Proyecto de Admisión – Resumen de Proyecto de la Cámara, presentado por los Congresistas Darren Soto (Demócrata-FL) y Jenniffer González-Colón (Republicana-PR)

Resumen de Proyecto de la Cámara, presentado por los Congresistas Darren Soto (Demócrata-FL) y Jenniffer González-Colón (Republicana-PR)

Resumen Sección por Sección

Sección 1. Título

El título del proyecto de ley es la “Ley de Admisión a la Estadidad de Puerto Rico”.

Sección 2. Hallazgos

Esta sección incluye hallazgos sobre la historia de Puerto Rico como territorio de los EE. UU.; contribuciones realizadas por miembros del servicio militar de Puerto Rico; las consecuencias del estatus de territorio no incorporado, incluido el trato desigual según las leyes y programas federales; y votaciones recientes a favor de la estadidad en la Isla, incluido el referéndum del 3 de noviembre de 2020 en el que el 52,52% votó a favor de la estadidad en un votación de sí o no siguiendo el modelo de las realizadas en Alaska y Hawaii antes de su admisión.

Sección 3. Admisión

Este artículo establece que, sujeto a las disposiciones de esta Ley, y con la emisión de la Proclamación del Presidente de Estados Unidos requerida por la Sección 7, Puerto Rico será admitido como Estado de Estados Unidos, en pie de igualdad con los demás Estados.

Sección 4. Territorio físico

El Estado de Puerto Rico estará compuesto por todas las tierras y aguas que actualmente se encuentran bajo la jurisdicción del territorio.

Sección 5. Constitución

La constitución del estado de Puerto Rico siempre será republicana y no entrará en conflicto con la Constitución de Estados Unidos ni con la Declaración de Independencia. Acepta la constitución actual [del ELA] como Constitución del Estado de Puerto Rico.

Sección 6. Certificación del Presidente

Requiere que el Presidente de Estados Unidos notifique al Gobernador de Puerto Rico una vez que él promulgue la “Ley de Admisión a la Estadidad de Puerto Rico”. La sección requiere además que el Gobernador, dentro de los treinta (30) días de haber sido notificado de la ley promulgación, emitir una proclama para la elección de los Senadores y Representantes de Puerto Rico en Congreso.

Sección 7. Voto de ratificación

Requiere que el Gobernador de Puerto Rico convoque a elecciones en las que los electores ratifiquen su deseo para la admisión de dicho territorio, como un Estado de la Unión. Específicamente, a los votantes de Puerto Rico se les hará siguiente pregunta: “¿Deberá Puerto Rico ser admitido inmediatamente en la Unión como Estado, de acuerdo con los términos prescritos en la Ley del Congreso aprobada………………………………………………………………………… (fecha de aprobación de esta

Ley) ?: Sí          No    ” Se planteó una pregunta similar a los votantes en Alaska y Hawai

tras la promulgación de sus respectivas leyes de admisión.

Si la mayoría de los votos emitidos en la elección de ratificación antes mencionada aprueban categoría de estado:

  • El Presidente de la Comisión Estatal de Elecciones de Puerto Rico certificará los resultados y transmitirlos al Gobernador. Entonces se requerirá al gobernador, dentro de los 10 días, transmitir los resultados al Presidente de Estados Unidos, al presidente pro tempore del Senado de Estados Unidos y el Presidente de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos.
  • Al recibir la notificación del gobernador, el Presidente de Estados Unidos será requerido para emitir una proclamación declarando certificados los resultados para la estadidad y declarando la fecha en que Puerto Rico será admitido como Estado, la cual debe ocurrir a más tardar más de 12 meses después de la certificación de los resultados. Tras la emisión de este presidencial proclamación, Puerto Rico se considerará admitido en la Unión como Estado.

En caso de que la mayoría de los votos emitidos en las elecciones de ratificación mencionadas anteriormente rechacen la condición de Estado:

  • Toda la “Ley de Admisión a la Estadidad de Puerto Rico” dejará de estar vigente [cesará de existir].

Sección 8. Oficiales Electos por el Estado de Puerto Rico

Esta sección establece el mecanismo por el cual Puerto Rico elegirá a su delegación congresional. En concreto, la proclama emitida por el Gobernador de conformidad con el Artículo 6 de esta Ley deberá cumplir con lo siguiente:

  • En la primera elección de Senadores, los dos cargos senatoriales se identificarán por separado y designado, y ninguna persona podrá ser candidata para ambos cargos. Además, nada debe menoscabar el privilegio del Senado para determinar la clase y plazo al que cada uno de senadores electos se designará como legislador federal.
  • En la primera elección de Representantes posterior a la admisión, y elecciones posteriores hasta la próxima redistribución basada en el Censo, Puerto Rico tendrá el

mismo número de Representantes como el estado cuya población estaba más cerca, en el censo más reciente pero menos que, la de Puerto Rico. La membresía total de la Cámara de Representantes será aumentada temporalmente en este número, hasta la próxima redistribución basada en el censo.

Sección 9. Continuidad de las leyes, el gobierno y las obligaciones

Esta sección especifica que hasta que Puerto Rico sea admitido como Estado, se aplicará lo siguiente:

  • Todas las leyes federales y locales de Puerto Rico que no estén en conflicto con esta Ley

deberán continuará en pleno vigor y efecto al momento de la admisión.

  • Todas las personas que ocupen cargos legislativos, ejecutivos y judiciales en Puerto Rico en

ese momento de admisión continuarán ocupando sus respectivos cargos.

  • Todos los contratos, obligaciones, pasivos, deudas y reclamaciones del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico y sus instrumentos continuarán en plena vigencia y efecto como los contratos, obligaciones, pasivos, deudas y reclamos del Estado de Puerto Rico y sus instrumentalidades al momento de la admisión.
  • El Estado de Puerto Rico y sus subdivisiones políticas retendrán el título de todas las tierras y propiedades sobre las cuales el territorio y sus subdivisiones tienen título en el momento de la admisión. Estados Unidos también retendrá el título de toda propiedad sobre la que tenga título en Puerto Rico en el momento de la admisión.

Sección 10. Derogaciones

Esta sección deroga todas las leyes federales y territoriales que son incompatibles con la estadidad.

Sección 11. Separabilidad

Si se determina que alguna parte de esta ley no es válida, el resto de la ley no se verá afectado.

117TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION

(Original Signature of Member)

H. R. ll

To provide for the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into the Union.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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

A BILL

To provide for the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into the Union.

  1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
  2. tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
  3. SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  4. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Puerto Rico Statehood
  5. Admission Act’’.
  6. SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
  7. The Congress finds the following:
  8. (1) United States national sovereignty in Puer-
  9. to Rico was established by the Treaty of Paris be-
  1. tween the United States and the Kingdom of Spain
  2. (30 Stat. 1754), signed on December 10, 1898.
  3. (2) Puerto Rico is governed by the United
  4. States under laws enacted by Congress in the exer-
  5. cise of its power to make rules and regulations gov-
  6. erning territory belonging to the United States, pur-
  7. suant to article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the Con-
  8. stitution.
  9. (3) For reasons of precedent primarily related
  10. to the Philippines also ceded by Spain after the
  11. Spanish-American War, substantially the same ma-
  12. jority in the United States Supreme Court that es-
  13. tablished the ‘‘separate but equal’’ doctrine in Plessy
  14. v.   Ferguson  determined in   the   1901  Downes  v.
  15. Bidwell decision that Puerto Rico was an unincor-
  16. porated territory of the United States, a status of
  17. possession that continues today.
  18. (4) After agreeing to independence for the Phil-
  19. ippines, also acquired through the Spanish-American
  20. War, on March 2, 1917, Congress granted statutory
  21. United States citizenship to the residents of Puerto
  22. Rico. Such action has historically led to incorpora-
  23. tion and eventual statehood but was denied to Puer-
  24. to Rico due to anomalies emanating from the 1901
  1. Downes ruling and its progeny, even as fellow Amer-
  2. icans in Hawaii and Alaska attained statehood.
  3. (5) Puerto Rico has a territorial constitution
  4. that is republican in form and compatible with the
  5. United States Constitution as well as the principles
  6. of the Declaration of Independence, and that is
  7. equivalent  to    a    State    constitution,   having   been
  8. democratically ratified by the United States citizens
  9. of the territory on November 4, 1952, and subse-
  10. quently approved by the Congress of the United
  11. States through Public Law 82–447.
  12. (6) Thirty-two territories previously have peti-
  13. tioned Congress for statehood based on democrat-
  14. ically expressed consent of the governed, and each
  15. was duly admitted as a State of the Union pursuant
  16. to article IV, section 3, clause 1 of the United States
  17. Constitution, with equal rights and responsibilities of
  18. national and State citizenship under the United
  19. States Constitution.
  20. (7) Puerto Ricans have contributed greatly to
  21. the nation and its culture and distinguished them-
  22. selves in every field of endeavor. However, the denial
  23. of equal voting representation and equal treatment
  24. by the Federal Government stands in stark contrast
  25. to their contributions.
  1. (8) Since becoming a United States territory,
  2. more than 235,000 American citizens of Puerto
  3. Rican heritage have served in the United States
  4. military.
  5. (9) Thousands of United States military service
  6. members of Puerto Rican heritage have received nu-
  7. merous medals, distinctions, and commendations of
  8. every degree, including for valorous military service
  9. in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
  10. (10) Nine United States military service mem-
  11. bers from Puerto Rico have been awarded the Medal
  12. of Honor, and many have been awarded the Distin-
  13. guished Service Cross or the Navy Cross.
  14. (11) The 65th Infantry Regiment in Puerto
  15. Rico (known as the ‘‘Borinqueneers’’) was awarded
  16. the Congressional Gold Medal (Public Law 113–
  17. 120)  for   its   contributions    and   sacrifices   in   the
  18. armed  conflicts   of   the   United   States,    including
  19. World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
  20. (12) To further recognize and pay tribute to
  21. the bravery of the Puerto Rican soldiers of the 65th
  22. Infantry Regiment, Congress expressed support for
  23. the      designation    of      April     13      as      National
  24. Borinqueneers Day in the National Defense Author-

1          ization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Public Law 116–

2          283).

  • (13)   Unincorporated  territory   status    means
  • that Federal laws can be applied to Puerto Rico and
  • its American citizens differently, on unequal and, at
  • times inequitable terms, compared not only to the
  • States and their residents, but also unlike territories
  • that are parts of the United States. This has limited
  • the development of Puerto Rico and hindered its
  • economy.
  • (14) Unincorporated territory status has re-
  • sulted in millions of residents leaving Puerto Rico to
  • secure equal rights of citizenship attainable only in
  • a State, and that enable Americans to seek greater
  • opportunities and a better quality of life in the
  • States. Approximately 65 percent of all people of
  • Puerto Rican origin now live in the States, with the
  • increasing rate of population loss in the territory
  • creating a severe strain on the local tax base and
  • workforce participation.
  • (15) Other than its unincorporated territory
  • status and its unequal treatment under some Fed-
  • eral laws, Puerto Rico is socially, economically, po-
  • litically, and legally integrated into the nation. Nu-
  • merous territories admitted as States did not have
  1. as strong a record of self-determination favoring
  2. statehood as the majority votes by American citizens
  3. in Puerto Rico favoring admission to the Union.
  4. (16) In November 2012, a majority of voters
  5. rejected continuation of the current territory status,
  6. and 61.2 percent of those expressing a choice on sta-
  7. tus alternatives chose statehood.
  8. (17) In June 2017, a vote was held to confirm
  9. the aspirations of the people of Puerto Rico. As ad-
  10. vised by the United States Department of Justice,
  11. all available status options were included in the bal-
  12. lot. Amid an opposition boycott, statehood received
  13. 97 percent of the votes casted, while independence
  14. and the current status received less than 3 percent
  15. of the vote.
  16. (18) In November 2020, following Alaska and
  17. Hawaii precedent, Puerto Rico voters were presented
  18. with the question: ‘‘Should Puerto Rico be admitted
  19. immediately into the Union as a State? Yes or No’’.
  20. A clear majority of 52.52 percent voted in the af-
  21. firmative.
  22. (19) In December 2020, the Puerto Rico legis-
  23. lature, following the absolute majority victory ob-
  24. tained by statehood in the plebiscite, approved a
  25. Joint Resolution petitioning, on behalf of the People
  1. of Puerto Rico, that Congress and the President of
  2. the United States admit Puerto Rico into the Union
  3. as a State and appointed official representatives to
  4. manage the transition to statehood.
  5. (20) No large and populous United States terri-
  6. tory inhabited by American citizens that has peti-
  7. tioned for statehood has been denied admission into
  8. the Union.
  9. SEC. 3. ADMISSION.
  10. Subject to the provisions of this Act, and upon
  11. issuance of the proclamation required by section 7(c), the
  12. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is hereby declared to be
  13. a State of the United States of America, and as such shall
  14. be declared admitted into the Union on an equal footing
  15. with the other States in all respects.
  16. SEC. 4. PHYSICAL TERRITORY.
  17. The State of Puerto Rico shall consist of all the is-
  18. lands, together with their appurtenant reefs, seafloor, and
  19. territorial waters in the seaward boundary, presently
  20. under the jurisdiction of the territory of Puerto Rico.
  21. SEC. 5. CONSTITUTION.
  22. The constitution of the State of Puerto Rico shall al-
  23. ways be republican in form and shall not be repugnant
  24. to the Constitution of the United States and the principles
  25. of the Declaration of Independence. The constitution of
  1. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as approved by Public
  2. Law 82–447 and subsequently amended, is hereby found
  3. to be republican in form and in conformity with the Con-
  4. stitution of the United States and the principles of the
  5. Declaration of Independence, and is hereby accepted, rati-
  6. fied, and confirmed as the constitution of said State.
  7. SEC. 6. CERTIFICATION BY PRESIDENT.
  8. Upon enactment of this Act, the President of the
  9. United States shall certify such fact to the Governor of
  10. Puerto Rico. Thereupon the Governor shall, within 30
  11. days after receipt of the official notification of such ap-
  12. proval, issue a proclamation for the election of Senators
  13. and Representatives in Congress.
  14. SEC. 7. RATIFICATION VOTE.
  15. (a) RATIFICATION OF PROPOSITION.—At an election
  16. designated by proclamation of the Governor of Puerto
  17. Rico, which may be either the primary or the general elec-
  18. tion held pursuant to section 8, or a territorial general
  19. election, or a special election, there shall be submitted to
  20. voters, for adoption or rejection, a ballot with the following
  21. ratification question: ‘‘Shall Puerto Rico immediately be
  22. admitted into the Union as a State, in accordance with
  23. terms   prescribed    in    the    Act    of    Congress   approved
  24. .  .  ..  .  ..  .  …    (date  of   approval  of   this   Act)?:  Yes
  25. lllll No lllll.’’.
  1. (b) CERTIFIED RESULTS.—If the foregoing propo-
  2. sition is adopted by a majority of the votes cast in the
  3. election conducted under subsection (a), the President of
  4. the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico shall cer-
  5. tify the results of the election and shall transmit the cer-
  6. tified results of the election to the Governor. Not later
  7. than 10 days after the date of certification, the Governor
  8. shall declare the results of the election and transmit the
  9. certified results of the submission to the President of the
  10. United States, the President pro tempore of the Senate,
  11. and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  12. (c) PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION.—Upon receipt of
  13. the Governor’s declaration pursuant to subsection (b), the
  14. President of the United States shall issue a proclamation
  15. declaring certified the results of the submission and the
  16. date Puerto Rico is admitted as a State of the Union on
  17. an equal footing with all other States, which date must
  18. follow the certification of results of the general elections
  19. required by section 6 of this Act, but not later than 12
  20. months from the date on which the aforementioned sub-
  21. mission results were certified in order to facilitate a tran-
  22. sition process. Upon issuance of the proclamation by the
  23. President, Puerto Rico shall be deemed admitted into the
  24. Union as a State.
  1. (d)  TERMINATION  OF  ACT  IF  PROPOSITION  NOT
    1. ADOPTED.—If the foregoing proposition is not adopted by
    1. a majority votes cast in the election conducted under sub-
    1. section (a), the provisions of this Act shall cease to be
    1. effective.
    1. SEC. 8. ELECTION OF OFFICERS.
    1. The proclamation by the Governor in section 6 shall
    1. designate and announce the dates and other requirements
    1. for primary and general elections under applicable Federal
    1. and local law for representation in the Senate and the
    1. House of Representatives in accordance with the following:
    1. (1) In the first election of Senators, the two
    1. senatorial offices shall be separately identified and
    1. designated, and no person may be a candidate for
    1. both offices. Nothing in this section shall impair the
    1. privilege of the Senate to determine the class and
    1. term to which each of the Senators-elect shall be as-
    1. signed.
    1. (2) In the first election of Representatives fol-
    1. lowing admission, and subsequent elections until the
    1. next   Census-based  reapportionment   cycle,   Puerto
    1. Rico shall be entitled to the same number of Rep-
    1. resentatives as the State whose most recent Census
    1. population was closest to, but less than, that of
    1. Puerto Rico, and such Representatives shall be in
  1. addition to the membership of the House of Rep-
  2. resentatives as now prescribed by law: Provided, that
  3. any such increase in the membership shall not oper-
  4. ate to either increase or decrease the permanent
  5. membership of the House of Representatives as pre-
  6. scribed in the Act of August 8, 1911 (37 Stat. 13),
  7. nor shall such temporary increase affect the basis of
  8. apportionment established by the Act of November

9          15, 1941 (55 Stat. 761;   2   U.S.C.   2a),   for   the

  1. Eighty-third Congress and each Congress thereafter,
  2. unless Congress acts to increase the total number of
  3. members of the House of Representatives. There-
  4. after, the State of Puerto Rico shall be entitled to
  5. such number of Representatives  as provided for  by
  6. applicable law based on the next reapportionment.
  7. The apportionment of congressional districts for the
  8. first election and subsequent election of Representa-
  9. tives shall be conducted as provided for by the Con-
  10. stitution and laws of Puerto Rico.
  11. (3) The President of the State Elections Com-
  12. mission of Puerto Rico shall certify the results of
  13. such primary and general elections to the Governor.
  14. Within 10 days of the date of each certification, the
  15. Governor shall declare the results of the primary
  16. and general elections, and transmit the results of
  1. each election to the President of the United States,
  2. the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the
  3. Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  4. SEC. 9. CONTINUITY OF LAWS, GOVERNMENT, AND OBLIGA-
  5. TIONS.
  6. Upon the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into
  7. the Union, the following shall apply:
  8. (1) CONTINUITY OF   LAWS.—All   laws   of   the
  9. United States and laws of Puerto Rico not in con-
  10. flict with this Act shall continue in full force and ef-
  11. fect following the date of admission of Puerto Rico
  12. as a State of the Union.
  13. (2) CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT.—The indi-
  14. viduals holding legislative, executive, and judicial of-
  15. fices of Puerto Rico shall continue to discharge the
  16. duties of their respective offices when Puerto Rico
  17. becomes a State of the Union.
  18. (3)  CONTINUITY         OF      OBLIGATIONS.—All      con-
  19. tracts, obligations, liabilities, debts, and claims of
  20. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its instru-
  21. mentalities shall continue in full force and effect as
  22. the   contracts,   obligations,   liabilities,    debts,   and
  23. claims of the State of Puerto Rico and its instru-
  24. mentalities.
  1. (4) TITLE TO PROPERTY.—The State of Puerto
  2. Rico and its political subdivisions, as the case may
  3. be, shall have and retain title to all lands and other
  4. properties, real and personal, over which the terri-
  5. tory and its subdivisions presently hold title. The
  6. United States shall retain title to all property, real
  7. and personal, to which it presently has title, includ-
  8. ing public lands.
  9. SEC. 10. REPEALS.
  10. All Federal and territorial laws, rules, and regula-
  11. tions, or parts of Federal and territorial laws, rules, and
  12. regulations, applicable to Puerto Rico that are incompat-
  13. ible with the political and legal status of statehood under
  14. the Constitution and the provisions of this Act are re-
  15. pealed and terminated as of the date of statehood admis-
  16. sion proclaimed by the President under section 7(c) of this
  17. Act. Except for those parts that are not in conflict with
  18. this Act and the condition of statehood, the following shall
  19. be deemed repealed upon the effective date of the admis-
  20. sion of Puerto Rico as a State:
  21. (1) The Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act of

22          1950 (Public Law 81–600).

23                 (2) The Act of July 3, 1950 (48 U.S.C. 731b–

24          731e).

1                 (3) The Act of March 2, 1917 (Public Law 64–

2          368).

3                 (4) The Act of April 12, 1900 (Public Law 56–

4          191).

  • SEC. 11. SEVERABILITY.
  • If any provision of this Act, or any section, sub-
  • section, sentence, clause, phrase, or individual word, or the
  • application thereof to any person or circumstance is held
  • invalid by a court of jurisdiction, the validity of the re-
  • mainder of the Act and of the application of any such pro-
  • vision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or in-
  • dividual word to other persons and circumstances shall not
  • be affected thereby.
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