H.R.4751 - Puerto Rico-United States Bilateral Pact of Non-territorial Permanent Union and Guaranteed Citizenship Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Doolittle, John T. [R-CA-4] (Introduced 06/26/2000)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 06/26/2000 Referred to the House Committee on Resources. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4751 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/26/2000)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 4751 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4751 To recognize entry of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico into permanent union with the United States based on a delegation of government powers to the United States by the people of Puerto Rico constituted as a Nation, to guarantee irrevocable United States citizenship as a right under the United States Constitution for all persons born in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 26, 2000 Mr. Doolittle introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To recognize entry of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico into permanent union with the United States based on a delegation of government powers to the United States by the people of Puerto Rico constituted as a Nation, to guarantee irrevocable United States citizenship as a right under the United States Constitution for all persons born in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Puerto Rico-United States Bilateral Pact of Non-territorial Permanent Union and Guaranteed Citizenship Act''. SEC. 2. PUERTO RICO'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES. Congress recognizes Puerto Rico as a nation legally and constitutionally, with a political status and relationship with the United States on the basis of the following governing provisions: (1) The people of Puerto Rico, exercising their sovereignty, their natural right to govern themselves, and their free will as the ultimate source of their political power, may reaffirm, in accordance with this Act, the validity of the Commonwealth as established as an autonomous political body, neither colonial nor territorial, in permanent union with the United States of America under an agreement which may not be unilaterally nullified or changed, and may propose its further autonomous development. The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States shall continue to be based on a common defense, market, and currency, and on the nonrevocability of United States citizenship, acquired by birth and protected by the Constitution of the United States. (2) This relationship guarantees the autonomous development of Puerto Rico based on the democratic precept of government by consent of the governed and the recognition that Puerto Rico is a nation with its own history, national character, culture, and Spanish language. (3) To achieve maximum economic progress and well-being, the people of Puerto Rico may propose to develop the Commonwealth in order to retain all powers not delegated to the United States. In keeping with Puerto Rico's fiscal autonomy, areas of economic development will be identified in which joint action will create jobs and other benefits for both parties, including flexibility in the use of Federal funds. (4) This Act shall not be construed to affect programs involving direct assistance to individuals. (5) The Commonwealth may arrange commercial and tax agreements. as well as other agreements, with other countries and belong to regional and international organizations, consistent with the common defense and security interests of the United States and Puerto Rico, in accordance with this Act and bilateral agreements entered into pursuant to this Act. (6) After a petition for further development of Commonwealth has been approved by the people of Puerto Rico, a Constituent Assembly shall be convened to negotiate with the Government of the United States the terms and conditions of an agreement to implement the proposals to further develop the Commonwealth, including a mechanism for consent to application and enforcement of laws approved by Congress. SEC. 3. IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS. Upon agreement by Congress to recognize a unalterable bilateral pact with provisions described in section 2 by approval of this Act, the following terms for its implementation shall apply: (1) The people of Puerto Rico, in the exercise of their sovereignty, natural right to self-government and free will, as the ultimate sources of their political power, have consented to and may reaffirm the validity and the force and effect to the Commonwealth formula that was established in 1952 as an autonomous body which is neither colonial nor a territory, in permanent political union with the United States, under an agreement that may not be set aside or altered unilaterally, and which allows for development of greater autonomy in the future as proposed by Puerto Rico. (2) This bilateral relationship shall guarantee Puerto Rico's economic growth, based on the precept of democratic government by consent of the people, and acknowledging that Puerto Rico is a nation with its own history, idiosyncrasy, culture, and Spanish language. (3) Congress hereby recognizes and confirms that Puerto Rico has a specific nationality that is distinguishable from that of the United States or any other nation. (4) The United States recognizes that people born in Puerto Rico are Puerto Rican citizens by birth and Puerto Rican citizenship is transferable to their descendants, as set forth by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and so shall those rights, privileges, and obligations be derived from the same. (5) Upon its free will and in agreement with the United States, the union between Puerto Rico and the United States will be grounded on the foundations set forth below in paragraphs (6) through (9). (6) Those persons born in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall continue being United States citizens by birthright and said citizenship will continue to be protected by the United States Constitution. This right of United States citizenship cannot be unilaterally revoked by the United States. (7) The United States shall maintain its authority and responsibility for matters of defense. This shall include responsibility for the defense of Puerto Rico and its people, in the identical manner that the United States and its own people are defended. The United States may deny or limit military or strategic access to the land and waters of Puerto Rico by any other foreign power, and keep the military bases or other installations presently operating in Puerto Rico, such as the National Guard. In the case of Vieques, the legitimate claims of its residents shall be given full and fair review on a priority basis. Any additional need for military base rights shall be considered or agreed to by way of specific separate accords. (8) A common market shall continue to exist between Puerto Rico and the United States; therefore, the trade of goods and services will continue between both countries. (9) Puerto Rico shall continue to have the right to use United States currency as official currency of Puerto Rico. (10) The people's self-government emanates from the Commonwealth; therefore, the people of Puerto Rico retain all the powers not delegated to the United States. Federal laws having to do with defense, currency, United States citizenship, social security, medicare, unemployment insurance, banking and brokerage, postal service, and social and educational aid programs or assistance for veterans are delegated to the United States. (11) International relations functions are delegated to the United States only in the areas consistent with United States powers under the unalterable bilateral pact and Commonwealth as recognized under this Act. (12) Areas of special cooperation between the United States and the Commonwealth shall be identified, wherein powers shall be shared to the benefit of both peoples. (13) United States citizens who live in the Commonwealth are protected by all the rights, privileges, and immunities conferred upon them by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (14) The Federal programs that afford social and educational benefits directly to the residents of Puerto Rico (such as Pell Grants, ``Programa de Assistencia Nutriciaonal'' (Nutritional Aid Program), and school loans) shall remain in force, governed by the applicable Federal and State standards. The United States acknowledges that Federal programs for veterans, social security benefits, medicare, and unemployment benefits are acquired rights for which workers and their employers have made, and shall continue to make, the corresponding contributions for such Federal programs. (15) With the aim of advancing Puerto Rico's economic development, and considering the present and future relations between Puerto Rico and the United States, the United States shall provide the Commonwealth an annual block economic allotment, with corresponding inflationary adjustments, so that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico can continue to offer social benefits, develop its public works, infrastructures, and incentives for the opening of jobs, and to foster its social and economic growth. The parties shall also identify those areas of economic growth that can be addressed by joint action in order to create jobs, including special incentives programs for investment on the island. (16) The Commonwealth shall control its international trade and establish a policy that will foster its maximum economic growth. For such purposes it shall have the capacity and authority to enter into trade and tax agreements with other countries, consistent with the common interest in defense and security of Puerto Rico and the United States. (17) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico may execute agreements and belong to regional and international bodies, consistent with the common interest in defense and security of Puerto Rico and the United States. The United States shall endorse Puerto Rico's participation or membership in agreements and institutions to which this paragraph makes reference. (18) The United States shall transfer the lands it owns in Puerto Rico on the date of the enactment of this Act to the Commonwealth, except for those that are used for common defense or that are necessary to perform the powers delegated to the United States in accordance with this Act. (19) Puerto Rico and the United States shall establish other special areas of cooperation, with the aim of guaranteeing the quality of life of Puerto Ricans, and to foster from the collective experiences of both their peoples institutional and sectorial development of both peoples. In the area of orderly, serene, and harmonious development with both peoples' cultures, spiritual, psychological, and economic nature, Puerto Rico and the United States are hereby bound to cultivate joint strategies in drug traffic control, regulation of communications, prevention of illegal immigration, mutually beneficial environmental protection, and solidarity with international precepts, including an advanced state of fair employer-employee relations in the workplace, disaster relief, shared technological innovation in agriculture, medicine, pharmacology, criminal justice, and other fields of natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. (20) The United States Federal district court in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall entertain matters that arise from those provisions of the Constitution of the United States that are applicable in Puerto Rico, from the provisions of United States statutes that apply to Puerto Rico, consistent with or pursuant to this Act or the unalterable bilateral pact, and which are not contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of Puerto Rico. Spanish and English shall be the official languages of the Federal district courts in Puerto Rico. (21) In negotiations between the parties under this Act, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will be represented by a negotiating committee comprised of 3 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by 75 percent of both houses of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico. At least 2 of the 3 members of the committee must believe in the political philosophy set forth in the Commonwealth formula as recognized under this Act. The United States shall be represented by a 3- member negotiating committee appointed by the President of the United States. (22) In the event a controversy is not resolved though negotiations between the parties, the issue shall be submitted to a dispute resolution commission. The commission shall be created, comprised of 5 members, 2 appointed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 2 appointed by the United States, and a 5th member to be appointed by the majority of the 4 members representing the parties. The 5-member commission shall designate a president among themselves. (23) The bilateral pact, as agreed and developed under this Act, shall have the force and effect acknowledged by constitutional and international laws in effect, as a bilateral agreement that recognizes rights and delegates powers, based on mutual consent, and which may not be unilaterally withdrawn or altered. (24) In addition to the recognition and reaffirmation of Commonwealth under this Act, upon approval of any proposal by Puerto Rico to further develop Commonwealth by the people of Puerto Rico, a constitutional convention may be assembled. Said convention shall, on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico, negotiate with the United States the additional terms and conditions of the association between Puerto Rico and the United States, as well as the specific written instrument of said agreement. Said constitutional convention may not adopt proposals that undermine or void the mandate of the people of Puerto Rico or that may undermine the percepts of common citizenship, market, currency and defense, or against Puerto Rican national identity. (25) The constitutional convention shall design and propose to the United States Government a mechanism for the specific, prospective consent on the application of legislation passed by the United States Congress after the adoption of an agreement on this matter under this Act, as to such legislation as the People of Puerto Rico want to apply to them. (26) The people of Puerto Rico shall elect a Resident Commissioner to represent Puerto Rico before the United States Government, and who shall be considered as a Member of the United States House of Representatives as regards any legislative matter relating to Puerto Rico. The Resident Commissioner shall also represent Puerto Rico before the executive branch of the United States Government. (27) The constitutional convention shall have representation in Puerto Rico's 2 main political parties; therefore they may nominate candidates who shall comprise the convention. (28) Once any agreement to develop Commonwealth further is negotiated and approved by the United States and the constitutional convention, it shall be in force and effect after it has been approved by the people of Puerto Rico. Any further modification of the terms of the agreement shall have to be approved by the people of Puerto Rico, by means of a special voting process in conformity with its democratic institutions and processes. (29) The constitutional convention shall not be authorized to alter, modify, amend or change the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (30) The symbols, flag, and hymns of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall be the symbols, flag, and hymns that are in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. (31) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall retain the capacity to subscribe to cultural, educational, and scientific and sports agreements. SEC. 4. NONSEVERABILITY. The governing provisions for Commonwealth set forth in section 2 alter existing Federal law in order to establish the necessary elements of a legal definition of the political status of Puerto Rico on a basis not subject to the power of Congress over territories under article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the United States Constitution. If a court of competent jurisdiction enters a final judgment on the merits that is no longer subject to appeal, which alters, limits, or impairs the Commonwealth formula set forth in the governing provisions of section 2, or prevents establishment of Commonwealth as a relationship that is not territorial, whether such judgment is based on Federal statutory or Federal constitutional grounds, or which determines that any provisions of section 2 and section 3 or implementing measures thereunder violate the United States Constitution, then the provisions of this Act are null and void and of no effect, and Puerto Rico will thereupon continue to be governed in accordance with the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act (64 Stat. 319) and Federal law applicable to Puerto Rico as of the date of the enactment of this Act. <all>