Monday, August 21, 2017

CONYERS Mourns The Passing Of His Friend, Dick Gregory

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"I am saddened to learn my dear friend, Dick Gregory. passed away. We will never forget his humor and his devotion to the fight for equality and justice." said Conyers.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

CONYERS: Bannon's Removal Doesn't Address Trump's Support Of White Supremacy & Racism

Conyers: We Must Boldly Condemn Racist Un-American Ideals

Detroit, MI– House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today released the following statement in response to the news that Steve Bannon will no longer serve as White House Chief Strategist:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“As I said in November, Steve Bannon is the standard-bearer for the worst instincts in American society.  Whether Bannon personally trades in violence, racism, and bigotry - he allowed Brietbart - his media organization - to become a platform for white nationalism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant sentiment of the worst kind. 

“I am pleased that he is no longer serving in the White House, he should have never been appointed. However, his removal will not undo the damage that has already been done and it will not reconcile the hate-filled agenda of the Trump Administration.

“President Donald Trump has shown us his true colors. He sided with un-American white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and all those who give racism and hatred a voice. Trump's failure to reflect on his dangerous rhetoric continues to embolden these groups and ideals.

“This administration must reverse its pattern of discriminatory positions in notable areas including voting rights, policing, immigration, and affirmative action. Beyond wringing our hands, we must use this opportunity to enact meaningful change.”

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

CONYERS: More Than 60 Members Of Congress Reject Trump Statements On North Korea

Administration Urged to Act with Restraint and Adhere to Diplomatic Approach

Washington, D.C. –  More than 60 Members of Congress, working from their home districts during recess, came together to write an urgent letter, below, to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to express “profound concern” over “irresponsible and dangerous” statements made by President Trump and to urge Tillerson to do everything in his power “to ensure that President Trump and other Administration officials understand the importance of speaking and acting with the utmost caution and restraint on this delicate issue.”

The letter warns that “Congress and the American public will hold President Trump responsible if a careless or ill-advised miscalculation results in conflict that endangers our servicemembers and regional allies,” and asks the Administration to reaffirm its understanding of the longstanding Constitutional principles that pre-emptive strikes on another nation must be authorized by Congress.

The Congressmembers indicate their strong support for Tillerson’s recent statements calling for direct talks with North Korea and offering assurances that our country is not their enemy and does not seek war or regime change.

The letter notes that Tillerson’s approach accords with that urged by 64 Members of Congress in a May letter to President Trump, and is also backed by leading experts on US-North Korea policy, including former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Senator Richard Lugar who have stated that our country “should make clear that the United States does not have hostile intentions toward North Korea.”

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said, “As a veteran of the Korean War, I am ashamed that our Commander-in-Chief is conducting himself in a reckless manner that endangers our troops stationed in Korea and our regional allies.  Trump must immediately cease talk of pre-emptive war—which must be authorized by Congress—and commit to the diplomatic path advocated by both American experts and the South Korean government.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said, “President Trump’s belligerent rhetoric is dangerous. Instead of saber-rattling, this Administration should pursue direct talks with North Korea to de-escalate tensions.”

Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) said, “President Trump’s statements were unhelpful, dangerous and raised tensions with North Korea higher than we have previously seen. This has led to North Korea directly threatening nearly 168,000 American citizens living in my home district of Guam. While I have great confidence in our military’s capabilities in the Pacific and appreciate that the DoD has deployed proven missile defense systems in the region, including a THAAD battery on Guam, President Trump must show steady leadership to prevent further escalating tensions. I join Representative Conyers and my Democratic colleagues in calling on the Trump Administration to work with the international community and engage in diplomatic discussions with North Korea. It is imperative that President Trump and his Administration work towards a peaceful solution to this situation and refrain from any action that could lead toward a military conflict.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said, “Now is the not the time to encourage North Korea to make additional threats. Nearly 50 members of the House recognize that we need assured leadership in regards to the situation with North Korea and urge the State Department to choose diplomacy over a show of force.”

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from April 29 to May 2, 2017found that 60 percent of Americans support “direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea” to end North Korea’s nuclear program, while 10 percent were somewhat opposed and 8 percent strongly opposed.  63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans support direct negotiations with North Korea.

Today’s letter was led by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13). Signatories include: Reps. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Don S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Judy Chu (CA-27),  David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Emanuel L. Cleaver, II (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Danny K.  Davis (IL-07), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Michael F. Doyle (PA-14), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07),  Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-05), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), Betty McCollum(MN-04),  James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Darren Soto (FL-09), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Timothy J. Walz (MN-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24), John A. Yarmuth (KY-03).
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CONYERS To Host Town Hall Meeting On Jobs & Health Care With Bernie Sanders 8-22-2017

Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives John Conyers, Jr. &
2017 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders
DETROIT – On Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) will host a town hall meeting to discuss jobs, healthcare and building a better future for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.

Rep. Conyers has invited U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to join in on the discussion. Topics will include healthcare, creating good paying jobs, raising wages and building an economy that gives every American the tools to succeed in the 21st century. This event is open to the public.

Date:               August 22, 2017
Time:              7:00 p.m.
Location:        Fellowship Chapel Church
7707 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI

RSVP:              Media interested in attending should RSVP to Monique Mansfield and Shadawn Reddick-Smith . 
Background: In January, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. reintroduced H.R. 676, “The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act.” H.R. 676 would expand and improve the highly popular Medicare program and provide universal access to care to all Americans. Rep. Conyers has introduced H.R.676 every year since 2003. Sen. Sanders has announced he will be introducing a similar version of the legislation. 

Conyers and Sanders also just introduced companion youth jobs bills in the House and Senate to tackle unemployment. According to some estimates, Detroit has one of the highest youth unemployment rates -- 30 percent -- amongst the 25 largest U.S. metro areas.  

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CONYERS, CUMMINGS, CONNOLLY & CICILLINE Request Documents about President Trump’s Regulatory Task Forces’ Secret Meetings and Conflicts of Interest

Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2017)—Today, Reps. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Gerry Connolly, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and David Cicilline, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, sent a letter, below, to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao expressing grave concerns about the secrecy of the Regulatory Reform Task Forces and requesting information about the nature of their meetings.

“We write to express our alarm concerning the lack of transparency, accountability, and independence of the Regulatory Reform Task Forces,” the Members wrote. “We believe that the interests of the American public must be paramount when reviewing the worthiness of regulations. Therefore, these Task Forces must have an effective and transparent guard against conflicts of interest, especially those in which industry lobbyists seek to overturn environmental and health protections for financial gain. It appears that the current Task Forces are already failing on this front, and instead are actively hiding their members and their meetings from public view.”

The Democrats explained that press reports indicate these Task Forces appear to have operated in private without public input, and some agencies have refused to release basic information about their activity or maintain a record of their meetings as required by the Federal Records Act.

“Withholding the names and titles of Task Force participants may also violate the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),” the Members wrote. “Simply put, it is unacceptable for federal agencies to operate in such a clandestine and unaccountable manner especially when the result could be the undoing of critical public health and safety protections.”

The Members also expressed concern that several employees stand to profit from their work on the Task Force. For example, the wife of one Task Force member at the Environmental Protection Agency is the top lobbyist for a large oil company.

“Rather than ‘drain the swamp,’ these conflicts threaten to influence the outcome of the review process against hardworking Americans and in favor of regulated industries and agency staff,” the Members wrote.

The Members requested documents and information, including a description of every Task Force created pursuant to the executive order, a list of the names and titles of every member of each Task Force, and communications related to non-governmental entities participating in Task Force meetings.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

CONYERS & SENSENBRENNER Urge AG Sessions To Reconsider DOJ Policies On Asset Forfeiture

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) sent the following letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express concerns and objections to his proposal to expand the Department of Justice’s civil asset forfeiture program. The letter also urges AG Sessions to reconsider his newly-announced policies.

Congressman Conyers: “I am deeply disappointed by the Justice Department’s recent move to reverse its ban on adoptive seizures.  The prior policy, which was instituted in January of 2015, greatly curtailed this practice, which provides financial incentives for law enforcement to seize the property – including the homes – of individuals who may not even be guilty of a crime.  I call on Senator Sessions to withdraw the new policy, which is contrary to the growing bipartisan effort to reform our civil forfeiture laws and practices.  Indeed, the time has come for Congress to enact the DUE PROCESS Act, a bipartisan bill to significantly alter these laws and increase protections for innocent property owners.”

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Expanding the federal civil asset forfeiture program is a step in the wrong direction and I urge Attorney General Sessions and his Department of Justice to reconsider. I am a supporter of criminal asset forfeiture – the seizure of property after the conviction of crime—but with civil asset forfeiture, law enforcement has a direct economic incentive to take people’s property without ever even charging them with a crime. We need to add more due process to forfeiture proceedings. Expanding forfeiture without increasing protections is, in my view, unconstitutional and wrong.”

Conyers & Sensenbrenner Letter to Attorney General Sessions Re Adoptive Forfeitures 8.4.17 by Beverly Tran on Scribd
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CONYERS Celebrates Startup Day Across America In Detroit

Image may contain: 3 people, people standingAugust 1, 2017 was Startup Day Across America and what a day it was.

I had the pleasure of visiting several local business in MI-13 including:

1️⃣ Detroit Chassis LLC, a local business that specializes in sub-assemblies and chassis modification.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting and indoor2️⃣ Rickman Enterprise Group, a Veteran owned business which provides customer-specific services in Efficiency Management, Environmental Services, Quality, Environmental & Energy Assessments.

3️⃣ ARD Logistics, a national logistics and warehousing firm, incubator/co-working space for young people in Southwest Detroit.

4️⃣ James Group International, a minority-certified provider of global supply chain management services. 

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