July 2011, Week 4


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:16:46 -0400
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Conyers on Jobs: "We've Had It." Lays Out Obama, 
Calls for Protest at White House

Crew of 42
July 27, 2011


"[In 1987] We passed the first bill that allowed the
government - in areas of high unemployment - to
directly intervene and create jobs. Well, we've got
the bill in here again and I've got nothing from the
White House," - John Conyers

At a press conference held by members of the House Out
of Poverty Caucus Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), the
second most senior member of the U.S. House, was
pointed in his criticism of the White House regarding
jobs and cuts to Social Security the President put on
the table last week.

"We've got to educate the American people at the same
time we educate the President of the United States.
The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader
Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the
budget deal. The President of the United States called
for that," Conyers, who has served in the House since
1965, said. "My response to him is to mass thousands of
people in front of the White House to protest this,"
Conyers said strongly.

Though the debt ceiling debate continues, many
Democrats continue to say the real issue is jobs and
unemployment. Yesterday, the PEW Research Center put
out a study showing the wealth gap between whites,
blacks and Hispanics is wider than at any time in
history. Conyers focused on jobs and the White House
throughout much of what he said.

Rep. John Conyers

"We want full employment as a matter of government
policy. Which was passed in 1987 when I stood with
Hubert Humphrey. We passed the first bill that allowed
the government - in areas of high unemployment - to
directly intervene and create jobs. Well, we've got
the bill in here again and I've got nothing from the
White House," Conyers told the audience. Several CBC
members have called for targeted help for high
unemployment in the black community.

The black unemployment rate is 16.2% and the
unemployment rate among black males is 17%. Last week
NAACP President Ben Jealous and National Urban League
President Marc Morial met with President Obama at the
White House for thirty minutes. No new initiatives
targeting high black unemployment came out of that

The press conference featured the heads of several
organizations that focus on public policy and poverty.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Dennis Kucininch (D-Ohio),
Jerold Nadler (D-NY), Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif) and Raul
Grajalva (D-NM) also spoke at the press conference.

"I was the first member of Congress to come out for the
44th President. We've got to march on him. He'll be
before the Congressional Black Caucus on September
21st." Conyers said referring to the annual CBC Gala.
The President has addressed the gala each year he's
been in office.

Focusing on Obama, Conyers continued. "We want him to
know from this day forward that we've had it. We want
him to come out on our side not to watch and wait.
We're suffering," Conyers said. Several members of the
CBC, including, Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas),
Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), and are beginning to speak out
more publicly on jobs and the White House policy. Many
have called for a targeted approach to the problem.

Conyers then spoke on depression level unemployment in
his Detroit district where the struggles of the auto
industry has caused some of the highest unemployment
rates in the nation.

"What Obama hasn't said to us is "make me do it" but we
have to make him do it. This is one of the most
important issues we're faced with," Conyers said.


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