Representative Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon is serious about making Puerto Rico the 51st state of the United States and set about it by proposing legislation on Wednesday to do so.
Though this effort has been tried before and failed before, this newest effort at statehood has bipartisan support – yes we said bipartisan support. That rarest of things in Washington, especially under the current administration. The segment of people who want statehood the most are the people of Puerto Rico – last year island residents voted a resounding YES to statehood.
Puerto Ricans think after 120 years as a U.S. territory it’s time to take an official seat the table. A table that offers full voting powers even power to elect a U.S. president – rights, among many others, that Puerto Ricans currently do not have, though they are considered U.S. citizens.
Gonzalez, who is the non-voting representative of Puerto Rico, garnered the support of 22 Republicans and 14 Democrats. Many supporters of the legislation were prompted by the perceived neglectful treatment the island received in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The goal is to make Puerto Rico a state by 2021 and from now until then a Congressional task force would create the roadmap to statehood. A three-year time line is aggressive especially considering it took Hawaii nearly 50-years to be welcomed to statehood.
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