What’s with All the Bills on Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico, the press is telling us, is a priority in Washington for 2016. Certainly, Congress is paying more attention to Puerto Rico than usual. The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has set a March 31 deadline for the House of Representatives to come up with a plan for Puerto Rico and 46 senators wrote a letter to the Majority Leader of the Senate asking him to do the same.

There have been a number of hearings about Puerto Rico in both the House and Senate and witnesses in all these hearings have made the point that Congress must take action on the question of Puerto Rico’s status and also for equal rights for Puerto Rico.

The result has been a number of bills: suggested laws which will become laws if the House and Senate vote for them and (in most cases) the President signs them. There are a lot more bills than there are laws, but the number of bills on a subject is a good indication of how much attention Congress is paying to that subject.

So here are some of the bills about Puerto Rico which have been introduced in Congress, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate:

  • H.R. 870, the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 2015, House version
  • S.1774, Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 2015, Senate version

  • H.R.4199, the Puerto Rico Financial Stability and Debt Restructuring Choice Act

  • H.R.4290, the Puerto Rico Emergency Financial Stability Act of 2015, House version

  • S.2436, the Puerto Rico Emergency Financial Stability Act of 2015, Senate version

  • S.2381, the Puerto Rico Assistance Act of 2015

  • S.2203, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act of 2015

  • H.R.3725. the Puerto Rico Financial Improvement and Bond Guarantee Act of 2015

  • H.R.3610, the Puerto Rico Investor Protection Act of 2015

  • H.R.3552, the Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act of 2015

  • S.1602, the Puerto Rico Hospital HITECH Amendments Act of 2015

  • H.R.727, the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process Act

All together, from the Improving the Treatment of the U.S. Territories Under Federal Health Programs Act of 2015 to the No Taxation Without Representation Act, there have been more than 100 bills mentioning Puerto Rico in 2015 and 2016. Congress has not yet taken action, but  our representatives in Washington are becoming aware of Puerto Rico.

Click through any of the numbers on the list above and you can see a quick summary of the bill, the text of the bill, the people who introduced the bill, and what action has been taken on that bill. You can tell your representatives in the House and Senate what you think of that bill and what action you want to see.

Congress is ready to listen to what we have to say about Puerto Rico. Speak up! #actionforPR
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