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>

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