Political Status of Puerto Rico: Brief Background and Recent Developments for Congress [Updated July 27, 2022] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "This report provides policy and historical background about Puerto Rico's 'political status'-- referring to the relationship between the federal government and a territorial one. Congress has not altered the island's status since 1952, when it approved a territorial constitution. Status is the lifeblood of Puerto Rican politics, spanning policy and partisan lines in ways that are unfamiliar on the mainland. Because the U.S. Constitution grants Congress broad discretion over territories, the House and Senate may choose to reexamine Puerto Rico's political status, or to decline to do so. If Congress chose to alter Puerto Rico's political status, it could do so through statute regardless of whether a plebiscite were held or what sentiment such a vote revealed."
CRS Report for Congress, R44721
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/