Without constitutional flaws Jenniffer González's Satehood bill

June 14, 2021
Press Release
Department of Justice issues a report evaluating the two Puerto Rico status bills under the U.S. House of Representatives’ consideration
June 14, 2021 – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) today issued a report expressing its opinion on the two legislative measures that are currently under consideration in the House of Representatives to define the political status of Puerto Rico: H.R. 1522 introduced by Representatives Jenniffer González Colón and Darren Soto (D-FL), and H.R. 2070.

DOJ’s report on Puerto Rico’s political status confirms that within the U.S. Constitution only two options are available: to become a state or remain as a territory. The other alternative outside of U.S. sovereignty is independence.

“The report confirms what we have been arguing. There is no other non-territorial status but statehood or independence. We do not need a status convention to tell us this and there is no other option that a status convention can propose,” said Rep. González Colón.

The DOJ report also concludes that the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) “would not violate the uniformity requirement of the Bankruptcy Clause at all were Puerto Rico to become a state.” It also stated that during the transition period to admission, Congress could decide to terminate the Oversight Board or provide an orderly transition into an entity of the new State of Puerto Rico.

If Puerto Rico were to become a State of the Union, DOJ states that it would be constitutional for there to be a period to transition the Island to the federal tax system, it would not be an immediate action.

“I’m glad DOJ did not find any constitutional flaws on my Statehood bill, H.R.1522. We will continue working to enact the will of the people of Puerto Rico,’” added González Colón.
The DOJ's reports precede a public hearing that will be held by the House Natural Resources Committee this Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. This will be the second legislative hearing hold by the Committee on Puerto Rico’s political status this Congress.