Puerto Rico delegate seeks vote for statehood

PR-KidSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico AP — Puerto Ricos representative in Congress is seeking an unprecedented yes-or-no vote on whether the island should become the 51st state, submitting a bill Wednesday that riled many in the U.S. territory.The proposal by Pedro Pierluisi calls for a federally approved ratifying vote in which Puerto Ricans would be asked if they want their island to become a state. If the majority agrees, the bill calls for the president to submit legislation to Congress within 180 days.”I expect a clear and firm answer from Congress.

This cannot fall on deaf ears,” Pierluisi said. “We lack democratic rights … Its about time this issue be addressed.

“The White House announced last month it would seek $2.5 million from Congress to fund a vote on the islands future political status following disagreements about the results of a nonbinding, two-part referendum held in November.On the ballots first question, more than 900,000 voters, or 54 percent, said they were not content with the current commonwealth status.A second question asked voters to choose a status. Of the approximately 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000, or 61 percent, supported statehood. Some 437,000 backed sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. However, nearly 500,000 left that question blank…

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