DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Jose E. Serrano
Sent By:
Angel.Nigaglioni@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Support Equality for Puerto Rico

Current Co-Sponsors (51): González-Colón, Young, Rob Bishop, Soto, Murphy, Gallego, Waltz, Plaskett, Diaz-Balart, Stefanik, Crist, Peter King, Donna Shalala, Bacon, Wasserman Schultz, Fitzpatrick, Radewagen, Swalwell, Huffman, Posey, Cicilline,
Lowenthal, Vargas, Kirkpatrick, Katko, Banks, Beatty, Sablan, Brown, Lewis, LaMalfa, Demings, Wilson, San Nicolas, Sanford Bishop, Carbajal, Brownley, Foster, Beyer, Raskin, Hastings, Wild, Peterson, Spano, Correa, Cisneros, McGovern, Bilirakis, McMorris Rodgers,
Norton, Meng

Dear Colleague:

I write to urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 4901, legislation which would allow Puerto Rico to resolve its status issues through a federally-sponsored plebiscite.  Puerto Ricans suffer from legalized inequality, which has resulted in numerous crises in the past
decade.

As I complete my final term in the House, my priority is to do everything possible to enable our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico to obtain equality without being forced to migrate to the 50 states. I am writing to request—and urge—that you join me in this
effort.

A few weeks ago, I, along with Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner and 43 of our colleagues, introduced a bill, H.R. 4901, that would grant Puerto Rico equality over a period of up to 30 months if a majority supports statehood in a plebiscite held along
with next year’s elections vote for equal responsibilities as well as rights within the Nation (which Puerto Rico has voted for twice under local law). The vote would have to be conducted under a 2014 law proposed by President Obama and passed by a Republican
Congress. It requires Justice Department approval of and a congressional review period for the plebiscite. 

Two developments have made it painfully clear that Puerto Rico’s status as a territory is not only a problem for Puerto Ricans, but for our Nation. The first was the territory’s fiscal crisis which left Puerto Rico being unable to pay creditors in the wake
of a 13-year economic depression. The crisis was, in significant part, a consequence of the disparate and unequal treatment of the territory when compared to the States by the federal government. The second was the devastation of much of its essential infrastructure
by hurricanes and the struggle to survive and recover afterwards. Together, these challenges have cost the Federal government many tens of billions of dollars. The cost proves—as has the migration of millions—that the unequal treatment of the territory and
its American citizens in federal programs has not worked. This is also the reason that 65 percent of all people of Puerto Rican origin now live in a State—and that more and more abandon the territory for a State every year.  Our country has one economic model
that does work: the equal treatment of the States.

Please co-sponsor H.R. 4901, which would enable Puerto Rico to become a state—if Puerto Rican voters choose to do so in a plebiscite. If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor the bill, please reach out to Angel Nigaglioni at
angel.nigaglioni@mail.house.gov or at 5-4361.

Sincerely,

/s/

José E. Serrano

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Government, Natural Resources

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 4901
Special Note:

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