Washington — As our nation commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced a bipartisan resolution that was passed by the Senate on Saturday September 22, 2012 recognizing the month-long celebration and honoring the heritage, culture and many contributions of Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 52 million Latinos in the United States, representing the fastest growing and largest minority in this country. Nearly one in every three children in the United States is of Hispanic descent, and that number is expected to increase by 60 percent over the next 20 years. Hispanics now own more than 2.3 million businesses, and the growth of these businesses has outpaced non-minority owned firms by 44 percent, according to the latest economic data from the U.S. Census. Moreover, the purchasing power of the Hispanic community is at nearly $1 trillion.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Americans have historically been an integral part of this nation’s history. Latinos have served with distinction in all branches of the Armed Forces, and have bravely fought in every war in the history of the United States. As of July 2012, there were 143,054 Hispanic active duty service members in the United States Armed Forces. In fact, 44 Hispanic Americans have received the Congressional Medal of Honor—the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed on an individual serving in the Armed Forces.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: “Hispanics have always been an important part of our nation’s economic and social fabric, and I’m thrilled to honor their contributions in Nevada and across the country. As business owners and entrepreneurs, members of the Latino community are vital to our country’s economy. I applaud Senator Menendez for introducing this resolution commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month, and I reaffirm my commitment to continuing to solve the issues that matter most to the Hispanic community, including keeping immigrant families together, improving education for their children and creating jobs that help their communities prosper.”
Senator Menendez said: “As Chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, I am proud to introduce once again a resolution in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month to honor the countless contributions of Hispanic Americans to this great nation. All across America and as we look throughout our history, we see the presence, influence and ingenuity of Latinos represented. But we also see the challenges that still lie ahead for the Hispanic community. This is why I have made it a priority to ensure that the needs and concerns of Latino families and communities are represented in Congress. I thank Senate Majority Leader Reid for joining me in introducing this resolution and for his support of the Democratic Hispanic Task Force work in general. I look forward to our continued collaboration on the most important issues that affect the Hispanic community.”