The 12 (of 39) Members of the Black Caucus Who Voted NO on the Clinton Crime Bill

The 12 (of 39) Members of the Black Caucus Who Voted NO on the Clinton Crime Bill

The Black Caucus and the Clinton Crime Bill.  There’s a bit of an obsession with the issue of what the Congressional Black Caucus actions were around the war on drugs. And there should be.  The policies around the drug war adversely changed the lives of African Americans — particularly males — for the worst.  Though there have been many pieces of legislation that have included mandatory minimums, the most recent bill that advanced the “war on drugs” was the Clinton Crime Bill.  The bill contained 3 strikes, more death penalty and money for 100,000 police officers.  It would end up extending the failed war on drugs and spiking incarceration even more. Currently there is a push to undo much of what was made law because of the Clinton Crime Bill.

In the end, 23 CBC members voted for the Clinton crime bill and 11 voted against. Obviously that was 23 members too many. But clintoncrime-linethe idea that the Black Caucus was Stephen in Django Unchained — a house Negro to Calvin “Bill Clinton” Candie — is a bit too simplistic. The road to the vote was rocky to say the least and in the end, several members who voted with Clinton got something in return.  Interestingly, Rep. Charlie Rangel was a lead opponent of the legislation.  Rep. Maxine Waters, who received massive pressure to vote in favor of the bill, also voted no.

On August 21, 1994 the House voted on final passage of the Clinton crime bill. The final vote was 235 to 195 with 64 Democrats voting against the Clinton Administration. The $30.2 billion crime bill would end up causing a spike in incarceration and continuing the war on drugs.

||| RELATED: July 1994 – Clinton Bends On Crime Bill, Angers Some Blacks In Congress |||
||| RELATED: August 1994 – The Black Caucus Has Clinton Running Scared |||

The Clinton crime bill legislation included:
— expansion of the death penalty to cover more than 50 federal crimes
— added money for 100,000 police officers
— implemented life in prison for 3 time felons, a three strikes law with life added
— more money for prisons
cuts to prevention programs (the GOP insisted on these cuts)
— A ban on the sale and possession of 19 types of assault weapons

The bill would end up being a disproportionate disaster for Black communities.  There were 36 members of the Congressional Black Caucus

*still in Congress

Members of the CBC who voted AGAINST the Clinton Crime bill

1. William Clay, Sr. (D-MO)
2. John Conyers (D-MI)*
3. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)*
4. Bobby Scott (D-VA)*
5. Louis Stokes (D-OH)
6. John Lewis (D-GA)*
7. Earl Hillard (D-AL)
8. Mel Watt (D-NC)*
9. Don Payne, Sr. (D-NJ)
10. Cleo Fields (D-LA)
11. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
12. Ron Dellums (D_CA)

— Two Black Caucus members did not vote: Craig Washington (D-TX) and Walter Tucker (D-CA).

Members of the CBC who voted YES the Clinton Crime bill

1. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)*
2. Lucian Blackwell (D-PA)
3. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)*
4. Cardiss Collins (D-IL)
5. Corrine Brown (D-FA)*
6. Harold Ford, Sr. (D-TN)
7. Bill Jefferson (D-LA)
8. Eva Clayton (D-NC)
9. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)*
10. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
11. Kwesi Mfume (D-MD)
12. Carrie Meek (D-FL)
13. Allen Wheat (D-MO)
14. Ed Towns (D-NY)
15. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)*
16. Floyd Flake (D-NY)
17. Major Owens (D-NY)
18. Barbara Rose Collins (D-MI)
19. Julian Dixon (D-CA)
20. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)*
21. Albert Wynn (D-MD)
22. Bobby Rush (D-IL)*