Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is furious about how the GOP tax scam targets his island — and he has a plan to make them pay.
One of the undereported aspects of the GOP tax scam which Donald Trump will sign into law in the coming weeks is its impact on Puerto Rico.
Due to the way the bill taxes goods shipped to the mainland, Puerto Rico will see an enormous tax increase on manufacturing businesses, one of the island’s main sources of employment. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has called the bill “a much more devastating blow to our economy than Irma and Maria put together.”
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is enraged that Republicans are plundering his already-devastated island to pay for tax cuts for millionaires — and according to Politico, he intends to fight back by encouraging the 5.3 million Puerto Ricans living across the mainland to vote out House Republicans in 14 different states.
“We are a significant voting bloc in the United States that perhaps hasn’t been organized well in the past,” he said. “The diaspora, the Puerto Rican exodus, has always wanted to help Puerto Rico, it just hasn’t been crystal clear how they can do it. If we can establish that organization we can have plenty of influence.” [...]
So far, he figures they can sway congressional district votes in 14 states, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Rosselló is not making an idle threat. The voting power of Puerto Ricans is growing. As the Trump administration leaves the island to its fate, more and more families are fleeing for the mainland. 130,000 Puerto Ricans settled in Florida just since the hurricanes this year.
Moreover, Rosselló’s promise comes at a moment when House Republicans are historically vulnerable.
Democrats lead by 18 points on the generic ballot. The latest data from Public Policy Polling shows Republicans trailing in 25 red Congressional districts, and Democrats competitive in another 11. Democrats need to flip a net of 24 seats to win the House next year.
Since Puerto Rico has no vote in Congress, House Republicans assumed they could tax the island with no consequences. They forgot that as American citizens, Puerto Ricans can still vote with their feet.