Senate Hearing on Puerto Rico’s Status

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is in charge of Puerto Rico. They hold hearings on Puerto Rico’s status every few years. The most recent hearing included testimony from the leaders of the three main political groups on the Island, representing statehood, independence, and “commonwealth.”

Chairman Wyden  opened with comments including this clear statement:

There is no disputing that a majority of the voters in Puerto Rico — 54 percent — have clearly expressed their opposition to continuing the current territorial status. The “New Commonwealth” option continues to be advocated as a viable option by some. It is not. Persistence in supporting this option after it has been rejected as inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Justice Department, by the bipartisan leadership of this Committee, by the House, and by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations undermines resolution of Puerto Rico’s status question. The rejection of the current territory status last November leaves Puerto Rico with only two options: statehood under U.S. sovereignty, or some form of separate national sovereignty.

The leaders of the statehood and independence parties explained the options they preferred and asked for simple votes. A yes/no vote on statehood was one option, and a vote between statehood and independence was another. The governor was not willing to accept either of these suggestions.

He said firmly that the enhanced commonwealth option should be on the ballot, even though it was clear that it would not be accepted by the U.S. government.

“What I’m trying to understand here is what exactly enhanced commonwealth is,” Sen. Murkowski  said at one point. Governor Garcia Padilla was not able to clarify this option. The hearing ended without resolution.

Read the full text of the hearing.

This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.

3 Comments

HR 727 - Puerto Rico 51st

[…] federally-sponsored plebiscite in Puerto Rico to settle the question of Puerto Rico’s status. Senate hearings were held and it was made clear that there were really only two possibilities for Puerto Rico: […]

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Miriam Sotomayor

I was 100% for it but now I’m having a second thought, now I have to check with people who lives on the Island n the news to see what’s going on, n what’s happening. I want the best for Puerto Rico.

Reply
Daniel P. Arroyo

Hi Sotomayor thanks for you’re comment but I’m just curious you live in NY in which I use to live in the Garden State (NJ) and I paid my taxes and enjoyed my full rights and benefits for being an American citizens and proud of my both cultures. I haven’t served in the military but I’m serving in PRSG Army as an MP and I’m proud of it, if I have to defend our Great Nation from harms way I won’t hesitate to do so. But you live in the mainland and with honor and sacrifice you achieved the American dream and you make us proud and showed us we to can achieve with hard work that American dream. But I’m confused with you’re statement that your having second thought now that you have to check with the people that lives in the Island and wants best for Puerto Rico no entiendo ????.My opinion is that we the people of PR the OLDEST COLONY in the WESTERN HEMISPHERE should have the right as American citizen here in Puerto Rico the say so about the Island future you live in the Big Apple Lydia and Gutierrez live in Chicago but loves the COLONY but they don’t live here and to make the matter ridiculous with my respect to my Latin Brothers looking for the American Dream he wants the Immigration law in affect giving all Immigrants the same rights as our brothers and sisters from the mainland. What about 3.7 million Born American citizens in PR that fought on every war battle of this Great Nation with Pride and Honor for this Nation that us being a state we will have more purple heart giving in the Arm Forces than any other 50 state in the Nation with pride. So saying this whats to the second thought we voted 54% don’t want the colony 61% voted for statehood.Let’s support the Commissioners HR727 and let’s stop this embarrassing and injustice you should know this word you’re want of the finest judge and for the 3.7 million US citizen in PR is time to show congress that that November 2012 plebiscite was not a mistake lets go ahead with HR727 and end this ones and for all simple YES or NO for Statehood I live here now for 8 years and the right as American I want it here and that is Presidential vote and my 2 senators and my 4 to 5 congressman representing us US Citizen of the 51 State. And yes I’m a Die Hard Republican such is life.

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