CBC Marks 40th Anniversary With “Substantive” Talks With Obama

But it's not clear exactly what substance they hashed out.

By Shani O. Hilton Mar 31, 2011

The Congressional Black Caucus executive board met with President Barack Obama in the White House yesterday, symbolically marking their 40th anniversary and what the group called "its long-standing relationship with the White House."

Details on the content of the meeting are few (calls for comment from the CBC weren’t returned), but a statement called it a "substantive and wide-ranging discussion." Topics included the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF-ECF, formerly known as welfare) and unemployment benefits.

Prior to the meeting, CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver told BET.com he had higher hopes for this meeting than meetings with past presidents. "I’ve been in those meetings over the years, and I have to say, in spite of the goals, desires and hopes of everyone who participated, I don’t think anything has come out of any of those meetings." He added that he intended make recommendations to the president.

It’s unclear what the outcome of the meeting will be–the CBC’s brief statement alluded to future meetings, but no action items:

Washington, DC–Earlier today, the Congressional Black Caucus Executive Board held their first meeting of the year with President Obama building upon its long-standing relationship with the White House. In a substantive and wide-ranging discussion, the Executive Board addressed federal budget issues and our country’s long term investment in our most vulnerable communities. More specifically they discussed the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF-ECF), empowerment zones in persistent poverty communities, and unemployment benefits. This is the first of many conversations, the CBC looks forward to holding a follow up meeting with the President and entire Caucus. The meeting reflected our ongoing relationship and agreement to continue the conversation on key issues.