Answers Needed Before Another Star is Added to U.S. Flag

Rep. Doc Hastings
RedState.com
4/23/2010

Next week the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy, which gives the people of Puerto Rico the opportunity to vote on their political future including the possibility of becoming America’s 51st state. Officially, the bill would create a two-step voting process where the people of Puerto Rico would vote to either maintain the status quo or select a different political status. If a different political status is desired by the majority of the electorate, Puerto Ricans would have three options: independence, free association with the U.S., or full statehood.

If that sounds unnecessarily confusing, it’s because it is. And there are numerous questions about the implications of this bill that no one is talking about. For example:

Could this bill create a path towards statehood? Absolutely. Statehood is the goal of the bill’s backers. It is said the results of the vote is nonbinding, but should the statehood option be declared the winner, it could be used to press Congress to act as soon as next year on a vote to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. This is troubling since the winner just needs to receive the most votes, not the majority (ie, Statehood could “win” with 34% of the vote.) Shouldn’t a strong majority of people support statehood before admission is considered – as was the case with both Hawaii and Alaska?

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