Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer flipped on his position over Puerto Rican statehood this week, declaring his opposition to the idea after having endorsed it last year.
During a community Zoom meeting Thursday, Schumer said he now opposes Puerto Rican statehood. “I don’t agree with them, I’m not going to support their statehood bill,” Schumer said of legislation from Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres that would open the door to Puerto Rico becoming a state.
Flash back to four months ago, however, and Schumer held the opposite position. “Believe me, on D.C. and Puerto Rico, particularly if Puerto Rico votes for it — D.C. already has voted for it and wants it — I’d love to make them states,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Joy Reid in October.
I Told You So: Schumer flops on Puerto Rico statehood pic.twitter.com/zbIGBfJ6RI
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) February 18, 2021
Schumer endorsed Puerto Rican statehood last fall as a threat to intimidate Republicans from confirming then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court weeks before the November election. Granting statehood to the U.S. territory would likely give Democrats two more senators and at least one more representative in the House.
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi told “Axios on HBO” he expected Congress to consider statehood within a month.
“We need a game changer in Puerto Rico. And one game changer would be that we get equal treatment in key federal programs,” Pierluisi said, as the territory’s financial crises suffocate the island.
Residents voted in favor of statehood on a ballot referendum in November, 52 percent to 48 percent.