The Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday flatly rejected an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump, telling him their concerns are falling on "deaf ears" – and his policies are causing "legitimate alarm" in black communities across America.
In its letter turning down the invite, CBC chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., told Trump his proposed budget, efforts to dismantle former President Barack Obama's healthcare law, and actions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions are detrimental to many African-Americans.
Richmond also said the caucus had expressed its concern – including in eight letters – but there had been no response.
"The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your administration," Richmond wrote. "I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for."
Richmond also cited proposed cuts to Pell Grants for low-income college students and elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program as curbacks that would "destroy minority communities, all while your administration and Congressional Republicans consider proposals to provide tax cuts for the richest Americans."
"We want to talk and deal with issues that are of concern to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and we've not gotten any response," Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., told the AP.
"My opinion and the opinion of most of just about all of the members of the CBC is that the board met (with Trump). They gave him substantive issues which we wanted to deal with and they have not been dealt with.
"Until we can deal with substance and issues, what's the benefit of a meeting?"
The Congressional Black Caucus has 49 members, all of whom are Democrats.
Richmond's letter was in response to a June 9 invitation from White House aide Omarosa Manigault, who won fame as a contestant on "The Apprentice," Trump's long-running reality show.
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