NAACP President Says That Debt Ceiling Deal 'Misses The Mark' for Black Americans

“The well-being of Black Americans and vulnerable people should never be negotiated,” NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said.

Now that a debt ceiling deal has been reached, Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, says that the agreement “misses the mark” for Black Americans.

In a statement, Johnson argued that the debt ceiling deal does show compassion to the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

"This debt ceiling bill will ensure the country avoids defaulting on our financial obligations but it reflects misplaced priorities. Conservative legislators have once again prioritized corporations and wealthy individuals,” his statement read. “The deal avoids the calamity of default, but weakens environmental protection, IRS capacity needed to collect revenue, and adds burdensome requirements for Americans seeking public assistance.”

Johnson also noted that Congress should increase spending on programs that target those on the margins of society.

"Let me be clear – rather than accelerating the Mountain Valley Pipeline, implementing ineffective work requirements for SNAP and TANF, and restarting student loan payments — lawmakers should be working to deepen investments into programs that uplift all Americans, especially Black Americans,” he continued.  “The debt ceiling should never be used to pass legislation that would fail to stand on its own merit. As the bill heads to President Biden's desk, the NAACP demands that Congress and the Administration end the use of the debt ceiling as an exercise in legislative hostage-taking. The wellbeing of Black Americans and vulnerable people should never be negotiated."

In May, Johnson wrote an open letter to Congress stating that reducing federal aid programs would have a devastating impact on Black communities. He also said that the expansion of work requirements "must be resoundingly rejected.”

NAACP Issues Warning That Debt Ceiling Impasse Could Negatively Impact Black People

“Any legislator who is proposing cuts to crucial programs is neglecting the oath they swore to the American people. The fact of the matter is, these so-called leaders are more focused on protecting greedy corporate interests than serving their constituents,” Johnson told

"The NAACP demands that Congress pass a clean debt ceiling increase and make deeper investments in - not cuts to - programs like Medicaid, school lunches, and Pell grants. Anything short of that is a failure that Black America will not stand for,” he added. “The time to act is now. Do your jobs. “

On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed legislation that prevented the debt of the federal government from going into default with just two days to spare.

Biden thanked the leaders of Congress for all their help in striking a deal.

“I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our sacred obligation to our veterans,” Biden’s statement read.

“Now, we continue the work of building the strongest economy in the world,” he continued.

According to the terms of the deal, the debt limit will be suspended until Jan. 1, 2025, after the next presidential election and it places restrictions on government spending. Additionally, protections on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare for veterans, and investments in infrastructure and clean energy are included in the legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill “could actually expand total eligibility for federal food assistance, with the elimination of work requirements for veterans, homeless people, and young people leaving foster care.”

"No one got everything they wanted but the American people got what they needed," Biden said. "We averted an economic crisis and an economic collapse."

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