The United States Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, chaired by Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, will hold a hearing on Puerto Rico’s status and the November 6, 2012 plebiscite results. The hearing, scheduled for June
1113, 2013 at 10:00am in the Senate Dirksen Building will have appearances from representatives of the three major political parties in Puerto Rico: Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, president of the pro-status quo Popular Democratic Party, and former Senator Ruben Berrios, president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party. In addition, an as of yet unnamed representative of the Obama Administration will also depose during the hearing.
In a statement on its website, the committee officially unveiled the hearing date, after initially announcing it several weeks ago. This represents the first action in 3 years in the Senate regarding Puerto Rico’s status, since the same committee held a hearing on May 19, 2010 on HR 2499 following its passage in the House of Representatives. The hearing will be broadcast live at the committee’s website.
The scheduled hearing is not on a particular piece of legislation, but on the results of the past plebiscite held in November, where 54% of voters rejected the status quo in the first question, and 61% chose statehood as the non-territorial status of their preference. There is no mention of Pierluisi’s HR 2000 bill in the hearing announcement, nor of President Barack Obama’s inclusion for a new plebiscite for the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.
So far, Resident Commissioner Pierluisi has confirmed his attendance for the hearing in tweet today:
El martes defenderé el voto de los puertorriqueños en contra de la colonia y a favor de la #Estadidad. #HR2000 http://t.co/21rJEoTx1v
— Pedro Pierluisi (@PierluisiPNP) June 4, 2013
UPDATE: The Committee announce today that the hearing will be postponed to June 13, 2013. No explanation was given for the delay.