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Press Release

Rep. Castor: The People of Puerto Rico Deserve to Live in Dignity with the Freedom to Determine Their Future

 Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor spoke in support of H.R. 8393 – the Puerto Rico Status Act on the House Floor ahead of the chamber’s vote on the bill. The bill passed 233-191.

A video of her remarks can be found here.

A transcript of her remarks can be found below:

Madam Speaker, the people of Puerto Rico deserve to live in dignity with the freedom to determine their future. That is why I rise in support of the Puerto Rico Status Act. The Act simply provides Puerto Ricans the opportunity to determine their future and choose whether statehood, independence or sovereignty and free association makes the most sense for them. Colleagues, I hope we can all agree that we all value basic human rights and that means like every American citizen, our Puerto Rican neighbors deserve true representation, equal rights and everything that flows from that. After Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, Boricuas in the Tampa Bay area came together to advocate for resources to rebuild the island. The disparate treatment became so plain at that time, but it has existed for decades, even as Puerto Ricans have given their life and service for America's freedom. So it is time that the territorial status of Puerto Rico be reexamined. It's unsustainable and cannot continue. Puerto Ricans deserve the opportunity to have their say. And I want to thank Representatives Velázquez, Soto, Ocasio-Cortez, González Colón, Leader Hoyer and of course Chair Grijalva for crafting this landmark legislation for self-determination, per the democratic values that we hold dear. Vote for self-determination and freedom and democracy for everyone. I urge you to adopt this bill. Thank you. I yield back.