Statehood For Puerto Rico? Why?

Tomorrow, they’re supposed to have a vote on statehood for Puerto Rico in the House.

Legislation that could set Puerto Rico on a path to statehood has divided Hispanic House lawmakers over whether it is the best way to determine the future of the territory’s relationship with the U.S.

Lawmakers are set to vote on the measure Thursday, which could lead to Puerto Ricans casting a ballot in a referendum about whether they want to change their century-plus territory status with the U.S.

According to the legislation, the island’s residents would first be asked to vote on whether they want to retain the status quo. If they opt for change, a second ballot would then be held to determine if they want to pursue statehood, independence or a loose association with the U.S.

If Puerto Ricans vote in favor of statehood, the U.S. could be expanded beyond 50 states for the first time since Hawaii joined the Union in 1959.

It would lead to a raft of questions that could result in significant changes about how many lawmakers sit in Congress, and how the federal government funds various programs including the highway trust fund, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

For Puerto Ricans, it would likely result in some paying federal income tax for the first time, and spark debate about whether the island would be able to continue having two official languages.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) is a strong backer of the bill. The scheduled vote on Thursday comes just a week after Hoyer decided to cancel a vote on another bill that would have given the District of Columbia a voting member of the House of Representatives, a measure the number two House Democrat also supported.

Other proponents of the Puerto Rican bill caution that it wouldn’t lead directly to statehood, noting that Congress would still have to react to the outcome of the votes.

We’re talking about radical change here — adding a new state. We’d have to assimilate a bilingual country, it would cost billions of dollars, and there’s no attempt to even explain how it would benefit the United States. That’s because it wouldn’t benefit the country.

In actuality, this is just one more left-wing powergrab that’s:  : being driven almost entirely by the idea that it might lead to more votes in Congress for the Democratic Party. If the American people won’t go along with a liberal agenda, well then, they’ll just have to get new people.

Republicans should vote against this and whatever the outcome of a vote in Puerto Rico may be, they should block Puerto Rico from becoming a state.

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