Puerto Rico To Push For Statehood In Congress
As Steven Taylor noted last week, Puerto Rico’s voters overwhelming voted in favor of statehood in a non-binding referendum on the island’s future. Now, the delegate to Congress from Puerto Rico says that he will push for statehood in the upcoming session of Congress:
Del. Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico) on Wednesday said he would pursue an effort to grant Puerto Rico statehood in Congress given Puerto Rico’s vote in favor of this status change, even though Congress is expected to ignore that vote.
“As Puerto Rico’s representative in the U.S. Congress, I will work with my allies to ensure that the president and Congress take appropriate action in light of this result,” he said on the House floor. “The people of Puerto Rico have spoken, and I intend to make certain that their voice is heard loud and clear.
“After this vote, the question is not whether, but when Puerto Rico will cease to be a territory and have a fully democratic status.”
Pierluisi is perceived to have an uphill fight in convincing Congress to approve statehood for Puerto Rico, in part because of how Congress is perceiving the island’s vote.
I doubt this will go anywhere. Notwithstanding the vote last week, there seems to be very little interest at this time in the idea of bringing another state into the Union and, given the fact that it’s likely to be a state that would seen Democrats to the House and Senate, there seems to be very little reason for any Republicans to agree to the idea.