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Puerto Rico House Leader Explains Islands’ Status Issue to U.S. Senate Committee

Puerto Rico House of Representatives Minority Leader Jenniffer Gonzalez made a powerful case for Federal action to resolve the territory’s status issue in a statement to the U.S. Senate committee with jurisdiction over the status of territories last week.

Aides to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said that the statement would be included in the record of the Committee’s August 1st hearing on Puerto Rico’s status plebiscite last November and the Obama Administration’s response.

Gonzalez, who is vice-president of the territory’s statehood party, comprehensively but succinctly and clearly explained the issue — including the “Commonwealth” concept that has frustrated its resolution.

Lead sponsor of the legislation that called the plebiscite, Gonzalez also effectively rebutted “Commonwealth” party leader arguments against it.

The youthful former House Speaker additionally expressed appreciation for the Obama Administration’s actions in response to the plebiscite, although she lamented that the Administration did not send a witness to the hearing.

And Gonzalez pointed out that as long as Puerto Rico’s ultimate status is undetermined, its U.S. citizen population would have the right to petition for statehood or nationhood.

Read Gonzalez’s statement.

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