Senate Democrats' Statement On Hispanic Task Force 20th Anniversary

Senate Democrats' Statement On Hispanic Task Force 20th Anniversary

Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico honored for leadership in establishing HTF two decades ago

Washington - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force (HTF); Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee; and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) joined HTF members and Latino leaders in celebrating the group's 20th anniversary. Senator Bingaman, who founded the HTF in 1989, was honored at the reception for his visionary leadership in addressing the needs and promoting policy issues of importance to the Hispanic community. This year marks the HTF's highest membership since its inception with 44 members.

Senator Reid said: "As the 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, Senate Democrats are proud to celebrate an important milestone in our history as a caucus. Twenty years ago, when the Senate had no Latino representation, Sen. Bingaman had the visionary foresight to create the Hispanic Task Force, designed to create a direct conduit between Democratic Senators and the Hispanic community. Throughout the years, the group has effectively addressed issues impacting Latinos across the country, and although we still have much more to do, I am proud of the working relationships and legislative work it has produced. I commend Sen. Bingaman for his vision and commitment to the Hispanic community, and I join the rest of the Hispanic Task Force members in celebrating this memorable anniversary."

Senator Menendez said: "I am thrilled to celebrate 20 years of continued work and achievements on behalf of the Hispanic community in the United States. As the only Hispanic Senator and Chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, I am well aware how the Hispanic voice in the national dialogue continues to grow and how important it is to pay attention. I applaud Senator Bingaman for conceiving this important group and his sustained and unrelenting support of the Hispanic community."

Senator Stabenow said: "Twenty years ago, Democrats started an important organization to ensure that the priorities of the Hispanic community were reflected in the work of the Senate. Through the Hispanic Task Force, Senate Democrats have created and strengthened relationships with Hispanic leaders and the organizations they represent from all parts of the country," said Sen. Stabenow. "As the Senate moves forward in reforming the health insurance industry, building our clean-energy economy, and putting Americans back to work, we look forward to continuing these relationships to ensure the voice of the Latino community is included. On this 20th anniversary celebration, I'd like to thank Sen. Bingaman for his vision in creating this important group, and all the Democratic Senators who have joined to give the Hispanic Task Force of the 111th Congress its largest membership in history."

Senator Jeff Bingaman said: "Over the last 20 years the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force has been instrumental in helping develop and implement policies that affect the Hispanic and Latino community. There is still much to be done and I look forward to continuing to work with the task force to help address issues of importance for Hispanics and the country."