U. S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has vowed to “bust our butts” to win back the House for a Democratic majority in the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
“I think it’s a real possibility. For the first time since I’ve been in Congress I think it’s a real possibility,” he said in a recent interview with the Trice Edney News Wire.
Richmond predicts a Democratic win mainly because of the chaos and reputed bigotry and racial insensitivity of the Trump administration.
He listed gains for Black America that the Trump administration has attempted to turn back.
“If you look at Jeff Sessions in the Attorney General’s office rolling back to the war on drugs; rolling back the fight against voter suppression; maybe even enhancing voter suppression,” he said. “When you look at the President’s comments – that’s not a person who’s trying to be a partner with the Black Caucus nor appreciate African-American issues.”
The CBC executive committee leaders met with President Trump March 22, but declined a second meeting saying their concerns fell on deaf ears.
“We presented a 130-page policy paper. And we never got a response; nor to the eight follow up letters we got talking about issues. So until there’s some substantive issues I can’t see it,” he said.
Trump has also asked to meet with the entire Caucus, but Richmond says that’s totally out of the question.
“We’re not here to drink wine, eat cheese and have a reception. We’re here to advance policies,” Richmond said. “The Caucus overwhelmingly; almost unanimously voted not to go. Only one or two people. … We’ve gotten no real outreach from this president.”
Richmond told of how Democrats have had to fight back by making policy.
“Trump zeroed out Trio (educational programs); he zeroed out Upward Bound; he zeroed out CDBG (Community Development Block Grants), all of that in this budget. What did we do? We passed a budget that increased Pell grants, we added summer Pell, we added more money to HBCUs, we added money to block grants,” he listed. “He got rid of the Minority Business Development Agency. We added money to them.”
All 435 House seats are up for votes in November. Currently the party break down is 239 Republicans, 193 Democrats, and three vacancies. This makes it necessary for Democrats to win approximately 27 seats in order to dominate the House.
Meanwhile, Richmond said CBC and Democrats will continue to fight back where possible.
“And then we’re going to bust our butts to make sure we take back the house next year and then we’ll have some checks and balances.”