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Black Caucus Poised to Work With Ryan

Butterfield was spotted leaving the speaker's office Thursday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Black Caucus is wishing new Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., well and hopes to work with the new leader, even though it has had its differences in the past.  

Shortly after 4 p.m., CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., left the speaker's Capitol office and told HOH he had dropped off a two-paragraph letter congratulating Ryan on his election. Butterfield said the letter was "simply congratulating him and pledging the support of the CBC and to work in a bipartisan manner." "I like Ryan. I hope he doesn't disappoint me," Butterfield said. "He's engaging, he's affable, he's highly intelligent, he's very political. But he knows the issues so he can get into the details with you. And I look forward because we can get into the details with him on how neglecting low income communities is really a drag on the American economy."  

In March 2014, Ryan got into hot water with the CBC after he remarked on a radio program, "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with."  

Ryan later said his comments were "inarticulate " and met with members of the CBC  to clear the air.  

"That was just a dust-up. That was a dust-up," Butterfield said. "And he met with us and he explained what he really meant."  

Butterfield said the issue would not affect Ryan's work with the caucus going forward.  

"We really want speaker Ryan to be successful," He said. "And we're willing to work with him if he's willing to work with us in a bipartisan way. And I believe that with his talent and his leadership skills, I believe we can get some legislation passed."

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