Melissa introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling on the U.S. Congress to reinstate the voting rights of the Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner and other delegates. Previously, the Resident Commissioner and delegates from Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands had the ability to vote on amendments. Under the new Republican-controlled Congress, one of the first resolutions passed by the House of Represenatives removed those already limited voting rights, which they have held since 1993.
As El Diario/La Prensa recently wrote in an editorial, “The bogus argument that states and territories should not be on equal footing in the House is a thin mask for the partisan political agenda to further marginalize the territories. Nearly all of the delegates are Democrats. In playing politics, Republicans are ignoring a long, historical truth that they have had a part in: U.S. citizenship was cast on Puerto Ricans, who were denied the right to choose their status. So the island should not be penalized for a situation it did not hatch.”
The resolution is expected to have a hearing before the Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee in the coming weeks.