SPONSORED:

Lawmakers launch Central America Caucus in meeting with Guatemalan leader

House lawmakers on Wednesday announced the creation of a Central America caucus, aimed at focusing U.S. efforts to the region.

First on the bipartisan 33-member caucus’s agenda was a Wednesday afternoon meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, who earlier in the day with Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Florida heat sends a dozen Trump rally attendees to hospital Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

Members of the group, 30 of whom are Democrats, claimed that Central America had been consistently overlooked as a matter of U.S. policy.

“Despite the millions of Central Americans living in the US and the impact that changes in Central America have on our own economy and national security, for too long Congress and the administration have directed our attention to other parts of the world at the expense of the countries just beyond our borders,” Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) chairwoman of the caucus, said in a statement.

The working group could be “a valuable resource in educating Congress on current conditions and how the United States can assist,” added Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.).

Earlier in the day, Morales met with Biden at Washington's historical Blair House, along with El Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

In fiscal 2016, Congress authorized the U.S. to spend $750 million on its strategy for engaging Central America, which Biden called “a sign of the broad bipartisan support that still exists in the relationship to the region."

Other members of the caucus launched on Wednesday include Reps. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraSecond court blocks Trump's order to exclude undocumented immigrants from census California Republicans agree not to use unofficial ballot drop boxes Schwarzenegger: California GOP has gone 'off the rails' with unofficial ballot boxes MORE (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee

The other two Republican members are Reps. Reid RibbleReid James RibbleFormer Sen. Tom Coburn dies at 72 Ex-GOP lawmakers side with NY in Supreme Court case over Trump tax returns Former GOP lawmakers, officials ask court to enforce House subpoena on McGahn MORE (R-Wis.) and Sean DuffySean DuffyCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line McCarthy blasts Pelosi's comments on Trump's weight MORE (R-Wis.).