Following the U.S. House of Representatives voted on HR 2499- Statehood for Puerto Rico, my Congressional representative Bill Posey (R-FL 15) wrote to me. Rep. Posey was one of 181 cosigners to the bill, and voted for it when it was brought up late Thursday afternoon.
Now that the smoke has cleared a little….
Numerous callers to my office today referenced 5 bullet points, which they called “Quick Facts” as reasons to vote against H.R.2499.
Below in bold type are responses to the “quick facts” in relation to the actual bill which passed today:
Here are some quick facts:
- The Puerto Rico Democracy Act would allow a federally sanctioned referendum to be conducted in Puerto Rico. Voters would be asked whether they support the present form of commonwealth government, or if they want Puerto Rico to seek a different political status. If the majority selects that they want a different political status, then another referendum would be held giving voters three options: Independence, Sovereignty in Association with the United States, or Statehood.
NOT TRUE – THE BILL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW VOTERS TO CHOSE “STATUS QUO” WHICH THEY HAVE CHOSEN IN THE PAST.
THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME SUCH LEGISLATION WAS CONSIDERED. THE HOUSE PASSED A SIMILAR BILL WHEN NEWT GINGRICH WAS THE SPEAKER.
- Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth. Residents of Puerto Rico lack voting representation. They do not participate in presidential elections. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are subject to military service and most federal laws. In the present legislation, Commonwealth status is not an option.
PARTLY TRUE – KNOW HOW THEY GOT THEIR CITIZENSHIP?
THRU THE JONES ACT OF 1947 – WHEN AMERICA NEEDED MORE TROOPS TO FIGHT IN WWI
IF THEY VOTE FOR “STATUS QUO” THEY DO KEEP COMMONWEALTH STATUS.
- Puerto Rico has a Governor that is elected directly for a four-year term. There is a bicameral legislature. This consists of a 27-member Senate and a 51-member House of Representatives. Each of these is elected for four-year terms.
TRUE: THE GOVERNOR IS A REPUBLICAN –A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN WHO SAT ON THE REPUBLICAN STUDY COMMITTEE (A DUES PAYING GROUP OF THE MOST CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS)
FOR SOME REASON THE “QUICK FACTS” DID NOT INCLUDE THE FACT 2008 REPUBLICAN VICTORIES IN PUERTO RICO INCLUDED;
Governor Luis Fortuno
Senate President Tommy Rivera-Schatz
House Speaker Jennifer Gonzalez
Senate Majority Leader Roberto Arango
San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini (and a Majority of mayors)
OR, FOR WHATEVER IT’S WORTH, POLLING DATA SHOWING:
78% OF Puerto Ricans are Pro-Life
85% Favor parental notification in case of abortion by minors
91% Agree marriage is between a man and a woman
86% Agree prayer should be allowed in public schools
75% Agree that displaying the Ten Commandments should be allowed on government property.
85% are Christian
51% Favor giving parents vouchers to attend private school
57% Favor instituting a system of charter schools
95% Favor requiring public schools to improve English teaching so students become bilingual
- Most Puerto Ricans do not consider English as their sole official language. No non-English speaking state has ever joined the union.
ENGLISH IS NOT THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE UNITED STATES EITHER. MANY STATES DO NOT RECOGNIZE ENGLISH AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. HOWEVER, THAT IS IRREVELENT AT THIS POINT. AN AMENDMENT TO THE BILL WAS ADDED THAT SAYS “IT IS THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH BE PROMOTED IN PUERTO RICO IN ORDER FOR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TO BE ACHIEVED.”
- If Puerto Rico were to become a state of the union, it would then be allowed 2 Senators and possibly 6 – 8 Congressional members.
THIS BILL DOES NOT ALLOW PUERTO RICO TO HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER – PERIOD!
IT MERELY ALLOWS THEM TO HAVE A “NON-BINDING” PLEBISCITE/ VOTE ~ AT A TIME WHEN THE U.S.A. IS ENCOUORAGING FREEDOM LOVING PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TO PASS ”BINDING” PLECISCITES/VOTES TO SELF DETERMINE THEIR DESTINY.
This just addresses some of the misinformation that was circulated prior to the final vote on the final version of the bill. There are many more reasons I believe it makes sense for Congress to acknowledge and encourage the NON-BINDING vote. If the voters in Puerto Rico decide they want to ask for statehood, than that is an entirely different issue to be taken up at the time. Bye the way, the liberal Puerto Rican Democrats in Congress voted against the bill! Conservative Republicans were split. Some admitted to me they voted against the bill because it was easier than trying to explain the truth. You didn’t send me here to do that. You sent me here to ascertain the facts the best I could and cast an honest, and hopefully intelligent vote. I believe that is what I did.
The problems that I have with the possibly of Puerto Rico statehood are these. Not only are Democrats possibly trying to secure more votes to keep themselves in power, but consider Obamacare. Given that a physician shortage has been predicted with Obamacare, why is the Democratic-controlled Congress, including your Republican Rep, now trying to further strain Obamacare by adding just under 4 million new US citizens to Obamacare?
Simply put, everything that the Domocratic-controlled Congress is now doing is an unconstitutional, Article V-ignoring power grab.
The problem I have is : 1). you think Posey is smarter than Beck , on what do you base that whimsical conclusion . 2 ) .Do you know the voting record of all these P.R. repubs or are you blindly accepting Posey’s word . We have quite a few of our own Rhinos and I think Posey is one of them . 3 ) . What Mr Johnson above said , seems to me the congress has more than enough on their plate without dragging up more contention .
You know and I know its all about power , and how to keep it
I have heard from another source that this is simply a resolution as described by Congressman Posey. At this point, it has not power other than simply asking Puerto Ricans what they want as a government which is done about every 8 years or so. The wording is a little different. While, I did not listen to Glenn Beck, I read some of the information coming from that broadcast. I believe we may be misreading or mishearing him. He is simply ascertaining that what is important is the wording of the resolution as compared to other similar resolutions of the past. He is worried about the slight of hand that is constantly played by the Obama administration and what the advantage of statehood does for Obama and the far left liberal Democrats. From a practical standpoint, even if they Puerto Ricans voted they wanted statehood, it would take months for all this to occur. It certainly would not be in time to affect the 2010 election.
Why is it “misinformation” to state:
“If Puerto Rico were to become a state of the union, it would then be allowed 2 Senators and possibly 6 – 8 Congressional members.” That is a true statement.
And need it be pointed out that although federal income taxes would be imposed on Puerto Ricans if their Commonwealth became a state, most residents earn to little to pay taxes.
With statehood, roughly half of Puerto Rico’s residents would immediately become eligible for food stamps. Puerto Rico would be a massive net loss for U.S. taxpayers in the other 50 states. Democrats are pushing this ONLY to get two new Democrat Senators and six or seven new Democrat Congressmen. Period.
The Democrat trickery is in how they will set up the two referenda.
The first gives Puerto Ricans two choices: Continue as a Commonwealth if the United States or “Have a different political status.” The Democrats hope that those who want statehood (less than 50 percent of the voters) and those who want full independence (less than 50 percent of the voters) would combine to give more than 50 percent to the second option.
A second vote would then be taken, with three options: full independence, independence with some new form of political association with the United States, or statehood. The Democrats then expect statehood to win, because continuing as a Commonwealth would have been REMOVED from the ballot!
The scheme would be akin to asking on the first ballot if the voters prefer “apples” or “some other fruit,” assuming that “some other fruit” would win. Having conveniently disposed of “apples” as a choice, the second vote would then be for “lemons,” “melons,” or “bananas”—with the backers of bananas making up the ballot questions, even though they knew that apples were more popular than bananas. The Democrats are greasing the skids so that “apples” loses and “bananas” wins.
Three times the residents of Puerto Rico have said “no” to statehood. What part of “no” do the Democrats not understand.
After Puerto Rico, will they go after India? What the heck, we Americans can readily afford to provide food stamps to most Indians too, can’t we?
Read The Obama Timeline to learn how we got into this mess.
Puerto Rico, without paying federal income taxes, already receives food stamps. Statehood will mandate federal income taxes, thus the island will carry its weight — unlike the current political status. When I joined the US Navy in 1978, I took an oath, the same oath my fellow citizens take, to obey the orders of the President and defend the Constitution — yet the same democracy I defend denies me the opportunity to vote for the Commander in Chief. How ironic, I can shore up democracy in Iraq, but Washington denies me the rights as a U.S. citizen.