From the Serrano report:
Serrano's PR Bill Passes Out of Committee
Congressman Serrano’s bill to finally resolve Puerto Rico’s status, H.R. 900, was considered by the House Committee on Natural Resources this week and won passage after several amendments.
Serrano was pleased with the markup and congratulated the members of the Committee on Natural Resources for taking this vital first step in resolving Puerto Rico’s status once and for all. The bill would have the U.S. government ask the people of Puerto Rico a simple question: Do you support the present status or would you like to change the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States? With the answer to this question, interested parties can begin meaningful negotiations about the future of the relationship between the U.S. and the island.
“There have been many criticisms of my bill from people who oppose change. I worked closely with Mr. Rahall and Mr. Fortuño to craft a compromise bill addressing the concerns of the other side. Unfortunately, their stance seemed to be that there was no concession big enough that would make my bill worthy of their support. I am saddened by this position, because I genuinely believe that we need dialogue and compromise between the two sides to eventually end this colonial relationship—a relationship that no one supports in its current form.
“The Puerto Rican people deserve leaders who will tell them the truth, and lead them into a better future. It is time that we all admit that the colonial relationship with the U.S. and the subjugation that it brings have divided us against one another.
“If we are to move toward a better, empowered future for Puerto Ricans, we must stop the infighting, and work together to solve our status problem. Until that is done, we will never move beyond it. Our heritage, our pride, and our history all call us to do what we need to do to move our people to a bright future.”
The next step for the bill would be a vote on the House floor, although this step has not been scheduled.