Legislators Ask President for Federal Funding for Puerto Rico

President Biden has authorized 100% cost-sharing for Puerto Rico’s disaster relief, making it retroactive to September 17th, the date of Hurricane Fiona’s landfall in Puerto Rico. The funding covers debris removal, emergency protective measures, direct federal assistance, temporary housing and home repairs, and low-interest loans for individuals and businesses. It will be in force for 30 days…. Read more »

Hurricane Fiona Hits Puerto Rico

Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 hurricane with winds up to 90 miles per hour, made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday, September 18th, just days before the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Maria. Nearly 1.5 million people were left without power on Sunday. Some 100,000 customers had power restored Monday morning. Only 30% of residents have… Read more »

Supporters Rally for the Puerto Rico Status Act

Last week, supporters of the Puerto Rico Status Act (HR 8393) assembled in Washing to advocate on behalf of the proposal.  Activities began with a march to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  which highlighted the role of Puerto Rican service to the U.S. military. Later in the day, Governor Pedro Pierluisi and… Read more »

Child Poverty in Puerto Rico Continues to Stagnate

Over the past three decades, child poverty in the United States has fallen by 59%, from 28% to 11% in 2019, and even further in the past two years, thanks to extra assistance during the pandemic. Child poverty is now at a record-breaking low of 5.2% in the United States as a whole. In Puerto… Read more »

Puerto Rico, Singapore of the Caribbean?

Andrew Biggs, an American Enterprise Institute Board Member, claimed that Puerto Rico can be the Singapore of the Caribbean. John Paulson has also used the phrase, as has Forbes magazine. What would that mean? Singapore’s forced independence and economic growth Many nations, including the United States, have demanded and fought for independence from the countries… Read more »

Oklahoma’s Anti-Stathood Factions

Oklahoma faced some of the same arguments against statehood faced by the other 31 territories which have already become states. Some in Congress wanted to keep Oklahoma from becoming a state for fear of upsetting the balance in Congress. While this question included concerns about party balance, Oklahoma was also resisted by Eastern states’ representatives… Read more »

Anti-statehood Arguments against Colorado

32 territories have already become states, and every one had anti-statehood factions, both in the territory and in the existing states. Sometimes the arguments against those territories sound very familiar to anyone who keeps track of arguments against statehood for Puerto Rico. Colorado was no exception. Population Puerto Rico has over 3,000,000 U.S. citizens as… Read more »

“The Bare Minimum” for U.S. citizenship

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) fought hard to include U.S. citizenship under independence with or without free association in The Puerto Rico Status Act. Rather than claiming that Puerto Ricans already had the legal right to maintain U.S. citizenship, however, she has said several times that permanent citizenship would be “the bare minimum” owed to Puerto… Read more »

Free Association Negotiations

While Congress was out of town in August, the Congressional Research Service produced a new report on the Compacts of Free Association (COFAs) the United States has with three Pacific island nations: the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of Palau. Together these three independent nations are… Read more »

White House Conference on Hunger Recognizes Puerto Rico

In preparation for an upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health has released  a new report announcing “Ambitious, Actionable Recommendations to End Hunger, Advance Nutrition, and Improve Health in the United States.” The report introduces a series of bold suggestions centering on six efforts: Improving… Read more »