House Democrats on Thursday will call up legislation aimed at ending Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory and giving Puerto Rican voters a say in whether the island becomes a U.S. state, an independent country or some other form of non-territory status.
Democrats prepared the Puerto Rico Status Act in the House Rules Committee Wednesday night, allowing for debate and a vote on the bill on the House floor Thursday with just days left before they give up control of the House to Republicans. The bill is the result of negotiations that took place this year among lawmakers of Puerto Rican descent and others, but the sudden push to take such swift action related to a U.S. territory shocked Republicans.
“I do have to say, with only a few legislative days left in this Congress, no path forward in the Senate, I’m not sure why this matter warrants an emergency meeting of the Rules Committee when so many outstanding issues remain,” Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said Wednesday night.
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