Puerto Rico celebrates 1st female US Congress representative

Associated Press
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A woman is for the first time serving as Puerto Rico's representative in U.S. Congress.

Jenniffer Gonzalez, who was sworn in on Tuesday, has said she plans to submit a statehood bill shortly afterward.

She says she also plans to submit measures to give Puerto Rico obtain the same Medicaid and Medicare benefits as U.S. states.

The measures are aimed in part at alleviating the U.S. territory's decade-long economic slump that has prompted more than 200,000 people to leave for the U.S. mainland.

Gonzalez is allowed to serve on U.S. House committees but has limited voting powers as Puerto Rico's resident commissioner. She is a Republican and once served as speaker of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives.

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