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Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
Seal of the United States House of Representatives.svg
Incumbent
Jenniffer González

since January 3, 2017
United States House of Representatives
SeatPuerto Rico
Term lengthFour years, renewable[1]
FormationJanuary 2, 1900
First holderFederico Degetau
Websitegonzalez-colon.house.gov

The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Comisionado Residente de Puerto Rico) is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives elected by the voters of the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico every four years,[1] the only member of the House of Representatives who serves a four-year term.

Commissioners function in every respect as a member of Congress, including sponsoring legislation and serving on congressional committees, where they can vote on legislation,[2] except that they are denied a vote on the final disposition of legislation on the House floor.[3] They receive a salary of $174,000 per year[4] and are identified as Member of Congress.[2]

The current commissioner is Jenniffer González-Colón of the New Progressive Party (PNP), the first woman to hold the post.[1] She is also affiliated with the Republican Party (R) at the national level.

Other U.S. territories have a similar representative position called a delegate.

History

The United States Congress had seated non-voting "delegates" from various territories since 1794 as the country expanded across North America; these territories were all eventually admitted as states. The position of delegate was a legislative position with a two-year term, just like a member of Congress.[5]

The United States acquired several overseas possessions as a result of the Spanish–American War. While the House of Representatives voted in 1900 for Puerto Rico to select a delegate, Congress instead devised a new form of territorial representative in the Resident Commissioner. United States Senator John Coit Spooner argued that granting a territory a delegate implied that it was on the path to statehood, which he asserted was not guaranteed for the new possessions acquired in the war, such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines.[5] In fact, more than a century later, neither has become a state. (Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory, while The Philippines became an independent republic in 1946.)

The original Resident Commissioner positions served a two-year term,[6] though it was later extended to four years starting in 1920.[7][5][8] The position also had executive responsibility in addition to legislative ones. The term had been used as to parts of the British Empire (see Resident Commissioner), but in an almost opposite sense; sent or recognized as the Crown's representative to manage a territory. American Resident Commissioner always refers to a representative of a territory to the national government.[5]

This representation has evolved over time. At first, the resident commissioner could not even be present on the floor of the House of Representatives; floor privileges were granted in 1902.[5] In 1904, the officeholder gained the right to speak during debate and serve on the Committee on Insular Affairs, which had responsibility for the territories gained in the Spanish-American War.[5]

In 1933, Resident Commissioner Santiago Iglesias was appointed to additional committees, and each of his successors has served on other committees also.[5] But only in 1970 did the Resident Commissioner gain the right to vote in committees, gain seniority, or hold leadership positions.[5]

The present-day Resident Commissioner, like the delegates from other territories and the District of Columbia, have almost all of the rights of other House members, including being able to sponsor bills and offer amendments and motions.[5] Territorial representatives remain unable to vote on matters before the full House.

Summary of commissioners

Puerto Rico's at-large congressional district

Puerto Rico's at-large congressional district
PR01 109.gif
Resident Commissioner
  Jenniffer Gonzalez[a]
RSan Juan
Area3,515 sq mi (9,100 km2)
Population (2019)3,193,694
Median household
income
14,412
Ethnicity
Occupation

Puerto Rico's at-large congressional district is the largest congressional district by population in all of the United States. This is because Puerto Rico is not a state, but a territory. Hence, Puerto Rico does not elect any House Representative. So, it is represented by a single non-voting resident commissioner in the United States House of Representatives, irrespective of its population. The current resident commissioner is Jenniffer González.

List of resident commissioners pre-Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Resident Commissioner Party U.S.
Affiliation
Years Cong–
ress
Electoral history
District created March 4, 1901
Federico Degetau y González.JPG

Federico Degetau y González
Republican Republican March 4, 1901 –
March 3, 1905
57th
58th
Elected in 1900.
Re-elected in 1902.
Retired.
Tulio Larrinaga.jpg

Tulio Larrínaga
Unionist [data unknown/missing] March 4, 1905 –
March 3, 1911
59th
60th
61st
Elected in 1904.
Re-elected in 1906.
Re-elected in 1908.
Retired.
Luis Munoz Rivera.jpg

Luis Muñoz Rivera
Unionist [data unknown/missing] March 4, 1911 –
November 15, 1916
62nd
63rd
64th
Elected in 1910.
Re-elected in 1912.
Re-elected in 1914.
Re-elected in 1916.
Died.
Vacant November 16, 1916 –
August 6, 1917
64th
65th
Félix Córdova Dávila.jpg

Félix L. M. Córdova Dávila
Unionist [data unknown/missing] August 7, 1917 –
April 11, 1932
65th
66th
67th
68th
69th
70th
71st
72nd
Elected to finish Rivera's term.
Re-elected in 1920.
Re-elected in 1924.
Re-elected in 1928.
Resigned to become Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
Vacant April 12, 1932 –
April 14, 1932
72nd
José Lorenzo Pesquera.jpg

José Lorenzo Pesquera
Independent [data unknown/missing] April 15, 1932 –
March 3, 1933
72nd Elected to finish Dávila's term.
Retired.
Santiago Iglesias.jpg

Santiago Iglesias Pantín
Socialist [data unknown/missing] March 4, 1933 –
December 5, 1939
73rd
74th
75th
76th
Elected in 1932.
Re-elected in 1936.
Died.
Vacant December 5, 1939 –
December 26, 1939
76th
Bolívar Pagán.jpg

Bolívar Pagán
Republican Union [data unknown/missing] December 26, 1939 –
January 3, 1945
76th
77th
78th
Appointed to finish Pantín's term.
Elected in 1940.
Retired.
Jesus T. Piñero.jpg

Jesús T. Piñero Jiménez
Popular Democratic Democratic January 3, 1945 –
September 2, 1946
79th Elected in 1944.
Resigned to become Governor of Puerto Rico.

Resident commissioners under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

   Popular Democratic Party (6)
   New Progressive Party (6)

US Party Affiliation

   Democratic Party (10)
   Republican Party (2)

Resident Commissioner Party Affiliation
within U.S. politics
Years Cong–
ress
Electoral history
1
Antonio Fernos-Isern.jpg

Antonio Fernós-Isern
Popular Democratic Democratic September 11, 1946 –
January 3, 1965
79th
80th
81st
82nd
83rd
84th
85th
86th
87th
88th
Appointed to finish Piñero's term.
Re-elected in 1948.
Re-elected in 1952.
Re-elected in 1956.
Re-elected in 1960.
Retired.
2
Santiago Polanco Abreu.jpg

Santiago Polanco Abreu
Popular Democratic Democratic January 3, 1965 –
January 3, 1969
89th
90th
Elected in 1964.
Lost re-election.
3
Jorge Luis Córdova Díaz.jpg

Jorge Luis Córdova
New Progressive Democratic January 3, 1969 –
January 3, 1973
91st
92nd
Elected in 1968.
Lost re-election.
4
Jaime Benítez.jpg

Jaime Benítez
Popular Democratic Democratic January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1977
93rd
94th
Elected in 1972.
Lost re-election.
5
Corrada.jpg

Baltasar Corrada del Río
New Progressive Democratic January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1985
95th
96th
97th
98th
Elected in 1976.
Re-elected in 1980.
Retired to run for mayor of San Juan.
6
Fuster.jpg

Jaime Fuster
Popular Democratic Democratic January 3, 1985 –
March 3, 1992
99th
100th
101st
102nd
Elected in 1984.
Re-elected in 1988.
Resigned to become Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
7
Antonio Colorado.jpg

Antonio Colorado
Popular Democratic Democratic March 4, 1992 –
January 3, 1993
102nd Appointed to finish Fuster's term.
Lost election to full term.
8
Carlos Antonio Romero-Barceló.jpg

Carlos Romero Barceló
New Progressive Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 2001
103rd
104th
105th
106th
Elected in 1992.
Re-elected in 1996.
Lost re-election.
9
Anibal Acevedo Vila.jpg

Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
Popular Democratic Democratic January 3, 2001 –
January 3, 2005
107th
108th
Elected in 2000.
Retired to run for Governor of Puerto Rico.
10
Fortuno main.jpg

Luis Fortuño
New Progressive Republican January 3, 2005 –
January 3, 2009
109th
110th
Elected in 2004.
Retired to run for Governor of Puerto Rico.
11
Pedro-Pierluisi-cropped.jpg

Pedro Pierluisi
New Progressive Democratic January 3, 2009 –
January 3, 2017
111th
112th
113th
114th
Elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2012.
Retired to run for Governor of Puerto Rico.
12
Jenniffer Gonzalez (cropped).jpg

Jenniffer González
New Progressive Republican January 3, 2017 –
present
115th
116th
117th
Elected in 2016.
Re-elected in 2020.

Recent elections

2000

2000 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
Popular Democratic Aníbal Acevedo Vilá 983,488 49.34
New Progressive Carlos Romero Barceló (incumbent) 905,690 45.43
Puerto Rican Independence Manuel Rodríguez Orellana 95,067 4.77
Write-in 9,238 0.46
Total votes 1,993,483 100.00
Popular Democratic gain from New Progressive
Democratic hold

2004

2004 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
New Progressive Luis Fortuño 956,828 48.83
Popular Democratic Roberto Prats Palerm 945,691 48.26
Puerto Rican Independence Edwin Irizarry Mora 56,589 2.89
Write-in 445 0.02
Total votes 1,959,553 100.00
New Progressive gain from Popular Democratic
Republican gain from Democratic

2008

2008 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
New Progressive Pedro Pierluisi 996,997 52.70
Popular Democratic Alfredo Salazar 799,746 42.27
Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Carlos Velazquez 45,154 2.39
Puerto Rican Independence Jessica Martinez 37,129 1.96
Write-in 12,773 0.68
Total votes 1,891,799 100.00
New Progressive hold
Democratic gain from Republican

2012

2012 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
New Progressive Pedro Pierluisi (incumbent) 905,066 48.76
Popular Democratic Rafael Cox Alomar 881,181 47.47
Puerto Rican Independence Juan Manuel Mercado 38,941 2.10
Working People's Félix Córdova Iturregu 13,120 0.71
Sovereign Union Movement María de Lourdes Guzmán 11,764 0.63
Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Sadiasept Guillont 5,647 0.30
Write-in 626 0.03
Total votes 1,856,345 100.00
New Progressive hold
Democratic hold

2016

2016 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
New Progressive Jenniffer González 718,591 48.80
Popular Democratic Héctor Ferrer 695,073 47.21
Puerto Rican Independence Hugo Rodriguez 39,704 2.70
Working People's Mariana Nogales Molinelli 19,033 1.29
Total votes 1,472,401 100.00
New Progressive hold
Republican gain from Democratic

2020

2020 Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner election
Party Candidate Votes %
New Progressive Jenniffer González (incumbent) 490,273 40.83
Popular Democratic Aníbal Acevedo Vilá 384,619 32.03
Citizen's Victory Movement Zayira Jordán Conde 154,751 12.89
Project Dignity Ada Norah Henriquez 94,059 7.83
Puerto Rican Independence Luis Piñero González II 76,398 6.36
Write-in 788 0.07
Total votes 1,200,888 100.00
New Progressive hold
Republican hold

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Gonzalez caucuses with the Republican Party.

References

  1. ^ a b c Michael Wines (July 26, 2019). "She's Puerto Rico's Only Link to Washington. She Could Be Its Future Governor". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b James R. Fuster, Member of Congress from Puerto Rico (August 29, 1990). "Our 51st State?". Newsweek.
  3. ^ "Commish. Jenniffer González-Colón, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico's At-Large District, Republican". govtrack.us. January 3, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Ida A. Brudnick. "Salaries of Members of Congress : Recent actions and Historical Tables". Senate.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rundquist, Paul S. "Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico". congressionalresearch.com. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Pub.L. 56–191, §39 (31 Stat. 86)
  7. ^ Pub.L. 64–368, §36 (39 Stat. 963)
  8. ^ [1]

External links

This page was last edited on 4 October 2021, at 01:49
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