US lawmakers urge binding vote on Puerto Rico status

Proposal is whether it should become a state or gain some sort of independence


National News

May 20, 2022 - 4:42 PM

The Puerto Rican and U.S. flags are seen in the Old Town district in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A group of mostly Democratic congress members, including the House majority leader, on Thursday proposed a binding plebiscite to decide whether Puerto Rico should become a state or gain some sort of independence.

The draft proposal unveiled at an online news conference would commit Congress to accepting Puerto Rico into the United States if voters on the island approve it. But even if the plan were to pass the Democratic-led House, the proposal appears to have little chance in the Senate, where Republicans have long opposed statehood.

Voters also could choose outright independence or independence with free association, whose terms would be defined following negotiations over foreign affairs, U.S. citizenship and use of the U.S. dollar, said Rep. Darren Soto of Florida.

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