Delegate Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico) has announced that he will push for Puerto Rican statehood this session of Congress. Congress is widely predicted to ignore Puerto Rico’s recent vote to pursue statehood. “The people of Puerto Rico have spoken, and I intend to make certain that their voice is heard loud and clear,” said Pierluisi.
One of the obstacles for Pierluisi is that despite the vote, it is unclear whether there is a mandate for statehood. The Republican former governor pushed forward the statehood bid, and the initiative didn’t include the option of enhanced commonwealth status, which would be one step short of statehood. Enhanced commonwealth status is generally more popular than statehood.
Were Puerto Rico to become the 51st state, it would be likely be entitled to seven electoral votes in any presidential election.