Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) announced this morning that he will reintroduce two bills tomorrow to advance equality for the territory of Puerto Rico. His legislation seeks to create parity between U.S. citizens who live in Puerto Ricans and those who live in a state in two federal programs: Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
In his remarks before Congress, Rep. Pierluisi said that “[t]hose who seek evidence of how Puerto Rico is harmed by its territory status need look no further than the treatment it receives under SSI and TANF.” He pledged to “fight to secure parity under these two programs,” but noted that “as long as Puerto Rico remains a territory, it will be an uphill battle.”
Rep. Pierluisi also noted that President Obama invoked the Declaration of Independence at yesterday’s inauguration, quoting that “all men are created equal,” while also emphasizing that although “these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.”
Full details of Rep. Pierluisi’s plans and a copy of his speech delivered this morning can be found here.