Congressional Hispanic Caucus

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Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives. Now it is a bicameral Congressional organization. In the 112th Congress it had 24 Members, 1 in the U.S. Senate, and 23 Members in the U.S House of Representatives.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez is the Chairwoman, Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez is the 1st Vice Chair, Rep. Rubén Hinojosa is the 2nd Vice Chair and Rep. John T. Salazar is the Whip.

In November 2012, Representative Ruben Hinojosa was selected as a new chair of the Caucus. He succeeds Charlie Gonzalez, who chose not to seek re-election.[1]

History

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus was organized in 1976 by five Hispanic Congressmen: Herman Badillo (NY), Baltasar Corrada del Río (PR), Kika de la Garza (TX), Henry B. Gonzalez (TX) and Ed Roybal (CA), to serve as a legislative organization through which legislative action, as well as executive and judicial actions, could be monitored to ensure the needs of Hispanics were being met. It was staffed by Raquel Marquez Frankel, who had grown up in Silver City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and had become, in 1947, the first Latina to attend the University of New Mexico School of Law.[2]

Cuba trip/controversy

Becerra's trip to Cuba in January 1997 caused such a furor last week that Florida's two Republican Cuban-American Congress members from Dade County-Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen-quit the House Hispanic Caucus in protest.

It left the caucus, which is chaired by California Democrat Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Los Angeles Latino, bereft of Republican representation.

Diaz-Balart said the congressman's trip "to meet with the Cuban tyrant while Becerra was campaigning for caucus chairman "manifested a gross insensitivity toward the pain of all who have been victims of the Cuban tyranny.

Becerra wrote in his disclosure form of his Dec. 5-10 trip that he had gone there ``to study the impact of Helms-Burton and the effects of the embargo on supplies of food and medicine.

The trip was sponsored by a Los Angeles-based pro-democracy group called the Southwest Voter Research Institute, which picked up his $1,800 tab.

So controversial was the trip that Becerra's offices in both Washington and Los Angeles refused to return telephone calls discussing his motives in making it.

Becerra traveled with fellow California Democrat Esteban Torres, whose spokesman said the congressman was going to not comment on the trip for a while. [3]

Communist Party Discusses Democrat Caucuses at 2012 intern'l Communist Meeting

A report praising Barack Obama, and the changes wrought by him, as well as coomunist connection to the Democratic Party, was delivered at the 14th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, held in Beirut, Lebanon, November 22-25, by Erwin Marquit, member of the International Department, CPUSA.[4]

We express our gratitude to the Lebanese Communist Party for hosting this important meeting under the present difficult conditions.
The Communist Party USA not only welcomes the reelection of President Barack Obama, but actively engaged in the electoral campaign for his reelection and for the election of many Democratic Party congressional candidates. We regarded the 2012 election as the most important in the United States since 1932, an election held in the midst of the Great Depression...
Because of this danger, we viewed our participation in mainstream electoral activity as obligatory, even though both major parties in the United States are dominated by capital, with no effective competition from a mass-scale social-democratic party, We are aware that some on the Left in the United States thought that the correct approach to the elections was either to boycott them, or as a protest, to run or support small-scale left-wing candidacies with no possible chance of winning. We Communists rejected this strategy because too much was at stake.
Faced with a choice between the victory of either the Democratic Party or Republican Party, the Communist Party viewed a victory of the far-right Republican Party as an extreme disaster. In this situation, we saw the necessity of a policy of center-left alliances in order not to separate ourselves from the people’s struggles for dealing with the far right onslaught, The basis of such an alliance now includes the labor movement, organizations of African Americans and Latinos, the women’s movement, gay and lesbian civil rights groups, and organizations of the elderly and retirees. On some issues, these groups are joined by a few far-sighted elements of capital...
In our electoral policy, we seek to cooperate and strengthen our relationship with the more progressive elements in Democratic Party, such as the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. Congress, a group of seventy-six members of the Congress co-chaired by Raúl Grijalva, a Latino from Arizona, and Keith Ellison, an African American Muslim from Minnesota. We also will strengthen our relationship to the Congressional Black Caucus (formed by African Americans in the Congress), which has been the point of origin of innovative policies including an end to the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba, and with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. In its domestic policy, for example, the Progressive Caucus has put forth a program for using the public sector to deal with unemployment. It has opposed the use of the so called “war on terror” to incarcerate U.S. citizens indefinitely without criminal charges. In its foreign policy, the Progressive Caucus and the Black Caucus are outspoken in their opposition to U.S. imperialist policies abroad. The Progressive Caucus, now that Obama has been reelected, will be playing an important role in contributing to the mobilization of mass activity on critical issues to bring pressure on the Congress and administration to act on them...
While the victory of Obama is a welcome aid for us in our domestic struggles, we still face the challenge of mobilizing mass pressure on his administration to reverse the imperialist character of U.S. foreign policy. The CPUSA will pursue this formidable task vigorously in alliance with domestic progressive forces and with our comrades in the Communist and Workers’ Parties and their allies throughout the world.

Members

114th Congress

Officers

Current

113th Congress

Officers

Current

112th Congress

External links

References