IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 16, 2006
Mr. Burr (for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Lott, and Mr. Menendez) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To recognize the right of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to call a constitutional convention through which the people of Puerto Rico would exercise their right to self-determination, and to establish a mechanism for congressional consideration of such decision.
This Act may be cited as
Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act
In this Act:
Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The term self-determination option means an option agreed to by a constitutional convention in the Commonwealth for a new or modified Commonwealth status, statehood, or independence.
The term self-determination proposal means a document submitted to Congress by a constitutional convention in the Commonwealth that proposes a self-determination option.
Congress reaffirms the inherent authority of the government of the Commonwealth to call, and hereby expressly authorizes the calling of, a constitutional convention through the election of delegates for the purpose of establishing a mechanism for self-determination.
Purpose of constitutional convention
The purpose of a constitutional convention called under subsection (a) is to propose to Congress—
a new or amended
compact of association to replace or amend the compact established under the
An Act to provide for the organization of a constitutional
government by the people of Puerto Rico, approved July 3, 1950 (64
Stat. 319) (commonly referred to as
Public Law 600) and the
the admission of the Commonwealth as a State in the United States; or
the declaration of the Commonwealth as an independent country.
Submission to congress of self-determination proposal
Upon the approval by a constitutional convention in the Commonwealth of a self-determination option, the constitutional convention shall submit a self-determination proposal to Congress for approval.
Disposition of self-determination proposal
If a self-determination proposal is approved by Congress with or without modifications, the proposal shall be submitted to the people of the Commonwealth for approval or rejection in a referendum.
Enactment of proposal
If the people of the Commonwealth approve the self-determination proposal in a referendum held pursuant to paragraph (1), a joint resolution of Congress shall be enacted approving the terms of the proposal and including provisions necessary to implement the proposal.
Rejection of proposal
If a self-determination proposal is not approved by Congress pursuant to subsection (a) or is not approved by the people of the Commonwealth in a referendum held pursuant to paragraph (1), the Government of the Commonwealth should call for a new constitutional convention, including an election by the people of the Commonwealth of new delegates to the convention, for the purpose of formulating and submitting to Congress a new self-determination proposal.
Convention in continuous session
A constitutional convention held pursuant to this Act may remain in session until a self-determination proposal is approved in a referendum by the people of the Commonwealth and enacted by a joint resolution of Congress.