From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Hispanic Summit Highlights Democratic Initiatives for Jobs, Opportunity and Prosperity

September 25, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- Congressional Democrats outlined key economic initiatives that will help improve the livelihood of millions of Hispanics, and called on Republicans to support these important Jobs, Opportunity, Prosperity measures during today's 4th Annual Democratic Hispanic Leadership Summit.

Building on the Compromiso Demócrata con el Pueblo Latino, the Democratic Hispanic Agenda Congressional Democrats unveiled in July, Democrats today called for immediate action -- based on the same Democratic economic policies that resulted in the Hispanic unemployment rate dropping from an average of 11.6 percent in 1992 to an average of 5.8 percent in 2000 -- to rebuild the American economy and create good paying jobs for Hispanics.

"The jobs crisis in America has clouded the futures of all families, especially Hispanic families. Democrats are eager to work with our partners in the Hispanic community to find solutions that will help Hispanic families create a better future for their children and achieve their full promise," said Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.

"The economic provisions of our Hispanic Agenda: Compromiso Demócrata con el Pueblo Latino will ensure that every Hispanic American has the opportunity to achieve the American dream," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "More than half a million Hispanics have lost their jobs since President Bush took office. That is a national tragedy that the President and Republicans in Congress have failed to address. Democrats will continue to fight for tax policies, small business programs and educational improvements that will create jobs and grow the economy."

More than 500,000 Hispanic Americans have lost their jobs since President Bush took office. In fact, the unemployment rate for Latinos has risen from 5.8 percent in January of 2001 to 7.8 percent today.

The Democratic initiatives highlighted today include:

  • Raising the Minimum Wage
  • Providing the Child Tax Credit for Low Income Families
  • Giving Small Businesses a Health Tax Credit
  • Protecting Overtime Pay for All American Workers
  • Enacting a Multi-year Highway Bill
  • Tax Credits to Keep Manufacturing Jobs in the US
  • Extending and Expanding Unemployment Insurance

"Democratic values are Hispanic values," said Senator Clinton. "By coming together today with some of the nation's most important Hispanic leaders, we hope we can send a signal to this Administration and this Congress that we must address the economic hardships so many Latino families are experiencing."

"This Democratic proposal reflects our values and our commitment to the future of this nation, and will provide Latinos with a brighter, more successful future. While Republicans choose to reward the wealthy with huge tax cuts, they chip away at the very foundation of our economy -- immigrant workers -- we Democrats will not stand for that. Democrats seek to empower these families and children by providing real economic opportunities," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

"In order to secure a viable future for the growing Hispanic community it's important that leaders from the public, private and non-profit sector engage in an open dialogue that explores areas of economic growth and empowerment. Hispanics have a buying power in the billions and make up a large portion of the workforce. If America is to continue to be a global business and economic leader, it's vital that our nation prepare today so tomorrow our citizens have the tools and opportunity to succeed," said Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, CHC Chair. "Economic stability for our community doesn't include only supporting corporate America, it also includes giving parents the chance to save enough money to send their children to college and knowing that owning your own home is an option. Most of all, economic security means opening the doors to the American promise of prosperity and opportunity."

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