After Walkout, Black Caucus Gets What It Wanted

Jim Kuhnhenn, Yahoo! News, December 10, 2009

By boycotting a key House committee vote last week and threatening to abandon support for banking regulations, members of the Congressional Black Caucus got $4 billion added to a Wall Street regulation bill and $2 billion to a proposed House jobs bill in spending they sought for African American communities.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., this week inserted $3 billion to the legislation to provide low-interest loans to unemployed homeowners in danger of foreclosure. He added $1 billion for neighborhood revitalization programs.

The money would come out of the $700 billion financial rescue fund.

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The proposed jobs bill targets $1 billion from infrastructure spending for public housing repairs. It also provides $1 billion for an affordable housing trust fund.

With 40 members in the House, the Congressional Black Caucus can be a potent force.

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Among the caucus’ demands were greater assistance for minority-owned auto dealerships and banks that lend in African-American communities and more government advertising in minority-owned media.

[Editor’s Note: See the Wall Street Journal’s account of the CBC’s walkout here.]

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