ISSUES ON CITIZENSHIP, SOVEREIGNTY, AND LANGUAGE DOMINATE STATUS FORUM
Questions regarding sovereignty, citizenship and increased powers for the island kept congressmen busy in the hearings held in San Juan and Mayaguez. More than 50 witnesses testified before the five-member panel Saturday and Monday. The hearings are directed towards defining the future political status of the island based on the Young Bill - "United States- Puerto Rico Political Status Act".
Puerto Rico's three political parties defended their status preferences before U.S. lawmakers. Controversies arose and the environment at the hearings demonstrated the desire of the people to resolve the status issue of the island.
Some of the witnesses included Charlie Rodriguez, Puerto Rico's Senate President, Rafael Hernandez Colon, ex-governor of Puerto Rico, and Fernando Martin, among others. The testimonies demonstrated the aspiration of each party to decide on the future of the island of Puerto Rico.
The House Resources Committee hopes that the bill attracts more Democrats and Republicans. "I think the Congress is in a better position to step up to the plate that it ever has been" said Rep. George Miller, (D- Calif.). Miller said that the committee needs to shorten the transition time toward any status change in order to let Congress Members know their vote will have an immediate effect.
See related Hearing Testimony...
See related Testimony from other Hearings on H.R. 856