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 :
Once the Transition Plan is approved by Congress through expedited procedures,
it is submitted to the voters of Puerto Rico for ratification. If approved,
the transition period begins by Presidential order. If the plan is rejected,
the President is directed to consult with the leaders of Puerto Rico and
submit recommendations to Congress.
Once the Implementation Plan is approved by Congress through expedited
procedures, it is submitted to the voters of Puerto Rico for ratification.
If the is plan approved, the final status is implemented by Presidential
proclamation. If implementation is defeated, the President submits
recommendations to Congress after consultations with the leaders of Puerto
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 ."