The Puerto Rico Status Act passes in the House, despite overwhelming Republican opposition. Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL-15) recently tweeted a statement explaining his; and effectively the Republican Party's; opposition to the bill, saying that "the Puerto Rico Status Act is a pure messaging bill jammed through by Nancy Pelosi."
The Puerto Rico Status Act is a pure messaging bill jammed through by Nancy Pelosi. My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/BB3qF42ebX
— Congressman Scott Franklin (@RepFranklin) December 19, 2022
"We haven't added a state since Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union in 1959," Rep. Franklin's statement begins.
He then suggests the bill is not only rushed, but effectively pointless, saying that "with no notice and after 63 years, the Democrats jammed through a pure messaging bill that has no chance of passing the Senate on what was scheduled to be the last voting day of the 117th Congress."
Additionally, Republican opposition comes from the fact that they "were advised less than 24 hours prior to the vote, with virtually no time to review it and even less to debate it."
These concerns echo those made by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). "The bill has significant ramifications across a variety of congressional committees - on immigration, taxation, elections, and more - yet Democrats are rushing the bill through this committee only," says Westerman, adding that the hastiness of the bill's passage "creates a dangerous procedural precedent."
Another point of contention is a lack of where this Act will fit in the Congressional budget, as Franklin says "no estimated cost by the Congressional Budget Office was provided, though it is potentially staggering." Despite this, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) suggests statehood for Puerto Rico will ultimately pay off, as the current "Commonwealth" system costs Congress $10 billion a year, while granting statehood to Puerto Rico will reduce Federal spending by up to nearly $3 billion.
Nonetheless, Franklin concludes by criticizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying "such political antics are exactly what Americans loathe, but have been par for the course under Nancy Pelosi's reign."