A new Congress arrives but is it ‘Hispanic friendly?’

The canapés and cocktails from last week’s congressional parties are long gone but the wheeling and dealing that went on are probably still lingering in congressional minds. Thousands of congressional constituents and supporters invaded Washington, DC last week to help welcome the new House and Senate members while at the same time cheer on those already there. With the celebratory festivities over, it’s back to work for our elected congressional officials. But just what is that work going to be about and how does it affect our Hispanic community? SEE ALSO: Top issues Latinos want the 144th Congress to address The 114th Congress ruled by the Republican Party has a long list of legislative issues to debate and eventually send to the president for his signature for final passage. But before members of congress took their hand off the bible last week, the White House and the new Republican congressional leaders began sparring over which issues they plan to work on together. We know that one key issue that will be on the table almost immediately is the Keystone Pipeline, which Republicans favor but not the White House. President Obama began sending signals that he was likely to veto any such legislation. We also know that Republicans in both the House and Senate want to repeal Obamacare or at the very least, make serious amendments to the already standing legislation. This would very likely cause a fight between the White House and Congress that has every possibility of lasting until Obama leaves office, which means nothing gets done in this critically important area of public health. Then there is the contentious immigration reform issue that seems to draw Republicans and Democrats farther apart than together and which also means little or no progress will be accomplished.   All of these issues have the potential to seriously impact our Hispanic community; i.e., the Keystone Pipeline would bring many jobs, Obamacare, if sensibly amended, could end up providing more and better affordable health care to our community and if immigration reform legislation is passed that includes security and a path to legal residency it could mean that the millions here illegally could come out of the shadows and become an integral part of our every day society. But legislation doesn’t come easy and with the ongoing disagreements that continue to divide Republicans and Democrats we may be in for a slow long haul. Of course Hispanic members of both the House and Senate could be major players in passing “Hispanic friendly legislation.” But their numbers while record breaking, 29 in the House and 3 in the Senate for a total of 32 doesn’t guarantee passage of this type of legislation. Take Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, he is against any kind of amnesty for the millions here illegally, thus Hispanics cannot count on him to rally for long overdue and “friendly legislation” that will help millions in our community. However, there are other Hispanics in congress that are of reasonable minds and for now it appears that Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois and Republican Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho will be actively involved and may just save the day for immigration reform. We know where Republican legislators stand on issues critical to our community but what we don’t know is how much our Hispanic members of congress are going to stand up and fight for passage of that type of legislation. SEE ALSO: The 114th Congress features five new Latinos It goes without saying that no member of Congress is elected to represent only the interests of a particular ethnic, racial or religious group but certainly our Hispanic community which has long been ignored when it comes to being included in the passage of major legislation, deserves to be heard. Our Latinos in congress can began to change the conversation in this regard and our voices will have to be heard but that will be up to us to carry the day. We Latinos want to become “a pain in the rear,” if you will, so all of congress hears our concerns not just the Hispanic members.The post A new Congress arrives but is it ‘Hispanic friendly?’ appeared first on Voxxi.

Washington was abuzz last week when thousands of congressional constituents and supporters invaded Washington, DC to help welcome the new House and Senate members, but will they work together across the aisle?

The canapés and cocktails from last week’s congressional parties are long gone but the wheeling and dealing that went on are probably still lingering in congressional minds. Thousands of congressional constituents and supporters invaded Washington, DC last week to help welcome the new House and Senate members while at the same time cheer on those already there. With the celebratory festivities over, it’s back to work for our elected congressional officials. But just what is that work going to be about and how does it affect our Hispanic community?

SEE ALSO: Top issues Latinos want the 144th Congress to address

The 114th Congress ruled by the Republican Party has a long list of legislative issues to debate and eventually send to the president for his signature for final passage. But before members of congress took their hand off the bible last week, the White House and the new Republican congressional leaders began sparring over which issues they plan to work on together.

We know that one key issue that will be on the table almost immediately is the Keystone Pipeline, which Republicans favor but not the White House. President Obama began sending signals that he was likely to veto any such legislation. We also know that Republicans in both the House and Senate want to repeal Obamacare or at the very least, make serious amendments to the already standing legislation.

This would very likely cause a fight between the White House and Congress that has every possibility of lasting until Obama leaves office, which means nothing gets done in this critically important area of public health. Then there is the contentious immigration reform issue that seems to draw Republicans and Democrats farther apart than together and which also means little or no progress will be accomplished.

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All of these issues have the potential to seriously impact our Hispanic community; i.e., the Keystone Pipeline would bring many jobs, Obamacare, if sensibly amended, could end up providing more and better affordable health care to our community and if immigration reform legislation is passed that includes security and a path to legal residency it could mean that the millions here illegally could come out of the shadows and become an integral part of our every day society.

Chamber of Congress will soon be filled with some new faces.
Chamber of Congress will soon be filled with some new faces.

But legislation doesn’t come easy and with the ongoing disagreements that continue to divide Republicans and Democrats we may be in for a slow long haul. Of course Hispanic members of both the House and Senate could be major players in passing “Hispanic friendly legislation.” But their numbers while record breaking, 29 in the House and 3 in the Senate for a total of 32 doesn’t guarantee passage of this type of legislation.

Take Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, he is against any kind of amnesty for the millions here illegally, thus Hispanics cannot count on him to rally for long overdue and “friendly legislation” that will help millions in our community.

However, there are other Hispanics in congress that are of reasonable minds and for now it appears that Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois and Republican Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho will be actively involved and may just save the day for immigration reform. We know where Republican legislators stand on issues critical to our community but what we don’t know is how much our Hispanic members of congress are going to stand up and fight for passage of that type of legislation.

SEE ALSO: The 114th Congress features five new Latinos

It goes without saying that no member of Congress is elected to represent only the interests of a particular ethnic, racial or religious group but certainly our Hispanic community which has long been ignored when it comes to being included in the passage of major legislation, deserves to be heard.

Our Latinos in congress can began to change the conversation in this regard and our voices will have to be heard but that will be up to us to carry the day. We Latinos want to become “a pain in the rear,” if you will, so all of congress hears our concerns not just the Hispanic members.

The post A new Congress arrives but is it ‘Hispanic friendly?’ appeared first on Voxxi.