Our 51st State Or is it the 52nd State?

I recently wrote about the attempt to get the District of Columbia the representation that deserve….https://lobotero.com/2021/01/28/our-51st-state/

DC is the only part of this great country that does not have representation in Congress…there are about 700,000 people in the District that has NO representation…that is more than the whole state of Wyoming.

Now there is an attempt to make Puerto Rico a state as well…..yet another region that is part of the US and they have NO representation….

Two Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday announced they will be introducing legislation to make Puerto Rico a state. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Rep. Darren Soto of Florida say the bill has around 50 co-sponsors, CBS News reports. It would set up a process for the US territory to become the 51st state if the majority of its citizens vote for that outcome in a referendum, the Hill reports. Axios reports the outline it offers is similar to that undertaken by Alaska and Hawaii when they became states. Republicans will likely not be in favor: “After they change the filibuster, they’re going to admit the District [of Columbia] as a state,” Mitch McConnell said last September. “They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That’s four new Democratic senators in perpetuity.” Those working for statehood in Puerto Rico push back on that, noting the island often votes for conservative leaders.

Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi and Jenniffer González-Colón, the island’s resident commissioner and nonvoting member in the US House, back the legislation. Supporters of the bill say the federal government treats Puerto Rico, which does not have full voting representation in Congress and whose citizens cannot vote for president, unfairly, and that this inequity was laid bare during Hurricane Maria in 2017, when it became clear Puerto Rico lacked necessary resources and is not provided with adequate funding. Yet 47% of Puerto Rican citizens opposed statehood in a November referendum, with some preferring independence and others worrying Puerto Rico will lose its identity. “You cannot compare statehood for DC and statehood for Puerto Rico,” Rep. Nydia Velázquez, who is Puerto Rican, has said. “DC is not a colony, Puerto Rico is a colony.”

This is a tenuous issue…..but in my mind that should be up to the people of Puerto Rico to decide their future….

Any thoughts?

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8 thoughts on “Our 51st State Or is it the 52nd State?

  1. I can see the appeal for Puerto Ricans to vote to become a state, with all the benefits that entails.
    But as they already call Britain ‘The 51st State’, they might have to renumber. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. “Taxation without representation” has been our license plate motto for years because we pay federal taxes, but have no voting (ok, since Walter Fauntroy, we’ve had one non-voting and then voting Rep in the House) representation in Congress
    People used to tell me that my family should live out in MD or VA and not complain, but then they said that same thing to folks near New Orleans when Katrina hit
    Do people simply lack all sense of empathy?

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