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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Launches Task Forces for 115th Congress

Feb 3, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) launched twelve Task Forces. Task Forces are chaired by CHC Members and are responsible for developing policy priorities, positions, and legislation that will be incorporated into an annual Caucus legislative agenda.

For the 115th Congress, the CHC reorganized the Task Force focus areas and added new Task Forces in order to better address the policy needs of Hispanic communities.

Immigration and Border Issues

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (IL-4), Chair

“It’s a very dangerous time for our immigrant community and the opponents of immigration are emboldened by the new President and his agenda. He has taken all the greatest hits of the xenophobes and the haters and put them in one big album. The CHC and our allies across Capitol Hill will do everything we can to preserve legal immigration and defend immigrants, refugees, and the broader community from their attacks.”

Education and Labor

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-3), Chair

“I am proud serve as the CHC Task Force Chair for education and labor. Students and workers share the same threat from this new administration: complete incompetence. Trump has nominated someone to enforce labor laws who spent his career violating the rights of his own workers. And for Education Secretary, he selected someone who has fought tooth and nail to dismantle public education. I am honored to be in this fight, and I am in it to win it.”

Health Care and Mental Health

Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Chair

"Tackling health inequity and serving patients has been my life’s work. It’s why I became a doctor and why I ran for Congress. I am honored to continue my work as the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Task Force on Health Care and Mental Health. I am looking forward to addressing some of the unique health issues Latinos face like lack of access to high-quality, affordable health care, higher rates of chronic illnesses, and the acute impact the repeal of the ACA would have on the Hispanic community.”

Diversity

Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), Chair

“Increasing diversity in all levels of government and the private sector has long been a passion for me. As the most senior Latino Member in Congress, I know how bringing a different perspective to the table can make a difference when the stakes are at their highest. At a time when the new Administration does not reflect the rich mosaic of this country, our work has never been more important. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus so that together we can increase opportunities for people of color in all walks of life.”

Economic Development, Tax Reform and Business Formation

Rep. Tony Cardenas, (CA-29), Chair

“Ensuring access to economic opportunity is crucial in helping Hispanic families and communities succeed and thrive. It’s also important that we continue to support strategic growth with our partners in Latin America. Both of these goals, in turn, strengthen the U.S. economy and create U.S. jobs. As the Chair of the CHC’s Task Force on Economic Development, Tax Reform and Business Formation these will be some of my top priorities. I look forward to working together with our members, businesses, communities, and international partners to move these issues forward.”

Agriculture

Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Chair

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force on Agriculture will focus on advocating for and enacting policies that are in the best interest of farmers, farm workers, and farming communities. America’s agriculture industry is driven by some of the hardest working individuals, including many who immigrated to the United States in hopes of achieving the American Dream for themselves and their families. Thanks to America’s agriculture workforce, families throughout the United States and world enjoy quality and nutritious food and fiber. In addition to supporting the agriculture industry, the Task Force will examine and put forth policy recommendations to improve rural development and nutrition programs for children and families who need assistance.” 

Environment, Public Lands, and Water

Rep. Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Chair

“I’m honored to Chair the Task Force for Environment, Public Lands and Water, to focus on issues at the forefront of our community. There’s nothing more important than protecting the air our families breathe, the water we drink, and where we live.”

Transportation, Infrastructure, and Housing

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Chair

“I am honored to be appointed Chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Investing in transportation, addressing our infrastructure needs, and ensuring affordable housing is accessible to all individuals regardless of race or income is vital to our country’s success. For many communities of color, homeownership remains the epitome of achieving the American Dream. Yet too many are fighting the gentrification of neighborhoods and the residual effects of the housing market crash. Safeguarding adequate funding and federal resources to preserve public housing, maintain our roads, and expand public transportation systems are imperative to healthy communities, thriving cities, and a robust economy. As Chairman, I look forward to working with my CHC colleagues to put forth responsible solutions to address our country’s transportation, infrastructure and housing needs and ensure a stronger future.”

Veterans and Armed Services

Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Chair

 “As a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran, I look forward to expanding my work on behalf of our nation’s service members and veterans in my new role in the CHC. Latinos have proudly served in the United States military throughout our nation’s history, and immigrants who have served in uniform are far too often victims of our broken immigration system. I will fight to insure that all military service is properly honored and that veterans receive the benefits they have rightfully earned.”

Civil Rights and Voting Rights

Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9), Chair

“I am honored to be named the Voting Rights Task Force Chairman. Our vote is our voice and thus it is critical for our Hispanic Caucus to safeguard this sacred right for our community. Now this fight is more important than ever considering President Donald Trump has alleged unsubstantiated voting fraud and is attempting to discourage undocumented individuals from participating in the census. These efforts are a clear attempt to suppress the Hispanic vote and fair representation, and I am ready for the fight!"

Accountability

CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1), Chair

“Checks and balances are a critical element of our Democracy and this Task Force will exercise the power of Congress to check our branches of government and hold governmental institutions accountable to the Constitution and American values. More than ever before, we need a mechanism by which to denounce the overstepping of constitutional power and the erosion of forward progress. I look forward to working with my colleagues and remaining vigilant over our Democracy.”

Latina America and Foreign Affairs

Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35), Chair

“With so many Members with deep roots in Latin America and so many of us representing districts with large foreign-born constituencies, members of the Hispanic Caucus have a unique perspective and a unique voice to contribute to the national foreign policy conversation. At a time when the President wants to build walls and turn away refugees, I am proud to chair the newly-formed Latin America and Foreign Affairs Task Force and look forward to ensuring that our Caucus is a powerful advocate for greater U.S. engagement around the world and for policies that promote global stability and economic growth here at home and abroad.”

Below is a complete list of Task Force Members:

Immigration and Border Issues

  1. Gutierrez (Chair)
  2. Castro
  3. Grijalva
  4. Vargas
  5. Menendez
  6. Espaillat
  7. Kihuen

Education and Labor

  1. Grijalva (Chair)
  2. Sablan
  3. Castro
  4. Gonzalez

Health Care and Mental Health

  1. Ruiz (Chair)
  2. Napolitano
  3. Cardenas
  4. Roybal-Allard

Diversity

  1. Menendez (Chair)
  2. Sires
  3. Lujan
  4. Velazquez

Economic Development, Tax Reform and Business Formation

  1. Cardenas (Chair)
  2. Velazquez
  3. Costa
  4. Aguilar

Agriculture

  1. Costa (Chair)
  2. Vargas
  3. Soto
  4. Gonzalez

Environment, Public Lands and Water

  1. Barragan (Chair)
  2. Grijalva
  3. Napolitano
  4. Sablan

Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing

  1. Espaillat (Chair)
  2. Carbajal
  3. Torres
  4. Vargas
  5. Sires

Veterans and Armed Services

  1. Carbajal (Chair)
  2. Gallego
  3. Gonzalez
  4. Correa

Civil Rights and Voting Rights

  1. Soto (Chair)
  2. Gutierrez
  3. Serrano
  4. Sanchez

Accountability

  1. Lujan Grisham (Chair)
  2. Castro
  3. Gallego
  4. Costa

Latina America and Foreign Affairs

  1. Torres (Chair)
  2. Menendez
  3. Sires

####

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.

 

Media Contact: 

Carlos Paz

202-225-2410

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