HR 2000 Second Most Popular Bill on Cosponsor.gov
Two days after the United States House of Representatives Majority Leader, Representative Eric Cantor from Virginia, unveiled his Cosponsor.gov project, a new website that allows citizens to sign up as “citizen cosponsors” of bills, HR 2000, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act has climbed to the second position of the most popular bills on the website. The bill was introduced by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D) on May 15, 2013.
With 490 citizen cosponsors, HR 2000 stands right behind HR 25, but above of measures aimed at prohibiting the use of drones on American citizens and those proposing a balance budget amendment to the US Constitution.
The current most popular bill on the site is HR 25, the Fair Tax Act of 2013 which aims to repeal the income tax, abolish the Internal Revenue Services, and to impose a national sales tax, standing in the first position with 731 citizen cosponsors.
Since the site is less than a week old, it remains to be seen whether it will have any effect of the passage of legislation, or whether members of Congress and in particular, the House leadership, will pay attention and respond to the public input. The initiative is akin to that of the White House’s We the People petition system, although the White House has defined thresholds that warrant a response from the administration.
In the case of HR 2000, while significant public support will not assure its consideration, it could help bring the initiative to the attention of the Republican House Majority, especially given that as of press time, only seven out of 53 cosponsors are Republican members of the House. Widespread Republican support is essential for the bill to have any chances of approval, although that does not guarantee its success in the Senate, where it is usual for Puerto Rico status related bills to die without action.