H.R. 2499 Amendments: Amendments to H.R. 2499 - Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

H.R. 2499

Amendments to H.R. 2499 - Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
April 29, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2499, on Thursday, April 29, 2010, under a rule.  H.R. 2499 was introduced on May 19, 2009, by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by a recorded vote of 30-8 on October 8, 2009.  The rule (H.Res. 1305) provides for one hour of debate, equally divided between the majority and the minority, and consideration of eight amendments.  For information on the underlying bill, please see the Legislative Digest for April 29, 2010.

 

Bill Summary

1. Rep. Foxx (R-NC):  Adds an option on the second ballot for voters to select a continuation of the current commonwealth status.  Thus, supporters of the commonwealth option would have the option of voting their preference during the second stage of the plebiscite. 

2.  Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL):  Adds an option on the second ballot for voters to select "none of the above." 

3.  Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL):  Requires that all ballots in the plebiscite be printed in Spanish.

4.  Reps. Burton (R-IN)/ Young (R-AK):  Requires the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission to:

  • Ensure that ballots in the plebiscite include the full content of the ballot written in English.
  • Inform everyone voting in the plebiscite that, if Puerto Rico were to maintain its current political status or become a state, it would be subject to the official language requirements of the federal government.
  • Inform everyone voting in the plebiscite that it is the sense of Congress that if Puerto Rico were to maintain its current political status or become a state it would be in the best interest of the U.S. to promote the teaching of English in Puerto Rico.

5.  Reps. Velázquez (D-NY)/Gutierrez (D-IL):  Expands the eligibility to vote in the plebiscite to all U.S. residents of Puerto Rican descent-that is, anyone born in Puerto Rico or has one parent who was born in Puerto Rico.

6.  Rep. Velázquez (D-NY):  Strikes the first plebiscite ballot and adds a vote for Puerto Rico to continue its current political status.  The amendment also stipulates that Puerto Rico shall conduct a runoff between the two options with the most votes if no option receives 50 percent of the vote in the plebiscite.  Voters would have the option to select none of the above in such a runoff.

7.  Rep. Velázquez (D-NY):  Strikes the entirety of the bill and replaces it with a sense of Congress which states that Puerto Rico should conduct a plebiscite with the following options:

  • Puerto Rico should conduct a plebiscite to determine a future proposal for their political status.
  • Puerto Rico should not conduct a plebiscite to determine a future proposal for their political status.

8.  Rep. Hastings (R-WA):  Strikes the entirety of the bill and replaces it with a statement asserting that Puerto Rico has, and has had, the authority to conduct a plebiscite of its own accord and transmit the results to Congress.