Chairman Emanuel Cleaver’s Opening Statement on the Congressional Black Caucus Fiscal Year 2012 Alternative Budget

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2011
Communications Director:  Stephanie L. Young o:  c: 


*****Embargoed Until 12:30 PM ******

Chairman Emanuel Cleaver’s Opening Statement on the Congressional Black Caucus Fiscal Year 2012 Alternative Budget

Washington, DC – Today Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II opened the CBC press conference on the Fiscal Year 2012 Alternative Budget with the following statement:

“ Thank you all for being here today. Thank you to the Members of the Congressional Black Caucus for all of your hard work with putting this budget together, especially Congressman Bobby Scott for leading the effort.

“ We are under attack. And by “we” I mean the African American community, the Hispanic community, the American workforce, seniors, students, the middle class and those who strive to be the middle class. Our nation’s most vulnerable communities are under attack and echoing Presidents Obama’s deficit reduction speech…not on our watch.

“ The Congressional Black Caucus has served this nation diligently for the past 40 years since 1971, and since 1981 we have offered an alternative budget. We stand here today on the 100th day in the 112th Congress of the United States and the Republican Leadership has not brought one jobs bill or solution to the table. Instead they are proposing draconian cuts that will critically wound and significantly impact the vulnerable communities.

“ Our nation’s communities of color have been hit hardest by the effects of the recession. Even as our nation’s economy slowly emerges from the recession, our communities experience disproportionately higher rates of unemployment, home foreclosure, educational disadvantages, and economic hardships. As a result, vulnerable communities increasingly rely on public programs to meet their basic needs. These are the much-needed programs the Republican leadership eradicates with their budget proposal.

“ Congressional budgets are a window into the moral compass of our conscience as a nation—and the compass is horribly off. Recklessly cutting vital programs like job training, education, and health care to millions of hardworking American families is not a roadmap to balancing the budget—it is a road to nowhere.

“The American people do not deserve this! They deserve good jobs to care for their families. They deserve educational opportunities for their children. They deserve retirement security and access to affordable healthcare for their families. Hardworking American families may not be the Republican leadership’s priority, but they are the priority of the “Conscience of the Congress”—the Congressional Black Caucus. We believe that our budget is a responsible path towards investing in our country and one of three proposals on the table that are significantly better than what the Republican Leadership has offered.  And with that I will turn it over to Congressman Bobby Scott.  Thank you.”

-Chairman Emanuel Cleaver




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