Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PIERLUISI'S PR STATEHOOD BILL - DRAFT


 PIERLUISI'S BILL DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE NOV 6 PLEBISCITE RESULTS AS A MANDATE. HE MAKES US VOTE AGAIN !!! mj
.....................................................................(Original Signature of Member)
113TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

H. R. ________

To set forth the process for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a State of the Union.
  
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. PIERLUISI introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on

A BILL

To set forth the process for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a State of the Union.
 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Puerto Rico Status
 Resolution Act’’.
 SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
 (a) FINDINGS
.—Congress finds the following:
 (1) Puerto Rico became a United States territory in 1898 and persons born in Puerto Rico have been granted United States citizenship by law since 1917, but Puerto Rico’s ultimate political status has not been determined.
 (2) Puerto Rico has been granted authority over local matters that is similar to the authority that the several States possess, but Puerto Rico remains subject to the authority of Congress under the Territory Clause of the Constitution of the United States.
 (3) The approximately 3,700,000 residents of Puerto Rico do not have a democratic form of government at the national level, because United States citizens residing in the territory cannot vote for the President or the Vice President of the United States, are not represented in the United States Senate, and have a single representative in the United States House of Representatives who can only vote in committees of the United States House of Representatives.
 (4) The Federal Government may—and often does—treat Puerto Rico and its residents unequally under Federal program, tax, and other laws relative to the several States and the District of Columbia and their residents.
 (5) On November 6, 2012, the Government of Puerto Rico held a two-part referendum under local law. The first question asked if Puerto Rico ‘‘should continue to have its present form of territorial status’’. Of the 1,798,987 voters who chose an option, 53.97 percent voted against continued territory status.
 (6) The second question asked voters to express their preference among the three possible alternatives to territory status: statehood, independence, and nationhood in free association with the United States. Of the 1,363,854 voters who chose an option, 61.16 percent voted for statehood.
 (7) The number of votes cast in favor of statehood exceeded the number of votes cast in favor of continued territory status.

(b) PURPOSE
.—The purpose of this Act is to provide for a federally authorized vote in Puerto Rico on the question of statehood and, if a majority of voters ratify Puerto Rico’s desire for statehood, to describe the steps that the President and Congress shall take to enable the admission of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union.

SEC. 3. RATIFICATION VOTE.
 The State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct a referendum, in accordance with rules and regulations determined by the Commission, including qualifications for voter eligibility, with the following on the ballot:
 ‘‘Under statehood:

‘‘(A) Puerto Rico would become a permanent part of the United States.
 ‘‘(B) All provisions of the Constitution of the United States would apply in Puerto Rico.
 ‘‘(C) Individuals born in Puerto Rico would be United States citizens by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, instead of by virtue of laws of the United States.
 ‘‘(D) Puerto Rico would be treated equally with the other States in all Federal laws of general application, including program and tax laws and laws regarding the use of language.
 ‘‘(E) There would be a period of transition to statehood, during which equal treatment of  Puerto Rico in program and tax laws would be phased in.
 ‘‘(F) As a State, Puerto Rico would be represented in the United States Senate by two Senators, in the United States House of Representatives by a number of Representatives in proportion to its share of the national population (and the number of Members of the House of Representatives would be increased by the same number), and for the election of the President and the Vice President of the United States by a number of votes in the Electoral College equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives.
 ‘‘(G) The Government of Puerto Rico would have permanent authority over all matters not delegated to the Federal Government or the people by the Constitution of the United States.

Do you want Puerto Rico to be admitted as a State of the United States?
 Yes_____              No_____
  
 SEC. 4. IMPLEMENTATION.
 (a) PRESIDENTIAL ACTION
.—If a majority of votes cast in the ratification vote held under section 3 are for statehood, the President, not later than 180 days after the certification of the vote, shall submit to Congress legislation to enable the admission of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union on an equal footing with the several States in all respects, consistent with the terms of this Act.

(b) LEGISLATIVE ACTION
.—If a majority of votes cast in the ratification vote held under section 3 are for statehood, this Act constitutes a commitment by Congress to act, through legislation, to enable the admission of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union on an equal footing  with the several States in all respects, consistent with the terms of this Act.