Thursday, November 15, 2012
Congressman Luján Elected First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congresswoman elect Michelle Lujan Grisham elected Whip
Two Huge Cheers for New Mexico's Congressman Ben Ray Lujan elected First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus by his colleagues! And Congresswoman elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham elected as Whip.
Congressman Luján issued the following press release from the CHC announcing the caucus’ new leadership. (Photo at right from Santa Fe Reporter)
Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20) released this statement following the election of Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX 15) as CHC Chairman for the 113th Congress, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM03) as First Vice Chair, Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA39) as Second Vice Chair and Congresswoman-elect Michelle Luján Grisham (NM01) as Whip.
Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20): “It has been an honor to serve as CHC Chairman alongside Congressman Hinojosa and I’m certain that his extensive experience as a legislator and an advocate for Hispanic issues will greatly benefit the CHC of the 113th Congress.“Congressman Hinojosa’s passion for extending opportunities to Hispanic youth was demonstrated by his tireless efforts on the CHC’s Education Task Force and as First Vice Chair. I look forward to seeing how his abilities as a strong leader and advocate, combined with the largest delegation of Latinos to ever serve in Congress, will advance the issues most vital to our community.”
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX 15), Chair-elect:
"I want to thank my colleagues for showing their support as I proudly take on the role of the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. For 36 years the CHC has focused on legislative priorities covering all areas that have a direct impact on the Hispanic or Latino community. We will continue to bring new ideas and new vigor to pave our way towards our great future in this country.
“In the 113th Congress we will have 30 Latinos in Congress. This is the largest Hispanic group in our nation's history to serve in Congress. The recent Presidential election proves that the Latino vote is a crucial voting bloc. No longer will our voices be silenced. No longer will we be placed in the back of the line.
“The challenges we face are arduous and no doubt we will suffer some set-backs during our climb, but we will not turn back. I along with my fellow CHC colleagues will join with President Obama as we work to pass comprehensive immigration reform. We will work together to not only allow DREAM Act students to earn a college degree, but to grant them a path to citizenship in the U.S.A., the country they already call home.
“As the new Chairman of the CHC, I will work to reorganize task forces to address high priority issues such as: our economy and creating jobs, addressing and improving the way home mortgages and micro loans are handled for our Latino communities and small businesses. On health care, we will address particular areas of the Affordable Care Act and make certain that our doctors and hospitals are reimbursed. In education we must protect the Pell Grant so that it does not drop below the current $5,550. We will also see that the Direct Federal College Loan Program continues to offer our children an opportunity to register and attend college.
“Again, I thank my colleagues for their faith in me and together we will continue to improve the quality of life for not only the Latino community but for all Americans."
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM03): “This is an important time for the Hispanic community across the country as we have seen our numbers and influence increase in all facets, from government to small businesses. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as First Vice Chair, and I look forward to working with them and my colleagues in the House to advocate for an agenda that helps Hispanics, and indeed all Americans, by growing our economy, spurring job creation, and investing in education.”
Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA39): “It is an honor to have been selected by my colleagues to serve as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Second Vice-Chair. I look forward to working with the CHC to address the issues that matter most to Latinos. I am excited to work with the CHC to ensure we create jobs, grow our economy, and achieve comprehensive immigration reform. It is also with great pleasure that I welcome the new members of the CHC. Together we will fight to ensure that Latinos have a strong voice in Congress.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.