In a landmark decision, the House of Representatives has just approved a bill that could completely rewrite American history. If it passes in the Senate, then it will be up to the Puerto Ricans to decide their faith. Now, we wait.
The bill in question could ultimately lead to Puerto Rico voting for themselves for statehood or independence in future years, potentially paving the way for America to add another star to the flag. This is a big moment which has been decades in the making.It will be interesting to see, if the senate chooses to pass it.
The Daily Wire reports, the House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that gives Puerto Rico the chance to become the 51st state.
Here’s CBS Miami further breaking it down on what that could mean and what their options are.
Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva who introduced the bill had this to say, “Finding a resolution to Puerto Rico’s political status has been elusive and difficult. And it’s been that way for a long, long time. It is crucial to me that any proposal that Congress considers to decolonize Puerto Rico be informed and led by Puerto Ricans.”
The White House pledged its support for the bill in this statement.
“For far too long, the residents of Puerto Rico—over 3 million U.S. citizens—have been deprived of the opportunity to determine their own political future and have not received the full rights and benefits of their citizenship because they reside in a U.S. territory.”
This is particularly because since 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted, the U.S. has not added a new state. It is the longest gap in U.S. history. Congress can add new states through legislation, such as the Puerto Rico Status Act. As long as new states are not created out of existing ones, the Constitution does not limit admission.
For years now Puerto Rico has been asked to vote to become a state and every year it has come short.
Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, lawmakers have paid more attention to Puerto Rican statehood. Proponents of statehood say Puerto Rico’s statehood would have improved the relief response to Hurricane Maria.
The looming question is, will the bill pass the Senate?
With the bill that was recently proposed to allow Puerto Rico the chance to decide its future with America, it is a historic moment for the territory. It marks a significant point in time for Puerto Rico; one that has been so long. After being such a devoted American territory for so long, it is finally time to give them their due and let them make their decision after this bill. Just as each state joined individually in the past, Puerto Rico should have the same chance to decide whether or not they wish to join America as well.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.