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Signs in favor of statehood before a referendum in 2017, one of several nonbinding votes related to Puerto Rico’s status. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Ricans have chosen the six people who will try to sway Congress during its debates on the island’s status.

Why it matters: Two competing measures that aim to resolve Puerto Rico’s status are before Congress, putting the territory as close as it has ever been to settling a question that has persisted for more than a century.

  • One measure, from Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and cosponsored by Puerto Rican delegate Jennifer González Colón, would emulate Hawaii’s statehood process, and the other, pushed by Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), would have delegates from the island resolve its status through “a self-determination convention.”
  • Puerto Ricans in the last decade have held three nonbinding referendums that favored statehood. But Congress has the final say.
  • The boricua lobbyists hope to convince House lawmakers to vote in favor of statehood as they have twice done for D.C.

For reference: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but lack many political rights, such as participating in presidential elections or having a voting representative in Congress.

  • A financial oversight board whose members are chosen by the U.S. president and congressional leadership has control over Puerto Rico’s budget. The island is mired in debt and hit hard by natural disasters.

Go deeper

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.

Biden sinks in swing districts

Photo: Biden speaks about wild fires and climate change in Sacramento on September 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP via Getty Images

Sudden doubts about President Biden's competence — on Afghanistan, immigration and COVID — are driving double-digit drops in his approval in private polling in swing House seats, The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter writes.

Why it matters: "[T]hese early mistakes go directly to the very rationale of his presidency; that it would be low drama and high competence."

Ina Fried, author of Login
31 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How COVID slowed 5G

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two years into the 5G era, expensive new cellular networks have blanketed much of the country, but they have yet to change our lives.

Between the lines: It was always going to take some time for 5G's full impact — from faster service to new uses — to arrive. But the pandemic has slowed even some of the initial benefits.