Rigged House Bill to Make Puerto Rico 51st Welfare State

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UPDATE: House passed the bill today, 223 to 169. Post-mortem analysis tomorrow. 

While we were preoccupied with Obamacare and illegal immigration, Demonrats in Congress have been feverishly at work doing the devil’s work.
On the eve of a House vote on HR 2499, we are just now finding out about this toxic bill that is rigged in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st state. Given Puerto Rico’s poverty, this means adding a 51st welfare case onto American taxpayers — the 53% of us suckers who actually pay federal income taxes — via an increase in entitlement spending of an estimated $3 billion a year. To add to the outrage, the American people do not get to vote on this.
We all know why Obama and the Demonrats are doing this. They are counting on votes from the 51st welfare state of Puerto Rico to be joined by the new “voters” from giving amnesty to illegal aliens, all to ensure Demonrat victory in the November elections.
We, the People, will not stand by and just watch our country being deliberately destroyed.
A big h/t to beloved FellowshipOfMinds members FS and Dave.

Puerto Rico Democracy Act – Legislation Biased in Favor of Statehood

By Brian Darling – Heritage Foundation – April 27, 2010

According to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House will vote on H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, later this week.  The legislation provides Puerto Rico a two stage voting process and makes some non-resident Puerto Ricans eligible to vote on Puerto Rican statehood. This legislation has rigged the process in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st state and is not a fair way to force statehood on a Commonwealth whose people may not want it. Furthermore, this may be an expensive proposition for the American people who are already on the hook for approximately $12.9 trillion in national debt. 

This bill attempts to rig the voting process and denies the American people a real say on the issue of whether they want to allow Puerto Rico to be granted statehood. The fact of the matter is that Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood numerous times and this bill seems to have been written in a way to fast track statehood without a majority of Puerto Ricans favoring the idea. Furthermore, the people of the United States should be allowed a vote on whether they want to admit Puerto Rico as a new state. If the people of Puerto Rico can vote, the people of the United States should have a vote. 
The legislation contains many questionable provisions. First, the legislation sets up a voting process rigged for success. The legislation sets up a preliminary vote and the voters are given two options. If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote in favor of changing the status of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to “a different political status,” then a second vote would be scheduled to poll voters on the following three options:
  1. “Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States;”
  2. “Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution;” and,
  3. “Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union.”

Clearly, a plurality of the people of Puerto Rico could vote for “Statehood” without a majority of the people voting ever supporting the idea. The people of Puerto Rico have rejected statehood three times and it seems that this vote is set up to allow a simply plurality of the people to carry the day. Another odd provision allows non-resident Puerto Ricans to vote on statehood for the Commonwealth. The bill states that “all United States citizens born in Puerto Rico who comply, to the satisfaction of the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission, with all Commission requirements (other than the residency requirement) applicable to eligibility to vote in a general election in Puerto Rico.” Residency requirements may be waived, because Puerto Ricans living in the states would naturally favor statehood for the Commonwealth. This provision allows non-resident Puerto Ricans to undermine the will of the residents of the Commonwealth. According to the U.S. Census, there are more Puerto Ricans residing in the 50 states, than in the proposed 51st state. The estimates as part of the American Community Survey estimates that out of the 301 million people in the United States, 4.13 million are of Puerto Rican descent.  The Census also estimates that the population of Puerto Rico is a mere 3.97 million. This would allow for the will of the residents of the Commonwealth to be overridden by people who have chosen to move to one of the 50 states. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) put out a report dated July 28, 2009 on H.R. 2499. The CBO report estimated that there would be no score for this bill, because it only authorizes a vote, but if Puerto Rico was granted statehood the cost would be massive. My boss, Edwin Feulner wrote in 1997 piece titled Do We Need a 51st State? “in an era of government downsizing and balanced budgets, it would increase entitlement spending (welfare, Medicare, Social Security) by an estimated $3 billion per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” Those arguments still hold water today. The Lexington Institute argues that “Puerto Rico, which received $18 billion in direct federal expenditures in FY 2008, has a population with a median national income of $17,741, nearly a third below that for the United States. While eligibility for many major federal social programs is the same in both jurisdictions, others, like the Food Stamp Program, include different eligibility requirements. This would likely result in increased federal expenditures should statehood be achieved, but a lack of comparable data makes cost projections for such changes difficult.” It is clear that the cost of statehood to the taxpayers will be high.The Puerto Rico Democracy Act has some serious flaws. The votes seem to be set up in a way that favors statehood. The two provisions that allow a plurality of Puerto Ricans to vote for statehood to be ratified and the allowing of non-resident Puerto Ricans to vote in the plebiscite is of deep concern to those who favor a fair vote and referendum on statehood. A vote by members of Congress is not enough to indicate consent of the American people for Puerto Rican statehood. If the Obamacare vote and secretive procedure is instructive, many Members of Congress are willing to defy the will of their own constituents.

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30 responses to “Rigged House Bill to Make Puerto Rico 51st Welfare State

  1. The commies are getting desperate to hod onto their power.
    Apparently they don’t think the votes of illegals here from Mexico will be enough, so they are trying to generate some more.
    They also get additional dem congress critters, too.
    This cannot happen.

  2. they say the vote on this is tomarrow! this is B.S. they are blind siding us,this would give them 6 more congressmen and 2 more senators-for election time-get ready to “Roll” people.

  3. Well, we know the people of PR don’t want to be a state, but what we don’t know is –how smart are they. The democrats are using the old shell game to conjure up another state. They aren’t fooling anyone who understands the game but will they fool the Puerto Ricans?
    We’ll see.

  4. I am so tired of waking up every morning and thinking, “what are they going to do today?” Barry is working non-stop to ensure that he and his crooks reamin in power for a very long time. Why hasn’t anyone heard about this vote in Puerto Rico until yesterday?

    • DW,
      I feel the same. I awoke at 3:30 this morning feeling defeated. I had every intention to post an Open Thread and take the day off. Then I prayed and asked for God’s help…and He did.
      I’m back fighting. We can’t give up. Our opponents, esp. the imposter in the White House, never tire and never give up. This, in itself, indicates that it’s the Devil we’re up against because human beings, being made of flesh and blood, do get exhausted and depleted –but the Demonic do not.
      Remember what St. Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians (6:10-16):
      For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

  5. There are a lot of us who dread “tomorrow”. The regime machine – doesn’t stop churning while the rest of the country attempts to sleep.

  6. This whole post is bunk for so many reasons:
    1) This vote is to give Peurto Ricans a chance to vote in a non-binding plebiscite, not grant PR Statehood. Congress is not promising to follow Peurto Rico’s results. If Statehood fails to get 50% or more, chances are that they would not be offered Statehood.
    2) The likely pleabasite in PR won’t be held until later in the year. The chances of them having the pleabasite, PR certifying the results, PR sending the results to Washington, Washington accepting them, and congress introducing, debating, and passing legislation making PR the 51st State all before November are extremely slim, even with this bill.
    3) This isn’t a shock. We’ve been talking about it on RedState and other conservative website for weeks.
    4) This article fails to take into account the fact that Puerto Ricans already qualify for all of the welfare programs mentioned, yet they do not pay federal income tax. One of the only drastic changes should PR switch from Commonwealth to State would be citizens would be required to pay federal income tax.
    5) It’s true that Puerto Rico may, in fact, elect 6 Democratic Representatives and 2 Democratic Senators. But all 8 of these congressmen would represent a new animal in the Democratic party – Fiercly socially conservative while economically liberal. Should PR continually elect Democrats, it will have a significant impact as the Party is forced to be moderated.
    6) There is no guarantee that PR would be a Blue State. The current governor and territorial assembly is overwhelmingly aligned with the Republican Party. It’s true that the one non-voting delegate is Democrat, but he was preceeded by a Republican. The State of Peurto Rico would most likely send at least 2-4 Republicans to the House and quite possibly both Senators.

    • So you’re disputing a report by the Heritage Foundation? Given the average per capita income of Puerto Rico, it will be a miracle if they’ll contribute any income taxes, or haven’t you heard that as things are today, a full 47% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes? While you were busy rudely calling this post “bunk,” you haven’t given us even one reason why we should welcome Puerto Rico to statehood.
      And, oh yes, the “real” Gandalf would cringe at you grandiosely calling yourself “Gandalf the Grey” but can’t even manage to correctly spell the word for “a vote in which a population exercises the right of national self-determination.”
      It’s plebiscite, not pleabasite, unless of course you’re referring to the fleas infesting your bed.

      • Actually, USA gets more benefit than Puerto Rico, earning around $80-81 billions of dollar while Puerto Rico only gets $3-6 billion (so much for the “benefit of being an us territory”) Another reason most are living in poverty is due to corrupt politicians, changing from one party to another (their views are VERY divided) and also, the US forces us to follow federal law and to export goods in a marine boat (which cost a LOT of money) We also are a semi-autonomy, meaning that any US congress and US president have a higher power than the person in the highest office, we also have soldiers fighting in your wars, apparently, we can’t vote for a president but we can go to your wars that have NOTHING to do with us, in general, Puerto Rico is nothing more but a US colony, Spain gave us autonomy before the US came here, so much for liberal and freedom, they should have just sticked to Cuba and Phillipines, as we were doing fine here. But in general, i don’t want us to become state, but rather have more control on our island, but we are NOT an burden to US, if that were the case, then they would have gotten rid of us (the president and congress can get rid of us without us having a say) but every time an independent party tried to do their best to become independent (as independent supporters was bigger than nowadays, it has increased a bit more than it was during referendum 1998, when it was just 2.5% and increased to 5%) Anyway, the US always had a problem with independent movement and even the director of the FBI in 1960 sent a message to the governor to stop independent supporters, and even kept a file on them, spying on them everytime and killing some independent supporters, and it has worked, now, it just gaining rise slowly. Anyway, this mean you COULD have gotten rid of us several years ago, but the US government didn’t allow that, if we’re really such a burden then they would have gladly gotten rid of us wouldn’t you think? The truth is, we are not a burden, YOU are, i don’t support statehood, but i also dislike when americans who haven’t gone outside their country judge foreigners, hell, you don’t even know much about the territory of the US, but that doesn’t matter because US education doesn’t teach you this, but don’t worry, Puerto Rican education also don’t teach us a lot about our history, but you seriously need to educate yourself about a subject you don’t know much about before you have a say in “patriotic american”, no wonder you americans don’t have a say in about a territory becoming a state, because you think you know so much that you don’t need to study about them and then go on thinking we earn more benefits than you when it’s EXACTLY the opposite, but hey at least we both wouldn’t like Puerto Rico becoming a state, even though my reasons are more intelligent than yours, we both in the end have the same view to statehood, and i sure am glad that we haven’t joined in an union that has “patriotic” americans like you.

        • @anonymous:
          Your long comment is full of alleged facts, but not even a scintilla of source(s) or verifiable evidence. Then on top of it, you insult me and all patriotic Americans. I sure hope you are not representative of all Puerto Ricans.
          You claim, without providing a source that “Actually, USA gets more benefit than Puerto Rico, earning around $80-81 billions of dollar while Puerto Rico only gets $3-6 billion (so much for the “benefit of being an us territory”)”
          Well, I actually did the homework for you. The is from The Economist:
          “Some American states receive more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes; others receive less. Over twenty years these fiscal transfers can add up to a sizeable sum. From 1990 to 2009, the federal government spent $1.44 trillion in Virginia but collected less than $850 billion in taxes, a gap of over $590 billion. But relative to the size of its economy, Virginia derived a smaller benefit from America’s fiscal union than states like New Mexico, Mississippi and West Virginia, where the 20-year transfer exceeded 200% of their annual GDP. Transfers to Puerto Rico, which is a US territory not a fully incorporated state, exceeded 290%.
          Here’s the full data on Puerto Rico (1990-2009):
          Federal taxes (what the federal govt received from Puerto Rico in tax revenue): $73.7 billion
          Federal spending (what the federal govt, i.e., U.S. taxpayers, spent on or gave Puerto Rico): $256.1 billion
          Taxes minus spending: -$182.4 billion, which means
          Puerto Rico’s net gain from U.S. taxpayers: +$182.4 BILLION
          Now I ask that you kindly STFU.

  7. Our none Preident is killling this country and the people in it. WE need to get him out before we are all dead. This is not America any more. I’m ashamed of this country, A few people try to do what is right and the rest praise Obama.

  8. Well, they certainly have fooled Gandalf the idiot. But that is what I expect from an emotional illogical liberal who does not understand what it means to be free from a government of tyranny. Just ask the Jews about Hitler or even me, I remember how he sweet-talked the people into believing he was there to help them. It didn’t take him very long to invade his neighbors and start a world war –all in the name of self preservation. Obama’s way to self preservation is by destroying the will of the people and making slaves of every citizen in the country. It will not work, not today and not tomorrow. Gandalf the fo0l. You’ve been hoodwinked and you’re too stupid to recognize it.

  9. Steve!
    What’s wrong with big blondes?? I like em.

  10. Doc’ Wife,
    I’m also an equal opportunity pervert–Small blondes are just fine.

  11. Wow….
    First, I’m a conservative. I’ve been a member at RedState for years, though I rarely post (you can look up my ID if you’re really curious). Sorry I came across as liberal, though I’m still not sure how pointing out the errors in the original post makes me a liberal.
    Eowyn – I do feel foolish for misspelling “plebiscite” the second time. Thank you for graciously pointing that out so I won’t make the same mistake. As for my name: I chose it years and years ago as my ID on RedState and use it now only to keep continuity. Sorry it causes offense.
    That said, my spelling doesn’t dissprove any of what I wrote. Perhaps I was rude when I called the post “bunk”. That doesn’t change the fact that most of the “facts” in it are simply not true.
    And I didn’t give reasons for welcoming PR as a State because that wasn’t the point of my post. I’m not here trying to argue for PR Stateship. I was trying to correct several of the many errors in the original post. If you want to fight against PR Stateship, you’ve got to know what you’re talking about when you call your congressman.
    My post did NOT say I am in favor of PR Stateship. I am in favor of Truth and accuracy in reporting. The current bill before the House does NOT grant Puerto Rico Stateship…
    I won’t rehash my other points. None of them were addressed so I can’t really defend them.
    I wish you all, especially Ron and Eowyn, the best of God’s blessings.

  12. “3) This isn’t a shock. We’ve been talking about it on RedState and other conservative website for weeks.”
    Erick Erickson is a spineless pussy who sold out true conservatism for a gig on the Communist News Network, and who knows what else.
    Blog-wise, he is destroying his credibility by imitating Charles Johnson in every way possible.
    Take it somewhere else.

  13. The whole point of this dialogue, and what Eowyn is attempting to communicate, is that we, the people, don’t matter anymore! Even beginning the process of statehood for Puerto Rico should be done by a vote of the people of the United States, not by manipulation and tactical moves by the Democrats to suit their own purposes. As Doc’s wife said, you don’t know what they are going to do next, precisely because we don’t matter anymore! The very premise of our country, the people, is being ignored!!! As Eowyn set out, this is spiritual warfare and if we don’t realize this then we are very, very stupid!

  14. My next door neigboor is Puertorican he was talking to me and he told me they don’t pay taxes but the taxes we pay here the federal goverment send over $300,000,000 of tax payers money they got better welfare who is that posible?

    • Good question, Robert! Puerto Rico presently, though not yet a state, is a dependency of the U.S.
      From wikipedia:
      “Food stamps have been issued in the United States since World War II, but the program did not include Puerto Rico until the early 1970s, when U.S. Public Laws 91-671 of January 11, 1971 and 93-86 of November 1, 1974 partially extended the Food Stamp Program to U.S. territories. The Food Stamp program was later expanded to provide full coverage and benefits to Puerto Rico and other territories under Section 19 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.
      By 1977, the Food Stamp Program in Puerto Rico was larger, in terms of both the percentage of the population participating and expenditures, than any of the programs operating in the 50 U.S. States, with 56% of the Puerto Rican population participating in the program.
      Since its creation, the program has received much criticism both within and outside Puerto Rico. Critics argue that, since the program provides non-taxable income without any employment requirements, recipients receive free money without incentives for work, which hinders the economic output and development of the island, especially when Puerto Rico’s employment participation and unemployment rates have been consistently inferior to U.S. national levels, while the average aid provided in Puerto Rico has exceeded the U.S. national average ($94 versus $74.79, respectively; 2001 estimate). Because of this, Puerto Rico has been called the “welfare island”. People from the Dominican Republic do many of the jobs in Puerto Rico that pay too little to attract the locals.”

      • do you know how many jewis Dominican’s cuben i know that are on welfare lot’s and russin’s and other beside th pr i am pr and i never had a foostamp in my hand i worked all my and my familiy as will, if we get foodstamp will i think it’s will desever after all our men died in war. and we are americans .we should get something in return,

    • that’s not true we do pay taxes.iam guessing that your friend has not been to puerto rico in year’s.that was a long time ago now we pay taxes just like newyork city. and remeber our men go to war.and died for the us,

  15. The talk of Puerto Rico becoming a state have been going on for years- this is not the first time- every president has to talk about it – they have had 3 plebicites- 1967, 1993, 1998- not to mention both the Presidential task force in 2005, and 2007 under president bush- yet they dont pay taxes or vote for the President but have to join the military- when half on you on this site has never fought for your country- yet they are fighting for your freedom- and remember that before every state in the union was a territory before they became a state- the federal government had to approve-

  16. I say pull our base out of there. Cut off their free ride. I’m sick of this press 1 for English. Your want our benifits speak ENGLISH.


  18. im a puerto rican and the island where i lived in for 7 years does need help theres no jobs for people and they do need to eat thats wat foodstamps are for just like the blacks,, whites ,chinese ,mexican and everybody else in the united states take foodstamps too. Another thing is that we are the ones paying taxes and puerto rico does have taxes. dont talk about wat u dont know.

    • Well, judging by your near illiterate writing, I very much doubt you work and pay taxes. Enjoy your food stamps while they last, ’cause they won’t.

  19. Obama is getting his checkbook ready, there goes billions of our $$$$$$$$


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