Puerto Rican Commonwealth

Puerto Rico Statehood Around The Corner–Or Is It?

For the first time since 1959, the United States is likely very soon to have another state added to the Union–Puerto Rico–or is it?

Puerto Rico has had special commonwealth status since 1952,and had rejected statehood by narrow margins a few times over the years, but on Election,Day, the voters chose to ask for statehood, which should be automatic next year under ordinary circumstances.

This would require a new 51 star flag; the addition of probably five House members; and two US Senators, based on the fact that the island has about 3.7 million population, and each Congressional district is about 750,000 population, making for a 440 member House of Representatives.

It probably means that both Senators and most of the five House members will be Democrats, at least initially, but also based on the overwhelming Puerto Rican vote for President Obama in New York, Florida, Illinois, and elsewhere, where Puerto Ricans have settled.

Puerto Rico would be the second island nation after Hawaii, which would not be part of the American mainland, and by its population size, would have greater input than Hawaii, with its two House members, and Alaska, with its one state wide Congressman.

The plebiscite vote was non binding, and came with the unusual defeat of the statehood Governor and loss of control of both houses for his party, and the victory of the pro Commonwealth party, which wishes to leave Puerto Rican status as it has been for the past half century.

So because of the contradictory results, it could be that Congress will ignore the results and leave things well enough alone!