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CBC to Send Resolution to Family of Whitney Houston

Though Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver is still working on the language, the CBC will be sending a formally written, though unofficial, resolution to the family of Whitney Houston.  The resolution will be a token of respect to the singer and a recognition of her many career achievements.  Houston’s death at 48 on Saturday in Los Angeles was a huge and unexpected shock to many admirers including many members of Congress.  Just as Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags to be flown at half staff in New Jersey on Saturday, the day of Houston’s funeral, many tokens of respect official and otherwise are starting to pop up four days after her passing.

Though the resolution to be sent by the CBC is not an “official” House passed document that will be voted on and passed on the House floor, it will be officially sent by the 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus — on of whom (Rep. Don Payne) represents the district grew up in in Newark, NJ. “Official” resolutions must be passed in the House and signed by the Speaker.  The CBC’s sentiment of respect will come straight from the 43 members and simply signed by the Chairman, Rev. Cleaver.

“We’re not introducing something to take to the well — but the Congressional Black Caucus as an entity will send the resolution,” Cleaver said.  Lord knows that in the 112th Congress — who knows if such a resolution could pass the House.  Even though an official resolution honoring Whitney Houston would be non controversial and seemingly easy to pass, the House controlled GOP that took power in January 2011 has put a limit on special legislation to honor the achievement of others such as sports teams and local champions who have won special honors in their communities.  Though such legislation was routine once upon a time there has been nothing routine in the 112th Congress.  What the CBC will send will look like a typical House resolution and with all the fancy parchment trimmings however.

“As the minister of the group I haven’t finished it… but we’ll send it to the family before Saturday I think,” Cleaver said when asked when it would arrive in New Jersey.

Rep. Don Payne of Newark, NJ may attend the funeral, but he is also being treated for cancer so his attendance could not be confirmed.  Rep. Bill Pascrell was asked today if he would attend and said that he might but is unsure.  Rep. Maxine Waters of Los Angeles attended the funeral of Etta James only weeks ago. Rep Chaka Fattah  of Philadelphia attended the funeral of Teddy Pendergrass last year.