The Congressional Black Caucus turned down a follow-up meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday, citing a number of actions taken by his administration that the group’s members said hurt their constituents and all black Americans. The CBC also cited their own ignored attempts at outreach to the White House.
“[W]e have seen no evidence that your Administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt Black communities,” CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA) wrote to Trump on Wednesday. “While we agreed to explore possible future discussions when we first met, it has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be entirely productive, given the actions taken by your Administration since our first meeting.”
Politico first reported Wednesday that the CBC was expected to decline an invitation to meet with Trump for a second time, reportedly in part due to concerns that the event would be used as a photo-op.
“No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” an unnamed senior Democratic aide told the publication.
Richmond’s letter goes on to list a number of actions taken by the Trump administration — from proposed cuts to Pell Grants and low income energy assistance to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ acceleration of the war on drugs, to Republicans’ attempts at dismantling Obamacare — that he said would devastate both the constituencies of members of the CBC and Americans who voted for Trump.
“We have voiced all of these concerns in various forms, most of them in writing, but have heard nothing from you or your Cabinet officials,” Richmond wrote, listing the CBC’s letters to Trump and members of his administration, in addition to a 130-page policy document, “We have a Lot to Lose.”
“Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your Administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you,” he wrote.
Read Richmond’s letter to Trump below: