The U.S. House of Representatives voted 223-169 today to put forward a two-step process that would allow Puerto Rico to choose whether it desires to become the 51st state:
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to allow Puerto Ricans to decide their own political future and relationship with the United States.
The vote was 223 to 169. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., voted present.
The bill introduced a two-step ballot measure for Puerto Rico to decide if its residents want to change their current relationship with the United States. If they vote to change their status, they can then choose to become a state, pursue independence, or seek some other "political association between sovereign nations."
Proponents say the measure gives citizens of the island the right to self-determination. Critics say the measure is a device to impose statehood on a population that doesn't want it. Thursday's action was nonbinding, and if Puerto Ricans eventually select statehood, Congress would still have to vote to admit the island to the union as the 51st state. . . . MORE