On December 1st, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Puerto Rico’s financial troubles and how to solve them.
The territory’s Resident Commissioner in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pedro Pierluisi, told the Committee, “When Puerto Rico becomes a State, as I know it will, my constituents will vote for the president and members of Congress who make our laws, and they will be treated equally under those laws.”
Until that day, he continued, Puerto Rico has to plead for something closer to equality. ”
“What a shameful arrangement,” Pierluisi said, “for us, but also for you.”
Pierluisi talked about the faults in Puerto Rico’s government, saying that the leadership in the territory has shown “a lack of discipline, transparency and common sense.”
But he also spoke about the way the Federal government has failed Puerto Rico. “The Federal government’s policies towards Puerto Rico,” he said, “are inequitable and incoherent. They essentially make it impossible for the island to prosper, even if our local leaders were beyond reproach.”
Pierluisi pointed out that Puerto Rico has been treated unequally under Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal programs.
The Resident Commissioner demanded that Congress pass bills to help Puerto Rico get through the current problems, “to be part of the solution to a problem it had a significant role in creating.”
Pierluisi was right when he said that statehood and the equality it will bring is the only real solution. He is also correct in demanding that Congress take action to help Puerto Rico with its difficult situation.
Contact your legislators to make the same demand.