Puerto Rico's Statehood Crusade Hits Congress
Puerto Rico delegate calls for yes-or-no vote in island
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 20, 2013 10:16 AM CDT
Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi leaves the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 29, 2010, after speaking in support of the Puerto Rico Democracy Act.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Could the US soon have a 51st state? If all goes to according to Pedro Pierluisi's plan, maybe. Pierluisi, who serves as Puerto Rico's non-voting representative in the House, filed a bill last week calling for a plebiscite on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The federally approved yes-or-no vote would be the first of its kind, the AP notes. If it occurs, and a majority back statehood, the president would have 180 days to send a bill on the matter to Congress. "It's about time this issue be addressed," says Pierluisi, who belongs to the pro-statehood New Progressive Party.

But whether Washington would pass the measure remains unclear; it would face likely Republican opposition, since it could create a new blue state, observers tell the Journal. "I see no reason why Congress would even consider it," says a Puerto Rico expert. Still, seven Republicans co-sponsored Pierluisi's proposal, alongside 31 Democrats, and a former top Puerto Rican official says it could be a swing state: It's economically liberal but socially conservative, he says. In November, a referendum saw Puerto Ricans divided on the issue; last month, the White House said it would call for $2.5 million to back a new vote.

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RossAlbertson
Jul 30, 2013 8:47 AM CDT
Language is a funny thing. How many people know English came from England? Even better, English itself was created by a combination of German, Scandinavian, and French immigrants to a Roman-Celtic Britain. Britain itself is multilingual, with millions of Welsh-speaking subjects of the Queen. Plus, America bought a lot of its land from France, and won part of itself in a war with Mexico. It wouldn't kill us White Anglo-Saxon Protestants to learn another language; it might even make us more intelligent. One last thing... I read in a reputable magazine that our Founding Fathers were so anti-British, they wanted to make our national language anything BUT English. Candidates included Hebrew (the language of Jews and the Old Testament) and German (the native language of many colonists). They ended up deciding not to have one at all. A new, Spanish-speaking state? Doesn't bother me; we could use more Spanish teachers. I heard the one at my high school was pathetic; I took French myself. Au revoir, mes amis! Adios amigos!
Jose_Diaz
May 21, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
Amazing the number of xenophobes on this forum, but when it comes time to defend their arses in unlawful wars, Puerto Ricans are there to help them do their dirty jobs, along with poor rednecks, Mexicans and blacks. ANYWAY, what y'all need to understand about this news article is that, no matter what Congressman Pierluisi attempts to do in Washington, 55% of Puerto Ricans REPUDIATE statehood, and that is why statehood will be rejected by politicians, not what xenophobes might think. And oh, by the way, if it was the other way around with 45% repudiating statehood and 55% supporting it, it would still be inappropriate for the US to absorb a piece of territory without a strong support for statehood. 45% is not good enough, and 55% is not good enough either. The day 80% of them demand it, they won't give a rat's arse what xenophobes think.
ppaca
May 21, 2013 12:03 PM CDT
0bama will make Puerto Rico a state whether it wants to or not. To hell what the people want. He'll rig the vote just as he did in his 2012 reelection.