Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus leader faces removal after firing top staff member

 February 12, 2023

Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA) has come under scrutiny after her leadership has been questioned for high turnover in the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, including the firing of a top staff member.

The group's members are holding a meeting to consider removing Barragan from her role, according to a report by Politico.

The situation

"The previously unreported news of the meeting comes just one day after Barragán (D-Calif.) fired the group’s executive director, Jacky Usyk, a little over a month into the job. Usyk was fired via an email for 'insubordination,'" Politico reported.

“'This is a disaster,' said one Democratic chief of staff for a Hispanic Caucus member, granted anonymity to discuss the group’s internal discussions — as were several others who spoke for this story," according to the outlet.

The bigger picture

"Barragan's latest move has left the influential caucus without any staffers as the 118th Congress is just getting started," the Washington Examiner reported.

"Barragan has long held a reputation as a strict boss and has one of the highest turnover rates of any House office on Capitol Hill. The consideration of her ouster comes just one month into her tenure as the CHC chair after she was elected to the position in December," it added.

"At this point George Santos has more people working for him than Nanette," one CHC member commented, according to CBS News.

"Barragán did not reply to text messages sent by CBS News seeking comment, but in a statement emailed by her spokesman, she said, 'Jacky is no longer with the CHC. We wish her well in her future endeavors. We do not comment on internal confidential personnel matters,'" the report added.

If members vote out Barragan over the controversy, Caucus Vice Chairman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) would be next in line to head the group.

The concerns for Democrats grow as conservatives continue to extend their reach among Hispanic voters.

The controversy could also overflow to the 2024 election as Republicans push to gain more influence among Hispanics in the House.

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