Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, a longtime businessman and native of the Rio Grande Valley/ South Texas, was elected to represent Texas' 15th Congressional District in November 1996.
The Congressman serves on two House Committees: Education and the Workforce; and Financial Services. He is also a Co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus Education Task Force, and in this capacity will develop a strong education policy in the 107th Congress.
Congressman Hinojosa has distinguished himself as an advocate for education, Social Security, health care, agriculture, veterans' issues, economic development and infrastructure projects. He demonstrated his ability to serve as a bipartisan consensus builder when he helped in the fight to create an emergency relief package providing $25 billion over a four year period for farmers and ranchers who suffered devastating losses due to natural disasters from 1998 through 2001.
Hinojosa was also instrumental in expanding local access to quality health care for South Texas veterans. For the first time, inpatient services (including surgery) are available at approved hospitals in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, eliminating 80% of the need to travel to San Antonio. Hinojosa also worked with the Veterans Administration to establish primary care community-based outpatient clinics in the cities of Alice, Beeville, Kingsville and Uvalde. Hinojosa is also working with state legislators to secure a U.S. tate Veterans Memorial Cemetery in South Texas.
Congressman Hinojosa's lifetime commitment to education on the local, regional, state and federal levels has created opportunities for all students to pursue higher education. His Education Committee assignment, as well as his appointment to chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Education Task Force, were critical to the success of his first major legislative initiative entitled "The Higher Education for the 21st Century Act." This bill secured an increased authorized funding level of $69 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs); enhanced visibility of HSIs within the Higher Education Act; relaxed the restrictions for institutional eligibility for HSI designation; and improved the ways and financial means by which HSIs strengthen curriculum development, academic instruction, mentoring, and college libraries.
As a member of the Financial Services Committee, Congressman Hinojosa is a member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises; Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology, and Economic Growth; and Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. As a former member of the Small Business Committee, Hinojosa increased access to capital and loans for small businesses; removed tax and regulatory burdens; and promoted business growth and opportunity in economically depressed areas through the new and improved Small Business Administration programs of today. He also led the successful effort to create a Womens' Business Center at the University of Texas-Edinburg.
Not only has Congressman Hinojosa made his mark in Washington, D.C., but he has also brought Washington to South Texas. He has invited and hosted many high-profile leaders to the 15th Congressional District to speak directly with residents about their needs and concerns. Among them were President Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Secretary of Commerce William Daley, Secretary of Education Richard Riley, Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober, Small Business Administrator Aida Alvarez, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Congressman Hinojosa also accompanied President Clinton as a member of various trade and commerce delegations to Mexico and South America from 1997-2000.
Prior to his being elected to the House of Representatives, Congressman Hinojosa served twenty years as President and Chief Financial Officer of a family-owned food processing company, H&H Foods. With over 300 employees, H&H has received national awards of recognition from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C.
Born in Edcouch, Congressman Hinojosa attended Mercedes High School and earned a BBA and MBA from the University of Texas in Austin and in Edinburg, respectively. He is married to Martha Lopez Hinojosa and has five children.
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