Orlando Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy wants Puerto Rico to gain statehood. On the House floor, Murphy said a recent vote shows that 52-percent of Puerto Ricans want full statehood.
In a referendum, the people of Puerto Rico were asked the following question:
“Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the Union as a State?” Yes or no?
Even though Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1898, and island residents have been American citizens since 1917, this was the first time the people of Puerto Rico were asked this simple and direct question.
According to the results, over 52 percent of voters—more than 623,000 people—answered yes, while nearly 48 percent of voters—answered no.
The vote was fair and the results are clear.
At this point, it is beyond dispute that a majority of the American citizens living in Puerto Rico want the territory to become a state.
Murphy says she understands that many people on the island want to remain a territory or even become a sovereign nation. Murphy says more than a million people from Puerto Rico or with family ties there live in Florida.
Now, are there people in Puerto Rico who would prefer for the island to remain a territory, or to become a sovereign nation? Absolutely. And that is completely valid and legitimate.
But when it comes to the political destiny of a place, the views of the minority cannot trump, or take precedence over, the views of the majority. That would turn the concept of democracy on its head. Votes matter.
Now that the people of Puerto Rico have spoken, the federal government must listen. Whether it’s the White House or Congress, whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, we must respect and respond to this result.
You can see the floor speech in the Tweet above or read it here.
Image courtesy Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy's office