No complaining, grumbling or crying? But that’s the Congressional Black Caucus’ speciality.
Washington (CNN) — While acknowledging the hard-hit black community and budding criticisms in its ranks, President Barack Obama said in a speech Saturday night to the Congressional Black Caucus that he wouldn’t give up — and urged members of the black community to join him to jump-start the still sluggish economy.
“I expect all of you to march with me, and press on,” Obama said. “. . .Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do.”
The unemployment rate among African-Americans is 16.7%, nearly double the national average. That fact has made fiscal reforms a priority for caucus members, some of whom — most of them Democrats — have criticized the president for not doing enough on the issue.
Obama alluded to those difficulties in his speech, also touting the American Jobs Act that he introduced earlier this month. Several of its components are aimed at tackling the problem of long-term unemployment, among other economic issues, as well as tax reform to put a bigger burden on higher-income individuals.
At a caucus “jobs’ tour town hall” in Detroit this month, Rep. Maxine Waters — a Democrat representing California’s 35th congressional district — said the high unemployment rate among blacks is “unconscionable,” the strategy to fix it was unclear and that the caucus was “getting tired” of waiting for one.