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Political status of Puerto Rico : options for Congress

Author: R Sam Garrett; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.?] : Congressional Research Service, 2011.
Series: CRS report for Congress, RL32933.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Puerto Rico is subject to congressional jurisdiction under the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Over the past century, Congress passed legislation governing Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States. For example, residents of Puerto Rico hold U.S. citizenship, serve in the military, are subject to federal laws, and are represented in the House of Representatives by a Resident Commissioner elected  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: R Sam Garrett; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
OCLC Number: 793916900
Notes: Title from PDF title page (viewed on May 17, 2012).
"June 7, 2011."
Description: 1 online resource (52 pages) : digital, PDF file.
Contents: Recent developments --
Background --
Status debates and votes, 1952-1998 --
Federal activity after 1998 --
Issues of debate on political status --
Concluding observations.
Series Title: CRS report for Congress, RL32933.
Responsibility: R. Sam Garrett.

Abstract:

Puerto Rico is subject to congressional jurisdiction under the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Over the past century, Congress passed legislation governing Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States. For example, residents of Puerto Rico hold U.S. citizenship, serve in the military, are subject to federal laws, and are represented in the House of Representatives by a Resident Commissioner elected to a four-year term. Although residents participate in the presidential nominating process, they do not vote in the general election. Puerto Ricans pay federal tax on income derived from sources in the mainland United States, but they pay no federal tax on income earned in Puerto Rico. The Resident Commissioner may vote in committees but is not permitted to vote in, or preside over, either the Committee of the Whole or the House in the 112th Congress. Elements of the U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship have been and continue to be matters of debate. Some contend that the current political status of Puerto Rico, perhaps with enhancements, remains a viable option. Others argue that commonwealth status is or should be only a temporary fix to be resolved in favor of other solutions considered permanent, non-colonial, and nonterritorial. Some contend that if independence is achieved, the close relationship with the United States could be continued through compact negotiations with the federal government. One element apparently shared by all involved is that the people of Puerto Rico seek to attain full, democratic representation, notably through voting rights on national legislation to which they are subject. In March 2011, the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico Status issued its latest report. The Task Force, whose members include various officials in the Obama Administration, agreed with its predecessors that the status quo, statehood, independence, or free association with the United States remain constitutionally viable options if Congress and the people of Puerto Rico wish to revisit the island's political status.

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