11 May 2014

Puerto Rico Resident Commission to the U.S. Congress comments on impact of political integration for territory

Pierluisi seeks hearings in Congress on GAO report on impact of PR statehood


Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi is pushing for public hearings in Congress on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) newly released report on the fiscal impact of Puerto Rico statehood on the federal government.

Pierluisi took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday to outline the GAO’s findings and blast commonwealth supporters’ interpretation of the long-awaited analysis.

The 134-page GAO study released this week found that statehood would mean billions of dollars in additional federal funding for Puerto Rico while also boosting Washington’s tax haul by hundreds of millions annually.

The study, “Puerto Rico: Information on How Statehood Would Potentially Affect Selected Federal Programs and Revenue Sources,” includes the budget impacts if Puerto Rico and island residents were treated like the states in more than two dozen federal programs and tax laws.

Pierluisi pointed to the November 2012 status plebiscite in which a majority of voters rejected the current territorial status and then picked statehood as the favored alternative on the two-part ballot.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s longstanding economic problems have “devolved into a crisis” over the past year, according to the resident commissioner.