skip to main content

H.R. 856 (105th): United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 5, 1998 (Referred to Senate Committee).


HR 856 RFS

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 856

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 5, 1998

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


AN ACT

To provide a process leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title, table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Findings.

      Sec. 3. Policy.

      Sec. 4. Process for Puerto Rican full self-government, including the initial decision stage, transition stage, and implementation stage.

      Sec. 5. Requirements relating to referenda, including inconclusive referendum and applicable laws.

      Sec. 6. Congressional procedures for consideration of legislation.

      Sec. 7. Availability of funds for the referenda.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:

      (1) Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States and came under this Nation’s sovereignty pursuant to the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish-American War in 1898. Article IX of the Treaty of Paris recognized the authority of Congress to provide for the political status of the inhabitants of the territory.

      (2) Consistent with establishment of United States nationality for inhabitants of Puerto Rico under the Treaty of Paris, Congress has exercised its powers under the Territorial Clause of the Constitution (article IV, section 3, clause 2) to provide by several statutes beginning in 1917, for the United States citizenship status of persons born in Puerto Rico.

      (3) Consistent with the Territorial Clause and rulings of the United States Supreme Court, partial application of the United States Constitution has been established in the unincorporated territories of the United States including Puerto Rico.

      (4) In 1950, Congress prescribed a procedure for instituting internal self-government for Puerto Rico pursuant to statutory authorization for a local constitution. A local constitution was approved by the people of Puerto Rico, approved by Congress, subject to conforming amendment by Puerto Rico, and thereupon given effect in 1952 after acceptance of congressional conditions by the Puerto Rico Constitutional Convention and an appropriate proclamation by the Governor. The approved constitution established the structure for constitutional government in respect of internal affairs without altering Puerto Rico’s fundamental political, social, and economic relationship with the United States and without restricting the authority of Congress under the Territorial Clause to determine the application of Federal law to Puerto Rico, resulting in the present ‘Commonwealth’ structure for local self-government. The Commonwealth remains an unincorporated territory and does not have the status of ‘free association’ with the United States as that status is defined under United States law or international practice.

      (5) In 1953, the United States transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for circulation to its Members a formal notification that the United States no longer would transmit information regarding Puerto Rico to the United Nations pursuant to Article 73(e) of its Charter. The formal United States notification document informed the United Nations that the cessation of information on Puerto Rico was based on the ‘new constitutional arrangements’ in the territory, and the United States expressly defined the scope of the ‘full measure’ of local self-government in Puerto Rico as extending to matters of ‘internal government and administration, subject only to compliance with applicable provisions of the Federal Constitution, the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act and the acts of Congress authorizing and approving the Constitution, as may be interpreted by judicial decision.’. Thereafter, the General Assembly of the United Nations, based upon consent of the inhabitants of the territory and the United States explanation of the new status as approved by Congress, adopted Resolution 748 (VIII) by a vote of 22 to 18 with 19 abstentions, thereby accepting the United States determination to cease reporting to the United Nations on the status of Puerto Rico.

      (6) In 1960, the United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution 1541 (XV), clarifying that under United Nations standards regarding the political status options available to the people of territories yet to complete the process for achieving full self-government, the three established forms of full self-government are national independence, free association based on separate sovereignty, or full integration with another nation on the basis of equality.

      (7) The ruling of the United States Supreme Court in the 1980 case Harris v. Rosario (446 U.S. 651) confirmed that Congress continues to exercise authority over Puerto Rico pursuant to the Territorial Clause found at Article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the United States Constitution; and in the 1982 case of Rodriguez v. Popular Democratic Party (457 U.S. 1), the Court confirmed that the Congress delegated powers of administration to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico sufficient for it to function ‘like a State’ and as ‘an autonomous political entity’ in respect of internal affairs and administration, ‘sovereign over matters not ruled by the Constitution’ of the United States. These rulings constitute judicial interpretation of Puerto Rico’s status which is in accordance with the clear intent of Congress that establishment of local constitutional government in 1952 did not alter Puerto Rico’s fundamental status.

      (8) In a joint letter dated January 17, 1989, cosigned by the Governor of Puerto Rico in his capacity as president of one of Puerto Rico’s principal political parties and the presidents of the two other principal political parties of Puerto Rico, the United States was formally advised that ‘* * * the People of Puerto Rico wish to be consulted as to their preference with regards to their ultimate political status’, and the joint letter stated ‘* * * that since Puerto Rico came under the sovereignty of the United States of America through the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the People of Puerto Rico have not been formally consulted by the United States of America as to their choice of their ultimate political status’.

      (9) In the 1989 State of the Union Message, President George Bush urged the Congress to take the necessary steps to authorize a federally recognized process allowing the people of Puerto Rico, for the first time since the Treaty of Paris entered into force, to freely express their wishes regarding their future political status in a congressionally recognized referendum, a step in the process of self-determination which the Congress has yet to authorize.

      (10) On November 14, 1993, the Government of Puerto Rico conducted a plebiscite initiated under local law on Puerto Rico’s political status. In that vote none of the three status propositions received a majority of the votes cast. The results of that vote were: 48.6 percent for a commonwealth option, 46.3 percent statehood, and 4.4 percent independence.

      (11) In a letter dated December 2, 1994, President William Jefferson Clinton informed leaders in Congress that an Executive Branch Interagency Working Group on Puerto Rico had been organized to coordinate the review, development, and implementation of executive branch policy concerning issues affecting Puerto Rico, including the November 1993 plebiscite.

      (12) Under the Territorial Clause of the Constitution, Congress has the authority and responsibility to determine Federal policy and clarify status issues in order to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s final status.

      (13) On January 23, 1997, the Puerto Rico Legislature enacted Concurrent Resolution 2, which requested the 105th Congress ‘* * * to respond to the democratic aspirations of the American citizens of Puerto Rico’ by approving legislation authorizing ‘* * * a plebiscite sponsored by the Federal Government, to be held no later than 1998’.

      (14) Nearly 4,000,000 United States citizens live in the islands of Puerto Rico, which have been under United States sovereignty and within the United States customs territory for almost 100 years, making Puerto Rico the oldest, largest, and most populous United States island territory at the southeastern-most boundary of our Nation, located astride the strategic shipping lanes of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

      (15) Full self-government is attainable only through establishment of a political status which is based on either separate sovereignty and nationality or full and equal United States nationality and citizenship through membership in the Union.

SEC. 3. POLICY.

    (a) CONGRESSIONAL COMMITMENT- In recognition of the significant level of local self-government which has been attained by Puerto Rico, and the responsibility of the Federal Government to enable the people of the territory to freely express their wishes regarding political status and achieve full self-government, this Act is adopted with a commitment to encourage the development and implementation of procedures through which the permanent political status of the people of Puerto Rico can be determined.

    (b) OFFICIAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE- In the event that a referendum held under this Act results in approval of sovereignty leading to Statehood, upon accession to Statehood, 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.

    (c) ENGLISH LANGUAGE EMPOWERMENT- It is in the best interest of the Nation for Puerto Rico to promote the teaching of English as the language of opportunity and empowerment in the United States in order to enable students in public schools to achieve English language proficiency by the age of 10.

SEC. 4. PROCESS FOR PUERTO RICAN FULL SELF-GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING THE INITIAL DECISION STAGE, TRANSITION STAGE, AND IMPLEMENTATION STAGE.

    (a) INITIAL DECISION STAGE- A referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status is authorized to be held not later than December 31, 1998. The referendum shall be held pursuant to this Act and in accordance with the applicable provisions of Puerto Rico’s electoral law and other relevant statutes consistent with this Act. Approval of a status option must be by a majority of the valid votes cast. The referendum shall be on the approval of 1 of the 3 options presented on the ballot as follows:

    ‘Instructions: Mark the status option you choose as each is defined below. Ballot with more than 1 option marked will not be counted.

    ‘A. COMMONWEALTH- If you agree, mark here XXX

    ‘Puerto Rico should retain Commonwealth, in which--

      ‘(1) Puerto Rico is joined in a relationship with and under the national sovereignty of the United States. It is the policy of the Congress that this relationship should only be dissolved by mutual consent.

      ‘(2) Under this political relationship, Puerto Rico like a State is an autonomous political entity, sovereign over matters not ruled by the Constitution of the United States. In the exercise of this sovereignty, the laws of the Commonwealth shall govern in Puerto Rico to the extent that they are consistent with the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States. Congress retains its constitutional authority to enact laws it deems necessary relating to Puerto Rico.

      ‘(3) Persons born in Puerto Rico have United States citizenship by statute as secured by the Constitution. It is the policy of the United States that citizenship will continue to be granted to persons born in Puerto Rico. The rights, privileges, and immunities provided for by the United States Constitution apply in Puerto Rico, except where limited by the Constitution to citizens residing in a State.

      ‘(4) Puerto Rico will continue to participate in Federal programs and may be enabled to participate equally with the States in the programs where it is not now participating equally contingent on the payment of contributions, which may include payment of taxes, as provided by Federal law.

    ‘B. SEPARATE SOVEREIGNTY- If you agree, mark here XXX

    ‘The people of Puerto Rico should become fully self-governing through separate sovereignty in the form of independence or free association, in which--

      ‘(1) Puerto Rico is a sovereign Republic which has full authority and responsibility over its territory and population under a constitution which is the supreme law, providing for a republican form of government and the protection of human rights;

      ‘(2) the Republic of Puerto Rico is a member of the community of nations vested with full powers and responsibilities for its own fiscal and monetary policy, immigration, trade, and the conduct in its own name and right of relations with other nations and international organizations, including the rights and responsibilities that devolve upon a sovereign nation under the general principles of international law;

      ‘(3) the residents of Puerto Rico owe allegiance to and have the nationality and citizenship of the Republic of Puerto Rico;

      ‘(4) the Constitution and laws of the United States no longer apply in Puerto Rico, and United States sovereignty in Puerto Rico is ended; thereupon birth in Puerto Rico or relationship to persons with statutory United States citizenship by birth in the former territory shall cease to be a basis for United States nationality or citizenship, except that persons who had such United States citizenship have a statutory right to retain United States nationality and citizenship for life, by entitlement or election as provided by the United States Congress, based on continued allegiance to the United States: Provided, That such persons will not have this statutory United States nationality and citizenship status upon having or maintaining allegiance, nationality, and citizenship rights in any sovereign nation, including the Republic of Puerto Rico, other than the United States;

      ‘(5) the previously vested rights of individuals in Puerto Rico to benefits based upon past services rendered or contributions made to the United States shall be honored by the United States as provided by Federal law;

      ‘(6) Puerto Rico and the United States seek to develop friendly and cooperative relations in matters of mutual interest as agreed in treaties approved pursuant to their respective constitutional processes, and laws including economic and programmatic assistance at levels and for a reasonable period as provided on a government-to-government basis, trade between customs territories, transit of citizens in accordance with immigration laws, and status of United States military forces; and

      ‘(7) a free association relationship may be established based on separate sovereign republic status as defined above, but with such delegations of government functions and other cooperative arrangements as may be agreed to by both parties under a bilateral pact terminable at will by either the United States or Puerto Rico.

    ‘C. STATEHOOD- If you agree, mark here XXX

    ‘Puerto Rico should become fully self governing through Statehood, in which--

      ‘(1) the people of Puerto Rico are fully self-governing with their rights secured under the United States Constitution, which shall be fully applicable in Puerto Rico and which, with the laws and treaties of the United States, is the supreme law and has the same force and effect as in the other States of the Union;

      ‘(2) the State of Puerto Rico becomes a part of the permanent union of the United States of America, subject to the United States Constitution, with powers not prohibited by the Constitution to the States, reserved to the State of Puerto Rico in its sovereignty or to the people;

      ‘(3) United States citizenship of those born in Puerto Rico is recognized, protected and secured in the same way it is for all United States citizens born in the other States;

      ‘(4) rights, freedoms, and benefits as well as duties and responsibilities of citizenship, including payment of Federal taxes, apply in the same manner as in the several States;

      ‘(5) Puerto Rico is represented by two members in the United States Senate and is represented in the House of Representatives proportionate to the population;

      ‘(6) United States citizens in Puerto Rico are enfranchised to vote in elections for the President and Vice President of the United States; and

      ‘(7) Official English language requirements of the Federal Government apply in Puerto Rico to the same extent as Federal law requires throughout the United States.’.

    (b) TRANSITION STAGE-

      (1) PLAN- (A) Within 180 days of the receipt of the results of the referendum from the Government of Puerto Rico certifying approval of a ballot choice of full self-government in a referendum held pursuant to subsection (a), the President shall develop and submit to Congress legislation for a transition plan of not more than 10 years which leads to full self-government for Puerto Rico consistent with the terms of this Act and the results of the referendum and in consultation with officials of the three branches of the Government of Puerto Rico, the principal political parties of Puerto Rico, and other interested persons as may be appropriate.

      (B) Additionally, in the event of a vote in favor of separate sovereignty, the Legislature of Puerto Rico, if deemed appropriate, may provide by law for the calling of a constituent convention to formulate, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, Puerto Rico’s proposals and recommendations to implement the referendum results. If a convention is called for this purpose, any proposals and recommendations formally adopted by such convention within time limits of this Act shall be transmitted to Congress by the President with the transition plan required by this section, along with the views of the President regarding the compatibility of such proposals and recommendations with the United States Constitution and this Act, and identifying which, if any, of such proposals and recommendations have been addressed in the President’s proposed transition plan.

      (C) Additionally, in the event of a vote in favor of continued United States sovereignty leading to Statehood, the transition plan required by this subsection shall--

        (i) include proposals and incentives to increase the opportunities of the people of Puerto Rico to expand their English proficiency in order to promote and facilitate communication with residents of all other States of the United States and with the Federal Government, including teaching in English in public schools, awarding fellowships and scholarships, and providing grants to organizations located in various communities that have, as a purpose, the promotion of English language skills;

        (ii) promote the use of English by the United States citizens in Puerto Rico in order to ensure--

          (I) efficiency in the conduct and coordination of the official business activities of the Federal and State Governments;

          (II) that the citizens possess the language skill necessary to contribute to and participate in all aspects of the Nation; and

          (III) the ability of all citizens of Puerto Rico to take full advantage of the opportunities and responsibilities accorded to all citizens, including education, economic activities, occupational opportunities, and civic affairs; and

        (iii) include the effective date of incorporation, thereby permitting the greatest degree of flexibility for the phase-in of Federal programs and the development of the economy through fiscal incentives, alternative tax arrangements, and other measures.

      (D) In the event of a vote in favor of Commonwealth, the Government of Puerto Rico may call a Special Convention to develop proposals for submission to the President and the Congress for changes in Federal policy on matters of economic and social concern to the people of Puerto Rico. The President and the Congress, as appropriate, shall expeditiously consider any such proposals. The Commonwealth would assume any expenses related to increased responsibilities resulting from such proposals.

      (2) CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION- The plan shall be considered by the Congress in accordance with section 6.

      (3) PUERTO RICAN APPROVAL-

        (A) Not later than 180 days after enactment of an Act pursuant to paragraph (1) providing for the transition to full self-government for Puerto Rico as approved in the initial decision referendum held under subsection (a), a referendum shall be held under the applicable provisions of Puerto Rico’s electoral law on the question of approval of the transition plan.

        (B) Approval must be by a majority of the valid votes cast. The results of the referendum shall be certified to the President of the United States.

    (c) Implementation Stage-

      (1) PRESIDENTIAL RECOMMENDATION- Not less than two years prior to the end of the period of the transition provided for in the transition plan approved under subsection (b), the President shall submit to Congress a joint resolution with a recommendation for the date of termination of the transition and the date of implementation of full self-government for Puerto Rico within the transition period consistent with the ballot choice approved under subsection (a).

      (2) CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION- The joint resolution shall be considered by the Congress in accordance with section 6.

      (3) PUERTO RICAN APPROVAL-

        (A) Within 180 days after enactment of the terms of implementation for full self-government for Puerto Rico, a referendum shall be held under the applicable provisions of Puerto Rico’s electoral laws on the question of the approval of the terms of implementation for full self-government for Puerto Rico.

        (B) Approval must be by a majority of the valid votes cast. The results of the referendum shall be certified to the President of the United States.

SEC. 5. REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO REFERENDA, INCLUDING INCONCLUSIVE REFERENDUM AND APPLICABLE LAWS.

    (a) APPLICABLE LAWS-

      (1) REFERENDA UNDER PUERTO RICAN LAWS- The referenda held under this Act shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable laws of Puerto Rico, including laws of Puerto Rico under which voter eligibility is determined and which require United States citizenship and establish other statutory requirements for voter eligibility of residents and nonresidents.

      (2) FEDERAL LAWS- The Federal laws applicable to the election of the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico shall, as appropriate and consistent with this Act, also apply to the referenda. Any reference in such Federal laws to elections shall be considered, as appropriate, to be a reference to the referenda, unless it would frustrate the purposes of this Act.

    (b) CERTIFICATION OF REFERENDA RESULTS- The results of each referendum held under this Act shall be certified to the President of the United States and the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States by the Government of Puerto Rico.

    (c) CONSULTATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INCONCLUSIVE REFERENDUM-

      (1) IN GENERAL- If a referendum provided in section 4(b) or (c) of this Act does not result in approval of a fully self-governing status, the President, in consultation with officials of the three branches of the Government of Puerto Rico, the principal political parties of Puerto Rico, and other interested persons as may be appropriate, shall make recommendations to the Congress within 180 days of receipt of the results of the referendum regarding completion of the self-determination process for Puerto Rico under the authority of Congress.

      (2) ADDITIONAL REFERENDA- To ensure that the Congress is able on a continuing basis to exercise its Territorial Clause powers with due regard for the wishes of the people of Puerto Rico respecting resolution of Puerto Rico’s permanent future political status, in the event that a referendum conducted under section 4(a) does not result in a majority vote for separate sovereignty or statehood, there is authorized to be further referenda in accordance with this Act, but not less than once every 10 years.

SEC. 6. CONGRESSIONAL PROCEDURES FOR CONSIDERATION OF LEGISLATION.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The majority leader of the House of Representatives (or his designee) and the majority leader of the Senate (or his designee) shall each introduce legislation (by request) providing for the transition plan under section 4(b) and the implementation recommendation under section 4(c) not later than 5 legislative days after the date of receipt by Congress of the submission by the President under that section, as the case may be.

    (b) REFERRAL- The legislation shall be referred on the date of introduction to the appropriate committee or committees in accordance with rules of the respective Houses. The legislation shall be reported not later than the 120th calendar day after the date of its introduction. If any such committee fails to report the bill within that period, that committee shall be automatically discharged from consideration of the legislation, and the legislation shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

    (c) CONSIDERATION-

      (1) After the 14th legislative day after the date on which the last committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be, has reported or been discharged from further consideration of such legislation, it is in order after the legislation has been on the calendar for 14 legislative days for any Member of that House in favor of the legislation to move to proceed to the consideration of the legislation (after consultation with the presiding officer of that House as to scheduling) to move to proceed to its consideration at any time after the third legislative day on which the Member announces to the respective House concerned the Member’s intention to do so. All points of order against the motion to proceed and against consideration of that motion are waived. The motion is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the legislation is agreed to, the respective House shall immediately proceed to consideration of the legislation without intervening motion (exception one motion to adjourn), order, or other business.

      (2)(A) In the House of Representatives, during consideration of the legislation in the Committee of the Whole, the first reading of the legislation shall be dispensed with. General debate shall be confined to the legislation, and shall not exceed 4 hours equally divided and controlled by a proponent and an opponent of the legislation. After general debate, the legislation shall be considered as read for amendment under the five-minute rule. Consideration of the legislation for amendment shall not exceed 4 hours excluding time for recorded votes and quorum calls. At the conclusion of the bill for amendment, the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the legislation and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion, except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the legislation shall not be in order.

      (B) In the Senate, debate on the legislation, and all amendments thereto and debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 25 hours. The time shall be equally divided between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees. No amendment that is not germane to the provisions of such legislation shall be received. A motion to further limit debate is not debatable.

      (3) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to the legislation described in subsection (a) shall be decided without debate.

    (d) CONSIDERATION BY OTHER HOUSE- (1) If, before the passage by one House of the legislation described in subsection (a) that was introduced in that House, that House receives from the other House the legislation described in subsection (a)--

      (A) the legislation of the other House shall not be referred to a committee and may not be considered in the House that receives it otherwise than on final passage under subparagraph (B)(ii) or (iii); and

      (B)(i) the procedure in the House that receives such legislation with respect to such legislation that was introduced in that House shall be the same as if no legislation had been received from the other House; but

      (ii) in the case of legislation received from the other House that is identical to the legislation as engrossed by the receiving House, the vote on final passage shall be on the legislation of the other House; or

      (iii) after passage of the legislation, the legislation of the other House shall be considered as amended with the text of the legislation just passed and shall be considered as passed, and that House shall be considered to have insisted on its amendment and requested a conference with the other House.

    (2) Upon disposition of the legislation described in subsection (a) that is received by one House from the other House, it shall no longer be in order to consider such legislation that was introduced in the receiving House.

    (e) CONFERENCE- Upon receiving from the other House a message in which that House insists upon its amendment to the legislation and requests a conference with the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be, on the disagreeing votes thereon, the House receiving the request shall be considered to have disagreed to the amendment of the other House and agreed to the conference requested by that House.

    (f) DEFINITION- For the purposes of this section, the term ‘legislative day’ means a day on which the House of Representatives or the Senate, as appropriate, is in session.

    (g) EXERCISE OF RULEMAKING POWER- The provisions of this section are enacted by the Congress--

      (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and the House of Representatives and, as such, shall be considered as part of the rules of each House and shall supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and

      (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as they relate to the procedures of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

SEC. 7. AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR THE REFERENDA.

    (a) IN GENERAL-

      (1) AVAILABILITY OF AMOUNTS DERIVED FROM TAX ON FOREIGN RUM- During the period beginning October 1, 1997, and ending on the date the President determines that all referenda required by this Act have been held, from the amounts covered into the treasury of Puerto Rico under section 7652(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Secretary of the Treasury--

        (A) upon request and in the amounts identified from time to time by the President, shall make the amounts so identified available to the treasury of Puerto Rico for the purposes specified in subsection (b); and

        (B) shall transfer all remaining amounts to the treasury of Puerto Rico, as under current law.

      (2) REPORT OF REFERENDA EXPENDITURES- Within 180 days after each referendum required by this Act, and after the end of the period specified in paragraph (1), the President, in consultation with the Government of Puerto Rico, shall submit a report to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives on the amounts made available under paragraph (1)(A) and all other amounts expended by the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico for referenda pursuant to this Act.

    (b) GRANTS FOR CONDUCTING REFERENDA AND VOTER EDUCATION- From amounts made available under subsection (a)(1), the Government of Puerto Rico shall make grants to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico for referenda held pursuant to the terms of this Act, as follows:

      (1) Fifty percent shall be available only for costs of conducting the referenda.

      (2) Fifty percent shall be available only for voter education funds for the central ruling body of the political party, parties, or other qualifying entities advocating a particular ballot choice. The amount allocated for advocating a ballot choice under this paragraph shall be apportioned equally among the parties advocating that choice.

    (c) ADDITIONAL RESOURCES- In addition to amounts made available by this Act, the Puerto Rico Legislature may allocate additional resources for administrative and voter education costs to each party so long as the distribution of funds is consistent with the apportionment requirements of subsection (b).

Passed the House of Representatives March 4, 1998.

Attest:

ROBIN H. CARLE,

Clerk.