But that leaves out many things that likely need to happen first for statehood to occur. In this recently held 2020 general election in Puerto Rico, the electorate once again voted on a statehood plebiscite. Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court, Judges Can Release Secret Grand Jury Records, Politicians Can't Block Voters on Facebook, Court Rules. Making matters even more complicated, many Democrats have said they support Puerto Rico’s bid for statehood. We discuss the recent and past votes for statehood and unpack the debate. The vote will be presented to the 117th… Puerto Rico pushes for statehood by 2021 In the wake of Hurricane Maria, the island territory of Puerto Rico is making a new push to become a state within the next three years. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, the island territory of Puerto Rico is making a new push to become a state within the next three years. Google Chrome, Puerto Ricans have been divided on the issue of statehood for decades. ©2020 Verizon Media. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Part of HuffPost Politics. This was the 6th time that Puerto Ricans had a choice to make on statehood. “The catastrophe left behind by Hurricanes Irma and María unmasked the reality of the unequal treatment of the American living in Puerto Rico, forcing the Executive to approve waivers and Congress to make exceptions so that we could receive help,” González-Colón said in a news release Wednesday. ), it would mean Puerto Ricans would: This debate is sure to heat up if Democrats have a strong Election Day. It is imperative that our generation ends the colonial relationship that we endure. Name “This is the first step to open a serious discussion to determine the ultimate political status of Puerto Rico,” González said, per NBC News. #ElMomentoEsAhora pic.twitter.com/7uTHGhBGSu, I thank my Republican and Democratic colleagues in Congress who continue to join as co-sponsors of the bill and those who were with us during the press conference to reiterate their support for Puerto Rico Statehood. Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s governor, echoed her. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Ricardo Rosselló, who’s fiercely advocated for statehood in the past, said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

All rights reserved. Stay tuned. “If not, the economic situation and the civil rights issues will not improve until we put a stop to this.”. After Congress accepted the new state's constitution, it would then vote on admitting the state to the union. Instead, we'll spell out how statehood could actually happen.

Although Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they can’t vote in presidential elections and don’t have a congressional representative with full voting powers. Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1898 when it was acquired following the Spanish-American War.

She added that if granted statehood, “Puerto Rico would definitely be a battleground for both” Democrats and Republicans. Microsoft Edge. Héctor Ferrer, the president of an opposing party in Puerto Rico that favors keeping the island a commonwealth, pushed back against the bill, saying it’s dead on arrival and intends to distract from the country’s problems. This is not the first time the question has been on the ballot. The non-binding referendum showed that only a very slim majority of Puerto Ricans support statehood at this time. We want equal treatment.”, Trump joked that the process would go quickly since “Ricardo is going to guarantee us two Republican senators.”. So far the bill has bipartisan support and currently 37 co-sponsors — a majority of which are Republicans. That's because DC statehood has support from a similar range of from US politicians, and DC's residents already voted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood in 2016, with 86% of voters supporting it. Filed by Rep. Jennifer González-Colón (R), Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner and non-voting representative in Congress, the bill lays out a plan to enable the territory to become a state by January 2021. “To sum everything up, this is about equality.”. A bill put forward in Congress would admit Puerto Rico as a state depending on the result of November's vote. Reduced to its simplest form, it simply means that Congress can pass a law, which the president signs, admitting a state. In Puerto Rico, five referendums have been held on statehood, most recently in 2017. Just like many other big issues that get a lot of talk from activists, the Constitution does not say all that much about statehood. Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced new bipartisan legislation to make Puerto Rico the nation's 51st state by 2021. In the last referendum on the issue, 97 percent of those who voted supported statehood. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. President Trump, along with former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, stated support for Puerto Rican statehood if that's what island residents wanted. Puerto Rican residents have been American citizens since 1917. One of this election season's weirdest rallying cries/scare tactics is about how Democrats will quickly move to grant statehood to Puerto Rico in 2021. Firefox, or Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Make Puerto Rico The 51st U.S. State By 2021, “To sum everything up, this is about equality.”, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. (In 2017, Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly in … But generally, Congress has first allowed a period of territorial government and passed what is known as an "enabling act" first, allowing residents of a territory to write their own constitution for their state. The Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2018 proposes creating a bipartisan task force — the Congressional Task Force on Equality for American Citizens of Puerto Rico — of nine members to help with the transition and make recommendations to Congress. A bipartisan bill introduced on Wednesday seeks to make the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico the nation’s 51st state. It currently has 60 cosponsors, but no further action has been taken on it. Trump Waives Jones Act: What Is It, What Does It Mean for Puerto Rico? “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,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) told NBC News. Nine months after the hurricane first hit the region, “millions in federal dollars for [post-Maria] reconstruction have yet to be allocated,” The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The Caribbean island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria and is currently in a financial crisis. Now, in November, Puerto Ricans will again head to the polls to vote on a simple yes vs. no question of statehood without other options for independence or free association. Today is a historic day. Statehood is nothing else than Equality; and this Admission Act provides the means to put into effect the values of Democracy and Respect upon which our Nation is built.”. On November 3rd Puerto Ricans on the island voted in favor of statehood for the commonwealth. All the talking heads discuss Puerto Rican statehood as an either/or proposition. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. All the talking heads discuss Puerto Rican statehood as an either/or proposition.