The Natural Resources Committee will discuss both HR 1522 and HR 2070 this season. While there have been suggestions that the two could be combined in a compromise bill, supporters of both bills continue to work for them.

Rep.Nydia Velazquez tweeted about her bill, HR 2070:

It is true that the cases of Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are not the same. As a territory, Puerto Rican easily be made a state with a simple majority vote in Congress.

But it is not true, as Velazquez claims, that “HR 2070 is the only path that empowers Puerto Ricans to decide future political status.”

Puerto Rico has already traveled most of the way along the path that has brought 32 other territories to statehood. Puerto Rico has held a referendum, which statehood won (again). The official representative of Puerto Rico in Congress has introduced a statehood bill (HR 1522). Congress should respect Puerto Rico’s vote and admit Puerto Rico as a state.

This is what respondents to Velazquez’s tweets said:

“Not only was your project proven to be unconstitutional,”wrote Conservative Boricua, “but unnecessary as well. Puerto Ricans have been given the option to choose what they want for the island, 3 times in a row chose statehood by a huge margin. 1) 67%, 2)97%, 3)53%.  And you want toast again if we are sure?”

“Your bill gave the anti statehood movement a second chance,” said Reifil. “They agreed on participating in a plebiscite and they lost. It’s very hard for me to understand what you don’t understand. It seems to me that since you never support Statehood you’re using your position to stop it.”

It’s clear that people who have the benefits of statehood are creating obstacles for those who don’t have those benefits.

But in addition, there are real problems with HR 2070. It looks though its primary goal is to delay statehood, but it also has some very strange elements beyond that.

Serious Problems with Velazquez & Ocasio-Cortez “Self-Determination” Bill

Some specifics

The bill establishes a “semipermanent body” of elected delegates to a constitutional convention. The delegates will be elected, but there must be at least one delegate for every proposed status option. So, if no candidate for “enhanced commonwealth” is elected, one will presumably have to be appointed.

In the course of their campaigns for election, the delegates will have federal funding. However, in order to get that funding, they will have to follow these rules:

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