NHLA Press Releases

Latino Leaders: Budget Deal Must Not Come on the Backs of Low-Income Families, Latinos

Estuardo Rodriguez, Estuardo@rabengroup.com, (202) 631-2892
Chris Espinosa, cespinosa@hispanicfederation.org, (202) 641-7186

Hyper-partisanship, drastic cuts to vital programs, including education, health, and small business, will devastate economy, Hispanic community

WASHINGTON, DC – As the President and Congress work towards an agreement on federal spending as part of a deal to increase the nation’s debt limit, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States, warned against slashing federal education, health, small business, and other programs that Hispanics and millions of other Americans rely on. Trillions of dollars in cuts to domestic spending have been proposed which could devastate job training programs, loans to small businesses, Medicaid, community health centers and countless other programs that create jobs and aid families struggling to stay on a path to recovery since the recession.

“Reducing the federal deficit is important, but with millions out of work and our economy still struggling, drastic cuts to the very programs that help our economy grow and provide a lifeline to the most vulnerable would be a huge step backwards for our country and would hit the Hispanic community particularly hard,” said Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, chair of NHLA. “We urge the President and Congressional leaders to put aside partisanship and take responsible action that includes raising revenue as well as cutting spending. The current path of partisanship and bravado will plunge the economy into another recession and millions more Americans into poverty. Job training and education, along with support for small businesses, is the path out of this recession. As the President and Congressional leaders continue their negotiations, they cannot slash programs on the backs of Hispanics.”

“Our debt crisis has been caused primarily by the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an economic recession precipitated by unacceptable risk taking in a deregulated financial sector,” stated Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director. “To restore the nation’s fiscal health, Congress must allow all the Bush tax cuts to sunset, draw down our troop levels, and prohibit the types of wild financial speculation that led to our recession. Domestic programs should not be the main targets for a crisis created in other sectors.”

“With almost 3 million Latinos unemployed, a 12 percent unemployment rate, a 20 percent poverty rate and more than 30 percent without health insurance, the preservation and strengthening of this country’s social safety net is the highest priority to the more than 54 million Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico. The more than 12 million Latino voters projected to turn out in the 2012 Presidential election will be watching very closely how the White House and the Congress handle this critical issue, regardless of political party,” said Angelo Falcón, President and Co-Founder, National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP)

“The National Hispanic Medical Association is outraged that when we have a promising new health reform effort only in its first year, political leaders would undermine this effort by calling for drastic cuts to Medicaid and other safety net programs, instead of taxing the corporations and the wealthy,” stated Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA).

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Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.

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