Puerto Rico introduces bill to become 51st U.S. state by 2021

“No longer do we want ambiguity. No longer do we want this kicked down the road,” said Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)


A new bipartisan bill introduced on Wednesday could turn Puerto Rico into the 51st U.S. state by 2021.

The bill, called the Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2018, was introduced by the territory’s resident commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón, a nonvoting Republican member of Congress.

“This is the first step to open a serious discussion regarding the ultimate status for the island,” Gonzalez said. “To sum everything up, this is about equality.”

The proposed legislation would create a bipartisan task force, the Congressional Task Force on Equality for American Citizens of Puerto Rico, charged with assessing which of Puerto Rico’s laws would need to be changed before granting statehood, and also with recommending economic measures to assist the island during the transition.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, a Democrat who made obtaining statehood a pillar of his campaign, has been pressing continental lawmakers on the issue since taking office in 2017.

“No longer do we want ambiguity. No longer do we want this kicked down the road,” Rosselló said at a news conference. “In Congress, you’re either with us or you’re against the people of Puerto Rico.”

The bill is currently co-sponsored by 36 members of Congress, 22 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

I acknowledge the leadership of our Congresswoman @Jenniffer2012 who has been our voice in Washington DC to advance our commitment to achieve the total equality that only statehood guarantees. pic.twitter.com/y6m0HEwqGc

— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) June 27, 2018
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