Legislation introduced Thursday could make Puerto Rico the 51st USA state. Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke over the weekend called for admitting Puerto Rico as the 51st US state, while Sens.
After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico back in September 2017 and virtually wiped out the island's decades-old power grid, Puerto Rico has placed its focus on obtaining power from renewables.
"There's much Puerto Rico can contribute to our nation, which is why I personally favor statehood", President Reagan said at the time.
"It's time to end 120 years of colonialism", Rep. Darren Soto, D-Florida, said.More news: Pelosi: Trump, GOP Are 'Afraid' of 'Professional, Patriotic' Adam Schiff
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The renewed call for statehood in the House comes after President Trump this week reportedly told Senate Republicans he opposed sending more disaster relief money to the island territory, which is still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Under current law, Puerto Rico does not elect voting members of Congress, or have a say in US presidential elections (although they can vote in both major parties' presidential primaries).
Soto said the bill will be supported by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, former chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee that oversees Puerto Rico issues, as well as other House Republicans. Almost half a million votes were cast for statehood, but opnly 23 percent of eligible citizens voted. A March 2018 report in Politico showed the administration had by then sent far more support to Texas after Hurricane Harvey than to Puerto Rico after Maria, both in terms of the speed and size of the assistance. During that visit, he also lambasted Puerto Rico for creating a budget strain.