House to vote on Puerto Rico statehood bill tomorrow

posted at 7:46 pm on April 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

Beck was talking about this today so people are e-mailing us about it now. I should be clear: The vote isn’t on whether to make Puerto Rico a state, it’s whether to “authorize” the Puerto Rican government to hold a popular referendum on whether it should become a state. From what I understand, though, Puerto Ricans don’t need any authorization from Congress to hold a plebiscite; they can do it any time they want. The fact that the House is nudging them — and the way that they’re nudging them — is what’s got people’s antennae up. With good reason, says the Heritage Foundation:

First, the legislation sets up a voting process rigged for success. The legislation sets up a preliminary vote and the voters are given two options. If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote in favor of changing the status of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to “a different political status,” then a second vote would be scheduled to poll voters on the following three options:

1. “Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States;”
2. “Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution;” and,
3. “Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union.”

See the problem? By splitting it into two separate votes, the House bill avoids a straight up-or-down ballot on the question of statehood (or independence or territorial sovereignty). Once the first hurdle demanding a new status is cleared, a mere plurality can then make statehood a winner. The thing is, I believe a three-way vote is how Puerto Rico’s always handled this. There’s nothing novel that I know of in that aspect of the Dems’ approach. (In fact, by adding an extra hurdle up front, there’s at least a chance that a majority will vote to retain the present status and thereby eliminate any vote on statehood.) What’s novel is that the bill demands a new referendum every eight years if this one fails, which sure seems like an EU-ish attempt to make people vote until the preferred outcome is achieved. It also lets natural-born Puerto Ricans vote even if they reside in one of the 50 states, a fact noted by Heritage as possibly creating a bias towards statehood. Could be, but I’m not sure how Congress would justify limiting the vote to residents when U.S. citizens residing abroad can vote in federal elections back home.

Here’s the money part:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) put out a report dated July 28, 2009 on H.R. 2499. The CBO report estimated that there would be no score for this bill, because it only authorizes a vote, but if Puerto Rico was granted statehood the cost would be massive. My boss, Edwin Feulner wrote in 1997 piece titled Do We Need a 51st State? “in an era of government downsizing and balanced budgets, it would increase entitlement spending (welfare, Medicare, Social Security) by an estimated $3 billion per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” Those arguments still hold water today. The Lexington Institute argues that “Puerto Rico, which received $18 billion in direct federal expenditures in FY 2008, has a population with a median national income of $17,741, nearly a third below that for the United States. While eligibility for many major federal social programs is the same in both jurisdictions, others, like the Food Stamp Program, include different eligibility requirements. This would likely result in increased federal expenditures should statehood be achieved, but a lack of comparable data makes cost projections for such changes difficult.” It is clear that the cost of statehood to the taxpayers will be high.

You’d think that would be enough for the GOP to take a closer look at this idea, at least until some serious progress is made on budget cuts, but Republican consultant Alex Castellanos is writing love letters to the bill and apparently there are dozens of Republican sponsors in the House. And what if it passes? Technically, it’s non-binding on Congress, but if there’s a majority for statehood, the Puerto Rican government could turn around and demand its fair share of representation in Congress:

Robert DePosada, a senior adviser to the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, says that if the NPP gets what it wants in the plebiscites, it will then elect senators and congressmen and send them to Washington to “demand” their seats the same way Tennessee did in 1796 (this is in the party’s platform). The party’s leader and former island governor has said that members of Congress will then be forced to support statehood to “avoid being accused of bigotry against Hispanics.” So the plan is to rig an election and then extort approval from Congress of Puerto Rico as the 51st state.

Fair point, but given the soaring public anxiety over federal deficits, if this vote comes off and Puerto Ricans suddenly start demanding statehood, the cost argument is going to create a pounding political headache for Democrats. As bad as things are for them right now, even lefties are beginning to see that they can get worse still, even with a few new Puerto Rican House and Senate seats in their column. In fact, per Patrick Ruffini’s calculations, the GOP’s currently got a shot at winning 70 House seats this November. Throw this firecracker into the political mix and who knows where that number will go. Beyond that, not only would the Senate have to weigh in on all this — according to a Democratic aide, there haven’t even been discussions on bringing it to the floor — but the House Hispanic caucus is actually split between those who want Puerto Ricans to vote and those who think the current ballot options are too biased in favor of statehood. Long story short, it’s worth watching but I think we’re still a ways away from a 51st state. Albeit not as far away as we were yesterday.

My ignorance of Puerto Rican political history is near total, so if I’ve gotten any facts wrong here, please e-mail and I’ll update.

Update: Naomi Lopez Bauman says it’s all part of a plan:

Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood in the last three self-determination elections, and independence is extremely unpopular. The strategy to virtually eliminate as an option for voters Puerto Rico’s current status as a commonwealth, leaving only independence and statehood as options, will all but guarantee a statehood landslide. The plan is spelled out in their legislation (pp. 7-8) and can be found here. The New Progressive Party (PNP), which is pro-statehood, controls all branches of government. There is little doubt that this bill would become law soon after the U.S. Congress passes the Puerto Rico Democracy Act…

Why do pro-statehood leaders use such strong-arm tactics to force their way into the Union? The main reason is that Puerto Rico’s economy is in shambles and it needs a bailout from the U.S. Treasury that it could not hope to get as a commonwealth.


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PR statehood would mean 2 more Dem senators, so on that basis alone, screw that.

combatwombat on April 28, 2010 at 8:58 PM

FIFY

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

The Ugly American on April 28, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Yep, we get compared a lot with Mississippi. The last two points you made, they are true and happened recently thanks to Puerto Rico’s current governor…fired tons of public employees, many private corporations/industries moved away from PR which made unemployment worse…sounds familiar?

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Wake up! Demand your Rep vote NO on this!! It allows the Marxists 2 additional Senators and 6 Reps (continued Dem power). Oh, and “Social Justice”.

LoneStarGal on April 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

I wonder if any Pub who votes against this will be called a racist. No Dem will, of course, since Dems always have the excuse of ‘it didn’t go far enough’, thus dodging the charge.

Liam on April 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

One more piece in the Cloward-Piven puzzle. It is going to get pretty personal pretty fast…

Inanemergencydial on April 28, 2010 at 9:14 PM

This is actually silly. Puerto Rico has no interest in being a state. Seems like every few dozen years or so, someone tries to bring this up. Each time it ends with the people in Puerto Rico voting it down. In fact, if pushed, they will probably opt to be their own seperate country.

Seems to me that if Puerto Rico ever did vote to become a state, there would be no issue. Anyone that thinks they would be a blue state is just kidding themselves. As for DC, that little piece of land will NEVER be a state.

Freddy on April 28, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Freddy, it’s precisely because Puerto Rico is “stuck” in the middle and can’t move either way. It’s so hard to be or live in such a divided island. Politicians push their agendas, lobbyists like Charlie Black had a heavy hand in pushing this same status quo a few years ago. He was hired by the prior administration to push and shove whatever the Governor at the time wanted.

It’s not like Democrats and Republicans, Freddy. These are political parties that have a GOAL of Puerto Rico’s FINAL solution islandwise. It’s not totally about political/philosophical/patriotic/abortion crap. It’s the direction Puerto Rico has to someway, somehow, come to terms that enough is enough, we are in the 21st Century and can’t be stuck anymore.

I repeat, I am aware that this is a REALLY BAD TIME, that this shouldn’t happen under the O administration, that there are powers that be that are in DC lobbying pro and against the bill. Just like Obamacare. Economy sucks, I know. Why the “statehood push” or shift is something that I would like to look more into; I am more concerned right now about what is Puerto Rico saying online.

At least they saw the Light at the end of the tunnel and saw Luis Gutierrez and Nilda Velazquez for what they’re worth. Zilch, zero, nada *quoting Rush* What WE have to do is VOTE THEM OUT. Luis Gutierrez is pro-amnesty, and you see his face on the media yappin’ away about Arizona and Puerto Rico when he really represents IL.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM

The last thing the US needs right now is another WELFARE state, which is exactly what Puerto Rico is. Here’s an idea, CUT ‘EM LOOSE and let them fend for themselves.

GarandFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Evil Pundit on April 28, 2010 at 7:52 PM

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Jorge Bonilla on April 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM

It is pretty obvious to me why this is happening, and happening now. If Puerto Rico were to become a state, they would send 2 new senators and several House representatives to the federal government – most certainly liberal leftists, given the political climate in Puerto Rico. Score more votes for The Won.

The money angle is also quite true, although the territories get quite a bit of federal subsidy already, so that does not seem to be the most likely reason.

Nothing is “coincidence” with this bunch. ALWAYS question the timing with these Chicago-on-the-Potomac thugs.

DINORight on April 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM

I am gonna fetch PR’s Commish on FB. He should be taking a lot of crap right now!/snark. Sorry, he’s a Democrat.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM

I’d be open to a compromose whereby we divide Texas and Alaska in two. That would give us 4 more R. Senators.

Kidding. Calm down people, I’m just kidding. Freak of nature. Chill.

t.ferg on April 28, 2010 at 9:28 PM

PR is in massive debt. They need a bail out.

Idiot Republicans will do it because PR will whine and scream “racist”

Democrats get to partner with the basically Chavez-lite government of PR plus 2 new Senators and 6 house reps.

tetriskid on April 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

That dog won’t hunt. The status quo, which won in every plebiscite since the inception of the current Commonwealth status, isn’t even an option on the ballot.

That, and Puerto Rico is the Ghost of Obama Future. Having lived there, I know.

Jorge Bonilla on April 28, 2010 at 9:31 PM

The last thing the US needs right now is another WELFARE state, which is exactly what Puerto Rico is. Here’s an idea, CUT ‘EM LOOSE and let them fend for themselves.

GarandFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM

I get your point. I really do. It’s overwhelming for me to get a grasp of starting from scratch. There would be about ten years of weaning (don’t worry about Obama, he will be lone gone, sheesh!), create the currency, detach any link to any Federal law/kick out the US Federal Court, re-work relations with the US as to what level they can interact with the island, create our own military; on and on, and on…

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Hmmm, let’s see…

51 – Puerto Rico
52 – DC
53 – Guam
54 – North Marianna Islands
55 – U.S. Virgin Islands
56 – American Samoa
57 – Midway Islands

Perhaps Obamao leaked the master plan and we didn’t realize it at the time…

jbtripp on April 28, 2010 at 9:34 PM

PR will whine and scream “racist”

Only IF you guys make it about race. I have not. Obama does. I have not come across a post yet on all three newspapers even mentioning Obama. Puerto Ricans are more concerned about the bill than Obama himself. Please…

How or in what way can I put it that Obama won’t be in office, in 10-15 years? Are we gonna let that happen?

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:35 PM

That dog won’t hunt. The status quo, which won in every plebiscite since the inception of the current Commonwealth status, isn’t even an option on the ballot.

That, and Puerto Rico is the Ghost of Obama Future. Having lived there, I know.

Jorge Bonilla on April 28, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I wonder if I know you. It would be a crazy coincidence. Name’s very familiar.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

The last thing the US needs right now is another WELFARE state, which is exactly what Puerto Rico is.

But it’s what the Democrats need.

I wonder if that would ease some of the welfare burden here in MA.

Too bad it would take too long, Obama would claim he created eleventy thousand new jobs in the flag making industry.

They won’t vote for it though, many have too good of a thing going on with scamming social services up here in the northeast.

reaganaut on April 28, 2010 at 9:38 PM

“No podemos dejar pasar este momento para lograr un proceso democrático que le garantiza a los ciudadanos la oportunidad de elegir entre opciones no coloniales, ni territoriales. Ya es tiempo de que los ciudadanos americanos que vivimos en Puerto Rico gocemos de igualdad en servicios como lo disfrutan todos los que residen en los 50 estados de la gran nación”, dijo el senador.

Translation: “We cant’ allow this moment to pass by to accomplish a democratic process that guarantees to our citizens the opportunity to choose amongst options that are not colonial, not territorial. It is time that the American citizens that live in Puerto Rico enjoy the equality in services as well as those who reside in the 50 state of this great nation”, said the senator.

From: Thomas Rivera Schatz, PR’s Senate President.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:46 PM

It’s all about race and base, as in voter base. Comprende?

LarryG on April 28, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Here’s a link to the resolution of 2499.

http://www.rules.house.gov/111/RuleRpt/111_hr2499_rpt.pdf

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:54 PM

As a Puertorican, I think that the Dems once more misread the whole thing. If PR gets statehood is not a certainly that our senators and representatives are going to be in their side of the aisle.

The pro-statehood party in PR, The New Progressive Party is an offshoot of the old PR Republican party. Seeing them being hoisted in their own petard will be truly palate cleansing.

El Coqui on April 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM

I wonder if I know you. It would be a crazy coincidence. Name’s very familiar.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Manati. Class of ’88. You never know.

El Coqui on April 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM

That depends on how quickly the Populetes regroup. My money would be on Romero and Rossello to run for the Senate if this monstrosity passed.

Jorge Bonilla on April 28, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Gracias El Coqui!!!! :D Summed it up really nice; I have been reading El Vocero and they are pissed off, mad at Velazquez and Gutierrez…very few got exactly what my mindset is, and only one mentioned Obama.

Too sweet to see the possibilities of more Republicans…cloud 9!

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Both parties are salivating for millions of Latino voters. Bailout to follow.

PattyJ on April 28, 2010 at 10:10 PM

I wonder if I know you. It would be a crazy coincidence. Name’s very familiar.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Manati. Class of ‘88. You never know.

El Coqui on April 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM

That depends on how quickly the Populetes regroup. My money would be on Romero and Rossello to run for the Senate if this monstrosity passed.

Jorge Bonilla on April 28, 2010 at 10:08 PM

ROFL! I am class ’88 too! But from Carolina. If I see Romero and Rossello together in the Senate or Rivera Schatz, that’d be awesome. But Rossello has to switch to Republican (if he knows what’s best for him).

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 10:12 PM

I’d recommend getting Fausta’s opinion, but it smells like a blatant attempt to add Democratic votes on the Federal level. A quick run of the population estimates from 2009 would show Puerto Rico getting 6 seats in Congress (8 Electoral Votes with the 2 Senate seats) at the expense of California (D territory on the Presidential end), South Carolina (R), Rhode Island (D), Nebraska (R), New York (D) and Texas (R). That would give the Dems a +5 advantage on the Electoral College side.

On a related note, if the DC representation plan goes through, the loser would be South Carolina (which would lose a seat if they kept the number at 435), while the winner would be Minnesota (which would gain a seat if the number went to 437). Once again, that would be a net gain for the Dems, both in the House and in the Electoral College.

steveegg on April 28, 2010 at 10:24 PM

They don’t have anything to tax! It’ll just be adding another gigantic welfare state to our overloaded debt. Wow — I cannot get over the total insanity of the Democrats right now.

CambellBrown on April 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

No, it’s the votes the Democrats are after. They want dependents because the “handout motivated” people will predictably vote Democrat. I doubt that any Democrat is thinking about the financial consequences since they’re also likely planning for a new government soon afterward (not the U.S. as we know it today but something else).

I think that’s the “master plan,” maintain their majority as paramount first thing (the “handout motivated” will ensure that) and then stick someone else with the costs later.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Let the people of Puerto Rico vote it out. Let federalism determine whether they want to be part of our Republic. It’s a good start.

MadisonConservative on April 28, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Alright, one of my last posts (I hope).

This is from Pedro Pierluisi’s FB page, the very end of his article with regards to the bill. I’ll translate below.
———————————————————-

9. A diferencia de otros proyectos de estatus, el H.R. 2499 no compromete al gobierno federal a tomar acción específica una vez reciba los resultados del plebiscito. En vez, el proyecto de ley sencillamente provee para que los resultados sean certificados al Congreso y al Presidente de los Estados Unidos. Si la mayoría vota por un estatus diferente en el plebiscito inicial, y luego por una de las alternativas en el segundo plebiscito, entonces es el Congreso quien determina los próximos pasos a seguir. Las acciones que tome el Congreso pueden variar dependiendo de cuál de las opciones sea favorecida y de cuál sea el margen de victoria.
————————————————————

9. Contrary to other status bills, H.R. 2499 does not compromise the federal government to take a specific action once they receive the plebiscite’s results. Instead, this bill simply provides that these results are certified to the US Congress and the President of the United States. If the majority votes for a different status than the initial vote, and then for a different status in the second plebiscite, then the Congress should determine the next steps to follow. The actions that Congress may make, depending on which of the options will be favored and of the margin of victory.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Like I said… Dems are desparate for votes….

CynicalOptimist on April 28, 2010 at 10:44 PM

While we’re at it… why doesn’t Dabama just let the country of Mexico take a vote on citizenship as well….

CynicalOptimist on April 28, 2010 at 10:45 PM

I guess this plan in Congress explains why they recently canceled all birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico, with few exceptions.

Just canceled them. Requires anyone who claims to have been born there and/or who resides there to go apply afresh for a birth certificate.

Reason stated was “massive identity fraud originating from Puerto Rico”.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Another one has lost me. So, those two groups don’t speak English?

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

WitchDoctor on April 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Real Hawaiians have a thick accent. And some Native Americans, like Yupik Natives in Alaska, do not speak english at all.

upinak on April 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM

ALL I think “ninjapirate” was pointing out was the issue of increased social liabilities (at least that’s the positive interpretation of those remarks).

There aren’t entire states filled (so far) with Yupik Natives, either, who don’t speak English, to refer to your example there.

It’s not that people can’t or won’t but to raise the question of do we really, as a nation, need entire states who can’t or won’t communicate (easily if at all) with the nation? I think the language issue just may be more important than you’re making an effort to understand it to be.

People can ALWAYS speak “Yupinak” or anything else they chose to, but when they DON’T speak (also) English, or refuse to learn it (whatever), then that poses increased liabilities for the nation.

On numerous levels (educationally, law enforcement wise, governmentally, resource wise, etc.).

Or, “ninjapirate” could just have been making a sly reference to the other post about Spanish-speaking and illegal aliens in the U.S. as to that language thing.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Real Hawaiians have a thick accent. And some Native Americans, like Yupik Natives in Alaska, do not speak english at all.

upinak on April 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Wrong. Having lived a long while in Hawaii (among other places), I can attest to the fact that many “real Hawaiians” (among the 9 or 10 percent of the population who are “real Hawaiians”) do NOT speak with “a thick accent.”

Not when they’re speaking with English-language people.

Most DO when they opt to speak Hawaiian or Pidgin but that includes a lot of Indonesians (Filipinos, South Pacific nations), Chinese, and even Haolies.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:58 PM

While we’re at it… why doesn’t Dabama just let the country of Mexico take a vote on citizenship as well….

CynicalOptimist on April 28, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Yeah, you know, that would totally make sense if Mexico was a territory of the United States, which it’s not.

Try again.

MadisonConservative on April 28, 2010 at 11:03 PM

steveegg,

The rearrangement of seats WILL be a problem. Bet on it. This bill I seriously doubt that it will pass.

Lourdes,

This bill was written shortly after Pedro Pierluisi sat on that seat. This was not written overnight; I knew about it but I thought that it would be another one of those bills, that never gets past some point; merely a desk or two.

The reason why I am mentally exhausted and my shoulders are so tense, is I didn’t see this coming. It was an ideal that was passed on to me from generation to generation. Now the bubble burst and I am astonished. To put it to a conspiracy level I need some sort of hard evidence, not speculation. I will repeat till my hands ache from typing, that I understand completely the situation in both ends of the aisle; that the economy is not good in both ends, unemployment and whatnot. Keep in mind though, that whatever happens in the US, affects Puerto Rico indirectly. It’s a bit unbalanced, but you get the gist…things are good here, circumstances are better there.

On the handout part, I hope that you are as pleased as me that in Puerto Rico, they are concerned as to what can Puerto Rico offer the US BACK. This is from a strictly economy angle; no Obama, no praising, not worship there either. Trust me, I am monitoring three newspapers! If I stream radio and listen to the callers of talk radio there, I’ll go nuts.

This is a very passionate matter for Puerto Ricans; it could be the end-the very end-of a place where they can finally determine their political outcome. I have wondered so often what the next battle should be. I mean, one historic measure approved–what to argue next? We wave American flags on the 4th of July, flap on the cars’ windows just like here, and in rallies there are American flags, big, huge and small.

Only ONE person has brought forward the Obama agenda. Perhaps this individual is as informed as us. The rest are worried about the same things as us: jobs, economy, housing, crime rate, war, unemployment. No one has asked for a bailout; they consider the status quo as a handout. Of course they cringe at the idea of more taxes, and I understand that. But in order to achieve statehood, you have to give to receive as well. THIS IS A RESPONSIBILITY.

Puerto Rico has 4 million people in an island 100 miles by 35 miles, not counting Vieques and Culebra. Imagine cabin fever in the hot summer, all year long. I wrote to Pierluisi about my concern that Puerto Rico may be used as a political bargain chip, and to not let that happen.

Thanks to all of you who have chimed in, either way. 1st Amendment. Let’s just not get too ahead of the game, shall we?

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Puerto Rico does NOT want to become a state. What is Obama gonna do, invade them!

DRH on April 28, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Just canceled them. Requires anyone who claims to have been born there and/or who resides there to go apply afresh for a birth certificate.

Reason stated was “massive identity fraud originating from Puerto Rico”.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Hmm… could we get Hawaii to do the same thing?

UnderstandingisPower on April 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM

I guess this plan in Congress explains why they recently canceled all birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico, with few exceptions.

Just canceled them. Requires anyone who claims to have been born there and/or who resides there to go apply afresh for a birth certificate.

Reason stated was “massive identity fraud originating from Puerto Rico”.

Lourdes on April 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM

I have the .PDF form to request two of them, my son and mine. This is something I must do before I renew my US passport and get my son a US Passport. If it’s identify theft, I have a good guess where that’s coming from.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Why do I see a race war down the road? Now, more people to scream racism when they don’t get their way on everything. Something is going to blow sometime.

Mirimichi on April 28, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Hey, Puerto Rico was in the news for something else today.

Maybe it’ll get a “Dude” tomorrow.

portlandon on April 28, 2010 at 11:49 PM

It’ll screw up the flag.

Nay!

Akzed on April 29, 2010 at 12:00 AM

What the communists are after here, aside from adding some additional congress critters on their side of the aisle, are a whole bunch of Puerto Rican voters helping the illegals from Mexico keep them in power.

Dave R. on April 29, 2010 at 12:19 AM

I asked a PR expat who is now a US citizen about this, and he said, “The whole problem with Puerto Rico is, there are too many f****n’ Puerto Ricans there.”

Meremortal on April 29, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood three times. That should be the end of it. This is clearly a power play by the Democrats, and should be exposed and rejected as such.

KendraWilder on April 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM

PFF, Coqui, y Bonilla, mi gente,
Although the PNP came from the old PR Republican Party, they have always govern close to Democrats, with their founder Luis A. Ferre, being akin to one of those Country Club Republicans. At this point in time, no American-style Conservatives need apply for anything in the island.
In the other hand, the Popular Democratic Party was part of the Democrat Party for quite a few years.
Both parties use populism as their main tactic.
So it will be almost for certain that Democrats will be in charge for many, many moons, if not forever, if Puerto Rico becomes a state.

Another comment:

Puerto Rico’s public debt has grown at a faster pace than the growth of its economy, reaching $46.7 billion in 2008.

Interestingly, most of this debt has been due to the Health Reform plan instituted in the 1990′s that continues to this day. (Some of the elements of Obamacare were already present in that reform plan) The government took so much debt that in 2006, their bonds were classified as junk, and the state government shut down. To get out of that hole, and be able to borrow more money, a sales tax of 7% had to be instituted in the island. Another reason (for me) why Obamacare will be a disaster. I’ve seen some of its ideas in action.

batperez on April 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM

Wow, pressing the fast-forward button on both election rigging and Cloward-Piven. You gotta hand it to Obama — he’s just oozing evil out every seam.

Daggett on April 29, 2010 at 1:52 AM

American flag manufacturers in China would make a fortune just on the Flags that Obama likes to have behind him whenever he give a “Read”. Always over compensating.

deadenders on April 29, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Puerto Rico should not be a states.

Aren’t we getting sick of the daily onslaught from Obama and company.

Every damn day, this idiot President and his minions are dismantling our country.

Give us strength, oh Lord, to defeat these bastards!

Mark7788 on April 29, 2010 at 8:08 AM

yep. They are desperate to stockpile voters aren’t they? No STatehood for P.R.! They dont want it and I like my U.S. Flag AS-IS thank you.

johnnyU on April 29, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Why do pro-statehood leaders use such strong-arm tactics to force their way into the Union? The main reason is that Puerto Rico’s economy is in shambles and it needs a bailout from the U.S. Treasury that it could not hope to get as a commonwealth.

Sorry, PR, but we have no money. That bailout will have to be due to the kindness of Chinese strangers…repayable with interest. But don’t worry. Like the rest of us you won’t even notice the hand in your wallets. When this is all over you may end up rioting for independence.

SKYFOX on April 29, 2010 at 8:33 AM

PFF, Coqui, y Bonilla, mi gente,
Although the PNP came from the old PR Republican Party, they have always govern close to Democrats, with their founder Luis A. Ferre, being akin to one of those Country Club Republicans. At this point in time, no American-style Conservatives need apply for anything in the island.
In the other hand, the Popular Democratic Party was part of the Democrat Party for quite a few years.
Both parties use populism as their main tactic.
So it will be almost for certain that Democrats will be in charge for many, many moons, if not forever, if Puerto Rico becomes a state.

Another comment:

Puerto Rico’s public debt has grown at a faster pace than the growth of its economy, reaching $46.7 billion in 2008.
Interestingly, most of this debt has been due to the Health Reform plan instituted in the 1990’s that continues to this day. (Some of the elements of Obamacare were already present in that reform plan) The government took so much debt that in 2006, their bonds were classified as junk, and the state government shut down. To get out of that hole, and be able to borrow more money, a sales tax of 7% had to be instituted in the island. Another reason (for me) why Obamacare will be a disaster. I’ve seen some of its ideas in action.

batperez on April 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM

About 15 minutes ago I called Pierluisi’s office and while talking, I broke down, I cried because of the huge misunderstanding that this is all about Obama. I am left here wondering if this was a Republican president with a Republican majority, what Americans in the mainland would think. I am more nervous this day than on my wedding day. Imagine that. My mom is not here to see this!

I agree with your key points. At the time the bonds were an issue, I was still living in PR. Mr. PPF, is livid because after we got married he lived 5 years in PR and knows that Puerto Rico was shot on its foot.

The debt issue is a major concern right now in PR, aside from the usual, economy, jobs, crime, war, etc. That’s why this won’t pass. I am worried sick.

FYI, C-SPAN will start the broadcast at 10 am with the arguments, then votes will start at 2 pm.

ProudPalinFan on April 29, 2010 at 8:40 AM

It has been exhausting to be a Republican here, fighting against my fellow Republicans. I dunno how long I’ll hang out hereat HotAir. To feel rejected like this *shaking head, frustrated*, hurts my feelings immensely.

ProudPalinFan on April 29, 2010 at 8:42 AM

ProudPalinFan on April 29, 2010 at 8:42 AM

It’s not personal, PPF. And we’re not anti-PR. I don’t think anyone here wants you to feel rejected or unwanted. We appreciate your passion and your patriotism, we just don’t think it’s the right time for this statehood debate.

I hope you’ll stay around!

AZCoyote on April 29, 2010 at 9:07 AM

If PR can vote themselves into the Union, in effect. Then folks should be allowed to vote themselves out of the Union. I mean, afterall, this is a matter of “fairness”. It’s what we call “social justice” here in Dixie. Obama no mas. Si se puede. Adios, arrivaderci, goodbye!

JimP on April 29, 2010 at 9:16 AM

If PR can vote themselves into the Union, in effect. Then folks should be allowed to vote themselves out of the Union. I mean, afterall, this is a matter of “fairness”. It’s what we call “social justice” here in Dixie. Obama no mas. Si se puede. Adios, arrivaderci, goodbye!

JimP on April 29, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Jim, they can’t vote themselves into the Union. They can vote affirmatively that they want to be part of the Union but that does not make it so. It still takes an act of Congress to add a state. There would be an intense national debate about it before that happened. As it is, there is a reasonable chance 2499 is going to fail on the floor. A lot is riding on what ammendments are attached to it.

t.ferg on April 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I support that Puerto Rico contributes to the States fair and square like all the other states. The reason this has continued? Ask all past presidents.

ProudPalinFan on April 28, 2010 at 8:55 PM

I support the U.S. breaking its relationship with PR entirely. No commonwealth, no statehood. That goes for the Virgin Islands, Guam and all the rest of them as well.

I’m tired of people who do not share my heritage, who do not have my love for my country (what it was MEANT to be under the Constitution), who care more about their “Cuban heritage” or their “Mexican heritage” than they do about God and our Constitution — having a say in the present and future state of MY country. I’m tired of foreigners using me for their own perverted gains, while I’m expected to sit back and say nothing for fear of being called a bigot, racist, or worse.

I’m sorry if you and your people feel like you’re second-class citizens. But the truth is, you shouldn’t have been citizens in the first place. America is not — was not meant to be — an empire; it was designed to be a constitutional republic. And thanks to white liberals and foreign infiltrators, we’ve lost and are continuing to lose this republic for which many of our forefathers fought for.

Run your own countries. Leave mine alone.

2Brave2Bscared on April 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

TO: t.ferg on April 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Lighten up ‘t’. It was sarcasm to make a point. Sheeesh.

JimP on April 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Run your own countries. Leave mine alone.

2Brave2Bscared on April 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Another Libtard Troll raise its ugly head. Why you don’t go crash some Tea Party somewhere else, Pendejo!

El Coqui on April 29, 2010 at 12:42 PM

PS:

I had served this country close to 30 years. How many times had you left your Mom’s basement?

El Coqui on April 29, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I asked a PR expat who is now a US citizen about this,

Dude, we’re US citizens from the time we’re born. We’ve been a part of the US since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898 (and a member of my family has been in the US Army in every generation since).

We were first allowed to govern ourselves in the Truman administration, and that’s when we took the status of a free commonwealth associated with the United States. We are the only commonwealth not a state, and have rejected the status of “territory,” despite the efforts of the main US government to relegate us to it.

We are a proud people who believe in serving our country – witness the number of Puerto Rican flags visible on any military base in the United States. We have repeatedly voted to maintain our status as associated but sovereign, and will probably continue to do so unless we are forced into a false choice of being a territory or a state.

And, for the record, you can go just about anywhere on the island and find people who speak English. It’s taught in schools starting in pre-K. English is the lingua franca by which we communicate with the tourists that provide so much of the island’s income, and I’d put the average English-speaking Puerto Rican’s vocabulary up against the average person from any of the lower 48 and expect the PR native to come out victorious. I understand it’s incredibly difficult for “regular” Americans to get Spanish translating jobs at the UN, because the Puerto Ricans grow up switching languages and so they’re faster and better at it.

We are a part of this country, we have been part of this country, and you need to watch how much you malign a part of this country that has produced five Medal of Honor winners. I won’t call you a racist – but I will call you a jackass.

Mynuet on April 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Just a few opinions, etc.

Pretty much anyone can serve in the U.S. Military. You do not have to be an American citizen (nor a citizen of an American territory). In fact, it is one of the “fast track” methods for gaining American citizenship. There are a significant portion of non-Americans serving in the military and none of them has ever been allowed to vote in a U.S. Presidential election.

Ignorance amongst people is endemic. Being from the Pacific Northwest, we have had life-long Easterners ask us if we travel by covered wagon, live in log houses, have to hunt to get meat, etc. Such ignorance is a sad reflection on our Educational system (which just needs MORE MONEY, right? /sarc)

One of the biggest mistakes this country has made is the failure to make English the one and only official language. Even in this part of the country, our State spends a ton of money to ensure all government forms, signs, etc are available in English and Spanish. English is “THE” international language for aviation, business, etc and should have been our only “official” language for a long time now. Unfortunately, it is probably too late to ever get that into law. If you think the howling about racists for people opposed to the President’s policies, or for those in favor of enforcing immigration laws is bad now, just imagine what would happen if an “English only” bill was introduced federally?

I think Puerto Rico would make a very fine independant nation.

Fatal on April 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

FYI, PR has gone back and forth with having both Spanish and English as official languages – currently, we have both. Many official PR forms are in English, and any Puerto Rican with even a hint of ambition learns to speak, read and write in English. It’s needed for the tourism and pharmaceutical industries that make up the cornerstones of the economy.

The proportion of Spanish to English on official forms in the mainland US wouldn’t change by even a gnat’s whisker whether or not PR becomes a state or independent.

Mynuet on April 29, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Well, the Foxx amendment passed so that’s something.

t.ferg on April 29, 2010 at 5:45 PM

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