WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today commemorating Cinco de Mayo:
“Today, millions of Americans, Mexicans, and well-wishers around the world celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The Fifth of May is the anniversary of one of the most inspiring victories in Mexican history: the Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag militia defeated a much larger and better-equipped French force attempting to impose colonial domination on Mexico. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has come to symbolize resistance against aggression and the triumph of patriots against overwhelming odds.
“In America, Cinco de Mayo has taken on an additional meaning: It’s a day to celebrate the richness of Mexican-American culture and recognize the contributions of millions of Hispanic Americans. Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States: The 45.5 million Hispanics in the United States now represent 15.1 percent of the population. Hispanics also have the largest minority-owned business community, with a record 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses generating annual revenues of $220 billion. In fields from the military to the arts to public service, their hard work is vital to America’s success.
“But in these difficult economic times, we know that many Hispanic families—like families across America—are struggling to make ends meet, facing stagnant incomes and skyrocketing prices for gas, food, college, and health care. The Democratic Congress has been working hard to help them. Congress has raised the minimum wage and helped cut the cost of student loans. Small-business tax credits, part of the recent economic stimulus package, will help the millions of Hispanic-owned businesses. And today, Congress is working to pass housing legislation aimed at helping 1 to 2 million Americans avoid foreclosure.
“May this Cinco de Mayo inspire us to take strength from our history and work toward a brighter, shared future for all.”