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Entries in John Conyers (2)

Tuesday
Mar152011

Obama Gets Low Marks from Fellow Democrat

Conyers [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Longtime Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers wasn't particularly effusive in his support for President Obama during a speech Monday at the National Press Club.

In fact, Conyers almost sounded like he would endorse another Democrat for the White House, if one was available.

Conyers told reporters, "We keep getting a longer and longer list of things [Obama] wanted to do, wished he could do more about, and is of course having a big problem."

He said the president has made missteps on job creation, curtailing energy costs and dealing with the crises in the Middle East and North Africa.

Nonetheless, the Michigan lawmaker predicted Obama will win reelection in 2012 only because "there doesn't seem to be anybody to run against him next year."  Conyers admitted the list of possible Republican alternatives frightens him.

As for all the criticism he heaped on the commander in chief, Conyers said it was an effort to "make him a better president."´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan282011

House Dems Demand Gun Safety Hearings; Timing Inappropriate? 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of the recent Tucson shootings, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, called Friday on the chairman of the panel to hold hearings on gun safety, but the committee’s top Republican, Lamar Smith, says that the timing is “inappropriate” and could have a “prejudicing” effect on Jared Loughner’s ongoing criminal proceedings.

“We fully recognize and appreciate the sensitivity of the subjects raised by the recent tragedy in Tucson in which our colleague, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot and 18 others were wounded or killed, including members of her staff, a Federal judge, and several other citizens,” the letter states. “However, we also believe it is not only possible, but imperative that Congress review the relevant issues in a civil and objective matter.”

Among the issues the group would like to review in the hearing are high-capacity ammunition magazines, mental health records of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and illegal drug use in the database.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, responded to the letter in a statement, saying that he believes it would be inappropriate to hold hearings so quickly after the Tucson shooting because it could interfere with Loughner’s prosecution.

“I appreciate the Minority’s interest in the NICS program.  And the Judiciary Committee should, at the appropriate time, undertake a review of the NICS system as a part of our oversight of Justice Department programs.  But to undertake such a review in the context of the tragic shooting in Arizona, as the Minority suggests, could have the unintended effect of prejudicing the ongoing criminal proceedings against Loughner in which his mental status is likely to be a key issue,” Smith states. “Jared Loughner has not been found to be mentally ill.  It is inappropriate for Congress to hold hearings on NICS that presume otherwise while Loughner is facing trial.”

Conyers, however, says that the shooting in Tucson only proves the urgency of the need to hold hearings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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