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González Praises Task Force’s Recommendations

By on December 21, 2016

SAN JUAN — Resident Commissioner-elect Jenniffer González reacted Wednesday to recommendations from the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico, which includes a Congress-endorsed status plebiscite.

“I am pleased that the Task Force recommended that Congress take the appropriate measures so Puerto Ricans can once again express themselves through a plebiscite that can finally solve the status issue, as well as make recommendations about so many programs,” said González in a written statement.

Resident Commissioner-elect and chairperson of the Puerto Rico Republican Party, Jenniffer González (File)

Resident Commissioner-elect and chairperson of the Puerto Rico Republican Party, Jenniffer González (File)

However, González added that although the Task Force makes several suggestions to the U.S. Congress’ action or consideration that will be beneficial for Puerto Rico, it’s “obvious” that the report doesn’t present any policy or federal program that would place Puerto Rico on track for prosperity.

The former Senate president alleged that Puerto Ricans’ have favored equality and permanence with the United States as a state, “as evidenced in the 2012 plebiscite and like we will make clear again next year.”

“I would have liked for the task force to be explicit saying that statehood is the solution to the territory’s history of underdevelopment, four decades of a weak economy and a decade of economic depression; but the recommendation, both from Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives is positive,” she said.

She maintained that one of the most important recommendations in the report is to achieve equality for Puerto Ricans by addressing 40 areas were they receive unequal treatment attributed to what she describes as a “second-class citizenship.”

González said the task force’s recommendation about “equitable” federal taxes versus “equal” Medicaid taxes and the acknowledgement that unequal treatment is a significant factor to the government’s economic crisis is a prime example of the need for equality that she claims can only be achieved through statehood.

See also: Task Force Recommendations Fall Short of Expectations

The pro-statehood politician praised the recommendation to extend Child Tax Credit to employees in Puerto Rico with one or two children, instead of those who have three or more children. Another suggestion she deemed beneficial is for Congress to provide greater assistance to adults with disabilities and low incomes.

González thanked exiting Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the Task Force members. “I hope to work with all, democrats and republicans, during the next two Congresses to implement the report’s important and positive recommendations,” she stated.

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