UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) Wisconsin House Republican Paul Ryan said he had a productive one-hour meeting yesterday with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. That was after the House Budget chairman from Janesville came under fire for a talk show remark about poverty and inner cities.
Both Ryan and caucus members said their meeting was cordial, and it did not produce any new policy breakthroughs for fighting poverty.
Caucus chair Marcia Fudge of Ohio said everyone agreed that poverty was an important issue, but they could not agree on how to deal with it.
Ryan stirred up African-American lawmakers a few weeks ago, when he described what he called a "tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working." Democrats said the comment had racial undertones. Soon after, Ryan said he was not articulate about the point he was trying to make -- and he promised to speak with the Congressional Black Caucus about it. Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, has tried to make poverty a signature issue. He hosted a hearing on the subject yesterday in his role as the House Budget chair.