Tags: house | democrats | puertorico | status

House Bill on Puerto Rico Divides Democrats

House Bill on Puerto Rico Divides Democrats
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 August 2020 04:19 PM

A House measure that would create a commission of Puerto Ricans to possibly change the island territory’s relationship with the United States is causing rifts among Democrats of Puerto Rican descent.

The bill was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who represents New York’s 7th Congressional district including parts of New York City’s boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx.

It calls for the creation of a “status convention” for Puerto Rico, which would be comprised of delegates elected by island residents to “develop a long-term solution for Puerto Rico’s status, be that statehood, independence, free association or any option other than the current territorial arrangement,” Ocasio-Cortez and Velazquez said in an opinion piece published by NBC.

The decision of the convention would then be voted on by Puerto Ricans and if approved, presented to the U.S. Congress. The reason for the convention, they say, is there is not “overwhelming support” for statehood.

But that has rankled those who support making Puerto Rico, acquired by the United States in 1898 from Spain after winning the Spanish-American War, the 51st state.

Fellow New York Rep. Jose Serrano, who represents New York’s 15th Congressional District entirely in the Bronx, criticized the proposal, posting to Twitter “all Puerto Ricans should help determine the future of the island- not just a few.” Serrano introduced a bill last year to allow for the “admission of Puerto Rico as a state” last year.

Serrano’s comments were praised by New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who is running to replace the retiring Serrano in November.  Torres quoted Serrano’s tweet, writing “All Puerto Ricans, not simply party insiders, should have a voice and a vote!”

Velazquez and Serrano were born in Puerto Rico. Ocasio-Cortez and Torres were born in New York City.

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A House measure that would create a commission of Puerto Ricans to possibly change the island territory's relationship with the United States is causing rifts among Democrats of Puerto Rican descent...
house, democrats, puertorico, status
318
2020-19-26
Wednesday, 26 August 2020 04:19 PM
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