Hispanics Anticipate Leadership Positions

Brian DeBose, Washington Times, Nov. 21, 2006

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Inc. said it expects several members to become subcommittee chairmen under the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, with one member receiving a committee chairmanship.

Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat, is likely to become the chairman of the Small Business Committee in the next Congress.

“No one is challenging her for the committee chairmanship,” said a staffer in her office.

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Other caucus Democrats expected to lead subcommittees—ranging from agriculture to homeland security—include Reps. Joe Baca, Hilda L. Solis, Loretta Sanchez and Grace F. Napolitano all of California, and Ruben Hinojosa of Texas.

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The 21 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) are focused on passing a comprehensive immigration reform package in the next Congress, something that was left out of the Democrats’ “New Direction for America” package of legislative priorities.

“We are hopeful that we can push comprehensive immigration reform to the top of the party’s agenda,” said a senior Democratic staffer.

“Senator Arlen Specter said he wanted to bring immigration reform up for a vote before this Congress ends, and most Democrats and the president are for comprehensive immigration reform,” the staffer said.

Now that Democrats are taking control of the House and Senate, CHC members are more confident about getting the comprehensive reform package that passed the Senate last summer to the House floor, which was blocked by the House Republican leadership.

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