Last year, this prospect was supported by the majority of the island’s residents.
Democrats in Congress began laying the groundwork for Puerto Rico’s statehood by introducing a bill outlining the procedure for admitting the Caribbean island to the United States.
Lawmakers recalled that in November, most Puerto Ricans supported the transformation of the territory into an American state. The bill, introduced by Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman Darren Soto, will be a congressional response to the people of Puerto Rico and offer an official path to state status, they said.
It provides for a vote of the Territory’s residents on the transition to state status and the election of senators and members of the House of Representatives from Puerto Rico.
The bill was supported by Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi and Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, who represents the territory in the House of Representatives.
His supporters argue that the federal government does not treat Puerto Rican citizens the same as other Americans, and this can be corrected through the assignment of state status.
Soto said the bill has about 50 co-initiators.
At a press conference, he pointed to the difficulties faced by the congressman; its residents deserve the same representation as all Americans
“They’ve finally decided that they’ve had enough, that their territorial status and second-class citizenship don’t work, and that it’s time for a change,”Soto told reporters.
However, the transformation of Puerto Rico into a US state is far from guaranteed. In the Senate, this initiative’s approval will require 60 votes, and Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said that such a decision would lead to the election of two more Democratic senators.