Advocating for Puerto Rico: A Congressional Perspective - Resident Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez (via Live Video)
12:00 PM - 12:10 PM Tue
Jenniffer González-Colón was elected on November 8th, 2016, as Puerto Rico's
sole Representative to the U.S. Congress, known as Resident Commissioner. The
first woman to hold the office, Ms. Gonzalez-Colón received the most votes of any
single elected official on the Island in that election as well as when she was
reelected in November 2020.
A lifelong Republican activist for Puerto Rican statehood, Mrs. González-Colón
entered elective office in a 2002 special election, becoming the youngest
member at the time, to be elected to serve in the Puerto Rico House of
Representatives. She quickly rose through the ranks achieving and became
Speaker of the House for four years and Minority Leader for another four.
Her priorities as Puerto Rico’s voice in Congress include spearheading the
economic recovery of the Island, securing equal treatment for Puerto Rico's 3.2
million American citizens in federal laws, regulations, services, and funding, and
ensuring that Congress responds decisively to the overwhelming mandate of
Puerto Rico’s voters for admission as the 51st state of the Union as reflected by
clear majorities locally-held plebiscites in 2012 and 2017, and 2020.
González-Colón is a member of the House Committees on Transportation and
Infrastructure, and Natural Resources.
Previously, she has served on the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, Small Business, and Science, Space, and Technology.
The Congresswoman is currently the republican Co-Chair of the House Oceans
Caucus, the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus, Congressional Rum Caucus,
Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, and Congressional Endometriosis Caucus.
She is also a member of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, the Republican
Main Street Caucus, and the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating
Antisemitism. She has been appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees for the
National Museum for the American Latino.
Previously, she was also elected by her colleagues to serve as Vice Chair of the
Bipartisan Women's Caucus in 2019 and Co-Chair in 2021; and has participated
as a member of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Puerto Rico suffered its worst natural disaster in 90 years after hurricanes Irma and
María devastated the Island in 2017. Her efforts to keep Puerto Rico’s recovery at
the forefront of Congress’ attention, organizing visits of members of Congress and
administration officials, building bipartisan alliances, have produced over $117
Billions in appropriations after the disaster, as well as legislation allowing
infrastructure to be rebuilt to improved standards, full federal share in funding for
rebuilding, and an extension in the emergency agencies’ mandates.
She has been recognized by NewsMax as one of the 100 most influential
Republican women, and consistently ranked amongst the top 20 in the Bipartisan
Index rankings compiled by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University.