of Congress, leaving us without representation in the federal government, which enact the laws that rule the land,” said González-Colón. “[Puerto Ricans], as American citizens, want to have the same benefits and duties, as all American citizens have in the states.” Given Donald Trump’s response to the island’s troubles including Hurricane Maria, efforts to better position Puerto Rico have kicked into high gear. Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday condemned the president’s “appalling behavior” over his reported comments calling relief funding for Puerto Rico excessive and questioning why the island is getting so much aid. The HUD Inspector General’s office last week said it was looking into whether the White House interfered with Puerto Rico disaster aid. The bipartisan legislation from Soto and González-Colón would give Puerto Rico full civil rights and equal footing with other states 90 days after its enactment. “This bill is about respecting democracy and equality in Puerto Rico,” said Soto. “Our historic legislation will finally end over 120 years of colonialism and provide full rights and representation to over 3.2 million Americans.” The legislation has the approval of Democratic Governor Ricardo Rosselló. More here.