Rep. George Miller

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), House Floor Debate on H.R. 856, United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act, March 4, 1998, Congressional Record, page H774 (oral remarks).  I was very distraught at the beginning of this process because I felt that those who support commonwealth were not able to present their definition to the Congress, to the committee.  I worked very hard so that that definition could be offered.  I offered that definition.  It was turned down overwhelming[ly] on a bipartisan basis.  It was something called “enhanced commonwealth.”  It was sort of a make-believe status of commonwealth.

The suggestion was that if you voted for commonwealth, you would then be empowered to pick your way through the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the United States and pick and choose which laws you wanted to apply and not have apply, and that you did not have to live under the power of the Congress of the United States or of the Constitution of the United States.  That simply was unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of the committee.  I believe it is unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of this House….and I believe it would clearly be unacceptable to the people of this country

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