Civil Rights Leaders Urge Obama To Resist Deep Cuts To Safety Net Programs

ABC News’ Mary Bruce ( @marykbruce ) Reports:

Leaders of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights groups came to the White House today to urge President Obama to resist budget cuts that would disproportionately impact the most vulnerable Americans.

“We came away from the discussion with a real view that the president understands fundamentally that deep budget cuts to safety net programs and programs that affect the urban community would be counterproductive, not only for our communities, but for the nation at large,” President of the National Urban League Marc Morial told reporters at the White House stakeout.

“We cannot balance the budget by making deep cuts in Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security or Pell Grants. We have to preserve those vital structures,” NAACP President Ben Jealous added.

The two said they left their Oval Office meeting with the president confident that Obama understands such cuts would be harmful.

Morial said the president nodded his head in agreement when they told him that “no step should be taken that’s going to cost this nation jobs. No step should be taken that’s going to force vulnerable Americans to pay the cost of a deficit reduction plan.”

Morial and Jealous also shared with the president their ideas for addressing the jobs crisis and the high African American unemployment rate, which is currently 16.2 percent.

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