Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is fed up with both President Obama, in part because of his alleged willingness during debt ceiling negotiations to make entitlement cuts, and Congress, because of what he calls its inaction on job creation. The 24-term lawmaker on Wednesday called for a protest in front of the White House.
“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 said at a news conference held by the Out of Poverty Caucus, which he co-chairs. “ And my response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this,” Conyers said.
He also recalled a meeting between the legendary labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during which Randolph urged the president to take action against pervasive discrimination in the labor market. Roosevelt said, “I agree with you. Now go out and make me do it.”
While Obama hasn’t called on lawmakers to “make him do it,” Conyers said, that’s exactly what must be done. Otherwise, he added, lawmakers will spend the rest of their lives grumbling about Republican efforts to protect the wealthy instead of actually coming to their constituents’ aid.
“We’ve got to march on him,” Conyers said. “We want him to know from this day forward that we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side and advocate, not to watch and wait to see what [lawmakers] are doing in the House and Senate. We’re suffering.”
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(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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