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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 23, 2000
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ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT'S TASK FORCE ON PUERTO RICO'S STATUS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including Public Law 106-346, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch of the Government of the United States of America to help answer the questions that the people of Puerto Rico have asked for years regarding the options for the island's future status and the process for realizing an option.
Further, it is our policy to consider and develop positions on proposals, without preference among the options, for the Commonwealths future status; to discuss such proposals with representatives of the people of Puerto Rico and the Congress; to work with leaders of the Commonwealth and the Congress to clarify the options to enable Puerto Ricans to determine their preference among options for the islands' future status that are not incompatible with the Constitution and basic laws and policies of the United States; and to implement such an option if chosen by a majority, including helping Puerto Ricans obtain a governing arrangement under which they would vote for national government officials, if they choose such a status.
Sec. 2. The President's Task Force on Puerto Ricos Status. There is established a task force to be known as "The Presidents Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status" (Task Force). It shall be composed of designees of each member of the President's Cabinet and the Co-Chairs of the President's Interagency Group on Puerto Rico (Interagency Group). The Task Force shall be co-chaired by the Attorney General's designee and a Co-Chair of the Interagency Group.
Sec. 3. Functions. The Task Force shall seek to implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order. It shall ensure official attention to and facilitate action on matters related to proposals for Puerto Ricos status and the process by which an option can be realized. It shall provide advice and recommendations on such matters to the President and the Congress. It shall also provide advice and recommendations to assist the Executive Office of the President in fulfilling its responsibilities under Public Law 106-346 to transfer funding to the Elections Commission of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for public education on and a public choice among options for Puerto Rico's future status that are not incompatible with the Constitution and the basic laws and policies of the United States.
Sec. 4. Report. The Task Force shall report on its actions to the President not later than May 1, 2001, and thereafter as needed but not less than annually on progress made in the determination of Puerto Rico's ultimate status.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE
December 23, 2000.