As we prepare for the presidential election this year, we cannot be certain who will be the President of the United States in 2021. We cannot be sure who will be in the House and Senate in January. But we can be sure that someone will be able to claim the legacy of the 51st state of the Union.
The last president who could lay claim to have added a state to the Union was Dwight Eisenhower.
The next president to be able to claim bragging rights for adding a state to the Union could easily be Donald Trump or Joe Biden.
Isn’t it really Congress?
It is true that it is not the president, but Congress that actually has the power to add states to the United States. “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union,” says Article IV, Section III of the U.S. Constitution. “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.”
Congress has the power under the U.S. Constitution to pass enabling acts and to admit new states.
However, the President of the United States gets to sign the proclamation making a new state. No president since Eisenhower has signed a proclamation making the United States larger. The next president could.
How can you help the president achieve this legacy?
There is currently a Puerto Rico Admissions bill in Congress. Contact your legislators and let them know that you want that bill passed immediately.
If this takes place in 2020, President Trump will get the credit.
2020 may not be the year that Puerto Rico gains statehood. In that case, you should register to vote and make sure to vote. If you live in a state, vote for your favorite presidential candidate, knowing that your choice could be the one who gets the legacy of admitting another state into the United States.
No matter who wins the election in November, make sure that you tell your representatives in Congress that you want statehood for Puerto Rico. If you have friends and family in the states, make sure they do the same.