Obama’s Black Caucus Meeting: First Since May 2011

Photograph by Drew Angerer/The New York Times via Redux

The Black Congressional Caucus and Congressional Tri-Caucus at a news conference on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down parts of the Voting Rights Act, June 25, 2013

Written with 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 morning meeting will mark the first formal gathering between Obama and the CBC 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, 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 ahead of 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 cabinet positions, they tempered their criticism as Obama’s filled out key positions. He has tapped former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for transportation secretary and Rep. 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 January 25.

 

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