Members from a trio of Democratic minority caucuses confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, claiming they—and their policy priorities—were left out of omnibus negotiations.
Multiple staffers to members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus—collectively known as the Tri-Caucus—described the 90-minute meeting as “contentious” and said it remains to be seen whether their frustrations will endanger the funding bill that’s expected to hit the House floor Friday.
Prior to the meeting, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield expressed his concern in an interview. “Most CBC members are opposed to the omnibus and the tax extenders, for the very simple reason that we were not included substantially in the negotiations,” he said. “The deal does not address poverty in a significant way, and it ignores many other priorities that the CBC has advocated for for many years.”
Butterfield elaborated on more issues in a Wednesday afternoon statement, blasting both the deal and the way it was conducted. “It was negotiated in secrecy and much of our information was obtained from news accounts,” he said. He ticked off issues like blight removal, infrastructure investment, funding for historically-black colleges and universities, and debt restructuring for Puerto Rico as priorities that were not adequately addressed in the negotiations.