Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks this afternoon in the Capitol at a reception she hosted in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Below are the Leader's remarks as prepared for delivery.
"Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become an annual tradition here in the Capitol; I wanted to ensure that we had an opportunity to come together again this year.
"I would like to acknowledge some of our distinguished guests: our guest of honor, the Mexican Ambassador, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, distinguished guests from the Latino community, senior officials from the Obama Administration.
"On Cinco de Mayo we mark the victory of the people of Mexico over the larger and better-equipped French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
"So today we celebrate the rich contributions of Mexican Americans, and all Hispanics, which strengthen our country and make America more American.
"We were pleased to learn from the recent Census that in one in every six Americans is a Latino.
"We see the patriotism of Hispanics firsthand in Congress, with 30 Hispanic Members of the House and Senate. We are proud that several of them serve in important leadership roles: Congressman Becerra, the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus; Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, whose birthday falls on Cinco de Mayo, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Congressman Henry Cuellar, the Vice Chair of the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee; Nydia Velazquez, the senior Democrat on the Small Business Committee; Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference; and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Last year, led by the CHC, the House passed the DREAM Act with a bipartisan vote. This legislation is about equality; it's about opportunity; it's about the future.
"Though this action was historic, we were disappointed that the legislation didn't make it all the way to President Obama's desk, where he had promised to sign it into law.
"But the fight goes on. Earlier, this week, President Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss moving forward on immigration. The President reiterated his support for comprehensive immigration reform.
"With the President, the CHC, Sen. Reid, and many Members on both sides of the Capitol committed to comprehensive reform, and to enacting the Dream Act as part of reform, we will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to achieve this goal.
"Today we are pleased to have received the report National Museum of the American Latino Commission report.
"The report very clearly recommends that the museum be part of the Smithsonian Institution and built on the national mall.
"We all look forward to the day when the accomplishments of Hispanics are reflected in our nation's capital
"Mexico and the United States may be separated by a border, but we have much more in common -- our values of faith, family, and love of our respective countries.
"We celebrate our shared aspirations on Cinco de Mayo. And today we feel some of the same emotions felt by those soldiers at Puebla 149 years ago: pride in our unique heritage, and optimism for our future.
"Feliz Cinco de Mayo!"