Tags: puerto rico | governor | statehood

Puerto Rico Governor: 'Congress Is Morally Obligated to Respond' to Statehood Vote

pedro pierluisi sits in chair
The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 February 2021 10:09 AM

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, told “Axios on HBO” that “Congress is morally obligated to respond” to the territory’s recent vote on statehood, which he said should spur legislation on the issue.

"We need a game changer in Puerto Rico,” Pierluisi said in the interview, which aired on Sunday. “And one game changer would be that we get equal treatment in key federal programs.”

He noted that people living on the island lack access to programs like Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit, a representative in Congress with full voting power, and the ability to vote for the President of the United States.

"Statehood is not a panacea," Pierluisi said. "Of course we have to do better. But there's no question that having two senators and four representatives in Congress batting for us when needed would make a difference."

He added, "The U.S. could be expanding by admitting Puerto Rico into the union. It would be telling the world that it is embracing diversity because this would be a truly, completely Hispanic state."

The governor noted that while Puerto Rico “would probably lean Democratic,” it would likely act as a swing state with a “mixed” congressional delegation.

When asked about the similar issue of statehood for Washington, D.C., Pierluisi said: "I don't want to compete with D.C. I'm all for D.C. statehood. So I just want the star [on the American flag]. I don't care about the number. So long as it happens and it happens soon, I'll be more than pleased."

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Politics
The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, told "Axios on HBO" that "Congress is morally obligated to respond" to the territory's recent vote on statehood, which he said should spur legislation on the issue. "We need a game changer...
puerto rico, governor, statehood
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2021-09-15
Monday, 15 February 2021 10:09 AM
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