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Plaskett Leads Bold Move to Block DOJ from Denying Territories SSI

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Congresswoman Plaskett Addressing the Rules Committee

Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement demanding change and presenting her amendments, to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4505) in the House Rules Committee. The amendments have gathered strong bipartisan support from Committee on Natural Resources members and members of both parties: 

“The legal discrimination against the 3.5 million Americans living in U.S. territories—the vast majority of whom are racial or ethnic minorities—is sustained by a series of racist, Plessy v. Ferguson-era Supreme Court decisions known collectively as the Insular Cases, which established a controversial legal doctrine of “separate and unequal” status for residents of the territories.” 

“Congress must now step in and act to deter DOJ from defending the challenged discrimination in United States v. Vaello-Madero and other pending cases that deny equal dignity to citizens in the territories by excluding them from the SSI benefits that all other Americans fully enjoy as part of our basic social contract.”