Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
This month I join more than 52 million Latinos in Nevada and across the country to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the contributions of a population integral to our national identity – a community that has contributed to our country’s progress for centuries.
We see those contributions in every facet of our society – on the battlefield and in the boardroom, in the courtroom and the classroom, at the art gallery and in the recording studio and on the playing field.
In Nevada, Hispanic influence is evident in the name of our state and our most famous city – Las Vegas.
Today more than a quarter of Nevada’s population is Hispanic.
And nationwide, Latinos are expected to make up 60 percent of population growth in coming decades.
To ensure our country thrives, we need to make sure its Hispanic population thrives as well.
That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress have fought hard for the policies that are making Hispanic families stronger and more prosperous.
Despite Republican opposition, we have made progress on economic and education issues that are important to Latinos, and to all Americans.
The Recovery Act, which included tax cuts for working families and improvements in unemployment insurance, kept more than 2 million Hispanics out of poverty.
And unlike Mitt Romney, we know Americans who access the unemployment benefits they’ve earned while working aren’t “victims” who are unwilling to take “personal responsibility” for their lives. Those are his words, not mine.
Democrats secured tax credits for more than 8 million Hispanic children and their families.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, believes tax credits for hard-working parents struggling to make ends meet are a handout, not a hand up.
Democrats fought to give small business loans to almost 9,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.
Under a Romney administration, loans for small business owners would be a thing of the past – one more remnant of the dependency culture he loathes.
Mitt Romney was caught on tape telling wealthy donors he’d be winning this election if he was Latino.
But we know Mitt Romney’s problem isn’t that he’s not Hispanic.
His problem is that he opposes the common sense policies that are good for Hispanic families.
Republicans have been paying lip service to the concerns of Hispanic families in the months leading up to election day.
But Democrats are helping Hispanic families tackle the challenges they face every day.
To us, Hispanic Heritage Month isn’t just about recognizing the incredible contributions of Hispanic Americans to our nation.
It’s also about building a brighter future for Hispanic Americans in our nation.