Caucus: Obama can do more for U.S. blacks

Dec. 10, 2009 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Several black lawmakers say they're more satisfied now than before that U.S. President Obama is working to provide greater financial aid to black communities.

But while some African-American congressional members say they want to move on, members of the Congressional Black Caucus maintain the White House's efforts could be better, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who led an effort to tie up in committee a financial regulations bill Obama supports, said an agreement reached with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank allayed some of her concerns.

"Absolutely, they got the message," Waters said.

Still, Walters and members of the Congressional Black Caucus remained at odds with the president, the Post said. After Obama's speech Tuesday, in which he called for more small-business tax cuts and incentives to hire workers, Waters said she wants to "keep the pressure" on the administration.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who leads the caucus, sought a more direct approach to reducing unemployment among blacks.

"We believe that tackling systemic inequality requires specific, concrete and targeted action," Lee said. "The Congressional Black Caucus is committed to working with President Obama to address the needs of those who are hurting most and to ensure that existing disparities don't grow wider."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama believes the ideas he outlined in Tuesday's remarks "are targeted and responsible in addressing those problems" raised by Lee and others.

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