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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-468

======================================================================

 
 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL (H.R. 2499) TO PROVIDE FOR A 
   FEDERALLY SANCTIONED SELF-DETERMINATION PROCESS FOR THE PEOPLE OF 
                              PUERTO RICO

                                _______
                                

   April 28, 2010.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

                Mr. Polis, from the Committee on Rules,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1305]

    The Committee on Rules, having had under consideration 
House Resolution 1305, by a nonrecord vote, report the same to 
the House with the recommendation that the resolution be 
adopted.

                SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF THE RESOLUTION

    The resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 2499, the 
Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009, under a structured rule. The 
rule provides one hour and 30 minutes of general debate with 
one hour equally divided and controlled by the Chair and 
Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Natural Resources 
and 30 minutes controlled by Representative Velazquez of New 
York. The resolution waives all points of order against 
consideration of the bill except clauses 9 and 10 of rule XXI. 
The resolution provides that the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources 
now printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill 
for the purpose of amendment and shall be considered as read. 
The resolution waives all points of order against that 
amendment in the nature of a substitute except for clause 10 of 
rule XXI. This waiver does not affect the point of order 
available under clause 9 of rule XXI (regarding earmark 
disclosure).
    The resolution makes in order only those amendments printed 
in this report. The amendments made in order may be offered 
only in the order printed in this report, may be offered only 
by a Member designated in this report, shall be considered as 
read, shall be debatable for the time specified in this report 
equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an 
opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be 
subject to a demand for a division of the question. All points 
of order against the amendments except for clauses 9 and 10 of 
rule XXI are waived. The resolution provides one motion to 
recommit with or without instructions. The resolution provides 
that the Chair may entertain a motion that the Committee rise 
only if offered by the chair of the Committee on Natural 
Resources or his designee. The Chair may not entertain a motion 
to strike out the enacting words of the bill (as described in 
clause 9 of rule XVIII).

                         EXPLANATION OF WAIVERS

    Although the rule waives all points of order against 
consideration of the bill (except for clauses 9 and 10 of rule 
XXI) and all points of order against the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute (except for clause 10 of rule XXI), the 
Committee is not aware of any points of order. The waivers of 
all points of order are prophylactic.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    The results of each record vote on an amendment or motion 
to report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, are printed below:

Rules Committee record vote No. 407

    Date: April 28, 2010.
    Measure: H.R. 2499.
    Motion by: Mr. Dreier.
    Summary of motion: To grant an open rule.
    Results: Defeated 2-9.
    Vote by Members: McGovern--Nay; Hastings--Nay; Matsui--Nay; 
Cardoza--Nay; Arcuri--Nay; Perlmutter--Nay; Pingree--Nay; 
Polis--Nay; Dreier--Yea; Foxx--Yea; Slaughter--Nay.

Rules Committee record vote No. 408

    Date: April 28, 2010.
    Measure: H.R. 2499.
    Motion by: Mr. Dreier.
    Summary of motion: To make in order and provide appropriate 
waivers for amendment #13 by Rep. Broun (GA) and Rep. Gary 
Miller (CA), which would require that English be the only 
official language of Puerto Rico if it becomes a state.
    Results: Defeated 2-9.
    Vote by Members: McGovern--Nay; Hastings--Nay; Matsui--Nay; 
Cardoza--Nay; Arcuri--Nay; Perlmutter--Nay; Pingree--Nay; 
Polis--Nay; Dreier--Yea; Foxx--Yea; Slaughter--Nay.

Rules Committee record vote No. 409

    Date: April 28, 2010.
    Measure: H.R. 2499.
    Motion by: Dr. Foxx.
    Summary of motion: To make in order and provide appropriate 
waivers for amendment #15 by Rep. Broun (GA) and Rep. Chaffetz 
(UT), which would add a new section at the end of the bill to 
require Puerto Rico, if it becomes a state, to have laws in 
place to ensure that its residents have the Second Amendment 
right to own, possess, carry or use for lawful self defense, 
store assembled at home, and transport for lawful purposes, 
firearms and ammunition in any amount, consistent with federal 
law.
    Results: Defeated 4-9.
    Vote by Members: McGovern--Nay; Hastings--Nay; Matsui--Nay; 
Cardoza--Nay; Arcuri--Nay; Perlmutter--Nay; Pingree--Nay; 
Polis--Nay; Dreier--Yea; Diaz-Balart--Yea; Sessions--Yea; 
Foxx--Yea; Slaughter--Nay.

Rules Committee record vote No. 410

    Date: April 28, 2010.
    Measure: H.R. 2499.
    Motion by: Dr. Foxx.
    Summary of motion: To make in order and provide appropriate 
waivers for amendment #17 by Rep. Rangel (NY), which would 
authorize a process to conduct a plebiscite in Puerto Rico with 
four options: independence, statehood, commonwealth, and Puerto 
Rico should not consider this issue at the present time.
    Results: Defeated 4-9.
    Vote by Members: McGovern--Nay; Hastings--Nay; Matsui--Nay; 
Cardoza--Nay; Arcuri--Nay; Perlmutter--Nay; Pingree--Nay; 
Polis--Nay; Dreier--Yea; Diaz-Balart--Yea; Sessions--Yea; 
Foxx--Yea; Slaughter--Nay.

               SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS TO BE MADE IN ORDER

    1. Foxx (NC): Would allow supporters of the commonwealth 
status quo the option of voting their preference during the 
second stage of the plebiscite. (10 minutes)
    2. Gutierrez (IL): Would provide the Puerto Rican people 
have the option to choose ``none of the above'' with regard to 
the status of Puerto Rico. (10 minutes)
    3. Gutierrez (IL): Would provide that the ballots in the 
plebiscite to be conducted under H.R. 2499 are printed in 
Spanish. (10 minutes)
    4. Burton (IN), Young, Don (AK): Would retain the 
requirement that all ballots used for authorized plebiscites 
include the full content of the ballot printed in English. It 
would also require the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission 
to inform voters in all authorized plebiscites that if Puerto 
Rico retains its current status or is admitted as a State: (1) 
any official language requirements of the Federal Government 
shall apply to Puerto Rico to the same extent as throughout the 
United States; and (2) it is the Sense of Congress that the 
teaching of English be promoted in Puerto Rico in order for 
English-language proficiency to be achieved. (10 minutes)
    5. Velazquez (NY), Gutierrez (IL): Would expand eligibility 
to vote in the any plebiscites authorized by this bill to U.S. 
citizens of Puerto Rican descent residing in any of the 50 
States. (10 minutes)
    6. Velazquez (NY): Would eliminate the first round of 
voting in Section 2 of the bill and insert an option for 
Commonwealth as a fourth option to the ballot. It also would 
provide for a runoff process if no option receives more than 50 
percent of the vote that would be between the two options that 
received the most votes. (10 minutes)
    7. Velazquez (NY): An amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that would express that it is the Sense of Congress 
that a proposal for a change of status must come first from the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico before Congress decides to consider 
the issue, therefore respecting their right of self-
determination. (10 minutes)
    8. Hastings, Doc (WA): An amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that would state that Puerto Rico has, and has had, 
the authority to conduct plebiscites. (10 minutes)

                 TEXT OF AMENDMENTS TO BE MADE IN ORDER

1. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Foxx of North Carolina, 
               or Her Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Page 4, line 5, strike ``3'' and insert ``4''.
  Page 4, after line 16, insert the following:
          (4) Commonwealth: Puerto Rico should continue to have 
        its present form of political status. If you agree, 
        mark here ___.
                              ----------                              


2. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Gutierrez of Illinois, 
               or His Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  On page 4, line 5, strike ``on the following 3 options:'' and 
insert ``on the following 4 options:''.
  On page 4, after line 16, insert the following:
          ``(4) None of the Above. If you agree, mark here 
        ___.''.
                              ----------                              


3. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Gutierrez of Illinois, 
               or His Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  In the header of section 3(e), strike ``English Ballots'' and 
insert ``Language of Ballots''.
  In section 3(e), strike ``printed in English'' and insert 
``printed in Spanish. Upon request by an eligible voter, the 
Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall provide said 
eligible voter with a ballot printed in English''.
                              ----------                              


 4. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Burton of Indiana, or 
                 His Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Amend section 3(e) to read as follows:
  (e) English Language Requirements.--The Puerto Rico State 
Elections Commission shall--
          (1) ensure that all ballots used for any plebiscite 
        held under this Act include the full content of the 
        ballot printed in English;
          (2) inform persons voting in any plebiscite held 
        under this Act that, if Puerto Rico retains its current 
        political status or is admitted as a State of the 
        United States, the official language requirements of 
        the Federal Government shall apply to Puerto Rico in 
        the same manner and to the same extent as throughout 
        the United States; and
          (3) inform persons voting in any plebiscite held 
        under this Act that, if Puerto Rico retains its current 
        political status or is admitted as a State of the 
        United States, it is the Sense of Congress that it is 
        in the best interest of the United States for the 
        teaching of English to be promoted in Puerto Rico as 
        the language of opportunity and empowerment in the 
        United States in order to enable students in public 
        schools to achieve English language proficiency.
                              ----------                              


5. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Velazquez of New York, 
               or Her Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Page 5, strike line 8 and all that follows through ``Persons 
eligible'' on line 13 and insert the following:
          (2) An individual residing outside of Puerto Rico, if 
        the individual--
                  (A)(i) is a resident of the United States, 
                including a resident of any territory, 
                possession, or military or civilian 
                installation of the United States, at the time 
                the plebiscite is held; and
                  (ii) would be eligible to vote in the 
                plebiscite but for the individual's residency 
                outside of Puerto Rico;
                  (B) was born in Puerto Rico; or
                  (C) has at least one parent who was born in 
                Puerto Rico.
        This paragraph shall apply notwithstanding any rule or 
        regulation issued under subsection (b). Persons 
        eligible
  Page 6, after line 7, add the following:
  (g) Recognition of Right to Vote.--Congress recognizes the 
right of Puerto Ricans residing outside of Puerto Rico to vote 
in any plebiscite held under this Act and requests the 
Commonwealth Elections Commission of Puerto Rico to devise 
methods and procedures for such Puerto Ricans, including those 
born in, or having at least one parent born in, Puerto Rico, to 
register for and vote in absentia.
                              ----------                              


6. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Velazquez of New York, 
               or Her Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Page 3, strike line 8 and all that follows through line 5 on 
page 4 and insert the following:
  (a) Authority To Conduct Plebiscite.--The Government of 
Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct a plebiscite on the 
following 4 options:
  Page 4, after line 16, insert the following:
          (4) Commonwealth: Puerto Rico should continue to have 
        its present form of political status. If you agree, 
        mark here __.
  (b) Runoff Process.--
          (1) In general.--If no option receives votes on more 
        than 50 percent of the ballots cast, the Government of 
        Puerto Rico shall conduct a runoff process to permit 
        voters to select among the 2 options that received the 
        most votes.
          (2) Option to select none of the above.--In a runoff 
        process conducted under this subsection, voters shall 
        be permitted to vote for--
                  (A) the option that received the most votes;
                  (B) the option that received the second most 
                votes; or
                  (C) neither of those options.
                              ----------                              


7. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Velazquez of New York, 
               or Her Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 
2010''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds the following:
          (1) Congress respects the self-determination right of 
        the people of Puerto Rico to choose their future 
        relationship to the United States.
          (2) Congress pledges not to dissuade, influence, or 
        dictate a status option to the people of Puerto Rico.
          (3) Congress will respectfully postpone consideration 
        of the Puerto Rico status question until it receives an 
        official proposal from the people of Puerto Rico to 
        revise the current relationship between Puerto Rico and 
        the United States that was made through a 
        democratically held process by direct ballot.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

  It is the sense of Congress that the Government of Puerto 
Rico can proceed to conduct a plebiscite in Puerto Rico. The 2 
options set forth on the ballot may be preceded by the 
following statement: ``Instructions: Mark one of the following 
2 options:
          ``(1) Puerto Rico should conduct a plebiscite to 
        determine a future proposal for the political status of 
        Puerto Rico. If you agree, mark here __.
          ``(2) Puerto Rico should NOT conduct a plebiscite to 
        determine a future proposal for the political status of 
        Puerto Rico. If you agree, mark here __.''.

  Amend the title so as to read: ``A bill to express the sense 
of Congress that the Government of Puerto Rico can proceed to 
conduct a plebiscite in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.''.
                              ----------                              


    8. An Amendment To Be Offered by Representative Doc Hastings of 
         Washington, or His Designee, Debatable for 10 Minutes

  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Puerto Rico Plebiscite Act of 
2010''.

SEC. 2. PLEBISCITE.

  Puerto Rico has and has had the authority to conduct a 
plebiscite of its residents on its future political status and 
to transmit the result to Congress.

  Amend the long title so as to read: ``A bill to clarify 
Puerto Rico plebiscite authority.''.