Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Nation / New US Congress increases from 38 to 47 Latino representatives

The new United States Congress will begin this Tuesday with the largest number of Latinos in the House of Representatives, going from 38 to 47. In last November’s midterm elections, Democrats retained control of the Senate, but Republican opposition won a small majority in the lower house.

A total of 35 Democrats and 12 Republicans of Hispanic descent will hold a seat, compared to 28 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the previous chamber, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

There has also been some progress on gender, with four more Latina women in the House of Representatives. The lower house would be composed of 29 men and 18 women instead of 24 men and 14 women in the previous one. The first Latinas with seats for Colorado, Illinois, and Oregon also emerged from the November elections. As for the new faces, 14 Latinos enter the United States House of Representatives, including seven women.

They are Democrats Yadira Caravio, Delia Ramirez, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Andrea Salinas, Robert Garcia, Robert Menendez Jr., Gabriel Vasquez, Greg Kaiser and Mary Glusenkamp Perez. and from Republicans Juan Ciccomani, Lori Chavez-Deremer, Anna Paulina Luna, Anthony D’Esposito and Mónica de la Cruz. The number of Latinos in the Upper House remains six: Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto, Alex Padilla, Ben Rey Lujan and Robert Menendez.

The number of Latinos in state executive positions rose from 18 to 21, an all-time high. Democrats went from 12 to 14 and Republicans from 5 to 6; There will be one regardless of party affiliation. The new faces include Democrats Adrian Fontes and Cisco Aguilar, the secretaries of state for Arizona and Nevada, respectively, and Republican Diego Morales, who will serve in Indiana.

In addition, two new attorneys general emerged, Democrat Raul Torrez in New Mexico and Republican Raul Labrador in Idaho. A total of 376 Latinos have won seats in state Congress (103 in the Senate and 273 in the lower chambers), compared to 344 before the 2022 elections.

The United States Congress begins a new legislature on Tuesday following midterm elections, with the House of Representatives now in Republican hands and the Senate still controlled by Democrats.

Despite their low majority, the 2021–23 Congress under Democratic rule was one of the most productive in modern history, with largely bipartisan legislation on a variety of issues. But the era of cooperation between the two parties seems to be coming to an end. Here’s what’s in store for President Joe Biden starting January 3, when members of Congress elected in November will be sworn in:

Two years after watching their leader, Donald Trump, walk away from multiple criminal, civil and congressional investigations, Republicans are planning revenge with an investigation of their own. Biden is likely to be a target even with impeachment.

However, the top priority announced by the House Oversight Committee would be to expedite the investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic president, who is already under investigation by the FBI for his business practices.

Several Republican congressmen and Trump administration figures, including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump himself, have defied subpoenas to appear in Democratic-led investigations, including the 2021 insurgency probe.

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Now, Republicans have vowed to demand testimony on several aspects of Democratic decision-making, from Biden’s White House handling of immigration and withdrawal from Afghanistan to his handling of the Covid crisis. McCarthy, who aspires to be the next speaker of the lower house, accused Democrats of “politicizing” the Justice Department over various investigations into Trump.

Republicans will also seek to find irregularities in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 US election, which revealed extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and intelligence agents.

McCarthy promised to repeal $80 billion in tax revenue, pass a “Bill of Rights” that gives parents more money for their children’s education, more money for police and border control, and more incentives for law enforcement. domestic energy production.

However, given the current division, no major legislation is expected to land on Biden’s table. Republicans released an “Engage America” ​​legislative agenda in September, but it lacked details and specific policies.

On the economy, Republicans pledged to fight inflation, make the United States energy independent, as well as strengthen supply chains and end dependence on China.

Democrats are nine votes short of reaching the 60-vote “supermajority” in the 100-member Senate needed to pass most legislation. The Senate can then spend most of its time blocking bills that come out of the House of Representatives. The upper house will also likely be focused on approving Biden’s judicial nominees.

The US Congress, with mostly bipartisan support, has approved more than $100 billion in military and humanitarian aid for its ally Ukraine since Russia invaded that country in February 2022. Those who want to stop the flow of ex-taxpayer dollars.

The right wing of the Republican Party was buoyed by McCarthy’s statement ahead of the midterms that his party would not write a “blank check” to Kiev while the US suffered a “recession”.

The warning was the first official indication that Ukraine could face an uphill battle for funding to fend off Russian aggression. If the group of Republican lawmakers opposing the aid grows, McCarthy may have to make concessions to them, such as increased scrutiny of handouts.

A Latina supporter of former Republican President Donald Trump and a 25-year-old activist are just some of the new faces in the United States Congress who will be sworn in this Tuesday.

– Monica De La Cruz –

De la Cruz embodies the new uninhibited face of the Republican Party in Texas. She was elected as a congresswoman after a campaign in which she promised to dismantle Trump’s wall on the border with Mexico to stop the arrival of migrants, mostly Latin Americans. “It is important to have people who live on the border, who understand and represent the border,” the 48-year-old said.

— Maxwell Frost

He is 25 years old and will be the first to be elected to the House of Representatives from “Generation Z”, whose interests he seeks to protect. Maxwell Frost is committed to social justice and the fight against climate change and intends to use his mandate to combat gun violence.

The young Democrat entered politics at age 15, horrified like many of his compatriots by the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In an interview with AFP in October, he said he was troubled by some of the clichés about his generation, considered too impatient.

— John Fetterman

This man who measures more than two meters, fights for the legalization of marijuana and the development of unions. John Fetterman, 53, won one of the closest contests of November’s midterm elections: a seat as a senator from Pennsylvania. It was crucial for the Democrats to retain control of the upper house and therefore for the rest of President Joe Biden’s term.

-JD Vance-

He is one of the few champions of Donald Trump who was elected in the November elections with a Senate seat from Ohio. A newcomer to politics, JD Vance, 38, made a name for himself in 2016 by publishing “Hillbilly Elegy,” a successful account of his humble and chaotic childhood in a working-class town in this state symbolized by deteriorating areas predominantly white. of the United States populated by. He became a financial investor in California. He entered politics last year and won his party’s primary election with the help of former Republican Pres.

The Republican opposition, determined to confront Democratic President Joe Biden, assumes control of the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday but must first resolve dissent within its own ranks. New representatives elected in November’s legislative elections meet at 12:00 (17:00 GMT) to take the oath of office for their two years.

For the first time in his term, Biden will deal with a divided parliament: his Democratic Party retains control of the Senate, but the Republican opposition holds a slim majority in the House of Representatives.

“Americans are ready for change after two calamitous years under the leadership of the Democratic Party,” says the Republican representative, who promised an investigation into Biden’s management of the pandemic or the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. But before those battles can take place, they have to agree to choose the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is not easy because of divisions in the party.

The Speaker of the House, the third most important figure in American politics after the President and the Vice President, will be elected by a simple majority on Tuesday. Seven years after his first attempt, Kevin McCarthy, who has led the Republican bench in the lower house since 2014, hopes for revenge.

But he was weakened by poor Republican results in the November elections, as the “red wave” predicted by conservatives did not materialize. The Republican Party has 222 seats and McCarthy needs 218 votes to be elected president.

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However, a small group of legislators extremely close to Donald Trump said they would put conditions before endorsing him. They criticize him for not defending the former president adequately. Three have already said they will vote against it. “Kevin doesn’t believe in anything, he doesn’t have an ideology,” said Representative Matt Gaetz.

McCarthy looks ready to reassure the rebels, but he can’t seem to upset moderate Republicans. Though he has little room for maneuver, he does not see a strong opponent in front of him. Steve Scalise has been mentioned as a possible option, but doesn’t seem to have much of a chance.

With Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, Biden and the Democrats lost the power to pass new initiatives. Republicans have the same problem in a Senate where Democrats hold the majority.

Will they find themselves entangled in organized protests? For this they have to work as a united group. In the pre-Christmas budget vote, Republicans voted with Democrats and avoided a shutdown of the federal government. Therefore, the election of the Speaker of the House will also serve to measure the ability to attack Biden.

Facing a hostile House could benefit him if he confirms his intention to seek re-election in 2024, a decision he could announce as early as this year. In the event of a legislative impasse, he will no doubt blame the gridlock on Republicans in hopes of turning the situation to his advantage.

Fuente: AFP.

Nation World News Desk
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