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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor calls on NPP membership to support refiled status bill

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

New Progressive Party (NPP) President and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia requested support for HR 2757, the Puerto Rico Status Bill, during the NPP directory held over the weekend.

The bill would set out a process to resolve the political status of Puerto Rico, authorizing a federally sponsored referendum where constituents will pick one of several non-territorial, non-colonial options. Finally, the legislation details the transition and implementation of the chosen status by the majority of voters in Puerto Rico.

“As a Party, we are united with Congress to obtain once again the approval of a bill that contains non-colonial and non-territorial options that resolve the problem of the status of our island. This fight for Equality guaranteed by Statehood does not expire until it is achieved,” Pierluisi said in a written statement. “Therefore, as governor and president of the NPP and together with the leaders of my party, we will all be working hard together in the Federal House and Senate to do justice to the 3.2 million American citizens who live in Puerto Rico but who do not enjoy full democracy.”

The NPP leader also spoke of the efforts to continue strengthening the party’s community structure in view of next year’s elections. The Progressive Organizations of Public Servants, Youth, Women, the Statehood Mission, and the electoral team, meanwhile, established their work agendas to continue carrying the message of equality.

Pierluisi was accompanied by NPP Vice President Thomás Rivera Schatz, NPP Secretary Carmelo Ríos Santiago and Deputy Secretary Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló, Electoral Commissioner Vanessa Santo Domingo and Mayors Federation President Gabriel Hernández Rodríguez, along with the members of the NPP board.

“The eternal discussion of this issue limits us as a people,” Ríos Santiago said in the statement. “We will solve the problem of status with Statehood once and for all. Our party will continue to demand Equality for all American citizens who reside in Puerto Rico. Our fight does not stop, and we will continue focusing on achieving the Equality that we deserve as citizens.”

The legislation was the same as the one introduced last year during the previous congressional session. The bill calls for a vote to select from statehood, independence and free association.

Even though the House passed the bill in December, the Senate never scheduled a floor vote for it, effectively restarting the process of getting the legislation approved by a new Congress.

The original bill’s sponsors and cosponsors in the House said they are hoping to garner more support from senators, as well as majority Republicans in the House.

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