The bill, which passed 233-191 with some Republican support, would offer voters in the U.S. territory three options: statehood, independence or independence with free association.
“It is crucial to me that any proposal in Congress to decolonize Puerto Rico be informed and led by Puerto Ricans,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees affairs in U.S. territories.
The proposal would commit Congress to accept Puerto Rico into the United States as the 51st state if voters on the island approved it.
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, traveled to Washington for the vote.
WATCH: Puerto Rico gears up to vote in statehood referendum this November.
Pablo José Hernández Rivera, an attorney in Puerto Rico, said approval of the bill by the House would be “inconsequential” like the approval of previous bills in 1998 and 2010.
González, Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress, praised the bill and said it would provide the island with the self-determination it deserves. »