Paul Ryan Agrees to Meet with Congressional Black Caucus After ‘Inner-City’ Remarks

Caucus members say they were “deeply troubled” by what the lawmaker said.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
National Journal
Elahe Izadi
March 14, 2014, 7:36 a.m.

Re­pub­lic­an Budget Com­mit­tee Chair­man Paul Ry­an, whose re­marks about in­ner-city poverty were de­scribed by an­oth­er mem­ber of Con­gress as a “thinly veiled ra­cial at­tack,” has ac­cep­ted the in­vit­a­tion of the Con­gres­sion­al Black Caucus to dis­cuss poverty.

CBC Chair­wo­man Mar­cia Fudge and Rep. Gwen Moore sent a let­ter to Ry­an, say­ing they were “deeply troubled” and of­fen­ded by his re­marks on Bill Ben­nett’s in­flu­en­tial Morn­ing in Amer­ica ra­dio show Wed­nes­day about a “tailspin of cul­ture, in our in­ner cit­ies in par­tic­u­lar, of men not work­ing, and just gen­er­a­tions of men not even think­ing about work­ing or learn­ing the value and the cul­ture of work.”

Ry­an has since said that he was “in­ar­tic­u­late” in mak­ing those com­ments. “I was not im­plic­at­ing the cul­ture of one com­munity — but of so­ci­ety as a whole. We have al­lowed our so­ci­ety to isol­ate or quar­ant­ine the poor rather than in­teg­rate people in our com­munit­ies.”

Fudge and Moore pushed back against the idea that isol­a­tion is the main cul­prit be­hind poverty, say­ing that the prob­lem is in­stead a lack of re­sources. They in­vited Ry­an to one of the CBC’s weekly meet­ings “to dis­cuss our per­spect­ives on poverty in search of find­ing con­struct­ive com­mon ground.”

A spokes­man said Ry­an ap­pre­ci­ated the in­vit­a­tion. “He has said he would wel­come a pro­duct­ive con­ver­sa­tion on how to bet­ter fight poverty, and he looks for­ward to meet­ing with the CBC in the near fu­ture,” the spokes­man said.

Ry­an has been no­tice­ably fo­cused on poverty lately. He em­barked on a listen­ing tour of strug­gling neigh­bor­hoods in re­cent months and re­leased a re­port last week look­ing back on the War on Poverty. The chair­man also plans to pro­pose changes, through a new budget, to fed­er­al pro­grams in­ten­ded to help the poor.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
1.5 MILLION MORE TUNED IN FOR TRUMP
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.

Source:
×