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Report: Puerto Rico Launches Statehood Bid With Shadow Delegation

Image: Report: Puerto Rico Launches Statehood Bid With Shadow Delegation
Republican Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (Tom Williams/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018 10:49 PM

Puerto Rico on Wednesday launched a bid for statehood by announcing a shadow delegation to lobby Congress.

Republican Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón announced the commission's members on the House floor, The Hill reports, saying Puerto Rico was reduced "to a second-class citizenship" because of its territorial status.

Democratic Gov. Ricardo Rosselló names these shadow senators: former Democratic Gov. Carlos Romero Barceló and Republican Zoraida Fonalledas.

The shadow representatives are Democratic former Gov. Pedro Rosselló González; GOP ex-Gov. Luis Fortuño; Charles Rodríguez, a Democrat and former president of the Puerto Rico Senate; Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican and former chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship, and baseball Hall of Famer Iván 'Pudge' Rodríguez, who is an Independent.

Fortuño and Romero will have access to the House floor, since both have been resident commissioners, The Hill reports.

Rosselló said Wednesday "everyone has seen not only on a theory level, but on a pragmatic level, what it means to be a second-class citizen" because of weak federal support after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

"The opportunity was there to show that we were going to be treated equally," Rosselló told the Hill, "and by and large there has been a demonstration that we weren't."

The Statehood Commission, Rosselló said, would lobby Congress to pass a law giving Puerto Ricans a final chance to decide whether they would want statehood.

The vote would be done through binding referendum.

In June, Puerto Rico held a nonbinding referendum, where 97 percent of voters supported statehood, although only 23 percent of eligible voters turned out, according to the report.

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Announcing a shadow delegation to lobby Congress, Puerto Rico on Wednesday launched a bid for U.S. statehood after being reduced "to a second-class citizenship" because of its territorial status amid this fall's hurricanes.
puerto rico, statehood, congress, delegation, hurricane relief
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2018-49-10
Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018 10:49 PM
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