The Black Congressional Budget No One Ever Talks About

Every year, African-American legislators put forth a budget plan, and every year it gets swiftly shot down.


Even as the CBC budget gained 11 votes more (for a total of 116) this year than it did last, its place in history remains a thankless unknown. Yet, CBC members insist on going through a Groundhog Day grinder of blatant disrespect from a combined wall of Republicans and fellow Democrats who ultimately doubt the budget calculating abilities of their African-American colleagues. 

After all that, the CBC budget is still one of the last real and intellectually solid congressional sounding boards for the underserved, and yet it can’t find a session of Congress that dares to pass it. The CBC may not get everything right—who does in Washington these days? They should, however, at least get credit for going in the right direction with this particular effort. Maybe next year’s proposal will get the front page we’ve been waiting for. Paul Ryan’s did.

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and regular contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

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