House of Representatives of Puerto Rico: Wikis

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House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Cámara de Representantes de Puerto Rico
Coat of arms or logo.
Type
Type Lower house
Leadership
Speaker of the House Jennifer González, (PNP)
since January 12, 2009
Majority Leader Rolando Crespo, (PNP)
since 2009
Minority Leader Héctor Ferrer, (PDP)
since 2009
Structure
Members 51
Political groups New Progressive Party
Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico
Election
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
House Chamber,
Puerto Rico Capitol, San Juan, PR, US
Website
http://www.camaraderepresentantes.org/
Puerto Rico

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Puerto Rico



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The House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (Cámara de Representantes de Puerto Rico) is the lower house of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico. the territorial legislature of Puerto Rico. The House is composed of 40 district representatives and eleven representatives elected at-large.

The House convenes in the Capitol Building in San Juan.

Contents

History

Created in 1900 as the House of Delegates under the Foraker Act, the lower body of the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly was the only elected body until the Senate was created in 1917 under the Jones-Shafroth Act, creating a bicameral legislature.

In 1969, the House was controlled by the New Progressive Party, which also controlled the governorship, but not the Senate, Puerto Rico's first experiment with "split" governments. Angel Viera Martinez, a former prosecutor and freshman representative was elected to the first of three stints as Speaker.

In 1973, the Popular Democratic Party reacquired control of the House but was ousted as the majority party in the 1976 elections, won by the NPP. Viera Martinez was elected in 1977 to his second stint as Speaker.

As a result of the 1980 elections, the new House in 1981 was tied, unable to elect a Speaker, as required, by an absolute majority. House Secretary Cristino Bernazard, who normally would have presided over the House until it elected its new Speaker in its inaugural session, became the first unelected Acting Speaker of the House until, after political wrangling, the House elected Viera Martinez once again as Speaker for the remainder of 1981 and maverick PDP Rep. Severo Colberg as Speaker for the remainder of the term until 1984. During Bernazard's incumbency, he appointed co-chairs to the House standing committees and required that all House decisions and legislation be approved by consensus.

Jose Ronaldo "Rony" Jarabo, served as Speaker from 1985 to 1992 and was succeeded by the first woman Speaker, Zaida Hernandez Torres, who served until 1996.

Edison Misla Aldarondo, Hernandez' Speaker pro Tempore, became Speaker in 1997. After he left office in 2000 he was convicted of corruption charges in federal and state courts. He was succeeded in office by Carlos Vizcarrondo during the 2001-2004 term.

In 2005, as a PDP governor took office but the NPP controlled the Senate and the House, José Aponte Hernández, a loyalist of NPP President Pedro Rossello, was elected as Speaker of the House. In addition to the tension with the executive branch, Aponte's term has been tinged with greater-than-average tension with the Senate, in which his support for Rossello's bid to oust Senate President Kenneth McClintock, whom he has called a "traitor" to his party, took him to lead over 20 NPP representatives to converge on the Senate floor in opposition to McClintock's permanence as Senate President, considered by many the all-time historical low-point in Senate-House relations.

Composition

In order to elect the members of the House, Puerto Rico is divided into forty representative districts. Article VIII of the Constitution of Puerto Rico divides Puerto Rico into eight senatorial districts, each one of them composed of five of the aforementioned representative districts.

For each one of the constituent representative districts, the people of Puerto Rico elect one representative. In addition, the people are allowed to vote for one representative at-large of their preference. The eleven at-large representatives serve alongside district representatives, which totals 51 members.

Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution of Puerto Rico states that no person shall be a member of the Senate unless he:

  • is capable of reading and writing in either Spanish or English;
  • is a citizen of the United States;
  • has resided in Puerto Rico for at least two years immediately prior to the date of his election or appointment;
  • is over twenty-five years of age.
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Leadership

Position Name Party District
Speaker of the House Jenniffer González Colón PNP At-Large
Speaker Pro Tempore Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló PNP District 13
Majority Leader Rolando Crespo PNP At-Large
Majority Whip Angel Perez PNP District 6
Minority Leader Héctor Ferrer PDP At-Large
Minority Whip Luis Raúl Torres Cruz PDP District 2

Current composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
New Progressive Popular Democratic Independence Vacant
End of previous legislature 32 18 1 51 0
Begin 37 14 0 51 0
Latest voting share 72.5% 27.5%

Members of the House of Representatives

District Name Party
1 José López Muñoz PNP
2 Luis Raúl Torres Cruz PDP
3 Albita Rivera Ramírez PNP
4 Liza Fernández Rodríguez PNP
5 Jorge Navarro Suárez PNP
6 Angel Perez Otero PNP
7 Luis Pérez Ortíz PNP
8 Antonio Silva Delgado PNP
9 Angel Rodríguez Miranda PNP
10 Bernardo Márquez García PNP
11 María Vega Pagán PNP
12 Héctor Torres Calderón PNP
13 Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló PNP
14 Paula Rodríguez Homs PNP
15 Arnaldo Jiménez Valle PNP
16 Iván Rodríguez Traverzo PNP
17 José Rivera Guerra PNP
18 David Bonilla Cortés PNP
19 Carlos Hernández López PDP
20 Norman Ramírez Rivera PNP
21 Lydia Méndez Silva PDP
22 Waldemar Quiles Rodríguez PNP
23 Julissa Nolasco Ortíz PNP
24 Luis León Rodríguez PNP
25 Víctor Vasallo Anadón PDP
26 José Jiménez Negrón PNP
27 José Torres Ramírez PDP
28 Rafael Rivera Ortega PNP
29 Pedro Cintrón Rodríguez PNP
30 Jorge Ramos Peña PNP
31 Sylvia Rodríguez Aponte PDP
32 José Varela Fernández PDP
33 Angel Peña Ramírez PNP
34 Cristóbal Colón Ruiz PNP
35 Narden Jaime Espinosa PDP
36 Carlos Méndez Nuñez PNP
37 Angel Bulerín Ramos PNP
38 Eric Correa Rivera PNP
39 Roberto Rivera Ruiz de Porras PDP
40 Elizabeth Casado Irizarry PNP
At-Large José Chico Vega PNP
Rolando Crespo Arroyo PNP
Jenniffer González Colón PNP
María de Lourdes Ramos Rivera PNP
Iris Miriam Ruiz Class PNP
Héctor Ferrer PDP
Jorge Colberg Toro PDP
Luis Vega Ramos PDP
José Aponte Hernández PNP
Carmen Cruz Soto PDP
Luis Farinacci Morales PDP
Rafael Hernández Montañez PDP
Brenda López de Arrarás PDP
Jaime Perelló Borrás PDP

Speakers of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives

Years Speaker Party
1901—1905 unknown
1905—1917 Jose De Diego Union of Puerto Rico
1917—1933 unknown
1933—1941 Miguel A. García Méndez Republican Union/Coalition
1941—1945 Samuel R. Quiñones Popular Democratic
1949—1963 Ernesto Ramos Antonini Popular Democratic
1963—1965 Santiago Polanco Abreu Popular Democratic
1965—1969 unknown
1969—1973 Angel Viera Martinez New Progressive
1973—1977 Luis Ernesto Ramos Yordan Popular Democratic
1977—1981 Angel Viera Martinez New Progressive
January—April 1981 Cristino Bernazard (acting) New Progressive
April—December 1981 Angel Viera Martinez New Progressive
December 1981—1985 Severo Colberg Ramirez Popular Democratic
1985—1993 Jose Ronaldo Jarabo Popular Democratic
1993—1997 Zaida Hernandez Torres New Progressive
1997—2001 Edison Misla Aldarondo New Progressive
2001—2005 Carlos Vizcarrondo Popular Democratic
2005—2009 José Aponte Hernández New Progressive
2009—present Jenniffer González Colón New Progressive

External links


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