Committee on Resources
Summary on H.R.856


"A Bill to provide a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico."

The United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act resolves Puerto Rico's political status through a self-determination process for full self-government. Puerto Rico is authorized to choose between three choices:

A Final Status is Attained in Ten or More Years in Measured Stages :

No New Federal Funds are Required by Status Process

Funding for the referenda and voter education is provided through the cover-over of existing federal excise taxes on foreign rum that go to the Puerto Rico Treasury. The necessary amounts for conducting the referenda and voter education are identified by the President and made available to Puerto Rico. The Government of Puerto Rico then makes grants in the amounts and purposes identified to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico.

*If a majority of the voters indicate they are not in favor of one of the options for full self-government (separate sovereignty or statehood), the same question is voted on once every four years. This allows the people of Puerto Rico to continue the existing Commonwealth structure for local self-government as an unincorporated territory, until a majority are ready and satisfied with the terms of full self-government. The periodic referenda requirement insures the integrity of the purpose of the bill, "to provide a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico ."