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House Passes Bill to Decolonize Puerto Rico

HeadlineDec 16, 2022

The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would allow Puerto Rico to hold its first-ever referendum to decide between statehood, independence, or independence with free association. The Puerto Rico Status Act was co-sponsored by Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez — two of the four current Puerto Rican members of the U.S. House — and was approved on a vote of 233 to 191. Sixteen Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill. This is Ocasio-Cortez speaking from the House floor on Thursday. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “While Puerto Rico is not the United States’s only colony, it is its oldest. Today, for the first time in our nation’s history, the United States will acknowledge its role as a colonizing force and Puerto Rico’s status as an extended colony. The Puerto Rico Status Act begins a process for Boricuas to decide their own future.” 

The legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

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