Not everyone is happy about the GOP’s massive tax relief bill.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said he plans to mobilize the 5.3 million Puerto Ricans living on the US mainland to oppose the Republican Party in the 2018 midterm elections.
Rosselló, a Democrat and member of the island’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party, blasted the GOP’s tax bill for allegedly targeting the Puerto Rican economy three months after Hurricane Maria.
“Everybody has seen the damage of the storm and yet policy decisions go in the opposite direction of where they should go,” Rosselló told Politico. “We’re not just going to stand by. We are going to take action.”
The governor voiced displeasure with the Republican tax plan’s reworking of manufacturing rules in Puerto Rico. Under the current system, manufacturers in the American territory can incorporate as foreign subsidiaries but label their products as made in the US.
Once the new legislation becomes law, manufacturers operating in Puerto Rico will be treated like those outside the US–making them subject to a 12.5 percent intellectual property tax.
Rosselló likened the potential political impact of mainland Puerto Ricans to Florida’s 2.7 million Cuban-Americans, a well-organized constituency that tends to vote Republican.
“We are twice the size. If we can get organized, we can certainly start swaying decisions our way and having at least some political leverage,” Rosselló asserted. “We will evaluate those who gave the good fight for the people of Puerto Rico and those that didn’t.”
The governor also said he will push for the island to be given representation in Congress, asking “What are we going to do with a colonial territory in the 21st century? The United States has unfinished business. It holds the oldest and most populated colonial territory in the world.”
“Having no representation is a clear disadvantage and if you need any more evidence of this just look at the tax reform. Just because we don’t have representation we got railroaded.”
Restoring Puerto Rico post-storm appears to not be keeping Rosselló busy enough. The GOP apparently has one more #RESIST activist to look out for in 2018.