Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8393, the Puerto Rico Status Act, with a vote of 233-191. House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:
"I have always been ready to work with Resident Commissioner González-Colón, Governor Pierluisi, members of Congress and others on Puerto Rico's political status. There's no doubt the island's residents should have certainty on their long-term political future. Unfortunately, this rushed bill falls far short of a solution. It hasn't gone through any semblance of regular order, has had zero hearings, fails to include all status options available for Puerto Rican voters to consider, creates murky citizenship questions, and does absolutely nothing to improve the condition of Puerto Rico's economy, energy security, infrastructure or fiscal stability. House Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for jamming a bill with serious issues to a vote mere days before they lose control of the majority. It's a partisan play, and the biggest losers are the people of Puerto Rico themselves. Democrats are using them as pawns in an attempt to flex their authority one last time. Puerto Rico deserves better. We should all be working together to address the many challenges facing Puerto Rico, including the question of its political status. Instead, House Democrats chose politics over people."