The most senior lawmaker on Capitol Hill, Rep. John J. Conyers Jr., (D.-Mich.) announced this morning on the Mildrid Gaddis Show, 102.7 FM, a Michigan talk radio show, that he retires from Congress today.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” said Conyers, who was elected to Congress the same day President Lyndon B. Johnson was elected his own full term. Rep. Donald E. Young (R.-Alaska) becomes the new Dean of the House, the honorific given to the congressman with the most longevity.
“This too shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children. I’m retiring today,” the Detroit congressman said.
Conyers, who up until Nov. 26 was the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said he wanted the voters to elect his son as his successor.
“I have great family here and especially my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress,” he said. “We’re all working together to make this country a better one, to make quality and justice more available.”
Conyers is stepping down amid sexual harassment claims and stress-related health issues that have landed him in the hospital.
“We take these in stride,” he said.
“This goes with the issue of politics, the game of politics, which we’re in,” he said. “We move forward as we keep going, this too shall pass.”
He has repeatedly said the allegations of sexual misconduct, stemming from the release of documents relating severance payments that appeared to be payoffs for his untoward behavior, were not true, such as this excerpt from his Nov. 21 denial:
In our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principle that all are entitled to due process. In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so. My office resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. That should not be lost in the narrative. The resolution was not for millions of dollars, but rather for an amount that equated to a reasonable severance payment.
When Conyers stepped away from the House Judiciary Committee, he said he was still intent on proving he did nothing wrong.
“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters,” he said.
“I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger,” he said. “I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics.”
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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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