YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Latinos Give Bush Meeting Mixed Reviews

April 03, 2001|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met Monday in a White House gathering that some members said left them optimistic but others said was short on commitment.

In the meeting's opening remarks, Bush reiterated his "respect for the Hispanic culture."

Bush said he and the caucus members would talk about a variety of issues, most important how to "make sure the world is more peaceful, more educated and more prosperous."

At the meeting, caucus members focused on the issues of immigration, education and Bush's budget proposal for the Small Business Administration.

Caucus Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) and some other members were diplomatic in describing their meeting with Bush, emphasizing his agreement to review some of their concerns. Reyes said the outcome of the meeting might mean more money for education.

"We are well on our way to a good relationship, a productive relationship that we hope will be mutually beneficial because we feel very passionately not just about these three issues but issues that affect Latinos all across the country," he said.

Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was less optimistic.

"I think the president was long on listening and short on commitments," he said.

The Hispanic caucus has 18 members, all Democrats. Several had said they expected the meeting with Bush to come sooner, considering his emphasis on the Latino vote during his campaign. The meeting had been scheduled for March 22 but was postponed.

Los Angeles Times Articles