Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) is one of the first two Latinas to represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Washington Post reporter Marianna Sotomayor speaks with Escobar about her personal journey, legislative priorities and the latest on the infrastructure negotiations in Congress in our conversations marking Hispanic Heritage Month.

Highlights

The Representative from Texas said she is encouraged by Speaker Pelosi’s efforts to advance negotiations. “When I was in the Speaker’s office… with five of my progressive colleagues yesterday, I left feeling really optimistic about the work that the Speaker is doing to pull together the details of a plan… We’re all ready to pass infrastructure. All of us, the House Democrats. We will have every single vote. So we can take a breather, give the speaker a little bit of time so that she can bring back a rock solid, ironclad agreement, whether that means a vote or something else in the Senate.” (Washington Post Live)
Asked about Senator Joe Manchin’s statement that the social safety net package being debated by Democrats should not exceed $1.5 trillion dollars, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) responded. “For me it’s more about what we put in it than the final price tag. And I know we can pay for it, and we will pay for it. So we’ll do this responsibly.” (Washington Post Live)
“My colleague, the chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus said it perfectly I think, it’s more of a ‘trust and verify’ issue… I’ve read and heard Senator Manchin’s comments, less obviously from Senator Sinema which is challenging. We’ve got to know where everyone stands so we can conversations… I do have faith that Senator Manchin at least… wants to get there. But we have to be certain and that’s where the ‘verify’ comes in.” (Washington Post Live)
The third-generation El Pasoan said the culture she was raised in guides her as a policymaker. “The values that I was raised with and the culture I was raised with absolutely shapes my agenda, it shapes the way I approach policy making and relationship building and it influences my priorities… It is my north star.” (Washington Post Live)

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.)

Provided by the office of Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.).

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, a third-generation El Pasoan, proudly represents Texas’ 16th Congressional District.

She took office on January 3, 2019 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives after making history as the first woman elected to this seat and the first of two Latinas from Texas to serve in Congress.

Congresswoman Escobar serves on the prestigious House Judiciary Committee, House Armed Services Committee, House Ethics Committee, and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In addition, she serves as Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

She holds leadership positions on both the Democratic Women’s Caucus as Vice Chair, and the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform as Co-Chair. She is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, and a co-founder of the Congressional Moms Task Force on Family Separation.

In Congress, she has established herself as the voice of the border and as a national leader on gun safety, health care, and immigration, including fighting the Trump administration’s inhumane and cruel policies that harm border communities. She has led legislation to address our nation’s immigration challenges in a responsible and humane manner by ensuring accountability, transparency, and oversight.

On February 4, 2020, Congresswoman Escobar delivered the Spanish-language Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address. She gave the nationally televised speech from Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a community health clinic, in El Paso.

Before her election, she served on the governing body for El Paso County, first as a County Commissioner and then as County Judge. There, she fought back against those who used government for their own personal gain and worked with her colleagues to modernize and reform the organization. She also worked to make El Paso County a leader in expanding access to healthcare by working with the University Medical Center of El Paso to build primary care clinics and the El Paso Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital on the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Prior to her service with El Paso County, Congresswoman Escobar was an English teacher at the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College, Communications Director for former Mayor Raymond Caballero, and the Executive Director of Community Scholars, a non-profit that taught high school students how to produce public policy reports and recommendations.

Congresswoman Escobar is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and New York University (NYU). She and her husband, Michael, live in Central El Paso with their beloved cats. They have two grown children: Cristian Diego and Eloisa Isabel.