Posts Categorized: Archives

How the Build Back Better Act Affects Puerto Rico

The Biden Administration’s Build Back Better plan is an ambitious effort to address climate and economic concerns. The House Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Veterans’ Affairs, and Judiciary Committees all completed consideration of their sections of the bill last week, preparing the bills for floor consideration. The links will take you to the videos… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Banana Biodiversity

Bananas have been a threatened crop for years. Wired Magazine went so far as to say that the familiar yellow banana “will soon be gone.” Americans eat about 26 pounds of bananas per person per year, and bananas are a bellwether for pricing — that is, most of us know how much bananas cost. If… Read more »

Working toward Equality: Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico

If Puerto Rico becomes a State, residents will be eligible for SNAP (the food stamps program) just as residents of States are. In the meantime, however, U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico have limited  benefits for nutrition assistance. Not only are the amounts provided to families much lower in Puerto Rico than in any State,… Read more »

San Juan: 500 Years

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a resolution in the Senate celebrating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, while Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon  has introduced a companion bill in the House. Cosponsors include Reps Nydia Velazquez ([D-NY), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez… Read more »

U.S. Responsibilities in Freely Associated States

On June 25, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) addressed her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to speak about the impact and implications of nuclear testing conducted in the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 1946 to 1958, during which time 67 tests of nuclear weapons were conducted on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. See Rep…. Read more »

States and Territories Step up as Friends of the Court

The Supreme Court is in the midst of deciding whether the U.S. Dept. of Justice is in the right when they defend the decision by Congress to exclude Puerto Rico (and other U.S. Territories) from SSI, Supplemental Security Income, financial assistance awarded to people who are needy, elderly, and who have disabilities. The Social Security… Read more »

A Constitutional Amendment for Statehood?

A new House Joint Resolution has been proposed. H.J.Res. 42 would introduce “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to provide that a new State may only be admitted into the Union upon a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress.” The resolution was introduced by Tom McClintock (R-CA). It currently has… Read more »

An Emerging Entrepreneurial Paradise?

Non-profit Invest Puerto Rico is promoting Puerto Rico as “an emerging entrepreneurial paradise.” Are they right? They report that more than 15,000 people have participated in entrepreneurship programs backed by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, & Research Trust (PRSTRT). They point to a range of factors: An educated, bilingual workforce A network of co-working spaces… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Return-to-Work Incentive Program

Puerto Rico is offering a Return-to-Work Incentive Program, as are a number of states, including Kentucky, Arizona, and Maine. The Return-to-Work Incentive Programs are intended to encourage American workers to return to the workforce at a time when many employers are having trouble filling positions. The funds are directed specifically toward people on unemployment benefits…. Read more »

Some in Congress Support Both Status Bills

There are currently two bills on Puerto Rico status being considered in Congress, and specifically in the House Natural Resources Committee: HR 1522 HR 2070 The two bills seem to be in direct conflict with each other. HR 1522 recognizes the November 2020 referendum, in which a majority of voters chose statehood. It calls for… Read more »