Morning Business: Solis: Replaced, Not Forgotten

Posted March 6, 2009 at 6:06pm

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced Friday that Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) has been elected second vice chairman, replacing former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), who recently became Labor secretary.

[IMGCAP(1)]In his new role, Hinojosa will help guide the direction of the CHC.

CHC Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) praised Hinojosa as “a longtime leader of the CHC and the Congress as a whole.— She touted his 12 years in Congress and his work on foreign affairs and education issues.

“We face difficult times ahead but also tremendous opportunities,— Hinojosa said. “I am confident that together with the support of the new administration, we will be able to make a measurable difference in the lives of Hispanic families across the nation.—

CHC leaders also announced Friday that Patricia Villarreal will serve as the group’s new executive director.

In this position, Villarreal will coordinate the legislative efforts of the 24-Member organization. In particular, she will oversee efforts relating to immigration, civil rights, housing, infrastructure, veterans and agriculture.

“Patricia brings to the caucus her broad legislative experience, a deep understanding of the complex policy work here on Capitol Hill and an appreciation of the coalition building necessary to making our work successful. She will truly be an asset,— Velázquez said.

Villarreal has worked on the Hill for years, most recently as deputy chief of staff for Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas). Prior to that, she was a legislative assistant to Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas).