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"The president strongly believes that the status question is a significant one" Perrelli said at this week's meeting of the President's Puerto Rico Task Force. "He also believes that Puerto Rico's status must be based on self-determination by the people of Puerto Rico. And we on the task force are here with open minds on this issue."
Perrelli co-chairs the task force and attended on behalf of the administration. His complete remarks can be read here.
Last month, the House passed legislation that would allow Puerto Ricans to decide whether the island should remain a commonwealth. The measure still needs to be debated in the Senate.
Puerto Rico came under U.S. control in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War. Its four million residents are citizens eligible to vote and serve in the military.
Puerto Rico has a non-voting delegate to Congress.
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