Speech ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
March 13, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks tonight honoring Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' (NALEO) Edward R. Roybal Legacy Gala. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good evening. I’m so honored to be here with all of you to pay tribute to the legacy of my friend Ed Roybal and his life of public service.  

“We do so tonight by bestowing an award named for him to one of Congress’s most tireless and passionate defenders of justice and opportunity: Rep. Nydia Velázquez.  

“Nydia has been an extraordinary fighter for her district, her city, her state, her country, and for Puerto Rico. Nydia has fought for Puerto Rican communities devastated by Hurricane Maria, organizing relief and pushing for a more robust federal response. It’s nice she pushed for it, but it’s nicer that she succeeded — doubling the funding the President requested. 

“She was fighting for Puerto Rico even before the hurricanes hit, advocating for a fair solution to its debt crisis. She has fought hard against the Republican tax law, knowing the negative impact it would have on the island’s ability to invest in rebuilding.

“She’s also spent years working hard to make it easier for small businesses to startup and create jobs. As Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, she’s worked to promote small business lending, pushed to help small business owners access capital to rebuild following disasters, and helped expand opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs.

"Furthermore, Nydia’s fought courageously for immigrant rights, and defended the rights of women and workers.

“Like many of you in this room, I’ve been privileged to witness up close Nydia’s tenacity, her intellect, and her political astuteness, all wielded for the causes of equality, justice, and the well-being of the most vulnerable.

“She’s been a trailblazer – the first Latina to serve on the New York City Council, the first Puerto Rican woman in Congress, and the first Latina to chair a major Committee of the House.  

“Rep. Nydia Velázquez and her outstanding colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are a testament to why we need more Latinos and Latinas elected to federal office to ensure this nation and its diverse communities are well represented. And let me say this, America does not have a DREAMer to waste.

“I want to pay tribute to NALEO for everything it is doing to help elect more Latinos and Latinas to offices at the federal, state, and local levels across our country.

“Nydia – I join in congratulating you on tonight’s much-deserved honor.  Like Ed Roybal, you’ve never forgotten where you come from, who you serve, and why you fight.  I look forward to continuing our work together, and I thank you for all you’ve done for New York, for the Congress, and for our nation.”

“Rep. Nydia Velázquez: a symbol of courage and commitment. She never wavers, and the beauty of her spirit is something her colleagues see every day.”