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Congressional Black Caucus Refuses to Meet with Donald Trump

Cedric Richmond, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman
Congressman Cedric Richmond , Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) this week refused an invitation to the White House from President Donald Trump.

They said Trump has no concerns for the millions of Americans in the black community and previous issues that were discussed have fallen on “deaf ears.”

Citing a litany of issues of interest to the Black community that the Trump administration has neglected to address so far, the Congressional Black Caucus said they have no choice but to turn down the invitation.

“Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you,” CBC chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) wrote in a letter to Trump.

The White House called the move “pretty disappointing” but offered no assurances that the issues raised by the Caucus will be addressed any time soon, instead offered to arrange one-on-one meetings between the Caucus members and the White House.

See also: New York Ends Child Marriage, Raises Consent Age from 14 to 18.

The Congressional Black Caucus said they have written letters to President Trump eight times and also included documentation to illustrate their frustration on how Donald Trump has handled the issues which include changes in the administration’s budget, the Affordable Care Act and the president’s inability to handle actions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your administration. I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for,” Cedric Richmond, the Chairman of the Black Caucus said.

In March this year, the Congressional Black Caucus top members met with Trump but any follow-up on promises have yet to be made including helping black lawmakers meet with Trump’s Cabinet.

The Congressional Black Caucus’ main concerns are for the low income Americans who would have Pell Grant monies cut for college students and the removal of funds for Home Energy Assistance that helps seniors and others on fix income.

The CBC is also troubled that President Trump have shown a  lack of concern towards Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reactions on drug prosecution and civil rights enforcement. They also took notice of Trump’s celebration of the GOP health care bill that would take away healthcare from millions of Black Americans.

Omarosa Manigault, chief spokeswoman for White House’s Office of Public Liaison said in a telephone interview that it was disappointing that Cedric Richmond reneged on his commitment to meet with Trump.

Manigault said that most Congressional Black Caucus members that were not included in the meeting have reached out to her and to the White House legislative affairs team for a one-on-one meeting to discuss those issues that Mr. Richmond was concerned about.

“We will do that because they have made those requests and we will honor those requests.”. Manigault said. ” That’s not going to be deterred because of Cedric Richmond’s political gamesmanship.”

Democrat Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York said that the Congressional Black Caucus wants substance from Trump and the White House, and not a social event.

“We want to talk and deal with issues that are of concern to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and we’ve not gotten any response,” Meeks said.

“My opinion and the opinion of  most of just about all of the members of the CBC is that the board met with Trump, they gave him substantive issues which we wanted to deal with and they have not been dealt with,” Congressman Meeks added.

Meeks said that there is no reason to meet with Trump and his team if they cannot adhere to the substances and issues that was presented before in the beginning.


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