Congressional Black Caucus: The Role in Making the U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policies

500
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-67-77

V. Konyshev (konyshev06@mail.ru),
St. Petersburg State University, 7–9, Universitetskaya Nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation;
A. Sergunin (sergunin60@mail.ru),
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation;
St. Petersburg State University, 7–9, Universitetskaya Nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
 

Abstract. The article examines the role of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in the U.S. domestic and foreign policy making during the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations. The CBC structure, functions, main activities and relations with the executive power are analyzed. The CBC is one of the most influential congressional factions, which both other legislators and the executive branch of government reckon with. Under the Obama administration, CBC demonstrated the growing interest in foreign policy issues. At the same time, the U.S. color population-related problematique remained the CBC’s highest priority. Barak Obama, the first U.S. black president, failed to meet color people’s expectations while the black community viewed him as “its representative” in the government. He did not pay proper attention to the U.S. ethnic communities’ needs. On the one hand, his presidency was affected by tensions between Republicans and Democrats in the Congress which impeded implementation of his legislative agenda oriented to the color peoples’ needs. On the other hand, President Obama’s personal style was characterized by inconsistency and the lack of political will which again negatively affected his relations with the Afro-American community. Nonetheless, with the CBC support, a number of color population-focused programs have been launched in the areas, such as education, health care, social adaptation and immigration policies. Under the Republican president Donald Trump, the CBC retained its influence on American political process. However, its relations with the White House are of conflictual rather than cooperative nature. Particularly, the CBC is discontent with Trump’s policies in areas such as inter-ethnic relations, social security, health care, education, and immigration. The Black Caucus believes that Trump tries to undermine the fundamentals and achievements of Obama’s social policies that were beneficial for the U.S. color population and poor people. Given the CBC-Trump controversies on domestic policy issues, the Caucus does not pay much attention to the foreign policy problematique preferring to react to specific international challenges (for example, humanitarian issues or potential U.S. military interventions abroad) rather than to have a proactive foreign policy strategy. It should be noted, however, that the CBC does not completely identify itself with the Democratic party’s political course (although all its members are Democrats). For example, the CBC didn’t not support Washington’s hegemonic ambitions and actions in the cases of the Syrian and Venezuelan crises or Trump’s overtly pro-Israeli policies in the Near East. Hopefully, in the future, when (and if) the U.S. political establishment will start to overcome its Russophobia, Moscow could cooperate with the CBC taking into account its important role in shaping Washington’s African and Latin American policies. As the CBC’s previous political activities demonstrate, this grouping can be open for cooperation in different ways, such as traditional and public diplomacy, inter-parliamentary links, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and so on.

Keywords: U. S. Congressional Black Caucus, domestic policy, foreign policy, Barack Obama, Donald Trump 


REFERENCES

1. Wickham D. Bill Clinton and Black America. New York, Ballantine Books, 2002. 320 p.

2. Manning J., Shogan C. African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870–2018. December 28, 2018. Washington, Congressional Research Service, 2018. Available at: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30378.pdf (accessed 09.02.2019).

3. Copson R. The Congress Black Caucus and Foreign Policy (1971–2002). New York, Novinka Books, 2003. 50 p.

4. CBC Tech 2020: Year Review. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cbctech2020yir-fv3.pdf (accessed 02.02.2019).

5. Rhodan M. Congress Now Has More Black Lawmakers than Ever Before. January 6, 2015. Available at: https://time.com/3655532/congress-african-american/ (accessed 22.07.2018).

6. Manning J., Shogan C. African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870–2011. April 8, 2011, Washington, Congressional Research Service, 2011. Available at: https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20110408_RL30378_146962501382704a9bd406e4d38d80d373085f14.pdf (accessed 22.10.2018).

7. 114th Congress. First Session. Year in Review. Washington, CBC, 2016. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2015_cbc_year_in_reviewfinal.pdf (accessed 20.11.2018).

8. Congressional black Caucus foundation. Available at: https://www.cbcfinc.org/ (accessed 03.12.2018).

9. Logan E. Barack Obama, the politics of race, and classed constructions of racial blackness. The Sociological Quarterly, 2014, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 653-682. DOI:10.1111/tsq.12071

10. CBC Tech 2020: Year Review. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cbctech2020yir-fv3.pdf (accessed 22.10.2018).

11. Williams S. Congressional obstruction and the black agenda: why Obama’s critics are letting congress off the hook and shortchanging the development of effective political activism. Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management, 2014, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 7-26.

12. Lopez I. Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014. 304 p.

13. Taylor K. Barack Obama’s original sin: America’s post-racial illusion. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/usnews/2017/jan/13/barack-obama-legacy-racism-criminal-justice-system (accessed 12.07.2018).

14. Taskforces and Working Groups Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/issue-leaders/ (accessed 12.07.2018).

15. Sturua M. Otkrylsya 114-i Kongress SSHA: v obstanovke snezhnogo burana i politicheskikh protivorechii [The 114th U. S. Congress is opened in the stormy weather and political controversies. Available at: https://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/01/11/otkrylsya-114y-kongress-ssha-v-obstanovke-snezhnogo-burana-i-politicheskikh-protivorechiy.html (accessed 22.07.2018).

16. Ahren R. From small-town mayor to pro-Israel congresswoman. Available at: https://www.timesofisrael.com/from-smalltown-mayor-to-pro-israel-congresswoman/ (accessed 11.01.2019).

17. Congresswoman Barbara Lee: Still stuck in the Cold War. Available at: https://jmw.typepad.com/political_warfare/2009/04/congresswoman-barbara-lee-still-stuck-in-the-cold-war.html (accessed 31.07.2018).

18. Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge’s Statement on the CBC’s First Delegation to China. Available at: https://aprildryan.com/2013/08/12/congressional-black-caucus-chair-marcia-l-fudges-statement-on-the-cbcs-first-delegationto-china/ (accessed 24.07.2018).

19. Congressional Black Caucus backs Hillary Clinton. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/congressional-blackcaucus-to-back-hillary-clinton/ (accessed 24.07.2018).

20. Department of Justice closed the case on Hilary Clinton’s correspondence (In Russ.) Available at: https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-36731526 (accessed 24.07.2018).

21. The FBI head was summoned to the U.S. Congress with regard to Hillary Clinton’s correspondence (In Russ.) Available at: https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-36728215 (accessed 24.07.2018).

22. Salaky K. Steve King Labels Congressional Black Caucus The ‘Self-Segregating Caucus’. Available at: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/steve-king-congressional-black-caucus-self-segregating (accessed 10.02.2019).

23. Member of Congressional Black Caucus: Trump Has Brought Normalized Racism To White House. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2018/01/20/579443004/member-of-congressional-black-caucus-trump-has-brought-normalized-racism-to-whit (accessed 12.11.2018).

24. Grimm R., Fuller M. Donald Trump’s Path to 300 House Votes on Infrastructure Runs through the Black Caucus. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-infrastructure-congressional-black-caucus_n_5862def1e4b0d9a5945970f5 (accessed 16.11.2018).

25. Black Congressmen Plan Ways to Counter Trump Policies. Available at: https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/CBC-Trump-Policies/2017/01/02/id/766427/ (accessed 16.11.2018).

26. Holland J. Congressional Black Caucus to be more aggressive under Trump. The Denver Post, 08.01.2017. Available at: https://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/08/congressional-black-caucus-aggressive-trump/ (accessed 15.01.2017).

27. We have a lot to lose. Solutions to advance black families in the 21th century. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2017.03.22_cbc_we_have_a_lot_to_lose_v5.pdf (accessed 15.01.2018).

28. Evans D. A Response to President Trump’s Inaugural Address & New Deal for African-Americans. Available at: https://evans.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/response-president-trump-s-inaugural-address-new-deal-african-americans (accessed 15.10.2018).

29. Duster Ch. CBC declines meeting with Trump: pur concerns fell on deaf ears. Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/cbc-declines-meeting-trump-our-concerns-fell-deaf-ears-n775311 (accessed 15.10.2018).

30. H. Res.646. Available at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/646/text (accessed 13.12.2018).

31. Statement of Malcolm Wrightson Nance to the Congressional Black Caucus. 1 March, 2017. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/uploadedfiles/nance_statement_cbc_panel.pdf (accessed 12.12.2018).

32. CBC Statement on Russian Attempts to Suppress African American Turnout in the 2016 Election. Available at: https://cbc.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx? DocumentID=972 (accessed 12.12.2018).

33. Russian Targeting of Election Infrastructure during the 2016 Election: Summary of Initial Findings and Recommendations May 18, 2018. Available at: https://www.burr.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/RussRptInstlmt1-%20ElecSec%20Findings,Recs2.pdf (accessed 12.12.2018).

34. Member of Congressional Black Caucus: Trump has Brought Normalized Racism to White House. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2018/01/20/579443004/member-of-congressional-black-caucus-trump-has-brought-normalized-racism-to-whit (accessed 12.12.2018).

35. Dawsey J. Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-protections-for-immigrants-from-shithole-countries-in-oval-office-meeting/2018/01/11/bfc0725c-f711–11e7-91af-31ac729add94_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d0fc30265e7d (accessed 11.12.2018).

36. Mcaskill N. Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark. Available at: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/18/trump-censure-congressional-black-caucus-346282 (accessed 16.12.2018).

37. The situation in Venezuela. Congressional Record, vol. 165, no. 21. (Extensions of Remarks – February 04, 2019). Available at: https://www.congress.gov/116/crec/2019/02/04/CREC-2019-02-04-pt1-PgE126-4.pdf (accessed 16.12.2018).


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Konyshev V., Sergunin A. Congressional Black Caucus: The Role in Making the U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policies. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 10, pp. 67-77. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-67-77



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.