In a scathing three-page letter released Wednesday, the Congressional Black Caucus announced that it was declining an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump.
“We 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 Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) wrote in the letter.
According to the CBC’s Twitter, the group came to the decision after a vote.
The declined invitation is the latest in a series of incidents between the caucus and the president. The CBC first reached out to meet with Trump back in January, but did not hear back. At a February press conference, reporter April Ryan asked Trump if he would meet with the CBC. In response, Trump asked if Ryan wanted to set up the meeting, and if the CBC’s members were her friends, presumably because Ryan is black.
The caucus eventually did meet with Trump in March. At that meeting, they discussed voting rights and how Trump has been portraying black communities as “crime-ridden,” Politico reported. The caucus also gave the president a 130-page policy document titled “We Have A Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century.”
Since then, Trump’s administration has not responded to the policies suggested by the caucus in the document, according to the CBC’s letter.
And that’s not all: Apparently, various parts of the administration have not responded to many of the CBC’s attempts to reach out to them either about policy matters including health care, consent decrees, Flint, and hate crimes.
From the CBC letter:
Not only that, but Richmond also listed policies suggested and enacted since their March meeting that the caucus believes hurt their constituents, including proposed cuts to Pell Grants and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the war on drugs, the loss of funding to historically black colleges and universities, and the impending repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.
“Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with your Administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus with you,” the letter reads. “The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your Administration. I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for.”
In the letter, Richmond said the administration can reach out to individual members of the caucus, but that the caucus is declining a group meeting.