Puerto Rico Independence Bill in Congress?

 

Is there a bill for Puerto Rico independence being considered in the U.S. Congress? Short answer, no.

A more interesting answer is contained in a piece in Caribbean Business. Editor Philipe Schoene Roura apparently saw a copy of this bill, which has been talked about a lot in social media. He quotes from it:

[I]t is the intention of Congress to approve legislation, in close consultation with the Executive branch of the United States, to assure that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will attain full sovereignty as an independent country not later than seven years after the date of the enactment of this act.

The thing is, this is not exactly a bill. A bill is a proposed law introduced by members of Congress. The Caribbean Business quotes come from a “draft bill,” which is something different. Anyone can draft, or write, a bill. You can do it right now on your phone if you feel like it. But until a member of Congress proposes it, it’s not really a bill. It is not being considered in Congress.

 

 

There is actually a bill for statehood for Puerto Rico, HR727. This bill was introduced by Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s representative in the U.S. Congress. It has 110 cosponsors. It was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and then to the Subcommittee on Indians, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs.

You can go to Congress.gov at any time and see all the bills which have actually been introduced and are under consideration. You can search for and see all the bills about Puerto Rico that have been introduced. Each one has a graphic tracker showing whether it has had further action taken.

Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  1. Introduced
  2. Passed Senate
  3. Passed House
  4. To President
  5. Became Law

Not only can you see for yourself whether a bill has been introduced, but you can also reach out to your congressperson (and, if you live in a state, your senator as well). Tell him or her what you think. Tell them that you care about Puerto Rico. Use our automatic email generator to make it easy.

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