At a meeting of the President’s Puerto Rico Task Force Tuesday, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli said the White House was open to the idea of the U.S. territory becoming a state.
“The president strongly believes that the status question is a significant one. He also believes that Puerto Rico’s status must be based on self-determination by the people of Puerto Rico,” said Perrelli in remarks opening the meeting. “And we on the task force are here with open minds on this issue.”
Perrelli, who co-chairs the task force, said that the public hearings were being held because of President Barack Obama’s pledge that the government be open, transparent and accountable. “That’s why as part of the process we have undertaken with the task force on Puerto Rico’s status, everyone around this table agreed that we needed to hold public hearings,” said Perrelli.
The hearings will continue throughout the afternoon, and are streaming on the White House website.