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Congressional Hispanic Caucus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Congressional Hispanic Caucus
ChairNanette Barragán
FoundedDecember 1976; 47 years ago (1976-12)[1]
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Seats in the House
37 / 435
(plus 1 non-voting)
Seats in the House Democratic Caucus
37 / 213
(plus 1 non-voting)
Seats in the Senate
4 / 100
Official website Edit this at Wikidata

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is an organization of 38 Democratic members of the United States Congress of Hispanic and Latino descent.[2][3] The Caucus focuses on issues affecting Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. The CHC was founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives. The CHC is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As of the 118th Congress, the CHC is composed entirely of Democrats, although at its founding it was a bipartisan organization. Hispanic Republican members of Congress formed the Congressional Hispanic Conference in 2003 after leaving in the late 1990s over policy differences. The CHC has refused to admit Republican members in recent years, denying admission to Carlos Curbelo in 2017 and Mayra Flores in 2022.


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus aims to address national and international issues that directly impact the Hispanic community. The function of the CHC is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda. In addition to covering legislative action, the CHC also monitors executive and judicial issues at the federal level.[4]

Senator Bob Menendez, a Cuban American from New Jersey, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Mexican American from Nevada, Senator Ben Ray Luján a Mexican American from New Mexico, and Senator Alex Padilla, a Mexican American from California are currently the only members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from the Senate. The remaining 38 members are from the House.


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) 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 Edward 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.[5] The goal was to work in conjunction with other groups, both inside and outside Congress, to strengthen Federal commitment to Hispanics and heighten the community's awareness of the operation and function of the American political system.

As of 2023, the CHC is composed entirely of Democrats, although at its founding it was a bipartisan organization. The Republican members left in the late 1990s over policy differences and, in 2003, formed their own group, the Congressional Hispanic Conference. In 2017, the Caucus declined to admit Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who would have been the only Republican member. In 2022, Rep. Mayra Flores, a Republican, was denied membership as well.



Current membership

Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 118th United States Congress

United States Senate



New Jersey:

New Mexico:

United States House of Representatives







New Jersey:

New Mexico:

New York:

Northern Mariana Islands:






Joe Baca's Tenure as Chairman

On January 31, 2007, a story on the website reported that Rep. Joe Baca had called Rep. Loretta Sanchez a "whore" in a conversation with Speaker of the California Assembly Fabian Núñez, prompting Sanchez to resign from the CHC. Rep. Baca has denied this charge,[10] but two other CHC members, Linda Sánchez (Loretta's sister) and Hilda Solis, expressed support for Loretta Sanchez.[11] In the case of Solis, Baca called her "a kiss-up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi," for which he apologized to Solis both privately and publicly.[12]

A year prior to the "whore" incident, the CHC's political action committee gave $3,000 to Baca's children's campaigns for state offices in California. Although Baca recused himself from the decision to make the contributions, six members of the caucus criticized the decision, saying that CHC's PAC should support only federal candidates. Consequently, on November 15, 2006, when Joe Baca was elected chair of the CHC, Solis and the Sanchez sisters challenged his election, saying that the voting should have been done by a secret ballot.[12]

On Monday, April 2, 2007, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez closed her offices in honor of César Estrada Chávez Day, a state holiday in California (which fell on a Saturday that year). CHC chair Baca made the following comment on Sánchez's decision to close the office: "I believe the best way to observe César Estrada Chávez Day is not by taking the day off from work or school."[13] On April 12, Linda Sánchez announced that she had suspended her membership in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, citing "a need for structural reforms to ensure that the caucus is more equitable and inclusive of all its members." She specifically stated that her decision "was not based on personal animus directed at Baca."[14]

Other controversies

On June 30, 2013, Congressman Filemon Vela Jr. resigned from the CHC, citing opposition to the Senate immigration bill which the CHC endorsed, saying: "Opponents of serious immigration reform are extracting a pound of flesh in this process by conditioning a pathway to citizenship on the construction of more ineffective border fence."[15][16]

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has received support over the years from Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego and Azteca America.[17] Andres Ramirez, a Nevada political consultant, and Kevin de León, the President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, have worked together to route money from Azteca America to various caucus groups and political campaigns, as Pliego is a known rival to Carlos Slim, whom both de Leon and Ramirez have attacked through the use of phony groups such as "Two Countries One Voice". Ramirez has appeared at functions for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.[18] The effort to recruit past students and fellows involved in programs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has caused some political bloggers to speculate over the effort by California State Senator de Leon and his colleague California State Senator Jim Beall to use their legislative staffs, some of whom have been involved in programs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to take over several local groups of California Democratic Party State Central Committee delegations for the purpose of establishing control for de Leon and his allies.[19]

In November 2017, the caucus refused to admit Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo, who would have been the only Republican in the caucus.[20] In October 2022, it also denied admission to Republican congresswoman Mayra Flores, who was the first Mexican-born congresswoman.[21]

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

In October 1981, the House Committee on House Administration drafted new regulations stipulating that fundraising activities were to be moved off all government premises. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus decided to maintain a legislative support organization on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and moved the non-profit, fundraising organization, today known as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc. to a new residence.[22]


The CHC BOLD PAC (officially the Committee for Hispanic Causes-BOLD PAC and sometimes referred to as simply BOLD PAC) is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' political arm, endorsing Democratic and especially Hispanic candidates.[23][24] Ruben Gallego was the chair of the group until 2023,[25] the current chair is Linda Sánchez.[26] The group raised $8.7 million during the 2018 election cycle.[27]


See also


  1. ^ "About the Congressional Hispanic Caucus". United States House of Representatives.
  2. ^ "Congressional Hispanic Caucus". Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  3. ^ Bernal, Rafael (January 2, 2019). "Hispanic Caucus boasts record membership in new Congress". The Hill. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "About the Congressional Hispanic Caucus". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. June 26, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  5. ^ Nancy Harbert, ed. (2010). "60 for 60: Shaping Law in New Mexico Since 1950".
  6. ^ "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Announces Leadership for 118th Congress". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. December 15, 2022.
  7. ^ "Chairman Joaquin Castro Welcomes Newest Members to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus". Congressman Joaquin Castro. January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019.
  9. ^ Figueroa, Ariana (November 18, 2022). "Congressional Hispanic Caucus welcomes new House members, reflects on Latino vote". New Jersey Monitor.
  10. ^ "Sanchez Accuses Democrat of Calling Her a 'Whore,' Resigns from Hispanic Group". Politico.
  11. ^ "Two More Reps. Complain About Treatment of Women in Hispanic Caucus". Politico.
  12. ^ a b "Women Call for Change in Caucus". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ "Rep. Baca wags finger at Sanchez for closing office for César Chávez Day". The Hill. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007.
  14. ^ "Linda Sanchez Leaves Hispanic Caucus". Politico.
  15. ^ "Filemon Vela explains his resignation from Congressional Hispanic Caucus, says immigration foes are "extracting a pound of flesh" as price of reform". The Houston Chronicle.
  16. ^ "Rep. Filemon Vela quits Congressional Hispanic Caucus to protest lawmakers' acceptance of border "militarization"". The Houston Chronicle.
  17. ^ "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Announces New Partnership with Fundacion Azteca America and Grupo Salinas for International Fellowship Program in Mexico". Wilmington, N.C.: WECT. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cato Financial Times: Did Andres Ramirez of Nevada violate Nevada State Ethics Laws in creating Two Countries One Voice on behalf of deLeon and Mercury Public Affairs?". December 4, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "A look inside San Jose politics and culture". San Jose Inside. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  20. ^ Alex Daugherty (November 16, 2017). "Hispanic caucus tells Cuban American he can't join the club — he's too Republican". Miami Herald.
  21. ^ Choi, Matthew (October 26, 2022). "Republican Mayra Flores rejected from all-Democratic Hispanic caucus". The Texas Tribune.
  22. ^ "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute". December 6, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "PAC Profile: Committee for Hispanic Causes". Open Secrets. BOLD PAC. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  24. ^ Raju, Manu; Rogers, Alex (November 25, 2020). "Democratic fight emerges ahead of appointment to fill Kamala Harris' Senate seat". CNN. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  25. ^ Bowman, Bridget (October 7, 2021). "Democrats: Push to pressure Sinema won't distract from Kelly's 2022 Senate race". Roll Call. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  26. ^ "Linda Sánchez is the new chair of BOLD PAC, the campaign arm of the Hispanic Caucus. She'll be the first woman to lead the organization". Politico. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  27. ^ Severns, Maggie (September 20, 2018). "Democratic lawmakers launch PAC to elect more women to Congress". Politico. Retrieved October 22, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 May 2024, at 18:39
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