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The Hispanic Community Can Bounce Back if Congress Enacts Pro-Growth Economic Policies

The Hispanic Community Can Bounce Back if Congress Enacts Pro-Growth Economic Policies

While job growth has been rising, labor force participation is still lagging behind Pre-COVID levels. This gap means that over 2 million workers are missing from the labor force, 25 percent of whom are Hispanic. 

Hispanics are already struggling with the high cost of gas, groceries, and rent thanks to the historic inflation of the last couple of years. And according to a recent poll commissioned by The LIBRE Institute, only 21% of Hispanics rate the economy excellent or good, and, by a two to one margin, say it will only get worse this year. 

It’s clear our community is hurting as 2024 gets underway. 

But we’re resilient, and we know what it will take for us, and all fellow Americans, to get ahead: increased economic opportunity, a realistic approach to managing our budget, and a stable government that can be held accountable for its spending decisions.

We hope lawmakers will listen and act before they turn to election season in earnest. Here are several bills they should prioritize to drive economic opportunity, reduce congressional dysfunction, and improve our broken immigration system. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Hispanics own 5 million businesses in the U.S., employ over 2.9 million people, and generate over $800 billion in annual revenue. Many of these businesses thrived and opened under the reduced tax burdens created by the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, but 23 of the law’s provisions that benefited individuals and small businesses are set to expire in 2025.  

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Permanency Act would do exactly what its title says and make these temporary tax cuts permanent. Congress can ensure the Hispanic community receives much needed economic relief while protecting their ability to start new businesses. 

But it’s not enough to earn and save more. As a record number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, we expect our lawmakers to also live within their means and create a budget just like we do. The Comprehensive Congressional Budget Act of 2024 ensures that the federal budget includes both revenue and spending as part of one budget. In no world would you separate the two as you made financial decisions and Congress is no different.

Lawmakers need to take meaningful action to curb the inflation that’s lessening the purchasing power of our hard-earned dollars. Congressional gridlock and the threat of government shutdowns often end in budget-busting appropriations bills whose trillions in wasteful spending only make inflation worse. 

Americans are tired of this “governing by crisis” and demand greater accountability of their leaders to govern and spend responsibly. The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act would ensure this oversight by requiring members of Congress to stay in Washington until all spending bills are passed. In the interim, it would help curb wasteful spending by implementing an auto-continuing resolution to keep spending levels where they were the previous year. 

By passing these bills, Congress can ensure that the U.S. has the ingredients it needs to allow the more than 60 million Hispanics in America to succeed in 2024 – a thriving economy, functioning government, and a secure, modernized immigration system. With the Hispanic voter population expected to grow by 18% by 2036, our lawmakers would do well to take these priorities seriously. 

Helder Toste is the federal affairs liaison for The LIBRE Initiative