Black Pols and Obama: Conflict Over Jobs?

There's certainly tension as the Congressional Black Caucus embarks on a monthlong campaign to address the high rate of black unemployment.

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, CBC chair (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

By Ylan Q. Mui

Black lawmakers are embarking on a monthlong campaign Monday to address the staggering unemployment rate among African Americans, an issue that has become a growing source of tension between members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Obama administration.

Lawmakers have met with the administration three times this year seeking support for programs that specifically address the black community, but President Obama has not backed their proposals. The caucus chairman last week slammed the deal negotiated by the administration to raise the national debt ceiling and cut government spending as a "Satan sandwich" that unfairly harms African Americans.

Now, as the CBC launches its most public and coordinated jobs campaign so far, the president is notably absent from the lineup. Instead, the White House has dispatched Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who is white, to the event and announced that Obama will embark on his own jobs tour that will take place in the middle of the CBC's campaign.

"We want him to know that from this day forward . . . we've had it," Michigan Rep. John Conyers recently said said of the president. "We want him to come out on our side and advocate, not to watch and wait."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the rest of this article at the Washington Post.

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