The U.S. House this week is set to weigh in on a measure that would allow the residents of Puerto Rico to vote on the island’s political status.
The legislation, HR 2499, has 181 co-sponsors. If approved, it would then head to the Senate for consideration.
If enacted, the measure will enable Puerto Rico to hold a referendum asking residents if they wish to remain a self-governing commonwealth or to change the island’s status. If a majority opts for a different status, the island would then hold a second plebiscite on whether to become an independent country, join with the U.S. to form “a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the territorial clause of the Constitution,” or become the 51st state.
If a majority chooses to retain its current political status, Puerto Rico would then hold plebiscites every eight years. It will pay for the cost of holding all referendums on its political status.