Congressional Hearing Planned on Puerto Rico’s Political Status and Economic Outlook

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a hearing on the political status and economic outlook of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, June 24th.

The hearing, “Examining procedures regarding Puerto Rico’s political status and economic outlook.” will focus specifically on H.R. 727, the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which became Public Law 113-76 and includes $2.5 million for a federally-approved plebiscite.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its political status has been in limbo for many years. The territory has been referred to as a “commonwealth,” but that title carries no actual legal definition. The word “commonwealth” is used in the official name of the island, just as it is in the names of four states – Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Puerto Rico is experiencing a severe economic crisis, which has been linked to its uncertain political status. The hearing is designed to shed light on the political and economic issues facing Puerto Rico and educate Congress on the legal status options available to the Island.

Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly chose statehood  in a plebiscite under local law held in 2012.  With close to 80% of eligible voters participating, the results also rejected the current territory status by a margin of 54% to 46%.

Representative Don Young (R-AK) is the chair of the subcommittee and witnesses for the hearing are by invitation only and will be announced once the witness list is confirmed.



While I applaud this move I don’t think we will see any serious movement on status until after 2016. The Populares will never allow a referendum while they are in power. As far as I know, the committee of 4 former party presidents has yet to agree on a definition of “commonwealth” although Rafael Hernandez Colons strongly hinted back in March that he strongarmed the other members into accepting his super-colony vision.

IMO this will focus mainly on the economy and the Chapter 9 bailout bill proposal (HR 870) filed by Pierluisi.

Luis Arroyo

The whole “we can’t decide which definition ” is a commonwealth party charade to mask their real goal. Maintaining the territory to preserve their constituent ‘ s federal tax exemptions.
They are masters at deception in that they have both separatists and low expectation “would be statehood supporters”(US unionists) within their party.
This allows them to syphon away independence and Statehood votes with the “best of both worlds” “Improved Commonwealth” concept congress rejects time and time again.
Nothing short of a Tennessee plan or a statehood vs Independence vote will solve the issue.
The PPD/PDP is opposed to a federal statehood yes/no vote because congress has made clear only statehood grants equality in citizenship as well as permanent union.

They also oppose a statehood vs Independence vote because as Gov. PADILLA wrongly claims; “Its undemocratic to deny commonwealth in the ballot”.

Puerto Ricans spoke! 54% against commonwealth (correctly described as “present territorial condition”.)

Luis Arroyo

This is Padilla’s worst nightmare. Look for the PPD to attempt a complete diversion away from status tslks and focus on economic issues. (Even though the colonial condition is responsible).
Then again Padilla may not even be invited.
Padilla wore Ron Wyden’s patience thin with his refusal to answer yes/no questiobs with,well,… yes or no on whether there was a need to change status. When Ruben Berrios answered “yes” Wyden praised him in comparison to the ofuscación and broken english of Padilla.


Zealot 51

Chris, what the heck is “IMO” supposed to mean? Is that English or Spanish or WHAT? Please do NOT assume that your readers are all “into” the ghastly “art” of “texting”!!!

Chris, he’s NOT “Hernandez Colons”: his surname is “Hernández-Colón”; PLEASE take a hard look at the accent marks and the hyphen, and please delete the “s”!

Chris, “strongarmed” requires a hyphen; it ought to appear as “strong-armed.”

John Foster, you meant “It’s” when you posted “its”; also, a colon should have followed “It’s”….

Luis Arroyo, who is “Padilla”? The Governor’s surname is “García” or “García-Padilla”; he is most definitely NOT surnamed “Padilla”!

Luis Arroyo, PROOFREAD your text! You lose ALL credibility when you post such garbage as “tslks” and “questiobs” and “ofuscación.”

–Zealot 51

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