WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, presented on Tuesday, a bipartisan resolution of the House of Representatives that seeks to support the results of the Puerto Rico plebiscite and urged Congress and the president to take action in 2021 before the results of said consultation.
“When November arrives, Puerto Rico will have a new opportunity to take a step forward to address its status situation. On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, the introduction of our resolution is about respecting democracy and the will of the people of Puerto Rico. If Puerto Ricans vote for statehood, we must take steps to admit the 51st state of our Union! ”Said Representative Soto in a written communication.
He argued that the plebiscite, scheduled for November 3, will allow the people of Puerto Rico the opportunity to vote for statehood or independence. The plebiscite will be held on the same day as the general elections on the island, to ensure maximum participation. These changes are critical as they correct concerns about past plebiscites.
“The 3.2 million US citizens who reside in Puerto Rico deserve equality, including the right to vote for their president and members of Congress, as well as equal treatment in federal programs. Now, more than ever, we must continue fighting and be a voice for all Puerto Ricans. We will do everything possible to ensure that Congress grants Puerto Rico statehood if voters choose this status option in the next plebiscite. I thank my colleague, Congressman Darren Soto, for being a strong supporter of the people of Puerto Rico and for presenting this resolution to achieve our maximum potential: equality with all 50 states, ”said González Colón.
He mentioned that Puerto Rico was hit by hurricanes Irma and María, and by recent earthquakes, burdened by a recession of more than a decade, suffered drastic cuts by the PROMESA Fiscal Control Board and is now in the middle of a COVID pandemic -19. In light of these challenges, Congress must respect the choice of Americans in Puerto Rico to determine their form of government, including the choice to be a state and have two senators and four representatives defend them in Washington.
He added that if voters choose statehood, Puerto Rico would be the first majority Hispanic state admitted to the Union, followed by New Mexico with just over 49 percent Hispanic residents.
“This would greatly expand Hispanic political power in the nation’s capital,” he said.
The resolution is co-sponsored by the representatives Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-R), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Val Demings (FL-10), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Ted Deutch (FL-22) , José Serrano (NY-15), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Don Young (AK-R), Donna E. Shalala (FL-27), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Lois Frankel (FL-21) , Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Al Lawson (FL-05), Frederica Wilson (FL-22), Kathy Castor (FL-14), delegate Amata Radewagen (AS ).