CHC and DOT Secretary Buttigieg Highlight Infrastructure and Job Investments in Rural Communities with Growing Latino Population

Apr 5, 2023
Press Release

DEMING, N.M. – Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) hosted their third CHC on the Road event with stops in Deming and Las Cruces, New Mexico, in collaboration with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour.

Chair Nanette Barragán, along with Senator Ben Ray Luján and Representative Gabe Vasquez, welcomed Secretary of the Department of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to New Mexico to highlight the Infrastructure and Jobs Act investments that are reaching rural communities with growing Latino populations. 

“The CHC is on the road to connect with Latino communities year-round about the investments that Congress and the Biden Administration have achieved for them. Deming and Las Cruces are communities with growing Latino populations that also demonstrate the success of federal investments in infrastructure at the local level,” said CHC Chair Nanette Barragán. “To date, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act has invested $2.6 billion in New Mexico for over 217 transportation projects. Investments of this sort are crucial for communities like Deming where roads serve as lifelines, connecting small rural communities. These critical infrastructure investments are ongoing, and it’s important we continue to highlight them and what they mean for the quality of life in our communities.”

During the visit, Secretary Buttigieg announced a historic $196 million in grants from the Infrastructure Law for 37 projects spread across 19 states, including New Mexico, for the modernization of natural gas pipelines that would keep communities safe, reduce methane emissions, and create hundreds of jobs in rural and urban areas.

“This funding to repair and modernize our gas pipelines will help keep residents safe from dangerous leaks, create good-paying jobs, and reduce methane emissions in communities across the nation, particularly in rural and underserved areas,” saidU.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.  “When you have clean water and safe gas pipes, when you have high-speed Internet, when you have good transportation that gets you to work and helps businesses grow, when you have good paying construction jobs, that is part of what makes it possible to have that better future.”

“I was honored to join Secretary Buttigieg, Congressman Gabe Vasquez, and CHC Chair Nanette Barragán in southern New Mexico to highlight how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing billions of federal dollars to New Mexico to modernize our infrastructure and create new jobs and opportunities,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “This bipartisan investment will help renovate our roads, highways, and bridges while improving transportation safety and protecting our environment. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Buttigieg and the rest of my New Mexico colleagues to strengthen transportation and reduce emissions to ensure our communities are safeguarded for generations to come.”

In the afternoon, the officials participated in a townhall at the New Mexico State University (NMSU) to hear from engineering students on their programs, how they relate to the future of infrastructure and discuss the importance of having Hispanic representation in STEM. 

“We have to show our students that we care, by bringing Chair Barragán and Secretary Buttigieg, one, we are investing in this community, and I think they get that signal. Second, we need them to stay here, they are part of the future of New Mexico and the talent we are so used to exporting so we want to make sure that we can keep those folks here,” said Representative Gabe Vasquez. I think we have to put more attention to these very important issues that students care about so they can create the solutions of the future because they are going to be the next leaders, the next Congressmembers, the next Secretaries.”

“I’m so glad CHC on the Road stopped by Nuevo Mexico to talk about our transportation needs. I’m thankful to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Senator Luján, Chair Barragán, and Representative Vasquez for participating in this conversation.” said Representative Leger Fernández. “The Infrastructure Law is hard at work delivering for our communities. These funds invest in roadway safety, our roads and bridges, and create good-paying jobs. This is what progress and possibilities look like.”

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Contact:
Bianca Lugo Lewis
CHC Communications Director
(202) 843-3947