Rep. Xavier Becerra Gains Influence as New Democratic Caucus Chairman

Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-California) has been elected as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will be the only Latino among the Democratic party's Congressional leadership.

Becerra, who emerged as a leading voice for President Obama in the Hispanic community during this past election, represents a district that is 70 percent Latino in Los Angeles. Becerra is just the second Latino, after now U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, to serve as Chair of the House Democratic caucus.

Becerra has been serving as the caucus vice chair. As chair, he will have an ever stronger voice in setting priorities and driving legislation for the Democratic Party. Becerra  is also a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, focused on formulating the nation's tax policy, and is Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security.

"I want to devote these next two years to the task of securing the active participation of each of our members in the affairs of our Caucus," Becerra said in a letter announcing his candidacy for the position. "When we're all part of the team, we share our best ideas to serve and communicate with our constituents, we're prepared for the tough legislative battles, and we'll help each other succeed and live to see another day."

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) applauded and congratulated Democrats for choosing Becerra.

"“Increased representation in party leadership," NALEO wrote. "Is an important component of political participation in this country."

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