Senate Democrats Highlight Accomplishments, Priorities That Benefit Latino Community

Senate Democrats Highlight Accomplishments, Priorities That Benefit Latino Community

Washington - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today joined Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Robert Menéndez (D-NJ) to highlight how Senate Democratic achievements, and legislative priorities will help to improve the lives of the Latino community in the U.S.

"Senate Democrats have heeded the American people's call for change and we have delivered on key priorities for hard working Latino families and all Americans," Reid said. "By putting the public interest ahead of the special interests we are changing the way business is done in Washington, DC. Whether it's giving working families a long overdue pay raise, implementing key 9/11 Commission recommendations, providing healthcare coverage to millions of children, and giving more students the opportunity to achieve a college education, Democrats have worked hard and will continue to fight for a new direction for our nation."

"Last November the American people asked for a new direction in Washington," Salazar said. "From raising the minimum wage to providing healthcare coverage to millions of our children and making college more affordable, we have delivered on that promise. What we have done in the first eight months is a down payment on our commitment to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American dream."

"Latino children are the least insured of any group, and those from working and low-income families will benefit from coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program reauthorization," said Menendez. "An increase in the minimum wage will help working Latinos stay out of poverty. And, the landmark higher education bills will ensure funding for Latinos to participate in graduate programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions. I am proud to say that Senate Democrats have upheld the values that we have promised to defend. We have worked under the belief that everyone in this country deserves the opportunity to build a better life."

Some of the highlights of legislation Senate Democrats have passed and how it benefits Latino families include:

Minimum Wage Increase: 2.3 million Latinos will get a pay raise.

Children's Health bill: 9 million uninsured children will be covered. 3.2 million of uninsured children in the U.S. are Latinos.

Higher Education bill: Will provide $17 billion in additional college aid to students - the largest increase since the G.I. bill - including many Latino students, who comprise 15 % of the college age population, but only 10.4% of current undergraduate students are Hispanic.

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 -- the most sweeping ethics and lobbying reform in a generation: Giving the American people a government as good and as honest as the people it represents.

Implementing key 9/11 Commission recommendations: This bill would make America more secure by implementing remaining critical homeland security recommendations made by the September 11th Commission.

* Attached is a detailed review of these and other initiatives Senate Democrats have advanced to improve the quality of life of Latinos and all hard working American families.