Last Tuesday, the liberal House leadership pulled the controversial D.C. House Voting Rights bill from the floor schedule, and we thank you for all of your calls and for taking action! However, just two days after they backed away from the D.C. bill, the House announced that it would move to consider an even more controversial bill that paves the way for U.S. territory Puerto Rico to become the 51st state!
Sponsored by Puerto Rican delegate Pedro Pierluisi (D), the Puerto Rico Democracy Act (H.R. 2499) - which has reared its ugly head a number of times over the past few congresses but has yet to have any success – would require Puerto Ricans to hold a national referendum to decide if they want Puerto Rico to remain a self-governing U.S. commonwealth, or become the 51st state.
The referendum would be set up as two plebiscites which would effectively deceive Puerto Ricans into voting for statehood. In the first round of votes, the Puerto Rican people would be given the choice between remaining a U.S. territory and “pursuing a different political status.” If the majority votes to maintain the status quo, this bill would require that Puerto Rico vote on this same issue every eight years. If the majority votes for “different status,” a second round of votes would be held where Puerto Ricans would choose either statehood or independence-the status quo of “U.S. territory” would not even be an option! In other words, the two ballots would be rigged to favor the outcome of statehood, overriding the wishes of Americans and Puerto Ricans who want to maintain the current commonwealth status.
Why we do not want Puerto Rico admitted as the 51st state:
- The U.S. would transform, overnight, into a bilingual nation. At least half of Puerto Ricans do not speak English, the language of our U.S. Constitution and founding documents. The Washington Times article, “Puerto Rican statehood,” analyzes all the implications of adding a foreign language-speaking state to the Union.
- It would bring immediate demands for massive federal spending. The average income of Puerto Ricans is less than half that of our poorest state, and infrastructure and the environment are far below American standards. Puerto Rico has a population with a median national income of $17,741, nearly a third below that for the U.S.
- Puerto Rico is already a democracy. Despite the bill’s deceptive title, Puerto Rico already has an elected government and exists as a self-governed commonwealth of the U.S.
- Statehood would give Puerto Rico more congressional representation than 25 of our 50 states! It would inevitably give Democrats two additional U.S. Senators and 6 to 8 additional Members of the House.
H.R. 2499 is stealth legislation designed to lead to the admission of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico as the 51st state, thereby making us a de facto bilingual nation, like Canada. The U.S. Congress should not be forcing Puerto Ricans to vote on statehood, especially since the Puerto Rican people have rejected statehood three times since 1991!
No Member of Congress who describes himself as a limited government, fiscal conservative should be casting a YEA vote for H.R. 2499, as Puerto Rican statehood would cause an immediate increase in federal expenditures, particularly for taxpayer-funded welfare state services.
Tell Congress not to override the wishes of Americans and Puerto Ricans who want to maintain the current commonwealth status of Puerto Rico by forcing a vote on rigged referenda!
The House will likely bring H.R. 2499 to the floor for a vote on either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Please call and email your Representative today and tell him to vote NO on H.R. 2499 which forces a vote on rigged referenda to make Puerto Rico the 51st state!
Please concentrate on these targets* and send the indicated staffer a direct email asking them to explain why their boss is supporting this bill and stating that you want them to vote NO. Just a few emails from their own constituents would be enough to change a YES vote to a NO vote.
*Even if you think you have a solid conservative representing your district, please contact him and tell him to vote NO. H.R. 2499 has approximately 50 Republican cosponsors-they need to hear from you!
LISTEN to Phyllis Schlafly’s 3-minute radio commentary on why the Puerto Rico Statehood bill must be defeated.