Puerto Ricans voted Tuesday to adjust the relationship between the territory and the United States and pursue statehood, advancing the quest of many on the island to become the nation’s 51st state.
In a two-part referendum, voters supported abandoning the status quo and embracing statehood — the first time such an effort has received a majority.
President Barack Obama pledged in 2011 to respect “a clear decision” of the people of Puerto Rico on statehood. It is unclear if the 60 percent margin on Tuesday meets that test.
Under Article IV the Constitution, Congress would have to approve statehood for the territory — though it is not clear where congressional leaders stand on the issue.
A White House spokesperson, in addition to spokespeople for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner, did not respond to a request for comment early Wednesday.