Congressman David G. Valadao (R-Calif.) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.) announced they have reorganized the Congressional Portuguese Caucus for the 118th Congress.
Established in 1995, by Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Congressman Richard Pombo, the Caucus has become one of the largest and most active in the House of Representatives.
The Caucus is co-chaired by two representatives, one from each party. Its purpose is to advocate for issues that are important to the Portuguese-American community, such as promoting cultural exchange and economic cooperation, and the strengthening of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Portugal.
In addition to its advocacy work, the Congressional Portuguese Caucus has hosted events and meetings to bring together members of Congress, Portuguese-American community leaders, and officials from Portugal. These events provide an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
During the 117th Congress, under the leadership of Congressmen Costa, Valadao, and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the Congressional Portuguese Caucus helped pass the bipartisan Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing our Success (AMIGOS) Act.
This legislation grants Portuguese citizens eligibility for E-1 and E-2 Visas, which allow individuals to enter the United States to conduct “substantial trade” or invest a “substantial amount of capital,” respectively.
Congressional Portuguese Caucus members of Portuguese descent include David Valadao and Jim Costa, representing two districts of California, and Lori Loureiro Trahan representing the 3rd district of Massachusetts. The Caucus also includes many members who are not of Portuguese descent namely, David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Bill Keating (D-Mass.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), an Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).
The Congressional Portuguese Caucus will continue to play an important role in promoting the interests of the Portuguese-American community and strengthening the relationship between the United States and Portugal. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million Americans are of Portuguese descent.