June 2, 2020         
RGENIX Shows Clinical Activity of Novel Agent RGX-202 in Patients with KRAS Mutant Colorectal Cancer in Phase 1 Trial   •   The Executive Leadership Council Statement on Racial Injustice and Disparities Facing the Black Community   •   Latino Business Action Network Announces 9th Cohort of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education-Scaling Program   •   OCHIN Supports Movement for Racial Justice and Advancements in Health Equity   •   News Photographers Association of Canada Reacts to Press Freedom Violations   •   Finalists Announced for 2020 Braille Challenge Finals   •   Essence Ventures Hires Caroline Wanga as New Chief Growth Officer   •   Statement from Ministers Carolyn Bennett, Daniel Vandal, Marc Miller and Steven Guilbeault on National Indigenous History Month   •   Cedar Fair to Participate June 2nd in the Goldman Sachs 2020 Travel and Leisure Conference, Audio Webcast Available   •   CHPA Launches Rebranding Effort as Consumer Health Becomes More Vital to Public Health   •   Trulieve Launches Limited Edition Cartridge, Partners with Florida-Based LGBTQ+ Organizations for Pride Month   •   Auction of Alamo battle relics and Republic of Texas documents takes place June 6   •   Rain's newly released "My Big Sister Has Diabetes" is a heartwarming perspective of a young kid whose sister is dealing with a h   •   Maine Virtual Academy Celebrates 2020 Graduates in a COVID Era: School Will Provide Pre-Recorded Ceremonies So Families Can Acce   •   Christopher & Banks Corporation Announces First Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call   •   Caps and Gowns Go On at Home: iQ Academy Minnesota to Celebrate Class of 2020 with Online Commencement   •   Wayfair to Present at the Oppenheimer 20th Annual Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference   •   TherapeuticsMD Announces Appointment of James C. D’Arecca as Chief Financial Officer and Retirement of Daniel A. Cartwrigh   •   LetsGetChecked Debuts FDA EUA-Authorized At-Home Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sure-track Test   •   Sheremetyevo Airport Prioritizes the Needs of Children
Bookmark and Share

Blacks In Congress Struggle To Maintain Influence

Charles D. Ellison,, Washington Informer  

WASHINGTON -  The political landscape changed dramatically in 2010 for Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., the audacious, skip-to-his-own-beat Philadelphia lawmaker hoping for tightened polls that evening — just enough to hold off an expected Republican takeover of the House.

His original plan was to embark on an ambitious, long shot bid for Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, overseeing $1.4 trillion in discretionary funding and finding ways to push education as a top priority.

As the Grand Old Party amassed big gains that night, plans changed.

That didn’t really deter Fattah from his dream to run things on “Approps” as Capitol Hill rats affectionately abbreviate it. He simply went into minority ranking member mode, still intent on openly defying the Democratic Party’s Congressional seniority system. 

Selection based on years served seemed like a simple formula long observed by Democrats. It worked to the favor of the quiet and senescent Rep. Norm Dicks, D-WA, who was next in line after retiring Appropriations Chair Rep. David Obey, D-WI.

Hopes for ranking member glory were dashed, however, when Fattah’s own Congressional Black Caucus gave the appearance of an endorsement for Dicks, who is White and has served in the House since 1976. It was a saddening and unexpected blow to Fattah, himself a longtime CBC Member.

“Members of the Congressional Black Caucus strongly support maintaining the seniority system for selecting committee leadership. The seniority system has served the Democratic Caucus well and has ushered in an era of diverse committee leadership, which is an asset to our party and our nation,” current CBC Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said in a statement released by POLITICO.

But, CBC spokesman J. Jioni Palmer disputes the authenticity of that statement. Dismissive of the reports and flatly denying any Caucus endorsement of Dicks, Palmer seemed annoyed by the question. “Reporters don’t know everything,” he retorted.

Still, observers argue that it makes sense, a shrewd and calculated move by the Caucus to ensure the integrity of the seniority system. Without it, many CBC Members wouldn’t have had their chance to chair influential committees: from Bennie Thompson, D-MI, on Homeland Security to Charlie Rangel, D-NY, formerly chairing Ways and Means.

The venerable Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, is still stone locked into Judiciary and Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-NY, held on as Chair of Government Reform. Turning on a native son to save the family seemed like an essential move since many CBC Members have been in the Congress long enough to assume an impressive number of leadership roles on influential committees.

At the end of the Democratic-led 111th Congress, there are four CBC House Committee Chairs and 18 subcommittee chairs. When Republicans take control in January, most — if not all — will transition into the Ranking Member role.

Fattah, however, was congratulatory in a statement on Dicks’ win. “I look forward to working with him and our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to advance an agenda for the American people. I know that our leadership team, led by Norm, will be united as we head into the 112th Congress.”

And, in a conversation with the Tribune, he seemed pleased with his conciliation prize: ranking member of House Appropriation’s subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, a decent look worth $70 billion in discretionary funding and a chance to transcend the urban politics typically associated with Philly’s most senior Congressional Member.

“Competition is a good thing,” said Fattah, particularly jovial that the controversial tax cut deal he endorsed in opposition to the CBC was about to pass.

But, the CBC remains in a state of constant, traumatic flux, struggling to regain or maintain influence on a scarred post-midterm battlefield. After weeks of uncertainty and a mountain of speculation, Towns suddenly withdrew himself from consideration as Ranking Member of the Government Reform Committee.


STORY TAGS: BLACK NEWS, AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS NEWS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICAN NEWS

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News