Mitt Romney Earns Another ‘Pants on Fire’ for False Attack Ad Claim

Mitt Romney has released his latest false attack ad. The claims in the ad earned the Romney campaign a “Pants on Fire” from PolitiFACT, who stated “The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance.”

Not only is the ad false, but in fact, Mitt Romney asked for even more flexibility on welfare requirements when he was Governor.

Mitt Romney: flexible on welfare and the truth.

Watch and share today’s video.

New Report Highlights the Impact of the President’s Agenda on the Hispanic Community

The White House has released a report today, “An America Built to Last: President Obama’s Agenda and the Hispanic Community,” that takes a close look at the President’s agenda and how the Administration’s policies have made a difference for Hispanics and all Americans as we work to move our country forward out of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The need for this report is simple. Latinos will account for 60 percent of the nation’s population growth in the coming decades, and in turn will be an increasingly larger share of our nation’s workforce. If our nation is going to be successful, we need a strong and well prepared workforce, so the success of our nation is tied directly to the success of the Hispanic community. That’s something President Obama understands, and why he has made it a priority that his Administration is not only reflective of America’s great diversity, but that we’re being open and responsive to the needs of all Americans.

So this report looks at what the policies and programs of this Administration have meant for Hispanic Americans throughout the last three and a half years. The report highlights:

  • How policies in the Recovery Act, including tax cuts for working families and improvements in unemployment insurance, combined to keep over 2 million Hispanics out of poverty in 2010.
  • How the tax agreement the President fought for extended key provisions including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that directly benefit an estimated 3.7 million Hispanic families, including 8 million Hispanic children.
  • How the payroll tax cut the President fought for ensures that taxes do not go up on nearly 25 million Hispanic workers.
  • How since the start of the Administration through March 31, 2012, more than $3.8 billion in over 10,800 Small Business Administration loans went to Hispanic-owned small businesses including more than $128 million through nearly 300 international trade loans.
  • The report also highlights how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working on behalf of Hispanic consumers, including taking on deceptive credit card practices, and providing protections for those who use remittance service providers and payday lenders.
  • Because education is such an important issue for this community, the report also has an extensive section on what’s being done to improve education from cradle to career and how these reforms affect a community in which only 56 percent of Latino students graduate on time from high school.
  • Along those lines, the report highlights how more than 150,000 Hispanic students stand to benefit from the increases in Pell Grants. The Obama Administration has raised the maximum Pell Grant award and has provided resources to support an additional three million Pell Grant recipients, a 50 percent increase in students served since 2008.
  • The report also details the Administration’s work toward immigration reform, and improvements that have been made in both border security and immigration enforcement, as well as in streamlining and improving the legal immigration process.
  • Civil rights have also been at the forefront of the efforts of this Administration. So this report looks at how the Department of Justice and Civil Rights divisions throughout the government are enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws, and what that means for the Hispanic community. Everything from proteting victims of crimes and abuse, to protections for farm workers, to enforcing hate crime laws and protecting migrants and guest workers against human trafficking.
  • And since more than 210,000 Hispanic soldiers are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and we have over 1.1 million Hispanic veterans, the report looks at what our Administration is doing to make college more accessible for veterans, to make tax credits available for them, to help more veterans start businesses, and to increase access to intensive reemployment services.

The report is now available at, and in Spanish/en Español.

Udall, Bingaman Announce Federal Drought Assistance Funding for NM Farmers and Ranchers

Today New Mexico’s U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman announced that in light of historic drought conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking steps to immediately help crop and livestock producers across New Mexico, including Doña Ana County.

First, New Mexico will receive $628,588 from the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities and water conservation practices. Second, USDA will transfer $14 million into the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for eligible farmers and ranchers in drought-impacted states for assistance in moving water to livestock in need, emergency forage for livestock and efforts to rehabilitate lands severely impacted by the drought.

“Throughout New Mexico, we have been hearing from farmers and ranchers on the terrible conditions they face due to fires and drought,” said Udall. “Farmers are suffering from depleted crops due to lack of moisture; ranchers are having to rely on feed, causing production costs to skyrocket and forcing them to reduce their herds. This is welcome news for rural communities across our state, and I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s swift action in providing much needed relief.”

“Farmers and ranchers in our state and across the country are suffering terribly because of this devastating drought. With this funding for New Mexico, it is clear to me that USDA is hard at work trying to assist farmers and ranchers in their time of need,” Bingaman said.

Producers throughout New Mexico have suffered significant production losses due to high temperatures, high winds and extended lack of precipitation. As a result of the drought, extreme fire danger exists across most of the state with more than 345,000 acres already burned.

Currently, farmers and ranchers in all 33 of New Mexico’s counties are eligible for federal assistance with primary or contiguous designations due to moderate to extreme drought conditions – designations Senators Udall and Bingaman urged in a June 29 letter to Secretary Vilsack following Governor Martinez’s June 27 request.

With a disaster designation, farm operators in these counties are eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) assistance, including emergency loans. Farmers in these counties will have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance.

New Mexico State Land Office Generates Record Revenue in 2012

Under the leadership of Commissioner Ray Powell, the New Mexico State Land Office produced a record amount of revenue in fiscal year 2012, totaling more than $650 million in income from trust lands and permanent funds for beneficiaries.

The Land Office saw numerous record-setting numbers during its monthly oil and gas lease sales during the 2012 fiscal year. The months of July, and Aug. earned a combined $34 million from the monthly oil and gas lease sale at the State Land Office.

“I attribute these record revenues not just to higher oil prices but also to the thoughtful selection of land tracts for lease sale by our employees at the State Land Office,” said Commissioner Powell. “Technological  advances have allowed larger volumes of oil to be produced from existing wells and this has contributed to this  record-setting revenue. This money will help our state’s special schools, public schools, universities, and  hospitals in these difficult times.”

The record setting revenue is thanks in part to advancing technologies, making it possible for businesses to reach oil and gas resources which were previously unavailable. This opened up possibilities for numerous  tracts of trust land in New Mexico. Renewable resources, like wind, solar, and commercial leases, also contributed to earnings for the land office.

The New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children with physical, visual, and auditory disabilities. Commissioner Ray Powell, a Democrat, was elected in 2010 and assumed office at the beginning of 2011.