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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

New status bill has 81 co-sponsors in the US House

Rep. José Aponte Hernández

By The Star Staff

The new Puerto Rico status bill, House Resolution (HR) 2757, a bipartisan measure that seeks to hold a congressionally endorsed consultation among the options of statehood, direct independence and independence through free association, has 81 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. José Aponte Hernández announced Wednesday.

Aponte Hernández stressed that the increase in members of Congress who support the measure indicates that “the message about statehood, about the need to do justice to U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico, is permeating Congress.”

“Members of Congress are already realizing they have to do something about the oldest colony in the world,” the former speaker of the island House of Representatives said. “The fact that in a year that the presidential election [campaign] is occurring and there are already 81 co-sponsors is indicative that in the federal House of Representatives, the message of our governor, who spent eight years in Congress and has great contacts, as well as the resident commissioner in her effort of the past six years with members of the congressional delegation, among others, is having great resonance. H.R. 2757 is the tool in Congress to finally do justice for the nearly 3.2 million U.S. citizens in the territory of Puerto Rico, who have voted, freely and democratically, in favor of admission during the past three local status consultations.”

The at-large lawmaker called on all members of the NPP, as well as those who treasure permanent union with the United States and want to see their citizenship -- which can only be secured with statehood -- guaranteed, to continue “knocking on doors in Congress because their voice is being heard.”

On April 20, Gov. Pedro Pierlusi Urrutia, along with the Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón and both Democratic and Republican leaders, announced the filing of HR 2757.

The six original authors of the measure, González Colón, Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), as well as Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), have been joined by 75 new co-sponsors.

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