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Rep. Dan Burton

Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee, October 4, 2000, p. 9.  Maybe [Enhanced Commonwealth] is the result of pure ignorance or maybe it is the brainchild of political opportunists seeking to confuse or complicate the issue.  Regardless, it is our duty to clarify these statements that have misled millions of U.S. citizens and that have been perpetuated by the lack of Congressional action.  The fact that a political faction in Puerto Rico promises this definition as feasible is an affront to the truth and to our shared democratic principles.  I suspect that if the “enhanced commonwealth definition” was, in fact, constitutionally viable, the United States of America would not have 50 independent States, we would have 50 enhanced commonwealths rather than what we have today.

Not allowing American citizens to decide their fate in a Congressionally-mandated referendum is an injustice, not just to 3.9 million of our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, but to all Americans in general.  There is no doubt that the U.S. Congress has the sole authority to solve this century-long dilemma that continues to project us as colonial rulers in front of the entire world.

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