On Inauguration Day, a number of mostly Democratic lawmakers celebrated the historic event, including Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D), who celebrated the fact that both Jennifer Lopez and Justice Sonia Sotomayor – two “Puertorriqueñas” – took part in the Inauguration festivities.
Expressing his pride on Twitter, Soto is also a voice that has supported Puerto Rico’s statehood that gained a level of support last year.
— US Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) January 20, 2021
Late last year, both Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) showed their support for Puerto Rico’s statehood by writing an op-ed, outlining their support for a process of self-determination. According to the lawmakers, the political future should be left to the people of Puerto Rico.
In a non-binding referendum, the people of Puerto Rico narrowly voted in favor of statehood with 52% voting for statehood while 47% of voted against statehood.
Both Ocasio-Cortez and Velázquez introduced legislation that would create a convention for Puerto Rico to make such a decision, and Rep. Soto was a supporter of said legislation.
“If the people of Puerto Rico choose statehood, then the next steps for Congress are pretty clear,” expressed Soto.
In late 2019, Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) also showed her support for Puerto Rico gaining statehood by introducing the bipartisan Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act. Though President Donald Trump (R) did not support statehood for Puerto Rico, Americans and lawmakers are now asking how the Biden administration will move forward on the issue.
The controversial issue is widely supported by both Republicans and Democrats like the aforementioned Soto and Murphy. Some of the Republicans supporting the measure are Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, as well as House members Michael Waltz and Mario Diaz-Balart. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis also supports statehood.