If you read our mission statement, then you know we care about democracy, civil discourse, and the well-being of all American citizens. That would include the citizens of Puerto Rico --- the 8 of Diamonds.
You might ask, if there is so much support for Puerto Rico's statehood, what is the hold up? US Presidents have supported it, the people of Puerto Rico support it, so what is going on?
It is a very good question and, well the answer is uncomplicated - Congress has to act. What we know is there have been 6 referendums since 1967 and Statehood has won favor in the last 3 of them.
A shift in statehood's favor has been largely due to economic woes within the territory. In the first decade of the 21st century, Puerto Rico’s economic growth slowed, due in large part to the phasing out of the 936 tax incentive
. In 2015, worsening Economic woes
, led its governor to announce that the commonwealth could no longer meet its debt obligations.
On the heels of the economic crisis came the devastating hurricane Maria in 2017, leaving the 3.5 million living there in disarray. Current conditions in P.R.
show daily power outages and stalled financial relief to rebuild. Many homeowners are still using blue tarps to cover their roofs 4 years later.
There is another major issue standing between Puerto Rico statehood and its current status as is U.S. territory. Puerto Ricans do not have to power to control their own destiny. In fact, all issues related to the territories' governance are vested in the U.S. Congress, as prescribed under the Territorial Clause. Congress, and only Congress, can ultimately make decisions regarding the political status of territories.
On the horizon, congressional bill H.R.1522
was introduced in Congress in March of this year. H.R.1522
provides for the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into the Union. The last committee hearing to date was held on 06/16/2021.
For more on Statehood Admission and H.R.1522