It’s time for Capitol Hill black lawmakers to feel nervous and panicky after 8 years of cozy life under Obama administration.
Congressional Black Caucus, mostly Democrats, reportedly made a statement to be more aggressive and forceful under Trump presidency.
ABC News filed this report:
For almost eight years, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus existed in the shadow of the first black president. They praised President Barack Obama‘s achievements while at the same time pushing him to do more for their constituents who overwhelmingly supported his history-making campaign and administration.
But with Obama set to leave the White House on Jan. 20, black lawmakers in the House and Senate are recalculating and reassessing their place in Washington. And realizing they’re regaining the limelight as the most visible and powerful African-American politicians in the nation’s capital.
President-elect Donald Trump will face a larger and more aggressive caucus, which will advocate for positions with “a bit more force,” said Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., a longtime member. “Without President Obama being in office, there will be more forceful articulation vis a vis administration policy.”
There are more black lawmakers in Congress than ever: 49 African-American men and women were sworn in Tuesday, including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., just the second black female senator. Also serving on Capitol Hill are the first Indian-American senator, 38 Hispanic lawmakers, including Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina senator, and 15 Asian-Americans.
Republicans now control Congress and the White House, and black lawmakers, most of whom are Democrats, are left to figure out how to oppose and work with the new administration and the majority party on Capitol Hill.
“We find ourselves facing a very difficult political and legislative environment unlike any we have ever seen before,” said Butterfield, as the caucus met at the Warner Theatre for a ceremonial swearing-in event this past Tuesday.
Obama’s departure will refocus attention on the caucus, said Fredrick Harris, a Columbia University political science professor and director of its Center on African-American Politics and Society. With Trump as president, “The CBC will be even more vocal than they were during the Obama era when their voices were muted by the Obama White House and their surrogates who pushed back on criticism that the president was not paying enough attention to racial issues,” Harris said.
Todd Shaw, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina, thinks Obama may leave the caucus in a better position that it was before he became president. Many people thought Obama’s election heralded an end to racial politics and the need for groups such as the caucus, Shaw said.