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Black Caucus shuts down House vote, demands job creation

November 21, 2009

by Ryan Grim

Johnnie Daniels and Kerwin Barber search through job listings at a job fair Los Angeles. The Black unemployment rate is officially 15.7 percent nationwide, compared to 9.5 percent for whites. But even Fox News reported Nov. 18 that in some communities half of Black men are out of work. - Photo: Ric Francis, AP
Johnnie Daniels and Kerwin Barber search through job listings at a job fair Los Angeles. The Black unemployment rate is officially 15.7 percent nationwide, compared to 9.5 percent for whites. But even Fox News reported Nov. 18 that in some communities half of Black men are out of work. - Photo: Ric Francis, AP
A bloc of African American House Democrats, angry and worried that not enough is being done about high unemployment by the administration, forced the postponement of a much-anticipated vote Thursday on comprehensive financial regulation reform.

The Financial Services Committee had finished hearing amendments around 3 p.m. and recessed, planning to return at 4 for a final vote on the package. But during the break, some of the Democrats on the committee buttonholed Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., and told him they wouldn’t vote for the bill because of the deepening problem of unemployment in their districts.

The refusal to vote for the package, a key priority of the administration, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in particular, was portrayed as a direct rebuke of the White House’s “lack of response to the economic situation.”

“We will not be proceeding to passage today,” Frank began. “I have been meeting with members of the committee, particularly the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who have informed me that they are troubled by what they believe is the lack of response to the economic situation that is confronting them on the part of the administration, and therefore do not feel that they could – in deference to the various constituencies that they represent – vote for passage.”

The CBC met earlier this week with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and expressed dissatisfaction with the administration’s response to the unemployment situation, an aide familiar with the meeting said.

There are 10 CBC members on the Financial Services Committee.

Maxine Waters
Maxine Waters
“The recession has created a unique systemic risk that threatens all parts of the African-American community, including the poor and the middle class,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a subcommittee chair, in a statement after shutting down the vote. “I have always been committed to addressing that risk and will continue to do so. This is a critical issue for my constituents.”

The bill was scheduled to be considered on the House floor during the second week of December. Today’s vote was postponed until the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving break. In the meantime, the Democratic leadership is working on job-creating legislation they want to pass before Christmas.

“Nothing is lost by waiting 10 days,” said Frank. That’s assuming, he added, that he can put the bill’s coalition back together. “Obviously, if there are not the votes for the bill, it will not come up.”

Ryan Grim is the senior congressional correspondent for the Huffington Post, where this story originally appeared. He can be reached at ryan@huffingtonpost.com.

5 thoughts on “Black Caucus shuts down House vote, demands job creation

  1. mike holmes

    This just provides how unintelligent the members of the black caucus really are, refusing to solve the ptoblem that created the unemployment crisis in the first place. God help us.

    Reply
  2. deborah

    The CBC is eight years, and a dollar short, not to mention, too selfish to see the job loss that began on 9/11 in the black community. In fact problems began on the economic front while Clinton was reforming welfare. Instead of properly reigning in regulation of hedge funds, repairing infrasructure and making sure wekfare-to-work did not forsake the professional black population, he allowed jobs to be outsourced at a tremendously exponential increase to lower wage nations. Instead of making sure employment increased under his leadership, he allowed manufacturing indutries to move off shore…nd the dumb asses in the CBC called him the first black prez as he locked up their sons and daughters for smoking or selling weed. They (CBC) should also be forced into unemployment like all incumbent House/Senate members. Why wait until you get a black prez who most did not support ib the beginning to finally demand a creation of jobs.

    Reply
  3. Frances M. Beal

    I say it’s about time those representing poor and working families stood up to the big monied interests. If all politics is compromise, then the financial regulation advocates as a means of getting out of this crisis

    Reply
  4. Frances M. Beal

    I say it’s about time those representing poor and working families stood up to the big monied interests. If all politics is compromise, then the financial regulation advocates as a means of getting out of this crisis need to put job creation on their agenda, not wait for the financial institutions that created the crisis in the first place to solve the problem. I say, right on, to the CBC and to others who need to put pressure on Obama from a people’s perspective. He has made too many concessions to the rightwing without ANY benefit, now is the time to get the man of change we were promised and worked so hard to elect.

    Reply
  5. Deborah

    The CBC has been in office for how long? How many of them take money from lobbyists? How many of them actually used a note written by Genentech/Roche to post in the Congressional Record?

    I find it okay for them to request jobs, but for those who have been there for decades only to placate the former Republicrat in Power, I say it’s time to give someone else a chance.

    Reply

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