Obama Said to Host Congressional Black Caucus First Since 2011Hans Nichols and Joi Preciphs
President Barack Obama plans to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House tomorrow to discuss jobs and the economy, according to people familiar with the matter.
The meeting, scheduled for the morning, will mark the first formal gathering between Obama and the caucus since May 2011.
“The president knows many of these members but probably could take better advantage of their policy experience and their political contacts to help him push his second-term agenda,” said Paul Brathwaite, a former executive director of the caucus who helped organize a similar meeting with President George W. Bush in 2005.
Lawmakers, including CBC chairwoman Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio, plan to press the president on what he’s doing to lower black unemployment, according to one of the people, who requested anonymity before a meeting announcement. Black unemployment in June rose to 13.7 percent from 13.5 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
While members of the caucus initially faulted Obama for not appointing more minorities to his cabinet, they tempered their criticism as the president filled out key posts. He has tapped former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for transportation secretary and Representative Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Obama last met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Jan. 25.