¡Un Desastre! The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Purges Its Leaders, Now Has No Staffers

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been in upheaval since the midterms, and it is only getting worse.

One of the most prominent subgroups in Congress is in a state of complete disarray, as it was revealed this week that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has seen the departure of its second director in about a month’s time, and as a result, it is carrying precisely zero staff. 


This has been a devolving issue since the November elections, and in those three months, the issue has only worsened. According to The Hill, on Thursday  Executive Director Jacky Usyk was let go, fired by Chairwoman Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.). This is noteworthy as Barragan, who recently had been installed as the new Chairwoman, was behind Usyk’s hiring. Barragan has come under scrutiny since taking over.

A Democratic strategist with knowledge of the situation said, “This debacle unfolding at the CHC doesn’t bode well for the Caucus and for Congresswoman Barragán, who fired a well-liked staffer a month into the start of the new Congress.”

Usyk’s firing follows the departure of the last staff members, who resigned earlier in the week. As a result, now the CHC lacks a director as well as retaining no staffers. This is looked at as a severe blow given the nature of the CHC being known for its intemperate membership, often in need of being steered by its staff. Also, the last election saw an influx, as nine new additions joined the group this election, boosting its roster to over 40 members.

Barragan, meanwhile, has developed a reputation as a difficult leader. Over the course of the last 20 years, the California Democrat has among the highest levels of staff turnover. One of the ironies of this story is that the details initially emerged from the Instagram account Dear White Staffers, which is a renowned portal for detailing the travails of staff workers on The Hill.

The Hispanic Caucus is a decidedly Democratic organ in D.C. Of its current makeup of 42 names, all of them are Democrats. Last fall, after Mayra Flores made a name as the first-ever Mexican-born House Representative, she was rebuffed from joining the group despite representing a heavily Latino district. The CHC has declared itself to be a Democrat-only group. (As a result, a similar conservative group has been formed, The Congressional Hispanic Conference.)


This has, understandably, led to a number of names looking to bring about change at the leadership level. There is little hope of the group seeing a quick fix. While lawmakers are looking to meet with Barragan rather soon, they are unable to, as the House starts a two-week recess. Barragan will have plenty to answer for, as this appears to be something of a trait with her.

“She has a hard time keeping staff in her personal office. Those concerns seem real given that all CHC staff left (because they did not want to work for her), and CHC is currently understaffed,” one lawmaker added. 

Another Congressional member, speaking anonymously, also added: “At this point, George Santos has more people working for him than Nanette.”


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