Bills introduced to hold vote to ‘eliminate’ Puerto Rico fiscal board
SAN JUAN – Lawmakers from the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) introduced bills Thursday to hold a vote to “require Congress and the U.S. President to eliminate” the island’s fiscal oversight board and demand that a decolonization process be carried out.
The PIP’s Senate spokesman, Juan Dalmau, and Rep. Denis Márquez said the vote would be held on the day of the 2020 elections. They also said their efforts to seek consensus from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló were unsuccessful.
“In the absence of the will of the Executive to direct a concerted action plan with other political party presidents, we have decided to take the path of the legislative process to structure a mechanism that allows the majority will of our people to repudiate the board and demand a decolonization process from the U.S. Government. That vote would take place the same day of the elections, which would avoid an excessive spending of public funds,” Dalmau said on his social media accounts.
Specifically, House Bill 1714 and Senate Bill 1053 seek to order a referendum in which “the people of Puerto Rico have the opportunity to demand, directly, the elimination of the Fiscal Oversight Board imposed by the P.R.O.M.E.S.A. Law [Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act], and require the Congress of the United States to set in motion a process of political self-determination that ends the colonial regime in Puerto Rico,” read the documents, which were presented simultaneously.
In a press conference, both legislators recalled that they have tried unsuccessfully to implement a political action agenda with political leaders, international organizations and the media to put an end to the fiscal board and for the U.S. Congress to address the status issue with haste.
After explaining that the governor did not respond to multiple calls, Dalmau said, “We have had to accept the governor will continue on the path of obedience.”
“It is our responsibility to seek alternatives against the board and colonialism,” added Márquez, who was emphatic in pointing out that his party warned about the effects of a federally imposed territorial entity on the interests of the working class.