Congressional Black Caucus refuses follow-up invite from Trump

By Ray Downs  |  June 21, 2017 at 8:38 PM
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June 21 (UPI) -- The Congressional Black Caucus has refused to meet with President Donald Trump again because it says he's ignored policy recommendations for the black community, a group letter detailed Wednesday.

The caucus first met with Trump on March 22, when the group gave the president a 130-page document detailing the "difficult history of Black people in this country, the history of the CBC, and solutions to advance Black families in the 21st century," the letter, signed by CBC Chair Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., stated.

Instead of getting a response to the March recommendations from Trump, Richmond said the policies put forth by the administration only do more damage to the U.S. black community.

"Three-fifths of the cuts you propose draw much-needed funds from programs that serve low- and moderate-income people, the most vulnerable Americans among us," Richmond wrote in the letter. "For example, you propose a $4 billion cut to Pell grants that help low-income college students pay their tuition. You also propose the complete elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps seniors and other helpless populations heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer."

Richmond went on to point out several other Trump administration proposals that could negatively impact the black community -- including Attorney General Jeff Sessions' plan to increase drug prosecutions that may disproportionately incarcerate black people; funding cuts to schools, including historically black colleges and universities; and the Republican healthcare bill that aims to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which increased coverage to millions of black Americans through Medicaid and private health insurance.

"The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your administration," Richmond added. "I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for."

The White House didn't immediately issue a public response to the CBC's letter Wednesday.

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