New Statehood Bill

Darren Soto has introduced a new Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2019, a bill proposing statehood for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States for more than a century. In 2012 and 2017, the voters of Puerto Rico chose statehood as their preferred status option, and in 2018 the government of Puerto Rico officially requested statehood.

Congress has not yet taken action. Congress must vote to make Puerto Rico a state, as it has done for 32 territories in the past. No other specific actions are required by the U.S. Constitution.

The new bill does not yet have a number. It reminds readers that the 2017 plebiscite received a 97% majority of votes in favor of statehood and that the constitution of Puerto Rico has already been approved by Congress.

It then goes on to say, “Not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, the President shall issue a proclamation announcing that Puerto Rico is admitted into the Union on equal footing with other States in all respects.”

This is the usual language for a statehood admission act.

The bill goes on to specify that the people in the government at the time will continue in their positions and the laws in force will remain in force when Puerto Rico becomes a state. The current laws about citizenship will also stay the same.

Read the bill.

The next step for the bill will be to go to the committee which has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico. The members of the committee will make recommendations about the bill to the Congress as a whole.

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