Pedro R. Pierluisi has been Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Washington since January 2009. A member of the national Democratic Party and the local pro-statehood New Progressive Party, he is the sole representative in Congress of the 3.6 million American citizens who reside on the Island.
In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Congressman Pierluisi was a member of three committees: the Judiciary Committee, where he served as Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and on the Subcommittee on Immigration; the Education and Labor Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee.
Pierluisi helped secure billions of dollars in federal grants and tax credits for Puerto Rico under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and worked to ensure that Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories were treated fairly in the landmark health care bill known as the Affordable Care Act. The legislation tripled Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and extended many important consumer protections and insurance market reforms to the Island. In addition, Congressman Pierluisi’s bill, H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, authorized a congressionally-sponsored referendum process in Puerto Rico to determine the Island’s future political status and was approved by the House of Representatives in a strong bipartisan vote.
In the 112th Congress (2011-2012), Pierluisi continued his service on the Judiciary Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, and was also the first delegate ever appointed to the Ethics Committee, which investigates alleged violations of laws and House rules by Members of Congress.
In the current 113th Congress (2013-2014), Pierluisi again serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, and the Ethics Committee. He is leading an ongoing effort to increase the level of federal resources dedicated to combat crime in Puerto Rico and, as a result of his efforts, the Department of Homeland Security surged personnel to the Island in 2013. Following a November 2012 local referendum in which a majority of voters rejected the current status and more voters expressed a preference for statehood than any other status option, Congressman Pierluisi introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 2000, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of statehood, provides for an up-or-down vote in Puerto Rico on the territory’s admission as a state, and lays out the steps the president and Congress would take if a majority of voters favor admission.
Congressman Pierluisi's priorities include initiatives to improve life for his constituents in the areas of job creation, economic development, education, health care, infrastructure, and crime control.
Born in San Juan, Congressman Pierluisi is an attorney with 24 years of legal experience in the public and private sector. He is a graduate of Tulane University and The George Washington University Law School. He began his career in Washington, working for six years as a litigator at an internationally-recognized law firm.
From 1993 to 1996, Pierluisi served as Attorney General of Puerto Rico. In that role, he supervised over 500 attorneys and argued two landmark constitutional law cases before the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. He was active in the National Association of Attorneys General and served as Chairman of its Eastern Region in 1996.
As Attorney General, Pierluisi coordinated efforts between state and federal law enforcement agencies on the Island. His anti-corruption strategy eliminated the practice of “phantom” employees in the Puerto Rico Legislature—individuals who are on the government payroll even though they do not perform government work. During his tenure, Pierluisi distinguished himself in the fight against crime. He was tapped by the White House to lobby Congress to approve the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, known as the Crime Bill. Pierluisi helped secure passage of that legislation and obtained Puerto Rico’s designation as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area under the bill.
After more than 10 successful years in private law practice, Pierluisi decided to return to public service, running for the position of Resident Commissioner.
Pierluisi, the son of former Puerto Rico Housing Secretary Jorge Pierluisi and Doris Urrutia, has four children and is married to Maria Elena Carrión.