Congressional Black Caucus turns down follow-up meeting with Trump

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(CNN) — The Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday declined an invitation for a follow-up meeting with President Donald Trump, blasting his administration’s policies and proposals as detrimental to their constituencies.

In a letter addressed to the President, CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond wrote that “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,” he continued.

Rep. Cedric Richmond is the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. (File Photo)

Omarosa Manigault, the director of communications in the White House Office of Public Liaison, had extended an invitation on behalf of the President for a follow-up meeting with all 49 members of the caucus “to continue the discussion of issues presented in (their) previous meeting.”

Richmond noted that during the initial March 22 meeting, members presented Trump with “a 130-page policy document” meant to educate the President and his administration “on the difficult history of black people in this country, the history of the CBC, and solutions to advance black families in the 21st century.”

“Based on actions taken by you and your administration since that meeting, it appears that our concerns, and your stated receptiveness to them, fell on deaf ears,” the Louisiana Democrat wrote.

The letter finds fault with a number of actions taken by members of the Trump administration, which Richmond described as “steps that will affirmatively hurt black communities.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescission of prior guidance on mandatory minimum sentencing, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ failure to commit to federal discrimination protections for LGBTQ students, and the administration’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are among the catalog of issues cited in the document.

Richmond wrote that the CBC “voiced all of these concerns in various forms, most them in writing, but have heard nothing back” from Trump or his Cabinet.

Although the caucus’ members voted against a meeting, Richmond noted that Trump could continue to “solicit the engagement of individual members.”

“The CBC will always be willing to engage in discussion and debate about policies and programs that will make America a more perfect union for all,” the letter concludes.

The White House did not have an immediate response to the CBC’s letter.

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