Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas has introduced a bill that seeks to expand Territorial representation in the United States Congress through the creation of a non-voting representative to the United States Senate for each U.S. Territory.
H.R.5526 would provide for a non-voting delegate to the Senate to represent American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The proposal has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Currently, each territory only has a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and no membership in the U.S. Senate.
This has resulted in the territories being under-represented in the Congress, states San Nicolas in a release to the media.
“Every federal law passed requires the involvement of both the House and the Senate, and Territories are only involved in half of the process,” said San Nicolas. “Whenever there are differences between House and Senate versions of legislation, the need for representation in both is critical to ensure that all perspectives are considered.”