Paul Ryan Met With the Congressional Black Caucus — They Mostly Disagreed.

It’s their first meeting since Ryan’s “inner city” comments.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Budget Committee Chairman, speaks during the American Conservative Union Conference March 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. The annual conference is a meeting of politically conservatives Americans.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
April 30, 2014, 12:52 p.m.

The Con­gres­sion­al Black Caucus got the meet­ing it wanted with House Budget Chair­man Paul Ry­an, who met with the bulk of the caucus Wed­nes­day in the wake of his “in­ner city” poverty com­ments.

CBC mem­bers had offered the in­vit­a­tion after voicing their of­fense to the com­ments Ry­an made last month on Bill Ben­nett’s in­flu­en­tial Morn­ing in Amer­ica ra­dio show. He spoke of 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.” One mem­ber called it a “thinly-veiled ra­cial at­tack.” Ry­an later said he was “in­ar­tic­u­late” in mak­ing those com­ments.

Ry­an thanked the CBC for in­vit­ing him to its meet­ing and called it the be­gin­ning of an on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion about poverty. “We had an en­ga­ging and pro­duct­ive dis­cus­sion,” he said in a state­ment fol­low­ing the meet­ing.

“The first step to real re­form is a frank con­ver­sa­tion. We need to fig­ure out what works; we need to learn from people who are fight­ing poverty on the front lines,” Ry­an said. “And that con­ver­sa­tion must go both ways. Simply de­fend­ing the status quo or de­mand­ing more of the same is not an an­swer.”

Earli­er in the day, Ry­an held a hear­ing about the gov­ern­ment’s an­ti­poverty pro­grams. He’s also been trav­el­ing the coun­try on a “listen­ing tour” as part of his in­terest in de­vel­op­ing and pro­mot­ing con­ser­vat­ive solu­tions to poverty.

“We had a very re­spect­ful and cor­di­al con­ver­sa­tion,” CBC Chair­wo­man Mar­cia Fudge said. But they agreed on al­most noth­ing, policy-wise. Ry­an’s latest budget, op­posed by CBC mem­bers, trims the budget by more than $5 tril­lion in cuts, and in­cludes steep cuts to pro­grams like Medi­caid and food stamps.

“The only point of agree­ment that we really had is that we both be­lieve we have un­duly isol­ated the poor in this coun­try and we need to find some policies that cor­rect that situ­ation,” Fudge said.

The group mostly dis­cussed the ideo­lo­gic­al and policy dif­fer­ences they have on ap­proaches to poverty. Ry­an and the CBC mem­bers agreed to keep talk­ing, but it’s un­clear what format that con­ver­sa­tion will take.

Ry­an’s pri­or com­ments, which promp­ted the meet­ing in the first place, did come up Wed­nes­day, Fudge said.

“I be­lieve he phrased it in such a way that, some­times people say things and they think they’re say­ing it in a cer­tain way, and oth­er people are hear­ing it dif­fer­ently,” Fudge said. “It wasn’t ne­ces­sar­ily an apo­logy but more to say, ‘Yes I know that I may have mis­s­poke,’ or, ‘I may have been’ — in his words — ‘in­ar­tic­u­late.’”

What We're Following See More »
WARRING FACTIONS?
Freedom Caucus Members May Bolt the RSC
34 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

The Republican Study Committee may lose several members of the House Freedom Caucus next year, "potentially creating a split between two influential groups of House conservatives." The Freedom Caucus was founded at the inception of the current Congress by members who felt that the conservative RSC had gotten too cozy with leadership, "and its roughly 40 members have long clashed with the RSC over what tactics to use when pushing for conservative legislation." As many as 20 members may not join the RSC for the new Congress next year.

Source:
SOME THERAPIES ALREADY IN TRIALS
FDA Approves Emergency Zika Test
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study in Nature identifies "about a dozen substances" that could "suppress the pathogen's replication." Some of them are already in clinical trials.

Source:
MONEY HAS BEEN PAID BACK
Medicare Advantage Plans Overcharged Government
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

According to 37 newly released audits, "some private Medicare plans overcharged the government for the majority of elderly patients they treated." A number of Medicare Advantage plans overstated "the severity of medical conditions like diabetes and depression." The money has since been paid back, though some plans are appealing the federal audits.

Source:
DESPITE CONSERVATIVE OBJECTIONS
Omnibus Spending Bill Likely Getting a Lame-Duck Vote
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.

Source:
FBI WARNS STATES
Foreign Agents Have Hacked State Voting Databases
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems." Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month conferred with state election officials, offering his department's assistance in scanning for vulnerabilities."

Source:
×