Thursday, June 30, 2016

CONYERS Renews Call To Restore The Voting Rights Act

"Give Us The Ballot"
Detroit, MI – On Tuesday, following the third anniversary of the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) was joined by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), local community leaders and policy experts, for a discussion on restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In addition to Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, panelists included Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP; Justin Levitt, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Ari Berman, Senior Contributing Writer for The Nation Magazine; Michael J. Steinberg, Esq., Michigan ACLU; and Adam Gitlin, Democracy Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice.

“Voter suppression tactics are a blatant attack on our democratic system and as our population becomes more diverse, these tactics appear to become more prevalent,” said Ranking Member Conyers. “Everyone deserves an opportunity to participate in our democracy which is why it’s so important to protect, fully restore and strengthen this fundamental right.”

U.S. Representative
Brenda Lawrence
“In 2013, the Supreme Court suspended a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Nationwide, Republican-led state legislatures have enacted more and more egregious laws to restrict voter access,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “Laws that disproportionately impact immigrants, minorities, working families and the elderly. Every American deserves a vote and all elections matter. The forum sought to educate and empower our communities, sending a clear message that we will stand against any and all laws that seek to limit and disenfranchise our constituents.”

“The issue of the vote in 2016 must be unbridled and unlimited,” says Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP. “No voter suppression techniques can be allowed to push back the progress of our nation. The stakes are too high and the price of Liberty is too costly.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©
Congressman Conyers was a cosponsor of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, landmark legislation to provide equal access to the ballot box for all Americans. On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision struck down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which effectively resulted in the suspension of the section 5 “Preclearance” enforcement program. This opened the way for states across the country to immediately pass egregious voting laws to disenfranchise voters. In response to the decision, Ranking Member Conyers and House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) introduced H.R. 885, the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act and it was reintroduced this CongressThe bill makes all states and jurisdictions eligible for coverage formula based on voting violations in the last 15 years.

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. is currently developing an agenda to expand voting rights, reform the system of campaign finance and ensure appropriate investments in the voting infrastructure by 2020.

Check back for video update of Mr. Conyers.

Click here to watch Ari Berman speak on the Voting Rights Act.

Click here to watch the rest of the forum.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CONYERS & LAWRENCE Take Action To End Gun Violence

31 Americans lose theirs lives every day to gun violence. Congress can't sit idly by—the time to act is NOW.

I joined Rep. Brenda Lawrence for an inter-faith gun violence round table to identify ways to ‪#‎EndGunViolence‬ in Michigan, especially in the ‪#‎Detroit‬ Metropolitan area.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS & COHEN Laud Supreme Court Pro-Choice Decision

Washington, D.C. - House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) today released the following joint statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt decision, which ruled that Texas’ abortion law was unconstitutional: 

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“We are deeply heartened that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the fundamental constitutional right of women to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies, their families, and their lives. This right, a pillar of women’s equality and a key to ensuring women’s health, has been well-established since 1973 when the Court held in Roe v. Wade that a woman had a constitutional right to choose whether to have a pre-viability abortion. 

“The Court correctly saw the Texas law for what it was, which was an attempt to severely restrict abortion rights and not one to protect women’s health.  The Texas law required abortion providers at clinics to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital without also requiring the hospitals to grant or even consider granting such privilege, and would have required abortion clinics to comply with completely unnecessary and cost-prohibitive requirements applicable to ambulatory surgical centers.  The Court rightly held that these requirements placed such substantial obstacles to a woman’s choice to have an abortion that its provisions were an “undue burden” on women’s constitutional right to choose. 

“While today’s decision was a victory for all Americans who care about the Constitution’s guarantees of freedom and equality, we must remain vigilant against continuing attempts by states and anti-choice politicians to block women’s access to safe and legal abortions that threaten to undermine women’s health and their constitutional rights.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS, RANGEL, JOHNSON Introduce Resolution To Recover POW/MIA Remains From North Korea

Washington D.C. – Marking the 66th anniversary of the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950, the three remaining Korean War veterans in Congress, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), joined by Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Sam Johnson (R-TX), introduced House Resolution 799 that calls on the U.S. government to resume talks with North Korea to account for thousands of American men and women from the Korean War (1950-1953). Between 1954 and 2005, joint U.S.-North Korea teams successfully conducted recovery missions that identified and returned thousands of Americans. Yet these efforts were suspended in 2005, despite the fact that the remains of 5,300 out of 8,000 total number of unaccounted Korean War veterans are estimated to be in North Korea.

Dean of the U,S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
More than five thousand brave American soldiers who fought in the Korean Conflict for our country remain unaccounted for.  That is simply unacceptable.  As a veteran of the Korean Conflict, I feel honor bound to ensure we do everything we can to bring their remains home.  After all our fighting men in Korea sacrificed, it is our duty to make sure we do everything to provide them and their families some measure of peace.  I am proud to join with my fellow veterans of the Korean Conflict in ensuring the United States reengages the North Korean government on this issue,” said Conyers, who served in the National Guard and the United States Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War.

“I am grateful to my colleagues and fellow Korean War veterans for working together to ensure that we bring these veterans home. This resolution would ensure that the heroic service members of the Korean War are identified and brought back to their loved ones in the United States, where they belong. We have a responsibility to our veterans to make sure we do not forget their sacrifices made to defend the freedoms we enjoy. Their families deserve peace,”said Rangel, a decorated veteran, who has been awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. 
“With the 66th Anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War around the corner, it is important we remember those American forces who remain unaccounted for from this war. As a Korean War veteran and former Prisoner of War, I believe we owe our fallen brothers in arms every last effort to provide a proper and dignified return to home. I'm proud to join my fellow Korean War veterans, Congressman Rangel and Congressman Conyers, in this noble cause,” said Rep. Johnson, a decorated war hero, who spent his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, during which he flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Johnson endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, including 42 months in solitary confinement.
“The lifetime hope for thousands of Americans is to bring home their loved one still missing in North Korea. It is a wound that never healed. The path to finding that closure will open only when North Korean and U.S. leaders decide to pursue this humanitarian mission other than their political differences. It can be done. It has been done. It is time to do so again. Thank you to Representatives Rangel, Conyers and Johnson, who are keeping the mission alive to help fulfill the promise that no one's father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin or comrade in arms is left behind in war," said Rick Downes, President of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, and son of Hal Downes, who went missing in action in North Korea in 1952.

As recently as this year, North Korea has reported uncovering the remains of American veterans- but the fate of these remains is unknown due to construction and development. H.Res 799 calls on the U.S. Government to resume talks with North Korea regarding the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of missing and unaccounted Korean War veterans.

“While we will never be able to fully end the lingering pain of the families, we must try to bring closure,” said Rangel,“We will keep fighting to bring home our comrades in arms.”

Rangel, Johnson, and Conyers have previously worked together to introduce and pass legislation that supports veterans of the Korean War, including H.Res.384 - Calling for a formal end of the Korean War; H.Con.Res 91, Encouraging reunions of divided Korean American families; H.Con.Res.41 - Encouraging peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula (Passed in 2013); H.Res. 618 - Expressing support for designation of 2012-2013 as the "Year of the Korean War Veteran" (Passed in 2012); H. Res 376 - Calling for Repatriation of POW/MIAs and Abductees in North Korea (Passed in 2011); H.J.Res.86 - Recognizing the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War and Reaffirming U.S.-Korea Alliance (Passed in 2010); and the Korean War Veterans Recognition Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-41).

Below is the full text of H.Res 799 calling for U.S. Government to resume talks with North Korea on Korean War POW/MIAs:

Calling on the United States Government to resume talks with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea regarding the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of missing and unaccounted members of the United States Armed Forces from the Korean War.

Whereas more than 36,000 members of the United States Armed Forces died and nearly 103,000 were wounded during the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950;

Whereas of the approximately 8,000 members of the United States Armed Forces who remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, the remains of at least 5,300 Americans are believed to be in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (in this resolution referred to as “North Korea”);

Whereas the United States and North Korea have a precedent of working together on issues related to American prisoners of war/missing in action (POW/MIAs) from the Korean War;

Whereas North Korea has intermittently returned the remains of deceased members of the United States Armed Forces found in North Korea, including several thousand sets of remains in 1954, and varying numbers of remains in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2003;

Whereas United States operations in North Korea to recover the remains of deceased members of the United States Armed Forces were suspended in 2005;

Whereas the remains of deceased members of the United States Armed Forces in North Korea are being lost due to construction and development, the passing of North Korean observers of United States plane crashes, and inclement weather conditions;

Whereas North Korea has reported uncovering the remains of deceased members of the United States Armed Forces in North Korea through agriculture and construction projects as recently as 2016;

Whereas not all of the remains of Korean War veterans located at the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii (The Punch Bowl) have been identified;

Whereas members of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, the National League of POW/MIA Families, the National Alliance of Families, Rolling Thunder, the Korean War Veterans Association, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and thousands of families and veterans are yearning and advocating for the accounting of their loved ones and comrades in arms of the Korean War; and

Whereas the mission of the United States Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is to provide the fullest possible accounting of missing United States personnel;
Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls upon the United States Government to resume talks with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to make substantial progress in the research, investigation, recovery and identification of missing and unaccounted members of the United States Armed Forces from the Korean War.

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CONYERS and RANGEL: Trump’s Bigotry Reminds Us of Strom Thurmond

By John Conyers, Jr. & Charlie Rangel

'As veterans who have fought for our country abroad and then at home, we simply cannot stay silent while un-American attacks on other minority groups are given voice'
Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Some six decades ago, we left our homes in Detroit and New York City to serve in the Korean War. We were both young men in our early 20s, afraid but resolute. We would both be decorated for our service, and Charlie would be severely wounded in the Battle of Kunu-ri. We would both fight to defend democracy on the Korean Peninsula.
In Korea, we fought as part of the first truly integrated armed forces our nation had ever known. The near defeat of U.S.-led forces in the early days of the conflict led to rapid integration after three years of delaying implementation of President Harry Truman’s 1948 order to desegregate our Army and Navy. This led to a certain level of meritocracy: Charlie would rise to Staff Sergeant, and John would serve as an officer.
However, when we returned home we were quickly reminded that we were not just veterans—we were black veterans. Commendation medals did not mean we could sit in the front of the bus in Alabama, and a Purple Heart did not protect black veterans from racist landlords, employers, businesses or police. Our service didn’t trump our race.
Today, Donald Trump is fomenting a movement to bring back that shameful period in time by alienating groups who have fought and died for our freedoms. In the “Great America” that Donald Trump talks about, people of Mexican descent are not soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines—or judges—they are drug dealers, rapists and thieves. To Trump, Muslim immigrants are not allies who had to flee persecution because their assistance to U.S. forces endangered their lives—every single one is a potential terrorist who should be subject to special police laws. Both groups of citizens—Hispanics and Muslims—are clearly unfit to serve as judges in Trump’s America. Like the segregationists of our youth, no amount of national service seems to overcome Trump’s belief that a person’s race and religion make him or her less American.
As we have said, Trump’s hair-brained bigotry is nothing original. Indeed, his sort of prejudiced campaign does not even predate our service to our country. In 1948, the year we both put on U.S. Army uniforms, Strom Thurmond won 39 electoral votes as the nominee of the Dixiecrats. But Trump’s dangerous provocations—the forced expulsion of 11 million people and the creation of secret police and special religious ghettos for Muslims—represent crimes that we simply did not travel half a world a way to defend.
That Trump has never served in uniform—his boarding school experience excepted—is painfully obvious when he speaks. And we are not just referring to his shameful comments about Senator John McCain and prisoners of war. He has clearly never had to put his life at risk for our nation. If he had, he would know the same thing we learned from bullets and bombs as young men—on the battlefield, one’s skin color or the name of his God is the last thing that matters.
A Commander-in-Chief is responsible for the lives of all our fighting men and women: 158,000 of those soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen identify as Hispanic or Latino, and more than 5,000 of them are Muslim. Trump simply cannot fulfill the constitutional duties of the presidential office by questioning the patriotism, integrity and devotion of one out of eight U.S. service men and women. Nor should a man who wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, our military ally—a nation with whom we last fought an armed conflict in 1919—receive command of a military that has been through enough unnecessary dust and bloodshed.
Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans are starting to take their cues from their nominee, with all but 20 of them voting last week to end enlistment programs that grants citizenship status to undocumented immigrants who came here as children, who already have legal residency in the United States, and who simply want to serve in our Armed Forces. This trend is disturbing. It is one thing for a fringe political candidate who won a plurality of G.O.P. voters to suggest such dangerous polices; it is another for Congressional Republicans to pick up and carry that flag in the House.
As veterans who have fought for our country abroad and then at home, we simply cannot stay silent while un-American attacks on other minority groups are given voice.
Sixty-six years to the day after our military went to fight a war as an integrated force for the first time, we hope the American people will stand up for those who are fighting on our behalf.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS: Attorney General Schuette's Lawsuit Wont't Undo the Damage Flint Has Suffered

Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement on the lawsuit filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“While  Schuette’s lawsuit may represent some measure of accountability for those who failed to exercise due care in carrying out Governor Snyder’s takeover of the Flint water system, it will do nothing to undo the damage that Flint’s citizens have already suffered and continue to suffer each day.  If Mr. Schuette dedicated his resources to environmental protection instead of using them to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to allow increased mercury pollution for special interests in Michigan, Flint’s families would not be struggling with the anguish and uncertainty they presently face.

“The simple fact is that no matter how many people are prosecuted or sued by Attorney General Schuette, it will not undo the damage Flint has suffered. Unfortunately, it seems that in Michigan, there are two water quality standards: the one that wealthy communities who supported Governor Snyder receive, and the one forced upon minority, low-income communities who are politically unimportant to our Republican-controlled state government.

“If the facts bear out that these two companies used an insufficient level of care, then they should absolutely be held accountable and pay a price for their actions.  Sadly, it seems like Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette have no interest in holding themselves to that same standard of which they are now—finally—holding to others.  In one important respect, the lawsuits change nothing, the people of the State of Michigan are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to attorneys to protect those largely at fault. 

“Until Flint’s water is fully safe, its children are made whole, and we see consequences for those who stripped Flint’s citizens of their political and civil rights to protect themselves, there will be neither justice nor resolution for the people of Flint.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, upholding affirmative action programs at the University of Texas at Austin. House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) released the following joint statement:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“With today’s ruling, the Supreme Court finally put to rest the question of whether race-conscious admission programs can be employed in a Constitutional manner to achieve the state interest of a diverse student body.  Though the ruling rests on highly particularized findings of fact, this precedent should send the signal that this Court has grown weary of the constant array of challenges to affirmative action plans by test-case litigants like Fisher. 

“In a globalized and increasingly interconnected world, the nation that succeeds is the one best positioned to adapt to a world of differences -- cultural, religious, economic, social, racial, and political. Given the challenges facing our nation, it is more important than ever before that our institutions of higher learning prepare our diverse student population to lead and innovate into the 21st century.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Washington, DC – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) released the following statement on the sit-in on the House floor today to demand action on gun violence:

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) is pictured on the House floor during the sit-in with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and House Democrats.

“It is simply unacceptable for Congress to choose to do nothing in the face of gun violence, which takes a deadly toll on our streets and in our communities every day.  It appears that Republicans’ only response to gun violence is silence — but we won’t be silent. What we are doing on the House floor is a call to action.  We are challenging Republicans in the House to simply hold votes on common-sense bills that are supported overwhelmingly by our citizens. 

“I join my colleagues today for the sit-in because now is the time to face the challenges posed by gun violence by taking steps that we know will make us safer. I thank my good friend Congressman John Lewis for initiating this sit-in to demand that Congress act now.

“Our Republican colleagues can no longer ignore the plight of the American people and calls from Democratic members of Congress to do something. It’s past time that we act, and bring legislation to the floor that addresses serious problems within our system that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.”

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President Obama endorses John Conyers for re-election

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has lent his support to U.S. Rep. John Conyers in the Aug. 2 primary,  endorsing the 87-year-old Detroit Democrat in what would be his 27th two-year term in Congress.
Conyers' campaign announced the endorsement this morning.
"Congressman John Conyers has been a champion for jobs, justice, and peace over his career in Congress and I am proud to endorse him for re-election," said a statement from Obama. "I need John by my side as we fight to create good jobs and build an economy that works for everyone."
Obama — who will leave office in January shortly after Conyers would be sworn in for another term if he wins — gave Conyers his endorsement over Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, Conyers' only rival in the August Democratic primary. Michigan's 13th Congressional District, which includes much of Detroit as well as parts of Downriver and western Wayne County, is considered a virtual lock for a Democratic nominee to hold onto.
"I am so grateful to President Obama for his tireless work to improve the lives of hardworking families in metro Detroit and all over this country," said Conyers. "His support of me and my re-election campaign means so much at this critical time for our country. I am looking forward to building on this to win in August, then generating unprecedented voter turnout this November to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket."
Conyers, an early supporter of Obama's when the latter became a presidential candidate, hasn't always agreed with Obama. In 2009, Conyers criticized the new president on a couple of occasions, in one case accusing him of not showing enough leadership on health care and suggested he had been "bowing down to every nutty right wing proposal" during the debate over what would become the Affordable Care Act.
"I'm getting tired of saving Obama's can in the White House," Conyers said on one radio show at the time.
Conyers, a civil rights icon who helped found the Congressional Black Caucus, is a former chairman of of the House Judiciary Committee and remains its top ranking Democrat. He became the longest-serving active member of Congress in 2015, when former U.S. Rep. John Dingell — a Dearborn Democrat whom Conyers once worked for — retired.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

U.S. Representatives John Conyers and Brenda Lawrence Hold Voting Rights Forum, June 28, 2016 in Detroit

U.S. Representatives John Conyers and Brenda Lawrence hold voting rights forum, June 28, 2016, at University of Detroit-Mercy Law School from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 651 E. Jefferson Ave, Detroit, Michigan, 48226.
Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Friday, June 17, 2016

CONYERS: We Must Never Forget The Nine Lives Lost In Charleston

"It’s been one year since the brutal murder of nine innocent African-Americans at the historically black Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina. 

Today we remember them as we reflect on the tragic loss of life. 

I am reminded that while the killer was bound by evil hatred, the system failed us in that situation. 

We must strengthen our gun laws to close loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.", said Conyers.

#EndHateCrimes #EndGunViolence

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On this day in 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas learned of the end of slavery and the Civil War

Today is also marks the day of the 1000th post on this blog.

 #Juneteenth #FreedomDay

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dispatches: How to Stop US Production of Banned Cluster Munitions

A failed BLU-108 canister, with two submunitions still attached, that was delivered by a CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon during an attack on the quarry of the Amran Cement Factory on February 15, 2016.At the end of May, the Obama administration quietly suspended transfers of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia following concern raised by evidence showing that the Saudi-led coalition had used US cluster munitions in or near civilian areas in Yemen. A congressional initiative led by Representative John Conyers Jr. that sought to legislate that suspension was narrowly defeated today.
Human Rights Watch and others have systemically documented evidence showing continued use of cluster munitions, even after Saudi officials publicly claimed it was not using them.
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CONYERS, COHEN & JOHNSON: GOP’S So-Called “Better Way” Is The Wrong Way For Americans


Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Democrats want to address the real problems facing our Nation today by: 

  • Preventing Gun Violence: Congress can longer stand idly by while our communities are ravaged by gun violence. Americans should feel safe whether attending school, their place of worship, in their movie theaters or out in their communities.

  • Combating Hate Crimes: No American should live in fear of being a target of violence because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or sex.  

  • Strengthening Voting Rights: States across the Nation have implemented laws that disenfranchise voters and impede their ability to have their voices heard. Every American deserves equal access to the ballot box.

  • Relieving Crushing Student Loan Debt: The class of 2015 graduated with the most student loan debt in U.S. history. Overwhelming student loan debt is preventing young Americans from purchasing homes, starting families, and contributing to our economy.

  • Helping American Consumers: Companies should not be able to force Americans to forego their rights to seek legal redress in the courts.

However, House Judiciary Republicans have not held a single hearing on these issues this Congress. Instead, they would rather focus on protecting corporate interests and their own political agenda. Today, Speaker Ryan’s Task Force on Restoring Constitutional Authority issued a report as part of the so-called “Better Way” agenda.  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Ranking Member Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) released the following statements in response to the report:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“For the second time in two days, House Republicans have issued a report consisting mostly of recycled and long-discredited proposals clearly intended to undermine Federal agencies’ ability to protect public health and safety and to open the door to ideologically-motivated lawsuits against the Executive Branch, among other things,” said Congressman Conyers. “Congress delegated broad authority to agencies because they have the expertise to develop highly technical regulations that sometimes require years of study which Congress lacks the time and resources to do on its own.  This is why the Supreme Court has long recognized that the Constitution allows Congress to obtain the assistance of the other branches of government, including the Executive Branch, in implementing the laws that Congress passes.”

Congressman Conyers continued, “While there are areas where Congress has failed to assert itself sufficiently -- such as the President’s exercise of war powers -- this report does little to address those concerns.  Rather, this report simply recycles the same old pro-corporate, anti-consumer proposals that House Republicans have been pushing for decades, masked as constitutional issues.”

“Today’s report on the so-called “A Better Way: The Constitution” is mostly a re-hash of meritless proposals that, among other things, invite frivolous lawsuits by Congress against the President over routine policy debates and hamstring the ability of agencies to do the critical job of ensuring the health, safety, and rights of the American people that Congress tasked them with doing,” said Congressman Cohen.  “In hearing after hearing before the Judiciary Committee, House Republicans have sought to constitutionalize what are essentially policy and political disputes.  Really, this reflects the fact that they do not have the votes to achieve their policy ends through the political process.  And that is because most Americans like the kind of protections for the environment, civil rights, consumer products, and workplace safety that House Republicans have repeatedly tried to undermine.”

“Because dismantling our government’s ability to provide for the public interest is apparently not enough, Republicans now embark on a dangerous path to rig the courts and regulatory system against the public by abolishing longstanding Supreme Court precedent that is fundamental to our legal tradition and upholding the very rights established by both the Constitution and Congress,” Congressman Johnson stated. “These so-called “solutions” appear to come straight from the Koch brothers’ wish list. Yet another example of the corporate-welfare policies that Republicans so eagerly pursue, there is little doubt that the result of this crony-capitalist agenda would be a deep betrayal of our constitutional and statutory protections, practically guaranteeing a rigged system by which corporate misconduct could seldom be held accountable.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CONYERS Statement To Honor Gordie Howe

Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) today submitted the following statement for the Congressional Record to honor the life and legacy of Gordie Howe:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in remembrance of Gordie Howe, who passed away on June 10, 2016, at the
Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe
age of 88. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fans across the country.

Born on March 31, 1928, he grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before coming to Detroit, where he made his National Hockey League debut on October 16, 1946, scoring in his first game at the age of 18.  Gordie Howe, or as he was known to a generation and beyond, “Mr. Hockey”, was the embodiment of the National Hockey League, and an ambassador from Detroit to the rest of the country and to the world. I speak here for Detroit, for the Red Wings, and for the entire NHL, when I say that we will miss him dearly.

Gordie Howe, a 23-time All-Star, was unmatched on the ice, and in his twenty-five seasons with the Red Wings, he led the city of Detroit to four Stanley Cups, winning numerous distinctions along the way. He was also instrumental in the conception of what would become the National Hockey League Players’ Association.  But Gordie Howe was so much more than a man with a hockey stick; he was a force for good off the ice as well. Gordie, whose wife Colleen “Mrs. Hockey” Howe, suffered from Pick’s Disease, was heavily involved in the search for a cure to degenerative brain diseases, founding the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimers, in partnership with the University of Toronto Baycrest.

Mr. Speaker, on June 10, we lost one of the greats. For almost half of his adult life, Gordie Howe represented the city of Detroit with distinction and class, and his legacy will live on long  after we are gone, on the banners hanging in Joe Louis Arena, at the charities he championed in retirement, and in the hearts of millions of hockey fans across the continent.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CONYERS & JOHNSON: Republicans' Anti-Regulatory Agenda Is Not Only A "Better Way" For Big Business, Not Working Americans

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens introduced the anti-regulatory portion of their so-called “Better Way” agenda.  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Ranking Member Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) today released the following statements in response to this report:

“Congress needs to focus on finding real solutions to real problems facing the Nation, such as gun violence, the erosion of voting rights, and growing economic inequality. But once again, House Republican leaders reveal they have no new ideas to help create jobs and improve the lives of ordinary hardworking Americans.  Instead they rebrand old, discredited anti-regulatory proposals designed to benefit big business,” said Congressman Conyers.  “Economic studies have shown that regulations help our economy, not burden it.  More importantly, regulations ensure better working conditions, a cleaner environment, and safer and more innovative products.

Congressman Conyers continued, “Americans want the benefits that regulation provides.  House Republican leadership should stop attacking federal regulatory agencies and admit that their decades-old, anti-regulatory agenda simply prioritizes corporate profits over people.”

“This report is more evidence that Republicans would rather govern by tired and unfounded rhetoric than through sound policy,” said Congressman Johnson. “Few, if any, of these anti-government reforms are new ideas. We have held more than 30 hearings on many of these dangerous proposals; each are designed to unduly constrain agencies from protecting the public interest by keeping our water, food, and air safe. At this point, the record is etched in stone: regulatory reform is a handout to the donor class designed to insulate reckless corporations from public accountability in any form.”

On the House Judiciary Committee alone, House Republicans have held 33 anti-regulation hearings since the start of the 112th Congress, but not a single hearing this Congress on:
o   Gun violence;
o   Voting rights;
o   The impact of overwhelming student loan debt on families and the economy;
o   The mortgage foreclosure crisis, which still is hampering the economic recovery of millions of American families;
o   or how we can better help struggling American families regain their financial stability.
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House Judiciary Committee Democrats Urge For Congressional Action On Gun Violence

Dean of the U.S .House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today led a letter signed by every democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, urging for swift action on gun violence.

"On numerous occasions in the past, after assaults on our people by those who reject our values and seek to break our spirit, we have come together to console each other, hold the attackers accountable, and reduce our vulnerability to future attacks.  Make no mistake about it: our Nation is under attack.  We are under attack by the scourge of gun violence—on our streets and in our homes, on a daily basis.  All too often, these attacks take the form of a mass shooting.  Included in these attacks are hate crimes and incidents of domestic terrorism.  Congress needs to act.  Our Committee needs to act now." said Conyers.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

CONYERS Receives Heroes for Hope Award. at the Focus Hope Awards Reception and Dinner



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Detroit, MI – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) today released the following statement on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida:

Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“The shooting in Orlando early this morning, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, is a terrible tragedy, made even more appalling by the possibility that it may have been a hate crime against the LGBT community during LGBT Pride month. I am thankful that law enforcement appears to have prevented another attack against the LGBT community in Los Angeles this morning. As we investigate the facts, treat the wounded, and console the victims and their families, we must not delay in taking action to strengthen our gun laws to close gaps and make us safer. 

“The daily, deadly toll of gun violence on our streets, in addition to the all-too regular occurrence of mass shootings, has long demanded that Congress not shrink from this critical task.  We know that closing loopholes regarding firearms background checks, while not the solution for every such instance, will help reduce gun violence. However, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, we are reminded that the system failed us in that situation, yet we have not addressed that weakness in the law. We must take action on a comprehensive set of measures as soon as possible.”

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