Black members of Congress met with President Obama for an hour Thursday and pressed him to create jobs for minorities to ease their economic "pain."
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters after the meeting that the group was "unapologetically pushing" for more jobs for minorities, who have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession.
"We came over here to push, and when we leave, we're going to continue to push," Cleaver said.
The national unemployment rate for blacks in April was 16.1 percent, compared to the national rate of 9 percent.
Cleaver said he pushed Obama to create a "coordinated effort" among the White House, the CBC and other lawmakers that would focus on creating jobs in poor and minority communities. Members of the caucus pushed Obama with proposals and some "creative ways" he and his staff could increase hiring for minorities.