Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Compact of Permanent Union between Puerto Rico and the United States

Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico, Compact of Permanent Union between Puerto Rico and the United States: Report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico, October, 1975.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico was established on September 27, 1973, with members appointed by the President and the Governor of Puerto Rico; an executive staff; and one representative of the President. Actually the second such group resulting from a 1967 plebiscite on Puerto Rican status, its purpose was to "inquire into the extent to which the statutory laws and administrative regulations of the United States should apply in Puerto Rico." In October 1975 the Ad Hoc Group submitted its report to President Ford, including a proposed Compact of Permanent Union. If approved by Congress, the Compact would have fundamentally revised legislation in force since 1952 governing US-Puerto Rican relations, granting most of the privileges of statehood with few of the responsibilities. By law the President had one year to study the report and suggest a course of action to the Congress. President Ford asked his Cabinet to review the proposal and the Domestic Council to prepare a decision package. Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Jaime Benitez overstepped this process, however, when he submitted the proposed Compact to Congress for ratification. Hearings were held in the Senate in December 1975 and in the House in 1976. As one of his last acts as President, Ford decided to reject the Ad Hoc Group's recommendations and propose instead statehood for Puerto Rico. Ultimately no action was taken on the Compact.

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