Following a private meeting of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus today, Caucus Vice Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) advoated the inclusion of Puerto Rico provisions in evolving federal legislation to fund the national government.
“We need to get this (comprehensive federal law) done,” urged the Congressman, whose district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens. In his comments to the press, Crowley singled out the 9/11 vctims’ compensation act as a particulalry worthwhile initiative as well as “ensuring that Puerto Rico is able to deal with its fiscal crisis.”
The deadline to enact federal legislation to fund the government without interruption is this Friday, December 11th. Details of this evolving legislative proposal are being closely held.
The congressional district that Rep. Crowley represents, New York’s 14th, is home to roughly 65,000 Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans make up almost 10% of the total district population and close to 20% of the district’s Hispanic population.
As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico has a single representative in Congress to represent its roughly 3.5 million residents. This representative, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner, has no vote on final legislation pending before the House of Representatives. Puerto Rico also has no representation in the U.S. Senate and cannot vote for the President of the United States despite having an extraordinarily high record of service in the U.S. military.