Skip to content

Puerto Rico’s Representation in the Federal Government

“In 1900, the federal government enacted what is known as an ‘organic act’ for Puerto Rico, which established a civilian government on the island, but did not confer U.S. citizenship upon its residents. The government was led by a governor appointed by the U.S. president. Two legislative chambers were established: an unelected upper chamber and an elected lower chamber. The law also authorized the election of one representative to the federal government, the Resident Commissioner, who was later given a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. I am the 19th person to hold this office. Unlike other members of the House, who serve a two-year term, and members of the Senate, who serve a six-year term, the Resident Commissioner serves a four-year term. Of course, any benefit derived from the length of my term relative to that of my House colleagues is more than offset by the fact that, while I can introduce bills and vote in committees, I cannot vote on the House floor-an unhappy distinction I share with the delegates from the four other U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.” — Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR), remarks at Georgetown University, April 24, 2013

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Magazine, and enjoy exclusive benefits

Subscribe to the online magazine and enjoy exclusive benefits and premiums.

[wpforms id=”133″]