Congressional Black Caucus Frustrated With Jobs Legislation

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From the Washington Post:

As Congress focused almost exclusively on health care late last year, the Congressional Black Caucus loudly complained that rising unemployment among African Americans was not getting enough attention. To express that frustration, one bloc in the 43-member group briefly withheld its votes for a key bill that Democrats were trying to pass. The caucus released a list of demands to include in the legislation that would create jobs in low-income areas.

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But as the “jobs bill” winds its way through Congress, civil rights groups say the various versions of the legislation are not directly addressing the problems the caucus wanted to fix. When the House passed its $154 billion version in December, it did not include a request from black lawmakers that 10 percent of the money in each of its provisions go to communities where at least 20 percent of the people are low-income. The version of the package that overcame a filibuster threat in the Senate on Monday does not include the 10 percent formula, nor does it include the additional funding for youth employment programs that is in the House bill.

“The final legislation must provide tools for ensuring that stimulus funds go to the places and people most in need,” a coalition of groups that included the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote to congressional leaders on Friday.

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