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A New Bill Proposes Statehood For Puerto Rico


The push to make Puerto Rico a state has intensified after Puerto Rican resident commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon authored a bill calling for Puerto Rican statehood. The bill is supported both by several Republicans and Democrats including its sponsor Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. He’s the head of the commission on Natural Resources so I see what he’s going to get out of it. This comes a year after a referendum in PR as to whether or not to apply for statehood won by a slim margin. This is also almost a year after hurricane Maria decimated the island and received little help from the Trump administration and FEMA in spite of the fact that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Gonzalez-Colon said,

“This is the first step to open a serious discussion to determine the ultimate political status of Puerto Rico. To sum everything up, this is about equality.”

Puerto Rico as a protectorate is a non-voting member of congress and cannot vote for president. They are citizens, however, and are subject to many of the political decisions that effect all Americans. This is basically no representation, which as you’ll recall is why the Founding Fathers rebelled against England. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla said this of the bill,

“The hard truth is that Puerto Rico’s lack of political power allows Washington to treat Puerto Rico like an afterthought, as the federal government’s inadequate preparation for and response to Hurricane Maria made crystal clear.”

Whether or not it will pass is anyone’s guess. I’m surprised any Republicans are on board with this idea. After all, Puerto Rico would probably be a Democratic state and add its electoral votes accordingly. The United States would also take on PR’s massive debts and the cost of rebuilding the island after hurricane Maria. Also I doubt Trump would support this bill because, you know, he’s a vile racist who hates Latinos.

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