Congressional_BillsHR2499IH

Puer­to Rico Democ­ra­cy Act of 2009 (Intro­duced in House)

HR 2499 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Ses­sion

H. R. 2499

To pro­vide for a fed­er­al­ly sanc­tioned self-deter­mi­na­tion process for the peo­ple of Puer­to Rico.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 19, 2009

Mr. PIERLUISI (for him­self, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. ARCURI, Mr. BAIRD, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. BERMAN, Ms. BORDALLO, Mr. BOUSTANY, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Flori­da, Mr. BROWN of South Car­oli­na, Mr. BURTON of Indi­ana, Mr. BUTTERFIELD, Mr. CARDOZA, Mr. CASTLE, Ms. CLARKE, Mr. CONNOLLY of Vir­ginia, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. COSTA, Mr. CUELLAR, Mr. DELAHUNT, Mr. DENT, Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Flori­da, Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Flori­da, Mr. DOYLE, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Mr. FARR, Mr. FATTAH, Mr. FLAKE, Ms. FUDGE, Mr. GERLACH, Mr. GRAYSON, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. HARE, Mr. HASTINGS of Flori­da, Mr. HIGGINS, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. HOYER, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Mr. JOHNSON of Geor­gia, Ms. KAPTUR, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. KILDEE, Ms. KILPATRICK of Michi­gan, Mr. KLEIN of Flori­da, Mr. KRATOVIL, Ms. LEE of Cal­i­for­nia, Mr. LEWIS of Geor­gia, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of Cal­i­for­nia, Mr. MACK, Mr. MAFFEI, Ms. MARKEY of Col­orado, Mr. MASSA, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. MCCAUL, Mr. MICA, Mr. MOLLOHAN, Mr. MORAN of Vir­ginia, Ms. NORTON, Mr. OLVER, Mr. ORTIZ, Mr. PENCE, Mr. POE of Texas, Mr. POLIS of Col­orado, Mr. PUTNAM, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. REYES, Mr. RODRIGUEZ, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. SABLAN, Mr. SALAZAR, Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of Cal­i­for­nia, Mr. SHULER, Mr. SMITH of Wash­ing­ton, Mr. STARK, Mr. TAYLOR, Mr. THOMPSON of Mis­sis­sip­pi, Mr. TONKO, Mr. WALZ, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. WATSON, Mr. WATT, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. WEXLER, Mr. WILSON of South Car­oli­na, Mr. WU, Mr. YARMUTH, and Mr. YOUNG of Alas­ka) intro­duced the fol­low­ing bill; which was referred to the Com­mit­tee on Nat­ur­al Resources


A BILL

To pro­vide for a fed­er­al­ly sanc­tioned self-deter­mi­na­tion process for the peo­ple of Puer­to Rico.

Be it enact­ed by the Sen­ate and House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca in Con­gress assem­bled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cit­ed as the ‘Puer­to Rico Democ­ra­cy Act of 2009’.

SEC. 2. FEDERALLY SANCTIONED PROCESS FOR PUERTO RICO’S SELF-DETERMINATION.

(a) First Plebiscite- The Gov­ern­ment of Puer­to Rico is autho­rized to con­duct a plebiscite in Puer­to Rico. The 2 options set forth on the bal­lot shall be pre­ced­ed by the fol­low­ing state­ment: ‘Instruc­tions: Mark one of the fol­low­ing 2 options:

‘(1) Puer­to Rico should con­tin­ue to have its present form of polit­i­cal sta­tus. If you agree, mark here XX.

‘(2) Puer­to Rico should have a dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal sta­tus. If you agree, mark here XX.’.

(b) Pro­ce­dure if Major­i­ty in First Plebiscite Favors Option 1- If a major­i­ty of the bal­lots in the plebiscite are cast in favor of Option 1, the Gov­ern­ment of Puer­to Rico is autho­rized to con­duct addi­tion­al plebiscites under sub­sec­tion (a) at inter­vals of every 8 years from the date that the results of the pri­or plebiscite are cer­ti­fied under sec­tion 3(d).

© Pro­ce­dure if Major­i­ty in First Plebiscite Favors Option 2- If a major­i­ty of the bal­lots in a plebiscite con­duct­ed pur­suant to sub­sec­tion (a) or (b) are cast in favor of Option 2, the Gov­ern­ment of Puer­to Rico is autho­rized to con­duct a plebiscite on the fol­low­ing 3 options:

(1) Inde­pen­dence: Puer­to Rico should become ful­ly inde­pen­dent from the Unit­ed States. If you agree, mark here XX.

(2) Sov­er­eign­ty in Asso­ci­a­tion with the Unit­ed States: Puer­to Rico and the Unit­ed States should form a polit­i­cal asso­ci­a­tion between sov­er­eign nations that will not be sub­ject to the Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Clause of the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. If you agree, mark here XX.

(3) State­hood: Puer­to Rico should be admit­ted as a State of the Union. If you agree, mark here XX.

SEC. 3. APPLICABLE LAWS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS.

(a) Applic­a­ble Laws- All Fed­er­al laws applic­a­ble to the elec­tion of the Res­i­dent Com­mis­sion­er shall, as appro­pri­ate and con­sis­tent with this Act, also apply to any plebiscites held pur­suant to this Act. Any ref­er­ence in such Fed­er­al laws to elec­tions shall be con­sid­ered, as appro­pri­ate, to be a ref­er­ence to the plebiscites, unless it would frus­trate the pur­pos­es of this Act.

(b) Rules and Reg­u­la­tions- The Puer­to Rico State Elec­tions Com­mis­sion shall issue all rules and reg­u­la­tions nec­es­sary to car­ry out the plebiscites under this Act.

© Eli­gi­bil­i­ty To Vote- Each of the fol­low­ing shall be eli­gi­ble to vote in any plebiscite held under this Act:

(1) All eli­gi­ble vot­ers under the elec­toral laws in effect in Puer­to Rico at the time the plebiscite is held.

(2) All Unit­ed States cit­i­zens born in Puer­to Rico who com­ply, to the sat­is­fac­tion of the Puer­to Rico State Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, with all Com­mis­sion require­ments (oth­er than the res­i­den­cy require­ment) applic­a­ble to eli­gi­bil­i­ty to vote in a gen­er­al elec­tion in Puer­to Rico. Per­sons eli­gi­ble to vote under this sub­sec­tion shall, upon time­ly request sub­mit­ted to the Com­mis­sion in com­pli­ance with any terms imposed by the Elec­toral Law of Puer­to Rico, be enti­tled to receive an absen­tee bal­lot for the plebiscite.

(d) Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Plebiscite Results- The Puer­to Rico State Elec­tions Com­mis­sion shall cer­ti­fy the results of any plebiscite held under this Act to the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States and to the Mem­bers of the Sen­ate and House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Unit­ed States.

This bill was orig­nal­ly intro­duced as H.R. 900 in 2007 and this is not the first time this issue has been vot­ed upon. The same vote on the Com­mon­wealth issue was done back in 1993.