WASHINGTON, D.C. – CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement in response to the proposed budget deal as it relates to CBC priorities:
“The Congressional Black Caucus fully discussed the proposed budget deal and its ramifications as it relates to our constituents. In advance of the vote on Thursday and Friday, we express our discomfort over the budget deal. We desire to enter into immediate negotiations about CBC priorities.
“At this time, we are reluctant to support the Omnibus or the Tax Extenders. They are lacking in support for our communities.
“Our first concern is that the negotiation process did not include members of our Caucus. It was negotiated in secrecy and much of our information was obtained from news accounts.
“The CBC advocates for African American communities. Historically, black communities and institutions have been victims of budget cuts as Congress attempts to reduce the deficit. We have reached a breaking point. African Americans and other communities of color can no longer absorb the cuts and allow deficit reduction to take place on the backs of our constituents.
“For years, we have attempted to obtain targeted funding for persistent poverty communities. We desperately need investment in infrastructure in low income communities that would remove blight and make communities safe.
“The CBC has long advocated for investment in civil rights programs and strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The budget deal reduces funding for many programs that we consider our priorities.
“Finally, we strongly support efforts to protect Puerto Rico and its impending financial crisis. It is unfortunate that the budget deal does not include a provision that would prevent financial disaster for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“We call upon the House and Senate leadership to allow the budget deal to be revised to include protections for vulnerable families and communities.”