THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Jerusalem) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release December 14, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I have advocated enabling the people of Puerto Rico to determine their future status among all the options -- continuing the current governing arrangement, known as Commonwealth; nationhood, either independent from or in an association with the U.S.; and statehood. This year, the House passed a bipartisan bill for this purpose with my support, but the Senate majority leadership blocked it. In the end, the leadership simply recognized Puerto Ricans' right to choose and promised to review the results.
Yesterday, Puerto Ricans voted on these issues under local law. A majority of the vote was not for any of the options. Among the rest, the overwhelming majority supported statehood.
I will, therefore, work with Members of Congress and the people of Puerto Rico and their leaders to enable Puerto Ricans to clarify their choice among the options. I remain committed to implementing a majority choice for Puerto Rico's future status.