Friday, July 19, 2024

Record Number of Latinos Sworn in to 113th Congress

113 Congress Latinos
A record number of Latinos were sworn in yesterday to the 113th Congress, with three U.S. Senators and 28 Latino House members making up the historic number.

According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the 113th Congress is “the largest class [of Latinos] in our nation’s history.”

Nine of these 31 Latinos are first-time members of Congress, with individuals like Ted Cruz (R-TX) becoming the first Latino to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, Joaquin Castro (twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro), who is taking the seat of retiring veteran Representative Charlie Gonzalez, and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), who is the first Latina in New Mexico to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This new Congress has an opportunity to change the legacy of the 112th Congress,” says Sylvia Manzano, Political Scientist from Latino Decisions. “Latino voters do feel they have some political capital after the election, and voters expect legislation and action on issues such as the economy and immigration reform.”

While the majority Latino representatives sworn in yesterday are Democrats, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair and Texas Democratic Congressman Rubén Hinojosa says, “[w]e now have an unprecedented 26 members in our Caucus. Now it’s our responsibility to unite with all members of Congress.”

“I hope to work in a bipartisan manner with my colleagues to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges, such as the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” says Florida’s new Congressman Joe Garcia, the first Democratic Cuban-American elected to Congress from the state. “No political party is right all the time, which is why I am committed to listening to members from both parties – on behalf of America’s families.”

NBC Latino