GOP Congressmen and Black Business Leaders Break Bread 

Committee of 40 Summit Brings Republican Congressmen and Black Business Leaders Together

Republican House leadership and black CEOs met to discuss possible legislation to reduce unemployment and promote economic growth in urban centers across the country

WASHINGTON, DC – Following a meeting between The Committee of 40 – a bipartisan group of black business leaders – and Republican Congressional leaders earlier this month, John Burnett, CEO of JLB, Holding, LLC and Strategic Advisor for the New York Republican State Committee, issued the following statement:

“Our current political landscape often unfairly paints Republicans in Congress as out of touch with the needs of Americans – particularly as they relate to our urban centers. Fortunately, the tide has turned after The Committee of 40’s Black CEO/C-Suite Summit in Washington, D.C that brought together Republican leaders in Congress and black business leaders from across the country.”


“For the last six years, the American Dream for many black entrepreneurs has been in a coma. As data indicates, black business owners often hire black employees who help to reduce urban unemployment and promote economic growth in these communities. I am delighted to know that Republican House Leadership is concerned about the plight of black business owners and is contemplating legislation to address access to capital, education choice and workforce development, as well as constructive ways to address recidivism.”

The meeting, titled “An Opportunity Agenda Toward Economic and Sustainable Growth in Urban Centers,” was convened by William Pickard, former Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party and co-founder of The Committee of 40. “Republican policymakers have been the leaders in parental choice in education, and as President Nixon stated, ‘Black Power is Black Business,'” said Dr. Pickard.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) were among the many Members in the room who shared their vision for the country and listened to the Committee’s concerns.  Representatives Steve Stivers (OH), Bob Dold (IL), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Jim Bridenstine (OK) and Bradley Byrne (AL), among others, were also in attendance to discuss a range of topics and issues, including the importance of black and minority owned-businesses, innovative workforce development programs, the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone Program, the role of community banks, small business lending, Federal Pell Grants, and legacy wealth creation.

Mr. Burnett describes the Black CEO/C-Suite summit as the first in a series of collaborative events that will bring business leaders and Republican policymakers together to develop fiscal conservative resolutions that will empower urban communities. According to Burnett, the Committee of 40 is committed to working closely with Republican House Leadership to address concerns and enact legislative reforms that will create economic opportunities and bring jobs to urban centers across the country.

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