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Congressional El Salvador Caucus Announced by Rep. Matt Gaetz

Congressional El Salvador Caucus Announced by Rep. Matt Gaetz

Jul 8, 2024

Congressional El Salvador Caucus Announced by Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has announced the formation of the bipartisan Congressional El Salvador Caucus. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) will join as the inaugural co-chairman of the caucus, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

The announcement comes after Rep. Gaetz's visit to El Salvador last month where he attended the second inauguration of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. The initiative was revealed in a press release from Rep. Gaetz's office, which outlined the caucus's goals to enhance the understanding of El Salvador's relationship with the United States, to reinforce bilateral relations, and to foster a deeper comprehension of the Salvadoran context among U.S. lawmakers and their constituents.

Rep. Gaetz has been vocal in his support for President Bukele, commending his leadership and suggesting that American conservatives could learn from his governance model. Notably, Gaetz has introduced legislation for the U.S. to accept bitcoin as payment for federal taxes, a move influenced by El Salvador's adoption of bitcoin as legal tender under Bukele's administration.

Under Bukele's administration, El Salvador witnessed a dramatic crackdown on criminal gangs in 2022, which led to the arrest of over 75,000 suspected gang members and the dismantling of notorious groups like MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. The Massachusetts-sized nation has transitioned from being one of the world's most violent countries to having the second-lowest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere, behind Canada.

El Salvador's murder rate has plummeted by 92% from the peak in 2015, and the number of Salvadorans attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally has decreased by 44%, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a social media post, Rep. Gaetz elaborated on the objectives of the new caucus, stating, "The El Salvador Caucus will exist to nurture and advance the U.S.-El Salvador relationship and to vindicate the strong reforms that President Bukele has put into effect." He praised Bukele's transformation of El Salvador, implying that similar reforms could lead to a "great American rejuvenation."

The creation of the Congressional El Salvador Caucus marks a proactive step towards a more engaged and robust partnership between the two nations, with potential implications for policy, economic development, and security cooperation.

The Washington Examiner Article


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