Saturday, December 14, 2019

González officially becomes Puerto Rico’s first US congresswoman

By on January 3, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

SAN JUAN – Jenniffer González made history again Tuesday when sworn in as Puerto Rico’s first woman resident commissioner in Washington, D.C. at the 115th Congress of the United States.

The resident commissioner, leader of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico, was sworn in for four years along with the 435 members of the U.S. House, which comprises 241 Republicans, who only lost six seats in the November elections, and 194 Democrats.

As announced Monday, newly sworn in Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló accompanied González. Former Govs. Sila María Calderón and Luis Fortuño were also present, as well as a group of Puerto Rican politicians and agency heads.

Meanwhile, José Serrano (D-New York), Nydia Velázquez (D-New York), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois) and Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), all of Puerto Rican descent, were re-elected to Congress, as was Florida’s first congressman of Puerto Rican heritage, Darren Soto (D).

González is expected to present Wednesday a Puerto Rico statehood bill Wednesday, for which she will be accompanied by Rosselló. She also plans to submit measures to obtain parity with states in federal healthcare funds.

The measures are aimed in part at alleviating the U.S. territory’s decade-long economic crisis that has prompted more than 200,000 people to leave for the U.S. mainland.

González is allowed to serve on committees but has limited voting powers as Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner. She is a Republican and once served as speaker of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives.

González, 40, is among the youngest members of congress, where the average age of members is 50 to 55 years old. The youngest member is 31, while the oldest, 87.

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