Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives CBC Members on Fmr. Rep. John Conyers  CSPAN  October 29, 2019 2:27am-3:23am EDT

2:27 am
passionate about and pursue it as much as you can. >> this year we are asking students to create a short documentary on an issue you would like the presidential candidates to address during the campaign. we will award $100,000 in total cash prizes and a $5,000 grant prize. >> take the microphone and start building. produce the best video you can possibly produce. >> visit studentcam.org for more information today. on monday, members of the congressional black caucus led a tribute to john conyers, who died over the weekend at age 90. mr. conyers was in the house of representatives from 1965 until 2017, becoming the longest-serving african-american in congressional history. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to
2:28 am
pay tribute to congressman john conyers. he was one of the 13 founding members of the congressional black caucus. i stand here today joining the chair of representatives, making him one of the longest serving house members in history, and the first african-american to hold the title of dean. congressman conyers was born in detroit on may 16, 1929. he was the eldest of four sons of john and lucille. he attended public school and graduated from northwestern high school. after graduating, he served in the national guard and joined the u.s. army. he was inspired by his friend dr. martin luther king to run
2:29 am
for office and was elected to the house of representatives in 1964. opposed the death penalty and fought the police brutality and he also led -- co-led, led a co-sponsor for the veeting right - voting rights of 1965 -- 1965. mr. conyers also assisted in passing the help america vote act, the violence against women, the motor vehicle bill, the jazz preservation act, and the martin luther king holiday act. i am joined today by a number of my colleagues who will be joining me to give remarks and it's with honor that i now bring forth my colleague, donald
2:30 am
payne, whose father served with ohn conyers. mr. payne: mr. speaker, let me first thank the gentlelady from detroit for her leadership on this issue tonight. we felt it was only fitting that she lead us in this special order hour for mr. conyers. former e to honor the congressman, john james conyers, ,fter his passing on october 27 2019. i'd like to start by offering my thoughts and prayers to his wife, monica, and his sons, dur loss. mr. conyers spent 53 years as a
2:31 am
congressman from michigan, mostly from districts in and around the detroit area. mr. conyers was the third longest serving congressman and the longest serving frican-american congressman in united states history. he helped found the congressional black caucus with some of the -- our nation's most prominent civil rights leaders and colleagues, such as shirley chisholm and william lacy clay sr., the father of my esteemed colleague, william lacy clay jr., from missouri's first district. during his life, he had several accomplishments in and out of congress. he joined voter registration drives in selma, alabama, in 1963, a year before the landmark 1964 civil rights act even became law. as a congressman, he led the
2:32 am
martin luthermake king jr.'s birthday a national holiday, and succeeded through perseverance and continued efforts to make that happen under insurmountable odds. he helped calm revolters in his district during detroit's racial strife of 1967. he was a vocal opponent of apartheid in south africa, a political system of legal racial discrimination that he just, and as many of us in this great tolerate ld, wroo not -- nation, would not tolerate. and he fought for restrictions on gun ownership to prevent violence. because he knew what it meant in so many of our communities, to have these lax laws. at one point mr. conyers was called the leading black voice
2:33 am
in congress. he was also known as one of the best dressers on capitol hill and a lover of jazz. he even got to congress -- he even got congress to declare jazz a national american treasure in 1987. he was a dedicated public ervant, honored korean war veteran, champion of racial equality and a strong figure in this house on behalf -- for half a century. his legacy will be remembered long after his passing. the work that he has done on this floor and in these halls has been second to none. he cared about this nation. he cared about his colleagues and he cared about his constituents in his district. we will miss him dearly. mr. conyers was one of a kind and we are saddened by his loss.
2:34 am
so we are here to honor him in the manner in which he should be , as an esteemed member, former member of this house. with that, i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you, to my colleague. so many facts that we need to share about john conyers. cluding the fact that he and -- he in his 52 years of office, he represented michigan's first congressional district, michigan's 14th congressional district, and michigan's 13th congressional district. also during his time in congress, he chaired the house oversight committee, and also the house judiciary committee. and served as dean of the house. at this time i would like to bring forward my colleague and the amazing john lewis, who will
2:35 am
have comments about the passing and honoring of our colleague , john all are mourning conyers who impacted so many of s in this country. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i wanted to thank the young lady from michigan. well, you're still very young. for bringing us together to . nor john conyers the former dean of the house of representatives. and the co-founder of the congressional black caucus. ohn conyers was born at a time when we needed someone to stand up, to speak up and speak out
2:36 am
and to get in the way of what i call good trouble, necessary trouble. as a matter of fact, john conyers and martin luther king jr. were born the same year. , faith, maybe history maybe god almighty placed two of them here -- the two of them here to work together. before being elected to congress , mr. conyers served in the korean war, and on the staff of representative john dingell. when the people of michigan , he ed mr. conyers in 1964 brought congress to the front line of the civil right it's -- front line of the civil rights movement and he took civil rights, voting rights, labor rights and human rights to the
2:37 am
united states congress. john conyers, perhaps more than any other member of congress, he made trips over and over again to the south, to identify the truggle going on in the south. he came to alabama, to georgia, mississippi, and other parts of the deep south. mr. speaker, representative conyers was one of two members of congress, both from michigan, who voted on the original and every single re-authorization of .he voting rights act he could give us the back story of every major law from the civil rights act of 1968 to the 20-year effort to establish a national day of service honoring
2:38 am
my friend and leader, dr. martin luther king jr. when rosa parks, a person who i got to know so well, was forced to leave our home state of alabama after the montgomery bus boycott, mr. conyers more than nyone else gave her a position on his staff and she was very proud and pleased to work in the office of john conyers. she served in his district office for 23 years. the record should be clear, john conyers loved music, but he loved jazz, he loved jazz more than any other form of music. he loved this institution and he dedicated his life to realizing the dream of what our nation could be.
2:39 am
he was of the people and he was for the people. on this difficult day, i offer my deepest condolences to his beloved wife, son, family and the people of michigan who mourn his loss. may he rest in peace and in ower. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much, congressman. some other facts people may not know about john conyers. he worked for the lincoln auto factory and was a member of the u.a.w. he became the director of education for u.a.w. local 900. and as a first -- as the first african-american, he was the chair of the first african-american to chair the house judiciary commefment he also included the racial justice
2:40 am
act and the police accountability act during that time. at this time i want to bring forth another one of our members of congress who have fought many fights and have stood up and know the story of justice in our country. danny davis. thank you so much. mr. davis: thank you very much. let me first of all thank you for organizing this special order. that gives all the rest of us the opportunity to come and pay tribute to my hero. as a matter of fact, i'm old enough to remember in a very vivid way, the late 1950's and early 1960's, when it was people like john conyers, martin luther king, john lewis, whitney young
2:41 am
and other heroes of the period. so john, although he was elected in michigan, he was really all of our congressman. he was the representative for all of us. we didn't have 55 african-american or black members of congress at that time. but we had those voices that were strong, vibrant. those voices that gave hope. you know there was so much hope and possibility being expressed during that period, that those of us who were emerging had no idea that there was anything that we couldn't accomplish. any changes that we couldn't bring about. any possibilities that did not
2:42 am
exist. nd that to me was the true essence of john conyers. i was tremendously impressed with john because he was always for the underdog. he was always for the little guy. always for the little person. always representing those who were left out, those who were unheard, those even who were unheard of. i don't think there was any place in america where action was going on that john didn't go. as a matter of fact, at the time when we were electing the first african-american mayor in the city of chicago, john was there every week.
2:43 am
we thought he had move t.d. chicago, that he didn't live in detroit. every week from the time i guess he left here, and churches and churches and block parties and every place that you could possibly turn, there was john conyers. best n has given the very that you can give. -- and sons, d -- and other members of his family, we say thank you for lending all f us john. and i guess the poet had john in mind when he pened the words i end with. there are hermits that live alone, in the peace of their self-content, there are souls
2:44 am
apart in that sprung a firmment. there are pioneer souls that blaze their path where highways never ran. let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man. let me live in a house by the side of the road where the race good, go by, men who are men who are bad and good and as bad as i. i would not sit in the scorner's seat or hurl the cynic's ban, let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. i see it from my house by the side of the road, by the side of the highway of life, the men who press with the ardor of hope, the men who faint with the strife. but i turn not away from their
2:45 am
smiles nor their tears, both parts of an infinite plan. let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. let me live in my house by the side of the road where the race of men go by, men who are good, men who are bad, wise, foolish, but then, so am i. so why would i sit in the scorner's seat, or hurl the cynic's bans? let me live in my house by the side of the road like john conyers and be a friend to man. yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you, that was beautiful. we continue in our effort to capture the life of a great man who served in this house.
2:46 am
again, another fact. nce 1989, john conyers had introduced h.r. 40, the commission to study reparation proposals for african-americans act. this h.r. bill would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery in the united states. the legislation has now been taken up by our colleague from texas, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. i now want to bring forth my colleague, dwight evans, who will have a few remarks. dwight evans has shown to be a voice of reason, hard work, and compassion in his service to congress. mr. evans: mr. speaker, i want ing hank my honorable friend
2:47 am
congresswoman lawrence, for her leadership on someone who really set a tone, not just in detroit and michigan but the entire nation. thank you for your leadership. mr. speaker, i knew chairman conyers not as well as some of the members who have spoken, but i did know him. we each represented the largest industrial arge state. philadelphia and detroit have many of the same problems such as poverty, gun violence, a loss of good manufacturing jobs, and access to health care. i didn't tell my colleague
2:48 am
congresswoman lawrence that when she mentioned may 16, i was born on that same day, so there's that connection there. the chairman was one of the 12 founders of the congressional black caucus, and from pennsylvania the person who was one of them was robert n.c. nics, elected in 1958. of 8 years ago, as a result the chairman, we have built on the backs of those founders. today there's 54 of us in the caucus. including the house majority whip, two senators, four chairs of house committees, and one of our former members became a two-term president of the united states. the chairman helped to lay the groundwork for this progress. he co-sponsored the voting rights act of 1964.
2:49 am
65 -- i was elected in 19 was 10 years of age. in 1965, the voting rights act banned discrimination at the ballot box. he was a fierce critic of the vietnam war that led to a clash with president lyndon johnson. it even won him a spot on president richard nixon's eni list. it's interesting to have this conversation today because as i saw , congresswoman, i this on tv, he played an important role in the impeachment proceedings. i want to let you know i saw that on my black and white tv.
2:50 am
once again, we are building on the back of the work that he and other members did in 1973 and 1974. the chairman, we should thank the leading role in creating the federal holiday that honors dr. marlin -- martin luther king. he introduced a bill four days after dr. king was murdered. so when congressman lewis talks about that, he knows what he's talking about. the fight took 15 years but he succeeded. the chairman also played a leading role in another long fight, the struggle to end apartheid. in south africa. with a congressman from pennsylvania by the name of william gray. recall, mr. speaker, meeting president mandela.
2:51 am
i say all these things because there is a connection to all of us who are here today. and i think that we should honor the chairman for all that he has contributed to this nation. i want to close how i recall the chairman urging skeptical african-americans to get involved in politics. he used to say, register. vote. run for office. it's power that counts. he used to say, register, vote, run for office, it's power that counts. there's an election, mr. speaker, eight days from now. it's an important one for all of -- it's an important way for all of us to honor the legacy of chairman conyers. to honor everything he worked for in civil rights and the vote. i recall him loving music so
2:52 am
much as he -- he talked about john coltrane. and i think it's important to recognize that the chairman did so much for all of us. so i feel really a sincere obligation and a commitment to have my voice -- to add my voice to the foundation that he has laid. as a person who has only been a member of the congress for three years, it is the foundation he laid that i have the opportunity to stand here today. and that so many of us, not just in the congressional black caucus, but members who are in this house, he has contributed to all of us. o i want you to use your voice and be heard. as he would say, vote. i thank you, mr. speaker, for hat opportunity.
2:53 am
mrs. lawrence: i thank my colleague for mentioning so many of the many accomplishments that conyers had. i want to add to to the that, his legislative record extends to introducing medicare for all act. legislation to establish a government-sponsored single payer health care option to control costs. additionally, he championed the sues of reparations to establish a commission that i mentioned earlier. he fought for justice that also extended to international issues. he was an early leader in the anti-vietnam war movement, in addition to the anti-iraq war movement. this time i want to bring forth a colleague of mine, a hardworking freshman that is
2:54 am
this order recognize that he has not -- that he is a freshman. stephen horsford from nevada. thank you. mr. horsford: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chair and the anchor for this special order hour, congresswoman brenda lawrence, for your commitment, your dedication and for your service, not just to the people of detroit but to the people of this great nation. i join with my colleagues not only in the congressional black caucus but this body of government as a whole in mourning a giant in the legacy of representative john conyers. representative john conyers was a force to be reckoned with, a leader of the civil rights movement who stood tall in the house of representatives for more than a half century. the longest serving african-american congressman. during his 53 years as the representative for the part of
2:55 am
michigan encompassing detroit, congressman conyers fought for the people of his state tooth and nail. congressman conyers was known s of known as the dean of the -- he was known as the dean of the house of representatives and he paved the way for all of us who are here this evening. and i really believe that we stand on his shoulders. speaking to his legacy, he was a co-founder of the congressional black caucus. and so the fact that we are now 54 members in number, representing more than 84 million people across the country, it was the vision of people like congressman conyers and others who allowed the congressional black caucus to come forward. he also led the charge to declare, as has been stated, a national holiday in honor of the great reverend martin luther king jr. a day congressman conyers fought for tirelessly, that we now hold
2:56 am
in our hearts as a day of remembrance for the legacy of another fearless leader. he also served on two powerful committees as chairman. the house oversight committee, the just passed or lost passing of the great chairman of that committee, chairman cummings, and the house jeshary committee -- judiciary committee, which has great responsibility. in both he never shied away from speaking truth to power. as has been stated by my good friend, congressman evans, one of his early mottos was register, vote, run for office. it's power that counts. so we will continue to harness this power, to promote the ideals that congressman conyers espoused during his career. and i wanted to note, i don't think i shared this with congresswoman lawrence, but there's a group called the
2:57 am
detroit connection. and because so many people tend to come to las vegas to retire, we have a big contingency of detroit people. and they have an event every year called the detroit connection. they raise money, they provide scholarships, and i was so honored one year to have congressman conyers come to las vegas and attend the event for the detroit connection. d it made that group -- it made them feel so good to know that their champion and their representative was still there. so we will use the privilege of serving. i know i will as one of the new younger members, to continue to fight for equality and justice for all. just as congressman conyers did during his 53 years here on capitol hill. tonight we honor him with our
2:58 am
words. but tomorrow we must honor him with our actions. congressman conyers, we will continue the good work you started all those years ago. may you rest in power. thank you. and i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. i want to enter into the record the statement by the honorable eddie bernice johnson and her statement about the congressman. she said, i pay tribute to the life and legacy of a distinguished public servant and colleague, john james conyers jr. who passed away this weekend. and she asked that her colleagues join her in extending the sympathies to congressman conyers' wife, monica, conyers' son, john conyers iii and carl edward conyers, and all whom he influenced over the course of
2:59 am
his life, may he rest in peace. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lawrence: now i would like to bring forth my colleague, my michigan delegation colleague. it is significant to note that rashida tlaib, congresswoman tlaib, actually represents the seat that john conyers retired from. and i'm proud to introduce my colleague, rashida tlaib. ms. tlaib: thank you so much. and thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today with a heavy heart, in joining my beloved colleague who also represents the city of detroit, in paying tribute to our wonderful late congress member, john conyers. the longest serving african-american in the united states congress. a true civil rights icon and visionary, and the man who will forever be our congressman. the honorable john conyers jr.'s mission to make sweeping changes in civil rights by fighting on
3:00 am
behalf of the people started well before he ever stepped into the united states house floor. one of the things that he said is, we've got to -- at the passing of rosa parks, his dear friend, he said that we've got a tremendous legacy to fulfill. you can't maintain a democracy and an empire simultaneously. he said, rosa, you taught me that. but when he first was sworn into the congress in 1965, during a time of great social unrest in our country's history, he embarked on what we would -- what would become a 50-year tenure of service to our people, that would result in that mission being accomplished and then some. indeed, his more than 50 years of service brought forth the vision of reparations for african-americans, the centering of voting rights, a continued push for universal health care, the creation of the congressional black caucus, and
3:01 am
the inspiration of not just those in detroit who worked tirelessly for it, but he directly impacted many, many countless americans across the country. when i first was elected to succeed congressman con yng -- conyers, i knew i had a tremendous legacy to carry. it is a -- it's that tremendous legacy that propels my work on behalf of michigan's 13th congressional district, that i fight for every single day. i remember when i was in his presence, of greatness. he never exhibited anything less than grace and kindness. he always paused and took time to talk to the residents. he taught me that. sadly, the last time i spoke to him was at his 90th birthday celebration in detroit. he was joyful. and, yes, he still had the presence of greatness. as congresswoman brenda lawrence saw for herself as well. detroit and our district will
3:02 am
sorely miss him. may he rest in peace as we continue to fight for what he fought for so long and unwavering -- with unwavering strength, for jobs, justice and peace. i pray that his wife, monica conyers, and the family find strength during this difficult time. thank you. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. as we share the amazing honor of representing the city of detroit, a place that john conyers loved and gave his life to. i would like to also, without objection, introduce into the record a statement from our chair of the black caucus, karen bass. outlinesment reads, it his life and his history, it fought s about how he
3:03 am
apartheid and that he confronted president nixon about imposing sanctions against south africa. it became -- when it became clear that the president wouldn't act, he joined a congressman in introducing legislation to that end, and was even arrested at a protest in front of south africa. he impacted so many people in his district and throughout the country. america's a better country today because of the legislative and advocacy work of representative john conyers jr. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lawrence: thank you. at this time i would like to bring forth a chair of this amazing body, a chair, a member of the black caucus, an amazing leader, congressman scott. mr. scott: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for holding this special order and
3:04 am
recognizing the legacy of congressman john conyers. i want to join those who are honoring his legacy. he served in congress longer than any other african-american. he represented michigan and the nation for over 50 years. he was a founding member of the congressional black caucus. and he served as dean of the house. he was a giant in civil rights. he often bragged about being the only candidate for elected office ever endorsed by dr. martin luther king jr. and he also for many years, for many years rosa parks worked in his detroit district office. as a legislator, he was a true champion of civil rights and leaves behind a legacy of fighting for transformative change that continues today. his five decades of service in congress are marked by a core of fundamental belief in equity and justice for all. for many years, i worked with congressman conyers on the judiciary committee and most recently we worked together to address segregation in our
3:05 am
public schools. we also fought together for equity in education, as well as criminal justice reform, voting rights and breaking down barriers to employment. i want to send my condolences to his family, his loved ones and the entire detroit community and all who are mourning the loss of a life-long champion for a better america. thank you, and i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much for those kind words and informative message. at this time i would like to bring forth a woman in our congress, the longest serving woman in congress, marcy kaptur, ho served with the dean of congress and would like to reflect. ms. kaptur: i would like to thank congresswoman brenda lawrence for inviting us to come to the floor this evening to share our sorrow with the conyers family and the people of
3:06 am
greater detroit that congressman conyers represented here so forcefully throughout his entire career. i would like to extend sympathy to his wife, monica, to his sons, john and carl, that he used to come through, walk through congress, even when they were small, and he would take them on the train from one side of the capitol to the other. i can still see them doing that. as others have mentioned, he . rved from 1965 to 2017 so from the civil rights movement at its apex, that fervor came into this chamber. and john served over half a century in furtherance of america's betterment. he was the 44th dean of the house. he became its most senior member , and certainly the longest serving african-american in the
3:07 am
history of the united states of america. i think most members would agree he truly was a drum major for justice and also a drum major for jobs and fair wages for all workers. his service was anchored by those parallel visions. and i can still remember coming as a new member to congress. there were three men who were serving at that time. john, another john, john dingell, and a man named william ford. and the three of them together in my mind actually formed the northern apex of the civil rights and labor rights movement in this country. and america was bettered by all of their services. they worked in tandem, they had been forged by the same set of experiences and coming to us from what we in the midwest call motown. motor city. that's a place that is unlike any other in the united states of america. it has a rich history, it has a
3:08 am
history of struggle. and it produced famous singing the s like the supremes, detroit tigers and lots of jazz. john loved jazz. if you think about what he represented, detroit is not really a tea and crumb pets city, my apologies to all those who enjoy tea and crumpets. it's really a heavy duty town. a very pluralistic community. where the fight for organized labor was rooted. and something that we know well in our region, the strike at a place called river rouge, that began the work in our country to value labor through contract, not just happenstance, but by an actual contract. and john conyers was a part of
3:09 am
the development of the law that allowed for the dignity of labor. but it was born out of the struggle in detroit, a very rough and tumble world, and one of his early jobs was with the united auto workers, which our family has had members in for many generations now. and he and i shared that affinity. he was not an arrogant man but he was rooted, again, in the fight for justice during the best years of his life. when he arranged for the funeral in detroit of rosa parks, and the history of the montgomery bus boycott is written, i don't think a lot of people really know that he actually had hired rosa parks in his office from 1965 to 1988, and i can recall in 2005 attending the funeral of rosa parks and what a central
3:10 am
role john conyers played in that magnificent ceremony. but through it, the continuing education of the people of the united states of america as to what the civil rights struggle and our struggle as a people has actually been comprised of, a constant struggle. i have to say, onle the humorous side, he loved cars that drove fast the. and i happened to be in one of those cars one time, 90 miles per hour on i-75. i don't know how we ever didn't get a ticket. but he was always moving forward. i would guess we shared thousands, i started adding it up today, thousands of airplane flights between washington and michigan as we went to our respective hometowns. i always found him to be very
3:11 am
cordial, very friendly, full of a d humor and he was perpetual anchor for us on moving america forward, a leading strategist in that endeavor. so i hope it is of some comfort to his loved ones and the people he represented that his being and his indefatigable spirit are now freed from earth's bonds and that his soul may rise high and shower our precious world with peace and justice from sea to shining sea. we will have an attachment for the record honoring the magnificent life of the late ongressman john conyers. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much, congresswoman. at this time we'll bring up mr. steve cohen who represents the great state of tennessee, bring his remarks. mr. cohen: thank you, mrs. lawrence.
3:12 am
i i was freshman in 2007, was the only member of the house who chose judiciary as their first committee choice. at least the only democrat. that gave me the opportunity to be on john conyers' committee, him being my chairman for 10-plus years. that was a blessing to me. he taught me much. i would consider him my mentor. he taught me about life. he taught me -- taught me about judiciary issues and the congress, an he taught me about life. john conyers was a spirit. i sometimes thought of him as kind of a hippie buzz he had these ethereal thoughts about the way people ought to be and about caring about people and about justice and about civil rights that was unlike thoughts you'd hear from most people but he was ahead of the hippies. he was ahead of bernie sanders. he was ahead of so many people.
3:13 am
we talk here today so many people about him being -- which is all true -- longest serving african-american member of congress. but it was more than that. he was a voice for truth on this floor before people realized the truth was the truth. he was a voice for truth when people just though he was an african-american guy talking about african-american issues. but it wasn't african-american issue, it was human issues. it was the essence of america, about justice and freedom and opportunity and right and he espoused it at an early time when a lot of people didn't get it. people get it now they realize dr. king got a holiday. dr. king was great. but people hated dr. king for years. people didn't know about rosa parks, per se. he gave her a job. he put her on a pedestal, which she deserved to be. tell you a story about john conyers.
3:14 am
when i was a freshman, and i have an african-american district, some people weren't co-crazy about me being up here, john conyers took me under his wing from day one. and i had a resolution to apologize for slavery and jim crow. i had that resolution because i had suggested it to bill clinton in 1997 and wrote him a letter when i was a state senator and suggested he should sponsor such a thing and have a dialogue about race in america. i got a response from bill clinton but it was gibberish. and he didn't act upon it. but when i got elected to congress and i was going through my letters as a state senator in my office i came across that letter. i said to myself, i am a congressman now and i can do something about it. i don't have to write bill clinton and get a meaningless response. so i introduced that resolution. heart felt.
3:15 am
appropriate. some people didn't want it to come to the floor. some didn't want a white person to sponsor it. some thought i was using it for politics to get re-elected. the fact is my political consultant told me not to do it hsm said you've got this race won. don't do it. it can only hurt you. i said you don't get it. i'm doing this because it matters to me. it mattered to me since 1997 when a state senator. so one day i had my cell phone, low on power, and i had a staffer bring from longworth, where my office was, a charger and i charged it up in the judiciary committee. went back to longworth, couldn't find my cell phone, i'd forgotten where i'd left it. i realize id had left it charged in the judiciary committee. so i went over there at the end of the day, only time it ever happened to me. it was about a week or 10 days before my election in august.
3:16 am
just to put it in perspective of it. and i went there and john conyers was having a meeting with his staff on what to do the next week. we were in the midst of interviewing people on the bush team, alberto gonzales and some lady from liberty university who had done some stuff that was questionable. we were taking on the bush justice department which had done some egregious things. and i was a freshman and pretty much in awe of john conyers. and so i was in the back room and he was in his office, he said steve, come on. in i was 10 feet high. i was going into a meeting with john conyers of what was going to go on the next week. they were tossing around ideas about maybe bringing up an impeachment of george bush and some other issues. and i decided to throw out, kind of a doug flutie hail mary pass.
3:17 am
i said how about if we have an apology for jim crow and slavery. and without a blink john conyers said that's a great idea. put it on for next week. that's how it got scheduled. we came here, john conyers managed the time. it passed on a voice vote. i regretted that because i wanted to have everybody vote on it. but john conyers said and properly so, take your victory when you can get it. we had a man on the other side, republican, who brought up some insane babble about some christians being thrown off a boat in the mediterranean by some moroccans or something. what this had to do with slavery and jim crow was beyond any of us. i wanted to respond to it. mr. conyers said let him be just pass this and move on. he was right. my proudest accomplishment as a freshman and one of my proudest accomplishments in this congress
3:18 am
was to pass that resolution. it would not have happened but for john conyers' sponsorship and support. so i thank him for being a mentor and teaching me so much, giving me that opportunity. he did love jazz. we talked about jazz all the time. he played jazz in his office. he had jazz musicians come up to any proceedings we had in washington, have them perform. i learned different jazz people that i had previously not known about. he came to memphis to support me in my first term as the first congress forne come there. he was honored with a fourth of april foundation award which goes to great, courageous leaders in civil rights on the anniversary of the assassination of dr. king. he was given that award. and he came to memphis also just to support me. and he was a proud kappa coming in his red coat and all the kappas were there with him and the kappas loved him. he was a kappa, and they loved it.
3:19 am
i thanked him for his service. i think about him almost every day. we used to sit here together on the floor. and he would ride the keas lators when he'd leave judiciary committee, sometimes i ride the keas lators now and think about john conyers. it's not the quickest way to go butconyers did it and i do it. so thank you john conyers for teaching me so much, for being a great lead eark man beyond his years in terms of his knowledge and his spirit and ahead of his time with his ideas of civil rights and justice and fairness for all people. god bless you. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. as we wrap up now in our tribute , he hn conyers, the dean was many things. he was a u.a.w. labor member. he was a military veteran. he was a fighter for voters for
3:20 am
rights, for health care, for reparations, for racial justice. he was a lover and promoter of jazz. but most of all, i stand here today as a member of congress representing michigan's 14th district, he was detroit. he was motown. he was a person whose thumbprint will remain throughout history as a political voice, a leader and a beloved man and a history of our city and of metro detroit. i want to say to the family, we send all the love and respect and to say in closing, john conyers, rest in >> sees bands -- c-span's cominggton journal" --
quote
3:21 am
up this morning, kansas republican congressman roger marshall will join us to talk about the new health care plan and then north carolina democratic congressman david discusses the efforts to avoid another government shutdown. thealso, a discussion of origins of the russian probe. the sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. ishere is a look at what live on tuesday on the c-span networks. on c-span, the house is back at 10:00 eastern for general speeches with legislative business at noon. on the agenda is a bill that would impose sanctions on turkey for its recent incursion into syria. on c-span two, the senate returns to continue work on a 2020 spending bill that covers several agencies including agriculture. head of-span three, the
3:22 am
boeing is on capitol hill at 10:00 eastern to testify about safety concerns related to the aircraft which saw its entire fleet grounded earlier this year after two fatal crashes. later in the day, a house judiciary subcommittee looks at how current immigration policies are affecting veterans and their families. max, a discussion with the andntic david from and culture. they share their thoughts on why donald trump won the presidency in 2016, why republicans lost the house to years later, and what to expect in the next election. from the annual event known as aniticon, this is just under hour.

181 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on