Black Caucus chairman: if Obama were still a member, he would oppose his own budget
February 15th, 2011
05:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Black Caucus chairman: if Obama were still a member, he would oppose his own budget

Washington (CNN) - The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday that if President Obama were still part of the group of African American legislators he wouldn't like his own budget.

"I think the proposed budget from the president is not the budget we would present," said Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver during a press conference on Capitol Hill about the president's budget and proposed GOP spending cuts.

Pointing to another leader of the black caucus, Cleaver added, "if the president was still a member of the CBC, he would be standing next to Barbara Lee criticizing the budget that was presented today, and so we have an obligation do that, to oppose things that we think will impact negatively our constituents."

Cleaver said he thought Obama was trying "a balanced approach" to making spending cuts, but said he disagreed with that strategy. "I tend to not to think that we ought to be fair. I think that gets us in trouble because the poorest people should not have to pay the same price as for example the Wall Street barons who got us in trouble," Cleaver said.

Cleaver said the CBC's opposition to portions of the president's budget is "not going without notice at the White House" and said the group plans to "push back in areas that we find trouble with." The group is scheduled to meet with White House staff and also planned a session with the Budget Director Jacob Lew to discuss their concerns.

Although he was critical of the Obama's budget, the CBC Chairman noted that this was the beginning of the budget season and said he thought there was plenty of time to work with the White House. Cleaver mentioned that he already spoke with the president a week ago about the value of the community block grant program that helps cities. President Obama's budget cuts the program by 7.5 percent, or $300 million for 2012.

While Cleaver was open about his criticisms of the President's budget, he also hit Republicans who have been saying the President "punted" by not addressing the massive deficit. Noting he was a former football player, Cleaver said, "If they believed the President punted, pick up the ball."

Filed under: Budget • Congressional Black Caucus
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Me

    That's good to know. Because Obama isn't President of Black America
    Obama is President of The United States of America. That's all of us.
    your dissatisfaction with the President's budget proves he trying work with all sides.
    He's trying to reach compromise and make sure basic goals are met.
    I can understand and agree with this course of action

    February 15, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I wish the President would slash military funding as a top priority!

    February 15, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Yes, maybe he would. But he is our President – thankfully. And he now has a higher calling and therefore can not be held back from using all his many talents to heal our country – no matter how many nasty and evil (un-American) things the neo-conferderates throw at him.

    February 15, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Jamie

    Obamas budget is a complete joke. You liberals will follow this president all the way, no matter how much sense his policies make. All of you are stupid.

    February 15, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Time to pop the WH bubble and get him back into the real world.

    February 15, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Clark1b

    why should we play favoritism toward poor people? justice doesn't put its thumb on the scales ... so why does the CBC want the government to be partial toward certain categories of citizens?

    charity is for the private sector not for the government ....

    February 15, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Sgt Schultz

    Doesn't cut enough, cuts too can never satisfy everyone. Cut military spending more than 2%, cut law enforcement spending, end the useless War on Drugs, and eliminate all the thousands of special tax loopholes that allow individuals or businesses to zero-out.

    February 15, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Obama 2012-Clinton-2016

    Good job Mr. President. I support you.

    February 15, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Lorenzo

    If working with all sides means rescinding more than 50% of his most critical campaign promises, great job. I for one clearly see him as a fraud, much like any other politician. Only difference is that he's an exceptional actor. If you really believe he has your best interest in heart, I'm afraid you're all quite delusional, which is unfortunate.

    February 15, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. D-NICE

    As long as Obama is making people mad on both sides of the aisle, he is doing a good job.

    February 15, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Let's not forget, Obama is President of the United States of America and we will not always agree with him but I haven't seen a budget proposal put forth by the Black Caucus and if they had one we wouldn't all agree on it.

    February 15, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Oceanside Kid

    I am black not on the left not on the right but right in the middle... The President has a very fine line to walk he nor congress can satisfy the needs of every single American, but he has to look at the choices he makes as a whole while all the while trying to find ways to keep the country moving foward. There will never be and I stand firm on using the word NEVER a common ground, everyone has their own agenda and what they think should be done. The truth is that majority of the tax revenue goes to social security, medicaid and the military, and we already no that for many americans they don't want the government to touch SS or Medicaid. That leaves the military, ask yourselves this... with the way the world is today do you really want to start decreasing the about of money for the military?

    February 15, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Albo58

    The CBC just fishing around for yet more government-paid entitlements, nothing new here!

    February 15, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. This is Good New's !

    This just proves that the President is doing the right thing ! We can no longer afford as a nation to do everything that feel's good to us all the time ! We took the easy way out for quite some time and now were paying for it ! I totally agree with the President here ! Besides I trust his budget a 100 times more than I do the GOP's because I know his actually take's into account our nation's less fortunate !

    February 15, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. Please go away

    Jeff Brown in Jersey, how right you are. We need to cut our military funding and insist that if our allies want our troops to be stationed in their country, they need to help bear the cost.

    February 15, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |