President Obama took his message on his jobs bill to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 34th annual Awards Gala on Tuesday.
Honored with awards at the gala were Ken Salazar, secretary of the interior, and Hilda L. Solis, secretary of labor. Honorees for Medallions of Excellence were entertainer Vikki Carr and astronaut Jose Hernandez.
The audience which included Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas; Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Princess Cristina of Spain.
"I don't have to tell you these are tough times," Obama said in prepared remarks. "You know how hard this recession has hit families -– especially Latino families. You know the sacrifices that folks are making every single day just to pay the mortgage, or fill up the car, or to keep the lights on, keep kids in school."
He touted his American Jobs Act as a way "to put more people back to work and to put more money into the pockets of those who are working."
He also touched on several other topics, saying the most important investment that can be made is in education.
"That's why we launched the Race to the Top initiative," he said, "which now reaches almost one-quarter of our country's Latino students."
He talked about strengthening Pell Grants and how that was part of the reason young Hispanics have been enrolling in college at a faster rate; on efforts to make the DREAM Act a reality; and an immigration policy that works.
The full text of Obama's speech can be view on the White House website.
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