Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today announced a June 16 hearing on legislation focused on Puerto Rico’s political status. The hearing follows the April 14 panel the full Committee held to examine two bills to resolve the issue.
The hearing will more deeply examine the implications of passing each of the bills. One, sponsored by Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), would “recognize the right of the People of Puerto Rico to call a status convention through which the people would exercise their natural right to self-determination, and to establish a mechanism for congressional consideration of such decision.” The other, sponsored by Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-P.R.), would “provide for the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into the Union.”
Grijalva intended to hold the hearing after the Department of Justice released its formal analysis of both bills’ constitutionality and consistency with fundamental U.S. laws. That analysis, which has yet to be issued, will inform members’ approach to the hearing should it be publicized before June 16.
“Congress needs to keep moving forward on this, because Puerto Rico can’t stay in limbo any longer,” Grijalva said today. “The future of millions of Puerto Ricans shouldn’t be a political football. This Committee takes its responsibility to address this issue seriously, and we’re going to hear from experts on how best to proceed before we take any final steps.”
The hearing will include expert witness testimony on the implications of passing each bill. As with all hearings, it will be livestreamed at the Committee’s website and YouTube page. Livestream links will be published closer to the hearing.
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