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Since 1898, Puerto Rico has had limited representation in the United States Congress in the form of a Resident Commissioner, a nonvoting delegate. federal taxes: import and export taxes, federal commodity taxes, social security taxes, therefore contributing to the American Government. In a second question an even larger majority asked to become a state. It will demand the attention of Congress, and a definitive answer to the Puerto Rican request for change.
The 110th Congress returned the Commissioner's power to vote in the Committee of the Whole, but not on matters where the vote would represent a decisive participation. presidential elections, provided they reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia and not in Puerto Rico itself. Most Puerto Rico residents do not pay federal income tax but do pay federal payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare). This is a history-making moment where voters asked to move forward." Several days after the referendum, the Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Governor Luis Fortuño, and Governor-elect Alejandro García Padilla wrote separate letters to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, addressing the results of the voting.
On December 11, 2012, Puerto Rico's legislature resolved to request that the President and the U. Congress act on the results, end the current form of territorial status and begin the process of admitting Puerto Rico to the Union as a state. The island's ultimate status has not been determined as of 2012, and its residents do not have voting representation in their federal government. Like the states, Puerto Rico has self-rule, a republican form of government organized pursuant to a constitution adopted by its people, and a bill of rights. The acceptance of that constitution by Puerto Rico's electorate, the U. However, more than one in four voters abstained from answering the question on the preferred alternative status.
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In some cases, an entire territory became a state; in others some part of a territory became a state. Congress then directed that government to organize a constitutional convention to write a state constitution. The Constitution of Puerto Rico which became effective in 1952 adopted the name of Estado Libre Asociado (literally translated as "Free Associated State"), officially translated into English as Commonwealth, for its body politic.
Upon acceptance of that constitution, by the people of the territory and then by Congress, would adopt a joint resolution granting statehood and the President would issue a proclamation announcing that a new state has been added to the Union. The island is under the jurisdiction of the Territorial Clause of the U. Constitution, which has led to doubts about the finality of the Commonwealth status for Puerto Rico.
In a 2012 status referendum a majority of voters, 54%, expressed dissatisfaction with the current political relationship. This act would provide for referendums to be held in Puerto Rico to determine the island's ultimate political status. There were 515,348 blank and invalidated ballots counted alongside the 1,363,854 ballots.
In a separate question, 61% of voters supported statehood (excluding the 26% of voters who left this question blank). Congress in the form of a Resident Commissioner, a delegate with limited no voting rights. Congress directed local government to organize a constitutional convention to write the Puerto Rico Constitution in 1951. Under Puerto Rico Law, these ballots are not considered cast votes and are therefore not reflected in the final tally.
The turn out for this vote was a low 23 percent, but some leaders of the New Progressive Party say this is because of migration of Puerto Ricans to mainland. Puerto Ricans have participated in all American wars since 1898; 52 Puerto Ricans had been killed in the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan by November 2012. Shortly after the results were published Puerto Rico-born U. Congressman José Enrique Serrano commented "I was particularly impressed with the outcome of the 'status' referendum in Puerto Rico.