Democrats, Republicans, and Puerto Rico Statehood

Republican and Democratic symbols

Before we say anything new on this subject, we have two important reminders.

  • Both Republican and Democratic Party platforms support statehood for Puerto Rico.
  • Both Democrats and Republicans support statehood for Puerto Rico as cosponsors for statehood bills, and have done so for decades.

In other words,

Statehood for Puerto Rico has bipartisan support. Click To Tweet

But now, as we move closer to the presidential election and the statehood vote in Puerto Rico, Republicans and Democrats alike are speaking up on statehood for Puerto Rico.

Democrats reject Velazquez/AOC bill

Nydia Velazquez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed a bill for a status convention which would push self-determination for Puerto Rico years out into the future. Their bill intends to take the place of the plebiscite which the government of Puerto Rico has arranged, and would have a small number of representatives plan a new plebiscite with a yes/no vote on whatever they choose.

Puerto Rico Democratic Party Chair Charles Rodríguez on Friday called on the Democrats in Congress to reject this bill. “The proposed legislation allows a group of delegates to decide and impose an option. In a democracy, we should trust the people to make their own decisions rather than rely on a selected few to decide for the people,” wrote Rodríguez.

“We agree with them that Puerto Rico’s current unequal and undemocratic status is simply unsustainable,” he acknowledged. “We urge you to encourage voter participation in the upcoming referendum called by the elected officials on the island who ran on a platform that guaranteed the people their right to vote to determine their future political status… The upcoming referendum will provide a voice to our people and constitutes a valid form of self-determination.”

Many Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have also spoken out against the bill, including Jose Serrano, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto, among others.

A new poll from Data for Progress shows that 76% of Democratic respondents (all mainland U.S. voters) now support statehood for Puerto Rico. So the Democrats who introduced ed the “self-determination” bill are not only ignoring the will of the people of Puerto Rico and indeed the Democrats in Puerto Rico, but are also ignoring the views of their party on the mainland as well.

Republicans call Puerto Rico statehood “radical”

Mitch McConnell has identified Puerto Rico statehood with “the radical Democratic agenda,” in spite of the fact that statehood for Puerto Rico is actually part of the Republican Party platform. He even has associated statehood with “socialism” in a confused and confusing statement. Other Republicans have claimed that Puerto Rico would be a blue state and therefore they don’t want to allow statehood, even though Puerto Rico would probably be a swing state.

The position that 3.2 million U.S. citizens should not have equal rights in case they vote Democratic should embarrass the Republican Party, but there are plenty of Republicans out there taking that view. Republican Senator Martha McSally told NBC News that Republicans would “never get the Senate back again” if Puerto Rico became a state.

Republicans should watch out — they could end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Which side of the aisle?

So we have Republicans associating statehood with Democrats and Democrats actively fighting against statehood. We can’t rely on one party or the other for this important matter.

Help your lawmakers understand the importance of statehood for Puerto Rico, whichever party they choose.

One Comment

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“ Words do have a limited range of meaning, and no interpretation that goes beyond
That range is permissible” Justice Antonin Scalia

Beware of well orchestrated promises during an election cycle.

Joe Biden- US Senator for 36 years and US VP for 8 years. Attitude towers PR in all those years?
Kamala Harris – under an unexpected Harris presidency – What will be her Stand towards PR Statehood?
President Trump – Names the undeniable local PR endless corruption and lack of Republican support/ GOP presence as a hurdle for Statehood. Lacks the understanding that the unincorporated territorial status is to blame for PR economic failures and poor administrative decisions.
US Congress: 100 Senators/ 435 members in the House of Representatives – how many truly understand the depth of the PR unincorporated Colonialism Status?

Congress has the power – Democrats and Republicans.

How do the US citizens of PR can constitutionally and Legally Claim to Congress Permanent equality while counteracting the opposing forces with powerful economic and lobbyists
connections?
1- Unity of all multiple groups of pro equality supporters – locally and nationwide.
2- Extensive education in PR of Democrats and Republicans parties platforms. The GOP in particular should have a wider local representation to address issues and inform the average Citizen. Education of local voters is key to the equality movement.
3- Organize a powerful citizen based Congress approach to advocate for equality until it becomes a reality.

PRicans have a conservative, family oriented culture. It is a grave mistake and misunderstanding to think PR will be a democratic State. Most likely a Republican or purple state based on nationwide economic and public policies.

Given an equal chance as the other 50 States under the same rules, responsibilities and opportunities -PR can climb to be among the top States within one lifetime. PR has the island beauty, the resilience of its citizens, great professionals in all fields supported by strong family units. PR needs permanent equality in order to move forward and stop the indignant injustice of colonialism which is beneath the principles of our US Constitution.

It is up to each member of Congress to ensure their individual and collective legacy towards the US citizens of PR will be one honoring our constitution and not the political and economic avarice of special interests. It is up to congress to admit PR as the 51st State in 2021.

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