The omnibus appropriations bill unveiled last night contains a provision allocating $2.5 million to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status, as well as numerous other provisions that will benefit Puerto Rico, announced Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi.
It is expected that the House will vote on the bill on Wednesday and that the Senate will vote on the legislation later this week.
The $2.5 million provision was included by President Obama in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget submission at the request of Pierluisi, and the Resident Commissioner then worked with congressional allies of Puerto Rico to shepherd the provision through the legislative process. The provision would allocate funding for the first federally-sponsored status vote in Puerto Rico’s history, among one or more options that would “resolve” the status issue. The provision also requires that, before federal funds can be provided, the U.S. Department of Justice must approve any option on the ballot to ensure that it is consistent with U.S. law and public policy.
“This is an historic moment. The inclusion of this provision in the omnibus bill demonstrates that the U.S. Congress cares about, and is willing to act on, the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status. This provision, which has bipartisan support, also shows that Puerto Rico’s status is neither a Democratic issue nor a Republican issue. At its core, this issue is about the principles of equality and justice,” said Pierluisi.
Read full story: http://pierluisi.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/omnibus-appropriations-bill-contains-25-million-for-first-federally