105th CONGRESS s.472
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. Craig (for himself, Mr. Graham, Mr. D'Amato, Mr. Torrocelli, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Mack, Mr. Allard, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Reid, introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
To provide for referenda in which the residents of Puerto Rico may express democratically their preferences regarding the political status of the territory, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1 Findings
Congress finds that-
(1) the United States exercises sovereignty over Puerto Rico to the Treaty of Paris proclaimed by President McKinley on April 11, 1899 (30 Stat.1754) article IX of which established that residents of the territory not another nation would have United States nationality and provided that the "civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico "shall be determined by the Congress";
(2) Congress carries out all Federal responsibilities with respect to Puerto Rico, including those set forth in article IX of the treaty d Paris pursuant to clause 2 of section 3 of article IV of the Constitution (commonly known as the "territorial clause") which provides that "Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States";
(3) in the Act of March 2, 1917 (39 Stat. 951,chapter 145), Congress carried out its responsibility under article IX of the Treaty of Paris by providing for civil administration of Puerto Rico and declared that, by virtue of that Act, the inhabitants of Puerto Rico shall be citizens of the United States, with such civil rights and political status as Congress determined to be consistent with birth or residence in an unincorporated territory rather than a State of the Union;
(4) in the Act of July 3, 1950 (64 Stat. 319, chapter 446), Congress further implemented article ix of the Treaty of Paris by authorizing the residents of Puerto Rico to adopt a constitution, which was implemented in 1952 after acceptance by Puerto Rico of certain amendments made by Congress in approving the territorial constitution, thereby establishing the current commonwealth structure for local self-government in respect of internal affairs and local government administration subject to the Constitution of the United States and other Federal law applicable to Puerto Rico and
(5) the United States, consistent with its constitutional process is committed to respecting the principle of self-determination in implementing any Federal measures that would provide for or make possible a transition of government from the current territorial status of commonwealth to a permanent and fully self-governing political status for Puerto Rico.
SEC 2 REFERENDA
(a) POLICY OP THE UNITED STATES-
(1) In General- It is the policy of the United States that, as long as Puerto Rico remains subject to the plenary power of Congress under the territorial clause the residents of Puerto Rico periodically should be afforded an opportunity freely to express their wishes regarding the future political status of Puerto Rico.
(2) OPTIONS-The self-determination process for Puerto Rico should enable the residents of Puerto Rico to express a preference to-
(ii) withdrawal of United States sovereignty and nationality in favor of separate sovereignty and nationality for Puerto Rico and a relationship with the United States consistent with independence or free association
(b) Requirements referendum under this Act
(1) shall be conducted among persons in Puerto Rico who have the nationality and citizenship of the United States and meet other applicable residency and voter eligibility requirements under Federal or territorial law; and
(2) shall be conducted by the duly constituted authorities of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in accordance with applicable provisions of the elections law of Puerto Rico and other applicable Federal and territorial law, consistent with this Act.
(c) REFERENDUM BY THE END OF 1998- A referendum under this Act shall be conducted not later than December 31, 1998,
(d) FORMAT OF REFERENDUM BALLOT -A referendum ballot shall instruct a voter to approve 1 of 3 options presented in a side-by-side format on the ballot as follows:
"Instructions: Mark 1 of the following status options for Puerto Rico. A ballot with more than 1 option marked will not be counted.
"Option A- Commonwealth - If you agree, mark here:
"(1) Puerto Rico continues the current commonwealth structure for self-government with respect to internal affairs and administration;
"(2) provisions of the Constitution and other laws of the United States apply to Puerto Rico as determined by Congress;
"(3) Puerto Rico remains a locally self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States;
"(4) continuation or modification of current Federal law and policy applicable to Puerto Rico will be determined through a process authorized by Congress that includes self-determination by the people of Puerto Rico in periodic referenda.
"(5) the ultimate status of Puerto Rico will be determined through a process authorized by Congress that includes self-determination by the people of Puerto Rico in periodic referenda
''OPTION B. SEPARATE SOVEREIGNTY. If you agree, mark here:____.
"(1) Puerto Rico is a sovereign nation with full authority and responsibility for its internal affairs and has the capacity to exercise in its own name and right powers of government with respect to its territory and population;
"(2) relations between the United States and Puerto Rico are maintained under a negotiated government-to-government treaty of friendship, or bilateral pact of free association terminable at will by either government, providing for cooperation and assistance in matters of shared interest as agreed on by Puerto Rico and the United States in accordance with their respective constitutional processes;
"(3) a constitution democratically instituted by the people of Puerto Rico, establishing a republican form of government and securing the rights of citizens of the Puerto Rican nation, is the supreme law, and the Constitution and other laws of the United States no longer apply in Puerto Rico;
"(4)(A) the people of Puerto Rico owe allegiance to the sovereign nation of Puerto Rico and have the nationality and citizenship of Puerto Rico;
"(B) United States sovereignty, nationality, and citizenship in Puerto Rico are ended; and
"(C) birth in Puerto Rico or relationship to a person with statutory United States citizenship by virtue of birth in Puerto Rico is not a basis for United States nationality or citizenship;
"(5) a person who acquired United States citizenship by virtue of birth in Puerto Rico at a time when Puerto Rico was a territory of the United States has a statutory right retain that status for life, by entitlement or election as provided by Congress, based on allegiance to the United States, except that no person who has or maintains allegiance, nationality or citizenship rights with respect to any sovereign nation other than the United States shall have that statutory right; and
"(6) diplomatic relations, trade relations, and government-to-government assistance shall he based on treaty, and property rights and acquired rights vested by employment under the laws of Puerto Rico or the United States shah be honored, adjusted, and settled in accordance with agreements implementing the separation of sovereignty.
"OPTION C. STATEHOOD. If you agree, mark here: ______
"Puerto Rico should become fully self-governing through United States sovereignty leading to statehood, in which--
"(1) the people of Puerto Rico are fully self- governing with their rights secured under the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law and has the same force and effect as in tile other States of the United States;
"(2) the sovereign State of Puerto Rico is in permanent union with the United States and powers not delegated to the Federal Government or prohibited to the States by the Constitution of the United States are reserved to the people of Puerto Rico or the State government.
"(3) United States nationality and citizenship of a person born in Puerto Rico is guaranteed, protected, and secured in the same way as for all United States citizens born in the other States;
"(4) residents of Puerto Rico have equal rights, benefits, duties, and responsibilities of citizenship as residents of the other States;
"(5) Puerto Rico is represented by 2 members in the United States Senate and in the United States House of Representatives proportionately to the population; and
"(6) United States citizens in Puerto Rico; are enfranchised to vote in elections for the President and Vice President of the United States."
SEC. 3. IMPLEMENTATION.
Government of Puerto Rico shall certify to the President and Congress the results of a referendum under this Act. On certification of the results, subsection (b) or (c), as appropriate, shall apply.
(b) Approval of current status or rejection of terms for implementation of a New status.--
If a majority of the voters in a referendum under this act approves continuation of the unincorporated status and commonwealth structure for local self-government or on rejection of a transition plan or implementation of a new status in accordance with this Act, unless otherwise provided by Congress--
(1) the unincorporated status and commonwealth structure for local self-government shall continue; and
(2) to ensure that the principle of self-determination is respected and that the residents of Puerto Rico are afforded the opportunity freely to ex- press their wishes with respect to resolution of the status of Puerto Rico based on the options for permanent self-government described in section 2, a referendum on the future political status of Puerto Rico shall he held in accordance with this Act every 4 years thereafter, but not on or within 180 calendar days before or after the date of a general election .
(C) APPROVAL OF SEPARATE SOVEREIGNTY OR INCORPORATION LEADING TO STATEHOOD.---
(1) TRANSITION PLAN.---
(A) PROPOSAL . If a majority of the voters in a referendum under this Act approve full self-government through separate sovereignty or incorporation leading to statehood, not later than 180 days after the date of the referendum, the President shall transmit to Congress a proposal for legislation to enact a transition plan.
(B) TRANSITION PERIOD - Unless Congress provides a longer period, a transition plan shall provide for a transition period of not to exceed 10 years.
C)Contents transition plan shall prescribe the terms and criteria the fulfillment of which will provide the basis for instituting full self government for Puerto Rico consistent with separate sovereignty or incorporation leading to statehood, as the case may be.
(2) Referendum on Transition Plan
(A) Initial approval- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of an Act establishing a transition plan under paragraph
(1), a referendum shall be conducted in which the qualified residents of Puerto Rico vote to approve or disapprove the transition plan.
(B) Approval of Final Implementation.- Before the expiration of the transition period set forth in the transition plan, a referendum shall be conducted in which the qualified residents of Puerto Rico vote to approve or disapprove final implementation of the new status of Puerto Rico, as established in accordance with this Act
SEC. 4. AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR THE REFERENDA.
(a) In General.
(1) availability of amounts derived from tax on foreign rum- during the period beginning on October 1, 1997, and ending on the date on which the President determines that all referenda required by this Act have been held, from the amounts covered into the treasury of Puerto Rico under section 7652(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Secretary of the Treasury--
(a) upon request and in the amounts identified from time to time by the President shall make the amounts so identified available to the treasury of Puerto Rico for the purposes specified in subsection (b); and
B) shall transfer all remaining amounts to the treasury of Puerto Rico in accordance with law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act .
(2) REPORT OF REFERENDA EXPENDITURES
Not later than 180 days after each referendum under this Act, and after the end of the period specified in paragraph (1), the President, in consultation
with the government of Puerto Rico, shah submit a report to Congress on the amounts made available under paragraph (1)(A) and all other amounts expended by the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico for -referenda under this Act.
(b) Grants for conducting referenda and voter education.
(1) In general- From amounts made available under subsection (a)(l), the government of Puerto Rico shall make grants to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico for referenda under this Act, as follows:
(8) 50 percent shall be available only for the costs of conducting the referenda.
(B) 50 percent shall be available only for voter education funds for the central ruling body of the political party, parties, or other qualifying entities advocating a particular ballot choice.
(2) Allocation among advocates- The amount allocated for advocating ballot choices under this paragraph (1) (B) shall be apportioned equally among the parties advocating the respective ballot choices.
(c) Additional Resources_ In addition to amounts made available under this Act, the legislature of Puerto Rico may allocate additional resources for administrative and voter education costs to each party so long as the distribution of funds is consistent with the apportionment requirements of subsection (b) (2).