In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dated 27 September, the Congressional Black Caucus declared bankruptcy reform directed at "distressed homeowners" an essential component to any "financial rescue package." Otherwise, the letter suggests, the Caucus would see the plan as a bailout for Wall Street rather than a benefit to the American people.

As you know, the bankruptcy reform did not make the final cut.

What role did the Black Caucus play in the Monday vote?

Of the thirty-nine (39) members of the Caucus casting votes on the bill, twenty-one (21) voted in the negative. While approximately 60 percent of Democrats voted in the affirmative for the bill, 21/39 in opposition is significantly higher than the party profile. Moreover, four out the five Congressional Black Caucus officers voted against the measure.

As you know, the bill failed by twelve votes.

We have been told repeatedly by Democratic leadership that Barack Obama has never been more than a phone call away during this crisis, ready to help the process along in any way possible.

Interesting Question:

What influence did Senator Obama, member in good standing within the Black Caucus, exert on the votes within this oftentimes extremely unified coalition?