CBC Meetings With Obama Yield Nothing, White House Quiet on 5 CBC Requests

3 meetings… results? Of course, meeting is better than not meeting. But if nothing results from meeting… what is the point? To this point, the White House has given no indication it will. Meanwhile, unemployment in the black community is double that of the national average with teen unemployment at a staggering 44%.

1. Publicly support or use the “bully pulpit” on… or
2. … speak out loudly on, or
3. … issue a “statement from the White House (or the Press Secretary or the President)” on, or
4. … push for legislation on… or
5. … or challenge House or Senate Republicans on … or
6. … push various cabinet secretaries on, or…
7. … Meet again in any detail on…

… any of the five points below…

the meetings so far?

March 4 meeting participants

1. Budget strategies to end systemic “pockets” of long term poverty (also known as “10-20-30″). This idea is being pushed and advocated by Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
2. Redistricting and Section 5 of the Voting right Act – This is an issue of concern for several CBC members. The CBC asked for a redistricting task force to be set up as states redraw the maps of state and federal election districts.  One would have thought this one was a gimme. It costs the White House nothing and is a simple request. Nothing so far.
3. The 99ers and unemployment extensions, which has taken the form of H.R. 589, which is being pushed by Rep. Barbara Lee.
4. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – This program is being pushed by several CBC members who have poor and low income constituents.  As you might assume, that would include many CBC districts.
5. NIH funding, health care disparities – Health care task force head Del. Donna Christensen, who is also a doctor, has been pushing the CBC and Democratic leadership on recognizing and funding programs to combat health care disparities between blacks, whites and Latinos.

The CBC/Obama meetings so far: March 30, 2011. In attendance during this Oval Office meeting were President Obama, CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. GK Butterfield, Del. Donna Christensen, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Yvette Clarke and Dep. OMB Director Rob Nabors.
May 4, 2011. A meeting with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley occurred in the Longworth Building on Capitol Hill during the CBC’s weekly meeting.
May 13, 2011. In attendance were 23 members of the CBC, President Obama and various staff on both sides.