Special to The Truth
The Congressional Black Caucus applauded President Biden on Thursday for policies that it said have helped address systemic racial inequities.
In a press call with members of the administration’s Building Back Together initiative, CBC Chairman Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) discussed how policies like the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law have been overwhelmingly positive for Black Americans.
“This is all about jobs, small businesses and community impact in all of America’s communities, but especially Black and other marginalized communities,” Horsford said. “We have been intentional to address racial equity in a way that really does ensure that communities that have historically been left out or left behind are prioritized in the funding that Congress passed and that the president has signed.”
The IRA, Horsford said, has lowered health care costs and expanded the Affordable Care Act, which lowered health care premiums and benefitted nearly 360,000 Black Americans. It’s also helped Black families save hundreds on energy bills — a major success for Black families, who on average face 64 percent higher energy burden than white families.
The infrastructure act, Horsford added, has been critical in cleaning Superfund sites, or areas that have been contaminated by hazardous material. More than 25 percent of Black Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site.
That act has also expanded access to high speed internet services for Black families who are less likely to have access to high speed internet than white families, he touted.
Still, despite these success, Horsford explained that the CBC is working closely with the White House to ensure all these services are not only implemented, but also shared with communities to ensure maximum benefit.
“We don’t want people to have to come to a governmental agency to get these benefits. We need to be able to take that information directly to them,” Horsford said. “That’s what we’ve told the administration quite honestly, is use the Congressional Black Caucus and our relationships in our communities to promote the benefits from this legislation so that people can really see this is what happens when we put people over politics.”
On the campaign trail in 2020, Biden promised to prioritize racial justice if he was elected. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order to advance his racial justice agenda.
Then, just this month, Biden signed a second executive order meant to expand upon the first.
That order — titled Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government — is designed to address systemic barriers that hold communities of color back from prospering. It included addressing civil rights discrimination in technologies, pushing agencies to improve community engagement and working with rural communities to build community wealth.
“We’ve got a lot more work ahead. But we’re proud of the progress that we’re making and we want all of our constituents to know that this is what we do when we put people over politics,” Horsford told reporters on Thursday.