Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Washington, DC – Congressman John Conyers, Jr (MI-14) today released the following statement:
Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Last night, the Department of Education published a press release with a quote from Secretary of Education Betsy Devos that is shocking and insulting. In her statement, Mrs. Devos says that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were “started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education,” and that therefore they are “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”
“Let’s be clear, HBCUs were started because of Jim Crow laws. Black students did not “choose” HBCUs over the all-white colleges -- they were barred from attending due to their race. This statement by Mrs. Devos reveals either a stunning ignorance of history on the part of the person tasked with overseeing our nation’s education system, or an inability to acknowledge our nation’s shameful history of racial discrimination in education, both public and private.
“These statements are not surprising.  Mrs. Devos’s “work” in Michigan pushing for an education system that increases segregation, improves schools for wealthy students, and destroys choices in minority and underserved communities, should have disqualified her from serving in her current position.   As should the fact that neither she nor her family have ever attended or worked in a public school, and she appears to be wholly ignorant of even the basic principles of either teaching or educational management.
“Every day of this administration brings a new level of incompetence and insincerity. Yesterday’s attempt to whitewash the stain of segregation into an argument for privatizing our public schools is perhaps a new low in her current position.  I condemn this misguided statement, and I urge her to continue meeting with the leadership of our nation’s HBCUs to better understand their mission and how the Department can better adopt policies to expand equal access to quality education.”

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CONYERS Statement for the Markup of H. Res. 111, Resolution of Inquiry

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I strongly support this important resolution of inquiry.

In the days leading up to consideration of this resolution, I have had ten names on my mind:

Edward Hutchinson.  Henry Smith.  Charles Sandman.  Charles Wiggins.  David Dennis.  Wiley Mayne.  Delbert Latta.  Trent Lott.  Carlos Moorhead.  Joseph Maraziti.

These men, of course, were the ten members of this Committee who, in the summer of 1974, voted against all three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. 

Looking back, it seems obvious to us that these members misjudged the moment. For political or personal reasons, they refused to engage with mounting evidence that the President had violated both the law and his oath of office.

I was here, later that summer, when the Supreme Court ruled that the White House owed this Committee full and unedited copies of conversations recorded in the Oval Office.

I watched my colleagues react to the so-called “smoking gun” tape, in which the President ordered his staff to obstruct the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break in.

I saw the looks on the faces of those ten members as they each, one after another, reversed themselves and stated their intention to support impeachment on the House floor. 
For some of these men, the reversal came too late.  Their initial decision to place party over duty cost them a future in politics.

The Resolution under consideration today is, of course, not as weighty a matter as a vote on articles of impeachment.

A resolution of inquiry is merely a request for information.  In this case, Mr. Nadler has asked the Attorney General for information related to ongoing investigations that directly affect White House personnel.  He has also asked for information about the President’s decision not to distance himself from his businesses in any meaningful way.

These matters fall directly within the jurisdiction of this Committee.  It is our official responsibility to investigate them.  And it is perfectly appropriate that we ask the Department of Justice for information to further that investigation.

I know that there is resistance to this proposal.  Many of my colleagues do not want us to investigate President Trump or his associates. 

Perhaps they are unconvinced by near-daily reports of ongoing contact between the President’s advisors and the government of Vladimir Putin.

Perhaps they agree with the President’s belief that conflict-of-interest laws do not apply to his office—although I note that this resolution makes reference to the Foreign Emoluments Clause and to nine federal statutes that clearly apply to the President and prohibit some of his current behavior.

Perhaps my colleagues simply hope these problems will go away.  But they will not go away.  And I believe that we have a responsibility, to our constituents and to our Constitution, to ask these questions until they are fully and satisfactorily answered. 

One of the privileges of being Dean of the House is that, after he is elected, I get to administer the Oath of Office to the Speaker.

Each of us has taken that oath: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office.

The resolution before us is an opportunity to be faithful to that oath—to do the jobs we were put here to do, and get to the truth of these matters at the Department of Justice.

I think about those ten names from the summer of 1974, and I wonder how history will judge us today.
I urge my colleagues to support the Nadler resolution.  I thank the Chairman, and I yield back.
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CONYERS: Statement In Opposition to H.R. 1215, the So-Called “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017”

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Today’s markup of H.R. 1215, the so-called “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” is the twelfth time since 1995 that we have considered legislation intended to deny victims of medical malpractice and defective medical products the ability to be made whole and to hold wrongdoers accountable.

This measure has repeatedly failed because of its many problems, including its trampling of states’ rights. But the Majority is now rushing it to markup as part of their chaotic attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act - even though it will directly impede Americans’ access to safe quality medical care. 

There are so many problems with this bill that I would need 5 hours to discuss them all, but because I have only 5 minutes, here are just a few.

To begin with, H.R. 1215 like so many other civil justice bills we have considered – deeply intrudes on state sovereignty.

Tort law is supposed to be the domain of states. Yet this bill preempts medical malpractice and product liability law in many states. In particular, H.R. 1215 preempts state law governing joint and several liability, the availability of damages, the ability to introduce evidence of collateral source benefits, attorneys’ fees, and periodic payments of future damages. 

Members should not be fooled by assertions that the bill preserves state law.  In truth, H.R. 1215 does nothing to address the fundamental concerns about states’ rights previously raised by Members on both sides of the aisle as it intrudes just as deeply as its predecessor bills into areas traditionally determined by the states.

In fact, the rule of construction expressly states that it preempts state law except in very limited circumstances where state law is more favorable to defendants.  And a number of so-called “state flexibility” provisions simply reinforce one-way preemption where the bill supersedes state laws that are generally more favorable to victims, while leaving intact State laws that are more favorable to defendants.

Further yet, this bill would cause real harm by severely limiting the ability of victims to be made whole.

For instance, it imposes an unjustifiably low cap on noneconomic damages.

The bill’s $250,000 aggregate limit for noneconomic damages -- an amount established more than 40 years ago pursuant to a California statute -- would have a particularly adverse impact on women, children, the poor, and other vulnerable members of society.

These groups are more likely to receive noneconomic damages in health care cases because they are less able to establish lost wages and other economic losses. 

Women, for example, are often paid at a lower rate than men, even for the same job, and are also more likely to suffer noneconomic loss, such as disfigurement or loss of fertility.

Imposing a severe limit on noneconomic damages, therefore, hurts them disproportionately.

Whatever the short term savings, the bill would impose broad social and financial costs in the long term, including the additional strains on Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs caused when malpractice victims are denied full restitution.

Finally, the bill unjustifiably provides blanket immunity for health care providers in medical product liability cases.

It is hard to know why a provider should be entitled to blanket immunity for dispensing a defective or dangerous pharmaceutical or medical device.

This provision also has the potential to indirectly shield pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, who may be able to argue successfully in a product liability action that a plaintiff’s injury can be blamed on a provider’s negligence.

Because the provider would be immunized, the injured victim could be left without any recovery.

The law should not be used to create such an unjust result.

For these and many other reasons, I strongly oppose H.R. 1215 and urge the Committee to reject it.

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CONYERS: Statement for the Markup of H.R. 372, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017”

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
I support H.R. 372, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017,” which repeals the antitrust exemption in the McCarran-Ferguson Act for the health insurance business. 

For many years, I have advocated for such a repeal and so I am pleased to see bipartisan support for this position. 

My own bill, H.R. 143, the “Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2017,” would similarly repeal the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for the health insurance business.

It does so for price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation, the most egregious kinds of anticompetitive conduct.  Additionally, my legislation would repeal the exemption for the business of medical malpractice insurance, as this would be another key component of ensuring competition in health care markets.

There are several important reasons why Congress should repeal this antitrust exemption.

To begin with, there is no justification for such a broad antitrust exemption for the business of health insurance.

Congress passed the McCarran-Ferguson Act in response to a 1944 Supreme Court decision finding that the antitrust laws applied to the business of insurance.

Both insurance companies and the states expressed concern about that decision. Insurance companies worried that it could jeopardize certain collective practices like joint rate-setting and the pooling of historical data.  And, the states were concerned about losing their authority to regulate and tax the business of insurance.

To address these issues, McCarran-Ferguson provides that federal antitrust laws apply to the business of insurance only to the extent that it is not regulated by state law which has resulted in a broad antitrust exemption. 

Industry and state revenue concerns, rather than the key goals of protecting competition and consumers, were the primary drivers of the Act.

In passing McCarran-Ferguson, however, Congress initially intended to provide only a temporary exemption and unfortunately gave little consideration to ensuring competition. 

Not surprisingly, 3 Commissioners observed in the 2007 Antitrust Modernization Commission Report that McCarran-Ferguson should be repealed because it has “outlived any utility [it] may have had and should be repealed.” And, another Commissioner stated that the Act is “among the most ill-conceived and egregious examples” of antitrust exemptions and that its repeal “should not be delayed.”

Given the foregoing, I would encourage the Committee to consider a full repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption in the future.

Antitrust exemptions should be exceedingly rare and should be enacted only where strong policy reasons support such exemptions.

It is far from clear that the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption was ever fully justified, and while I support repealing that exemption for health insurance, it would be worth the Committee’s time to look beyond the health insurance sector.

For example, my bill would have also repealed the Act’s antitrust exemption for medical malpractice insurers, given that a lack of competition among such insurers is one of the reasons for high medical malpractice premiums.

Finally, repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for the business of health insurance is a complement, not an alternative, to the Affordable Care Act.

Repealing McCarran-Ferguson, alone, will be insufficient to help patients and other health care consumers obtain affordable health insurance.

We should remember that the House included language almost identical to H.R. 372 in its version of the Affordable Care Act.

This is not an “either/or” situation.  We need both measures to be in place to maximize benefits, improve quality, and lower prices for consumers.

Nonetheless, I support this legislation and urge the Committee to report it favorably.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

ADVISORY: Congressman Nadler Holds Press Conference on Resolution of Inquiry into President Trump Conflicts of Interest, Ethics Violations, and Russia Ties

Press Conference on Resolution of Inquiry into Donald Trump’s business conflicts, ethics violations, and Russia ties.

WHEN:    Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 9:15AM (ET)

WHERE:  HVC Studio A

WHO:      Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)
                  Members supporting the Resolution of Inquiry 

On February 28, 2017, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will hold a press conference ahead of the House Judiciary Committee markup of his Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res. 111) directing the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with any and all information relevant to an inquiry into President Trump and his associates’ conflicts of interest, ethical violations—including the Emoluments Clause—and Russia ties.  Congressman Nadler’s Resolution of Inquiry, which House Republicans scheduled the same day as President Trump’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress, will be the first legislative item Members of Congress will have to vote on concerning conducting an investigation into Donald Trump.

MEDIA RSVP: Only Capitol-accredited media are eligible to attend. If you plan to attend, RSVP to Daniel Schwarz at Daniel.Schwarz@mail.house.gov or(202) 225-5635.
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CONYERS Condemns Trump DOJ Support of Regressive Voter ID Laws In Texas

Washington, Dc – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today released the following statement after the Department of Justice reversed its previous stance and now supports Texas officials’ attempts to target minority voters:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“With this decision, the Trump administration has officially embarked on a mission of voter suppression and proven the critics of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ nomination to head the Department of Justice correct.  There is no question that defenders of the right to vote are on notice that we must be vigilant in protecting the civil rights of all Americans and that every vote counts.  Ultimately, this question will wind up in the Supreme Court, making the nomination and confirmation process immediately critical to the voting rights of the minority community and every voter.  The legal battle for 2018 has begun.”

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nadler Calls out Republicans for Trying to Bury Debate on Resolution of Inquiry

They Must Not Shield Trump from Investigation into Russian Ties and Business Conflicts of Interest

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler, (NY-10) released the following statement regarding the House Judiciary Committee's scheduling of consideration of H. Res. 111, a Resolution of Inquiry:

"This morning, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee officially gave notice of consideration of H. Res. 111, my Resolution of Inquiry requesting information from the Department of Justice on President Trump's business conflicts and Russia ties, for thisTuesday, February 28.  We can draw a number of conclusions from this announcement—and none of them speak to the courage of the Majority.

“First, House Republicans chose to consider this resolution in committee—as opposed to allowing debate on the House floor—because they would prefer that only a few of their safest members be forced to take a vote on this matter.  The Majority must decide between conducting basic oversight of President Trump, on the one hand, or being complicit in potential misdeeds by Trump and his associates, on the other.  Given their refusal to hold the President accountable so far, they are clearly trying to contain the damage.

“Second, committee leadership has scheduled the markup for Tuesday in an obvious attempt to bury our debate in the heavy media coverage of President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.  I don’t think the effort will succeed.  Across the political spectrum, in poll after poll and at town hall meetings across the country, the American public demands that we investigate critical questions related to the conduct of our elections and the conflicts of interest of our elected officials.

“Third, Chairman Goodlatte also gave notice of an amendment in the nature of a substitute to my resolution, with wording virtually identical to H. Res. 111.  That amendment only exists as a threat to cut off debate on the underlying resolution.  I urge the Chairman not to break from the longstanding practice of the House Judiciary Committee, and to allow a full debate on the resolution of inquiry.  If Republicans choose to block the measure, so be it.  At least we will know where they stand.

“I believe that the public sees this ‘tactical scheduling’ as an act of cowardice.  I predict that any attempt to curtail debate or limit media coverage of our markup will only backfire.  As they say, the eyes of the nation will surely be upon them.

“Given last night's revelations about White House communications with the FBI regarding Trump campaign contacts with Russian intelligence operatives, there can be no adequate reason why the Republicans on the committee should not support this simple request for information.  Members of Congress have an obligation to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch.  I remain hopeful that at least some of my Republican colleagues will carefully consider our oath of office, and choose to support this resolution on Tuesday.  If they do not, we are left to conclude that they are willing to go to any length to shield Americans from getting to the truth."

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Friday, February 24, 2017

CONYERS: The White House Is Not Permitted To Pressure The FBI In This Manner

Ranking Member reacts to reports that Trump Team asked FBI to deny Russia ties

Washington, DC – This evening, CNN reports that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to “knock down” media reports about communications between the Russian government and associates of President Trump.  If these reports are accurate, the White House may have violated Department of Justice policies established in 2007 and 2009 to limit direct communications about pending investigations between the White House and the FBI.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today issued the following statement in response:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Tonight’s report should concern all Americans, regardless of party.

“The White House is simply not permitted to pressure the FBI to make public statements about a pending investigation of the President and his advisors.  The Bush and Obama Administrations took steps to limit this sort of back channel communication for the express purpose of protecting the integrity of the Department of Justice and the FBI. This is deeply troubling because of the inappropriate attempt to influence the FBI and because it may reveal a broader effort by the Trump White House to cover up malfeasance during the campaign.  

“A spokesman for the Department suggests that Attorney General Sessions is ‘reviewing’ these guidelines.  The policy seems clear cut to me.  I once again call on the Attorney General to recuse himself from any investigation into the connections between the Trump campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin.  The need for an independent, bipartisan investigation into these matters has never been more clear.

Tomorrow, the Trump Administration will almost certainly attempt to deflect criticism by casting doubt on the officials who brought these communications to the attention of the media.  Again, I ask the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to ensure that whistleblowers within the Department are protected from any kind of retaliation.

“It is past time for House Republicans to engage on this issue.  The Trump team has clear ties to the Russian government—and we ignore those ties at our own peril.”

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CONYERS Announces 2017 Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Nominees

Image may contain: 6 people, people standing
U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. announces induction nominees for the 2017 Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame press conference, February 21, 2017.

2017 Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame inductees announced in Detroit

DETROIT - The 2017 Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame inductees were announced Tuesday in Detroit. 
The news conference was at 2 p.m. at Bert's Entertainment Complex on Russell Street.

The Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame have named 25 artists and industry leaders for possible induction in 2017.

Here's the news release ahead of the announcement:

Among the major artists nominated are Mitch Ryder, New Edition, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Patti LaBelle, Sam & Dave, James Brown, and The Impressions, while non-artists included TV Host and entrepreneur Dick Clark, executives Berry Gordy from Motown, Gamble & Huff of Philadelphia International Records, Clive Davis of Columbia and Arista, and both radio personalities Ernie Durham and Martha the Jean Queen.

Ten(10) music icons from this year's 2017 list will emerge from the voting that will be announced on February 21, at Bert's Entertainment and will be inducted into the Hall on June 11, at The Music Hall in Detroit, Michigan. Tickets will go on sale at the Music Hall box office on February 22, you can order your tickets by calling (313) 887-8500. The new inductees will bring the total for the Hall to 160. Last year's 2016 induction ceremony saw the likes of TV-One founder Cathy Hughes, Dionne Warwick, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Mack Rice, The Supremes.

The Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 by former pro basketball player and R&B music activist and historian  LaMont "Showboat" Robinson for his love of R&B music and his large collection of memorabilia. When he decided he wanted to donate some of his rare artifacts to a worthy organization, he found that none existed hall of fame for rhythm and blues artist(s) so he started the organization to recognize the accomplishments of artists in R&B, Jazz, Gospel and Blues.
The Hall of Fame is currently in major discussing with a well know entertainment, music bushiness group in Detroit to build this state-of-the-arts institution.

This year's nominees:

Bobby "Blue" Bland
Dick Clark
Clive Davis
Gamble & Huff
Berry Gordy
Isaac Hayes
Bob Seger
Stevie Wonder
Mitch Ryder
Ernie Durham
Martha Jean the Queen
The Impressions
The Valadiers
Patti LaBelle
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers
Billy Paul
Gladys Knight & The Pips
Carolyn Crawford
Mary Wells
James Brown
Joe Tex
Carl Carlton
Berry White
Sam & Dave
New Edition


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Friday, February 17, 2017

CONYERS & THOMPSON Condemn Reports Of Trump's Military Deportation Force

Washington, DC – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), today released the following joint statement in response to reports that President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security had plans to use the National Guard to round up and deport undocumented immigrants:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“This draft memo shows the depths that Donald Trump will go to implement his callous “deportation force” and instill panic and fear among immigrant families and communities throughout this nation.

“It is completely outrageous and disturbing that this document, generated from within the highest levels of this country’s government, would even contemplate using our military on our own soil to round up immigrants. Additionally, the memo outlines cruel and draconian changes to how this country would treat unaccompanied children and would force millions of others into detention with escalating costs.  This should be of concern to all Americans.  

“Whether or not the memo is implemented, it will undoubtedly lead to fear and intimidation in our communities, which are already reeling from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s raids. We call on Secretary Kelly to immediately come forward and not only disavow this memo, but explain how it even came into existence.”

White House Denies It Weighed Using National Guard as Deportation Force

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration denied on Friday that it was considering using National Guard troops as a deportation force to round up undocumented immigrants, rebutting a report by The Associated Press that cited an 11-page memorandum describing such an effort.
A senior administration official at the Department of Homeland Security said the memo in the news report was an early draft that never made it to the secretary and was not seriously considered by the department.

The A.P. said the memo called for the militarization of immigration enforcement by authorizing state governors to mobilize up to 100,000 National Guard troops to find people who are not authorized to be in the United States and send them home.

The troops would be acting to carry out President Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order, in which he directed the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico and called for a more aggressive effort to deport undocumented immigrants.

Increasing the number of people deported will require more resources at the border and in the nation’s interior. Mr. Trump’s order called for a larger number of border patrol and customs agents, but that would require more money from Congress, something that is many months away, at best.


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Washington, DC – After President Donald Trump and House Republicans’ calls to investigate leaks of classified information, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), today wrote to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to call for an investigation into potential Trump Administration threats to whistleblowers. The letter also requests the DOJ Inspector General to investigate potential conflicts of interest that may arise with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading the department’s investigation over these matters, given his close involvement with the Trump campaign.

Conyers and Jeffries said, “During Mr. Trump’s press conference yesterday he continued his angry and unhinged threats and attacks on the law enforcement and intelligence communities, only adding to our concerns about the conflicts with Attorney General Sessions.  We therefore believe it is more important than ever that the Inspector General conduct this requested review.”

In their letter, the Members wrote, “Given the significance and magnitude of these developments, we believe it is appropriate that your office—in conjunction with other Offices of Inspectors General, if necessary—conduct an investigation into the following matters:

§  Whether the Trump Administration has engaged in any improper effort to intimidate or threaten whistleblowers under your jurisdiction, or others who are seeking to expose misconduct by Trump Administration officials.

§  Whether U.S. Attorney General Sessions has any conflict of interest, or should recuse himself from the Department’s investigation into these matters, given his involvement in the Trump campaign and his personal relationship with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.”

Today’s letter was signed by every Democratic member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, including: Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL).
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CONYERS Reintroduces Signature Bill To Provide Jobs Or Training To Every Job-Seeking American

Washington, DC Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), with support from 28 Democratic Members of Congress, reintroduced H.R. 1000, the “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act,” also known as the “Jobs for All Act.” The bill establishes a comprehensive job creation and training program that would create millions of new jobs and raise wages throughout the country. The bill, which is funded by a small tax on Wall Street speculation, would employ Americans in projects such as the renovation of housing and schools, infrastructure repair, expanding access to broadband and wireless Internet, neighborhood beautification projects, among many other community initiatives in the health and education sectors.  This direct job creation effort would be coupled with a significant increase in funding for job training programs funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Congressman Conyers said, “H.R. 1000, the Jobs for All Act, is legislation that could put an end to joblessness in America. While any reasonable observer knows that President Obama made phenomenal progress on job creation, too many urban and rural pockets of this country continue to battle the plague of unemployment, including parts of my Detroit Congressional district. If my colleagues across the aisle are serious about creating jobs, they should pass and sign the Jobs for All Act today.”

Rep. Conyers’ bill would address lingering job shortages by providing resources for employment and training programs administered by non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and state and local governments.  H.R. 1000 prioritizes projects in those regions that have higher level of unemployment, underemployment, and non-labor force participation.

Original Congressional co-sponsors of the measure include the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus, Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL), along with Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Yvette Clark (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD, Danny Davis (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), John Garamendi (D-CA), Al Green (D-TX), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rick Nolan (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), José Serrano (D-NY), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Marc Veasey (D-TX).

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Thursday, February 16, 2017


House Judiciary GOP Offers Bare Minimum Response; Strike Down Dem Amendments to Investigate Trump & Russia Ties

Last night, the Chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees wrote a letter calling for an investigation into the leaks that exposed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn--after consistently refusing to investigate either Flynn or Russian hacking. House Republicans have refused to investigate or even acknowledge concerns about Russian interference with the 2016 election and any Trump Administration connections to that interference.

Just yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee marked up the House Republicans’ oversight plan for the 115th Congress. You can view the original Republican plan here.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
In his opening statement, Ranking Member John Conyers said, “…I fear that there are several urgent matters within our jurisdiction that will not be discussed on a timely basis if we do not bring them up today…the Majority has been conspicuously silent with respect to report after report connecting various figures in the President’s inner circle to the government of Vladimir Putin….The fact that General Flynn has resigned does little to resolve a number of questions that this Committee has a responsibility to ask—especially after last night’s revelation that the Trump campaign was in direct communication with Russian intelligence operatives—and we will begin to ask some of those questions today.”Ranking Member Conyers’ full remarks are available here.

Facing criticism for failure to conduct meaningful oversight of the Trump Administration, Chairman Goodlatte offered an amendment to the oversight plan that discussed oversight into “allegations of misconduct by Executive Branch officials” and “allegations of leaks of classified information.”  Democratic Rep. Cicilline offered a successful amendment to the Goodlatte amendment, addressing “allegations of interference with our democratic institutions or efforts to improperly or illegally interfere with our elections.”  

Ranking Member Conyers had this to say about the majority's bare minimum effort: “I will not oppose the adoption of the amendment, as far as it goes, but what is disturbing is that it clearly does not go far enough.  In specifying a focus on leaks, it undermines the gravity of the wrongdoing the leaks expose.  In doing so, it appears that my Republican colleagues are embracing and channeling Donald Trump, whose administration has displayed a dangerous degree of incompetence, particularly on national security matters.  And the incompetence, dishonesty, unethical behavior, and disregard for our constitutional issues show no sign of abating.”

The final oversight plan does not specifically address any concerns about the integrity of the election or any of the alleged connections between the Trump Administration and the government of Vladimir Putin. The markup spanned more than 7 hours as Democratic members of the committee offered a number of amendments on Trump Administration contacts with the Russian government, President Trump’s ongoing conflicts of interest, and other matters that the Majority chose not to prioritize in their proposed oversight plan. 

A full list of the amendments that House Judiciary Republicans voted down is available below.

Failed 11-16
In the Intellectual Property Subcommittee section, amends the “Federal Judiciary” section to discuss threats to federal judges.

Failed 13-15
In the Immigration Subcommittee section, adds a new item on the deportation of parents of minor children.

Jackson Lee
Failed 13-19
In the Crime Subcommittee section, amends the item on the FBI to discuss the FBI’s investigation of Trump Administration contacts with Russia.

Jackson Lee
Failed 11-18
In the Crime Subcommittee section, amends the item on the FBI to discuss the bureau’s public disclosure of information related to high-profile investigations.

Failed 12-17
In the Constitution Subcommittee section, amends the “Free Speech” item to discuss threats to the freedom of the press.

Failed 11-17
In the Constitution Subcommittee section, adds new item on false allegations of voter fraud.

Failed 10-15
In the Constitution Subcommittee section, amends the “Religious Liberty” section to discuss entry into the United States.

Failed 10-14
In the Full Committee section, adds discussion of the foreign emoluments clause to “Protecting Congress’ Constitutional Powers.”

Failed 11-15
In the Immigration Subcommittee section, amends the “Refugee Program” item to discuss the rigorous vetting of refugees.

Failed 12-18
In the Immigration Subcommittee section, adds a new item on the deportation of Dreamers.

Failed 11-17
In the Full Committee section, adds a new item on DOJ’s investigation into Russian influence on 2016 election.

Failed 12-19
In the Full Committee section, adds new item on background checks for security clearances.

In the Constitution Subcommittee section, amends the “War on Terrorism” item to discuss the limits of congressionally authorized military force.

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