New Mexico Democrat Senator Introduces Puerto Rico Statehood Legislation

US Senator Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, questions Congresswoman Deb Haaland, D-NM, during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior Secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP …
JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) will introduce a bill for Puerto Rico statehood in order to cement the radical Democrat majority in the Senate.

Under Heinrich’s plan, Congress would provide Puerto Rico with a formal offer to become the 51st.

Outlined in the plan is Puerto Rico’s admission into the U.S., which would need to be ratified by Puerto Rico voters in a federally-sponsored, yes-or-no referendum.

In November, 52 percent of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of a referendum on statehood, which asked “Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted into the Union as a state?”

In 2017 a similar referendum asked Puerto Ricans if they want independence, statehood, or to stay the same. All but 1.5 percent voted in favor of statehood.

Heinrich told Axios, “My home state of New Mexico had a similar struggle to achieve statehood. It took 50 New Mexico statehood bills and 64 years before we were finally admitted to the United States.”

Heinrich is the senior senator from New Mexico, which has the largest Hispanic population in the nation and where he’s been aligning himself with issues that are supported by many Latinos.

Republicans are fighting to keep this bill from passing, claiming the move would cement Democrat control in the Senate.

Sen. Mitch McConnell said in September, “After they change the filibuster, they’re going to admit the District as a state. They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That’s four new Democratic senators in perpetuity,” Roll Call reported.

Former Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) told NBC News last year if Puerto Rico gained statehood, Republicans would “never get the Senate back again.”


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