White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.
Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.
A House panel heard testimony on the legislation last week.
- "I think that [creation of a commission] will pass," Richmond said.
What they're saying: Richmond said that while the timeline for the commission isn't knowable, "if you start talking about free college tuition to [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way."
- "We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African-Americans," he said. "[W]e have to do stuff now."
What's next: Richmond pointed to a Biden executive action "breaking down barriers in housing, making sure that African-Americans can pass down wealth through homeownership, that their homes are not valued less than homes in different communities just because of the neighborhood it's in."
- "We don't want to wait on a study," he said. "We're going to start acting now."
Watch a clip from the interview.