Should the District of Columbia become the 51st state, and should Puerto Rico become the 52nd state?
Recently there has been push to make D.C. the 51st state. Some people argue they should become a state as the residents do not have senatorial or house of representative representation. However, they do get delegates in the presidential election. Others argue they should not as too much of the capital's security would fall to state level resources. P.R.s argument has been that they are a populous unincorporated territory of vast importance. Others argue that P.R. has already voted numerous times to not get statehood, although the votes were close. What are your thoughts?
No. I like them the way they are now. We would have to change the flag again.
The district of Columbia was never intended to be a state because it was the administrative hub of the nation. And making it a state is like giving the band manager a vote and profit share as a member of a band, diluting the power of the states paying the bill.
Puerto Rico has had multiple referendums on its option to become a state, but it has refused thus far because it has the best of both worlds. Free travel to the US and they don't have to pay federal income tax. Getting official congressional representation doesn't matter much when it is mostly acting as a state and would have almost no influence nationally, but federal taxes on top of local taxes DOES lead most Puerto Ricans to vote no to statehood.
We can't handle the states that we have, and adding two new ones is not going to make things better.
In fact, if you want new states, think about making CA into four new states as it has 38 million people and more diverse interests based on the size of the state.
It is like they are 4 different states but they can only speak as one state, but their internal interests are unique to them.
My understanding is that the Puerto Rican people and the Puerto Rican government are never synchronized long enough to allow application for Statehood to go forward. When the people want go forward with it, the government stalls. When the P.R. government proposes it for referendum, the people vote it down. They're never in synch. So, it becomes a never ending debate.
There is also the matter of space. The admission of new States would mean that the Senate chambers would need a redesign to make extra seats for the new Senators.
With respect to the discussion in the comments about California: since they are already a State, their people and government would also have to be in sync long enough to propose it to the U.S. Congress, then Congress would discuss it and debate it. The constitutional text is "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress." As we have seen recently, legislators get voted out if they become at odds with those they represent.
Recall is that there was something in the agreement for Texas becoming a State that left them with the option to break their territory into five States. I don't recall my history studies well enough to know if that has already happened (back in the 1800;s) or if it is still an option for them. But Texas is Texas, given the way they are being treated, they may be the first to attempt to secede from the Union since the Civil War. The only good that would come of that would be that there are two open seats in the Senate and the Senate chambers would not need to be redesigned to admit Puerto Rico.
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