Puerto Rico goes to the polls for statehood 51 state? And 70 billion in bankruptcy… Will Americans object?
If statehood wins, as expected, the island will enact what’s known as the Tennessee Plan, an avenue to accession by which U.S. territories send a congressional delegation to demand to be seated in Washington.
Puerto Rico will send two senators and five representatives, chosen by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D), later this year, once the plan is put into action.
Statehood remains a long shot as many Republicans are wary of adding a 51st state that could add two Democratic senators and seven Democratic electors to the Electoral College.
Others, noting the examples of Alaska and Hawaii, both added to the union in 1959, say it can be difficult to predict how territories will vote as states.
Puerto Rico starts $70 billion bankruptcy proceeding, biggest ever for municipal bond market
Puerto Rico has officially requested to enter into a bankruptcy-like proceeding to restructure its massive debt load after talks with its creditors failed.
Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, announced Wednesday that he had requested that the federally appointed oversight board trigger Title III of the Promesa Act, a court-supervised debt restructuring similar to bankruptcy, in order to guarantee the best interests of the Puerto Rican people.
The restructuring of Puerto Rico’s roughly $70 billion in outstanding debt would be the largest in the history of the U.S. municipal bond market and will set the stage for a lengthy legal battle between the island and its creditors, which include multiple hedge funds and mutual funds, as they face off in court where a federally appointed judge could force creditors to accept unfavorable repayment terms.
“Colonialism is not an option for Puerto Rico,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “It’s a civil rights issue … The time will come in which the United States has to respond to the demands of 3.5 million citizens seeking an absolute democracy.”
Backers say the referendum could help the island overcome a decade long economic crisis as it struggles to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt and faces a federal control board pushing for more austerity measures.
If U.S. Congress ultimately were to approve Puerto Rico as the 51st state, the island could receive an additional $10 billion in federal funds a year and its government agencies and municipalities would be able to file for bankruptcy
wait?…so if a nation says…OUR PEOPLE VOTE TO BECOME AMERICAN’S…there considered a state?