Saturday, November 5, 2011

McConnell Declines Meeting Jobless Occupying His Office

Unemployed residents of Washington, DC, shown above, occupied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office this week in an attempt to talk to him about jobs. Specifically, they wanted him to support President Obama’s Rebuild America Act. The group was organized by OurDC, which advocates for the area's unemployed. McConnell’s staff did not schedule an appointment for the group to meet the senator, who, like every other Republican in the Senate, voted down allocating $50 billion for infrastructure investment that would have created jobs. McConnell and his colleagues objected on Thursday to the bill's being funded by a 0.7% surtax on household incomes above $1 million. One occupier commented:

"Hopefully we can all get together with the senator today before time is up," said Ted Black, a 58-year-old resident of Southeast D.C. Black said he is a Vietnam-era veteran and that he lost his job as a radiologist tech three months ago. He supports President Obama's jobs package, he said, including the blocked infrastructure bill.

"I'm here supporting the cause for veterans and also for teachers and children and schools and residents who are unemployed or underemployed or homeless," Black said.

Facing arrest, the occupiers decided to leave on Thursday. "When you're looking for a job and unemployed, the last thing you need is an arrest," [James] Adams, [communications director of OurDC], said.

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