Source: White House
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
This morning, President Obama met with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at the White House. During the meeting, they discussed a range of topics including the economy, voting rights legislation, education, comprehensive immigration reform, youth employment, gun violence, and anti-poverty programs.
The President started the meeting by welcoming the freshmen members of the CBC serving in the 113th Congress. The President went on to acknowledge all of the hard work and perseverance demonstrated by the CBC to address pressing issues important to communities around the country. The President underscored the need to build on the legislative gains accomplished in his first term with the help of the CBC and they collectively agreed that there is still more work to be done together.
The President expressed that education remained a top priority in his administration from cradle to career. He emphasized commitments made by his Administration to improve the quality of early education and a new effort called “ConnectEd” that will provide high-speed broadband access to 99 percent of America’s students. He also discussed the need to continue efforts to help students afford college by protecting Pell Grants and preventing Stafford Loan interest rates from doubling for American students.
The President and the CBC conveyed their deep disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act. The President reaffirmed his commitment to addressing voter discrimination through the Department of Justice and expressed his interested in working with Congress to pass legislation to ensure that every American who is eligible to vote has access to the polls.
Though the economy is showing signs of improvement, the President and the CBC expressed shared frustration over the pace of economic growth and the elevated unemployment rate among African Americans. The president reaffirmed his commitment to support and create policies that will not only build a strong economy for the middle class but also create ladders of opportunity for those striving to get into the middle class.
The President also underscored the need to continue to work with Congress, law enforcement and advocacy groups to reduce gun violence.
Members of the CBC shared a common interest in amplifying the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and plan to start a tour this summer to inform their constituents about the health care marketplaces set to open on October 1.
They also discussed the benefits of fixing our broken immigration system and the need for a commonsense approach.
At the end of the meeting, the President again thanked the CBC and said that he looks forward to continue to work with them.
Copied below is a readout from the Congressional Black Caucus.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ayofemi Kirby
Readout of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Meeting with President Obama
WASHINGTON, DC (Link) – Today, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) met with President Barack Obama about voting rights, education, poverty and economic issues, and immigration reform in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
During the meeting, CBC Members discussed the urgency of addressing high student loan interest rates and changes to the Parent PLUS loan program that have adversely impacted students and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); ways to address poverty and the high unemployment rate within the African American community; and ways to increase opportunities for minority small business owners in both urban and rural communities. The CBC also discussed how critical comprehensive immigration reform is to immigrants of all nationalities and to raising the quality of life for American workers.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act, the President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to fighting discriminatory practices in voting requirements across the country and to working with the CBC on legislation that protects every American’s right to vote. President Obama committed to working with the CBC on targeted strategies to address unemployment among African Americans and highlighted the importance of passing immigration reform legislation that includes immigrants of African and Caribbean descent. The President was also receptive to many recommendations posed by the CBC to address issues facing our nation’s vulnerable communities, including the 10-20-30 targeted plan to end poverty.