The sole Democratic African-American senator cast doubt on the need for a “black agenda” from the president and on its chances of passage in Congress during a Democratic forum with largely African-American reporters Wednesday.
Massachusetts Sen. William “Mo” Cowan said the issues that black Americans are concerned about are the same as those causing white Americans concern, although to different degrees.
“I think he has to stick with the agenda and what he thinks is going to move the country forward,” Cowan said referring to President Barack Obama. Cowan is temporarily filing the seat vacated by John Kerry who is now secretary of state. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also is African-American.
Since his election in 2008 as the first black president, Obama has been hounded by questions about how well his administration has addressed the needs of the black community.
He has had some vocal detractors but also supporters, like Cowan.
Cowan and other senators participating in the forum organized by the Democratic Steering Outreach Committee, agreed that if Obama had sent a package of legislation as a “black agenda,” its chance for passage would be slim.
“It would not be dead on arrival in the Senate. It would be dead on arrival in the House,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
On the other hand, Obama has had some pieces of legislation that could positively impact black Americans, such as the Affordable Care Act intended to provide access to affordable health care, Cowan said.
“I think once we come to grips with our budgetary situation and dealing with those realities, getting out of this sequester nonsense, it will go a long way to improve not just the lives of black Americans, but all Americans,” Cowan said.
Read more at the Huffington Post.
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