Friday, July 17, 2015

Lawmakers to join Obama on trip to Kenya, Ethiopia

 Half a dozen lawmakers will travel with Barack Obama to Kenya and Ethiopia next week in what is the president’s first trip to his ancestral homeland since being elected.

The White House invited a large contingent of lawmakers, prominently members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to join him on the Africa trip. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) will attend.
The trip marks the first time a sitting president has traveled to Ethiopia. While in that country, Obama will attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and meet with African Union leaders.
Butterfield said he planned to use the trip to stress to Kenyan and Ethiopian officials Congress’ commitment to them as trade, national security and diplomatic partners.
“Kenya is a strategic partner and they have some unique challenges and certainly Ethiopia does too. They need to be reassured that America is an ally and that we care about the continent in its entirety,” said Butterfield, who chairs the CBC.


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