H. Res. 1305: H.R. 2499 - Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY A VOICE VOTE on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY A RECORD VOTE OF 222-190 AFTER AGREEING TO THE PREVIOUS QUESTION BY A RECORD VOTE OF 218-188 on Thursday, April 29, 2010. 

MANAGERS:Polis/Diaz-Balart

111th Congress 
2nd Session

H.RES 1305

[Report No. 111-468]

 

 H.R. 2499 - Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

  1. Structured rule.
  1. Provides one hour and 30 minutes of general debate with one hour equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Natural Resources and 30 minutes controlled by Representative Velazquez of New York.
  1. Waives all points of order against consideration of the bill except for clauses 9 and 10 of rule XXI.
  1. Provides that the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources, now printed in the bill, shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment and shall be considered as read.
  1. Waives all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute except for clause 10 of rule XXI. This waiver does not affect the point of order available under clause 9 of rule XXI (regarding earmark disclosure).
  1. No amendments shall be in order except those amendments printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution.
  1. Provides that the amendments made in order may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.
  1. Waives all points of order against the amendments printed in the report except for clauses 9 and 10 of rule XXI.
  1. Provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
  1. Provides that the Chair may entertain a motion that the Committee rise only if offered by the chair of the Committee on Natural Resources or his designee.
  1. Provides that the Chair may not entertain a motion to strike out the enacting words of the bill (as described in clause 9 of rule XVIII).

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RESOLUTION

Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2499) to provide for a federally sanctioned self-determination process for the people of Puerto Rico. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour and 30 minutes, with one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Natural Resources and 30 minutes controlled by Representative Velazquez of New York or her designee. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources now printed in the bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. All points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived except those arising under clause 10 of rule XXI. Notwithstanding clause 11 of rule XVIII, no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. All points of order against such amendments are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

            Sec. 2. The Chair may entertain a motion that the Committee rise only if offered by the chair of the Committee on Natural Resources or his designee. The Chair may not entertain a motion to strike out the enacting words of the bill (as described in clause 9 of rule XVIII).

 SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS TO BE MADE IN ORDER

(summaries derived from information provided by sponsors)

1. Foxx (NC)

Would allow supporters of the commonwealth status quo the option of voting their preference during the second stage of the plebiscite. 

(10 minutes)

2. Gutierrez (IL)

Would provide the Puerto Rican people have the option to choose "none of the above" with regard to the status of Puerto Rico.

(10 minutes)

3. Gutierrez (IL)

Would provide that the ballots in the plebiscite to be conducted under H.R. 2499 are printed in Spanish.

(10 minutes)

4. Burton (IN), Young, Don (AK)

Would retain the requirement that all ballots used for authorized plebiscites include the full content of the ballot printed in English.  It would also require the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission to inform voters in all authorized plebiscites that if Puerto Rico retains its current status or is admitted as a State: (1) any official language requirements of the Federal Government shall apply to Puerto Rico to the same extent as throughout the United States; and (2) it is the Sense of Congress that the teaching of English be promoted in Puerto Rico in order for English-language proficiency to be achieved. 

(10 minutes)

5. Velázquez (NY), Gutierrez (IL)

Would expand eligibility to vote in the any plebiscites authorized by this bill to US citizens of Puerto Rican descent residing in any of the 50 States.

(10 minutes)

6. Velázquez (NY)

Would eliminate the first round of voting in Section 2 of the bill and insert an option for Commonwealth as a fourth option to the ballot.  It also would provide for a runoff process if no option receives more than 50 percent of the vote that would be between the two options that received the most votes.

(10 minutes)

7. Velázquez (NY)

An amendment in the nature of a substitute that would express that it is the Sense of Congress that a proposal for a change of status must come first from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico before Congress decides to consider the issue, therefore respecting their right of self-determination.

(10 minutes)

8. Hastings, Doc (WA)

An amendment in the nature of a substitute that would state that Puerto Rico has, and has had, the authority to conduct plebiscites.

(10 minutes)