New Poll Shows Congress Must End Sequester to Win Back Latino Voters

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After weeks of negotiations, Democrats and Republicans in Congress finally emerged this week with a bipartisan $85 billion budget deal. Latinos all across the country are now paying close attention to what lawmakers do with that bill and to whether they can finally pass a budget that provides much-needed relief from the painful cuts imposed by the sequestration. A new survey from NCLR and Latino Decisions today shows further cuts could pose problems for Members in 2014 who vote to keep sequestration in place.

The poll of 800 registered Latino voters shows that we are dissatisfied with how Congress has handled federal budget policy. The dissatisfaction extends across party lines, too. There is hope, however, for those Members who vote to end the sequester cuts, and they stand to gain sifnificant support from Latinos.

Here’s what today’s survey reveals:

  • Only 27 percent of Latino voters approve of how Republicans have handled the budgt; a whopping 63 percent disapprove
  • Faring only somewhat better: 48 percent approve and 42 disapprove of how the Democrats have approached the federal budget
  • 61 percent are more likely to vote for a member who supports ending sequestration and restoring funds for government programs
  • 86 percent of Latinos are concerned about the automatic sequester cuts, including 71 percent of Latino Republicans
  • An overwhelming 96 percent of Latinos would rather see investments in infrastructure and education to stimulate the economy.
  • Support for increased investments is strong among both Latino Democrat at 99 percent and Latino Republicans, 95 percent

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We Will Remember Votes for Anti-Latino Amendments to the Senate Budget Bill [Updated]

By Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Security Policy, NCLR

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As senators consider which amendments to vote for as part of the Senate budget bill today, they should remember that Latino voters will hold them accountable at the ballot box for any anti-Latino votes made. The Senate budget bill is particularly dangerous because each amendment requires only a simple majority to pass. These votes will take place with only a few minutes of debate on each amendment in a dreaded process called vote-a-rama that often stretches into the middle of the night. Senators are not likely to have much advance notice of what the amendments will be.

If more than 51 senators vote for a slew of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant amendments, the stage will surely be negatively set for the upcoming immigration reform debates. Senate insiders have told me that likely amendments may be offered include one that would raise taxes on hardworking, taxpaying Latino families with children. Legislators are proposing cutting off access to the Child Tax Credit for taxpayers who use individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs). We estimate that more than four million Latino children and their families could lose out on this valuable tax credit if this restriction passes, pushing these families back into poverty.

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