WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – The Congressional Black Caucus — a group of lawmakers in Washington that focuses on issues impacting the African American community — set an agenda Wednesday morning that would go far beyond police reforms.
Congressional Black Caucus members say their campaign needs to move beyond policing reform.
“The movement for justice has now expanded to include a call to end systemic racism in the United States,” Representative Karen Bass, D-California, said.
Congresswoman Karen Bass says the CBC plans to take on a wide range of reforms from health care and education to what they see as systemic racism in voting.
She says the caucus has been working on these issues for years.
“The difference is this time, the CBC will be supported by a national movement–beginning to penetrate into the consciousness of Americans,” Bass said.
CBC members are sponsoring bills to study the impacts of slavery on African Americans today.
One such measure, HR-40, explores reparations, the controversial idea of making payments to descendants of slaves to make amends for slavery.
“The work on HR 40 is very much an active movement,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says Americans must understand the legacy of institutional racism to help prevent it in the future.
“We’re moving pretty quickly. We believe it’s that kind of expansive legislation,” Lee said.
But Bass says the CBC is in this for the long haul.
“It’s not just about what we can get done in this session, it’s the ongoing struggle that we face that will continue,” Bass said.