WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The United States House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would allow Puerto Rico for the first time to hold a binding referendum on whether the territory becomes a state of the union or achieves some form of independence. Takes. The initiative has little chance of being approved by the Senate.
The bill, approved by a vote of 233 to 191 with some Republican support, would give the island’s voters three options: become a state, become independent or remain independent with free association.
“It is important to me that any proposal in Congress to decolonize Puerto Rico be informed and led by Puerto Ricans,” Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Calif., chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, which oversees matters in the regions.
The proposal, if approved by the island’s voters, would force Congress to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the United States. The other option would be independence or independence with free association on terms to be defined through negotiations on foreign relations, US citizenship and use of the dollar.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has worked on the issue throughout his career, called for the bill to have a “long, difficult road” to get to a vote.
“For too long, the people of Puerto Rico have been excluded from the full promise of American democracy and self-determination that our nation has always promoted,” the legislator said.
Approved by the Democratic-controlled chamber, the bill heads to the Senate, where it faces a tentative deadline at the end of the year and Republican opposition allowing it to become a state.