Rep. Don Young Pushes For Puerto Rico Statehood

Earlier this week, the United States territory of Puerto Rico voted on whether they should become the 51st state.

There were three choices on the ballot.
Nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, more than 7,600 for free independence, and nearly 6,700 for the current territorial status.

Puerto Rico's Governor, Ricardo Rossello, said this is proof that Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly want statehood.

Opponents of the governor pointed out that only 23 percent of the roughly 2.26 million registered voters participated, which brings the validity of the vote into question.

Regardless, this was a non-binding referendum - only congress has the ability to bring new states into the union.

At a press conference earlier today, Alaska Representative Don Young announced he is planning on being a voice for Puerto Rico's statehood.

"My interest in this area started way back when. We were the 49th state. I heard the same arguments then: Why should we? They're a long ways away. And they forgot we were American citizens as Puerto Ricans now are American citizens. I was, very frankly, went back through the history of Alaska and Ernest Gruening on the floor of the Senate, our Senator at that time, stood up and in a very loud voice and gesture said, "It's time America stops colonizing." I say it's time for congress to act to make Puerto Rico as a people to do so, a state, the 51st state of this union. Thank you Mr. Governor."