About 20 protesters camped out in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office today in an attempt to pressure the Kentucky Republican to support the Senate Democrats’ infrastructure jobs bill.
The effort was in vain, as the Senate voted down the Democrats’ measure and an alternative from McConnell largely along party lines.
Peaceful and rather quiet, the group from OurDC filled McConnell’s personal office in the Russell Building and showed no signs of departing. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said that as of this afternoon, the force had received “no word of any issues there.”
Clad in T-shirts with slogans communicating a demand for jobs, some of the protesters filled their time talking on cellphones. A few even appeared to be napping.
A McConnell aide confirmed that the frustrated jobs seekers had been invited to plead their case to staff—to no avail.
“A legislative aide offered to talk to us. We made it clear that we are here to speak with the Senator. They noted that we didn’t have an appointment. We noted that the unemployed have all the time in the world,” James Adams, Our DC spokesman, explained to Roll Call.
When pressed about why no Our DC folks were camped out in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office, Adams suggested that the Nevada Democrat is already onboard.
“We don’t want to focus on the politics … but we think it’s pretty obvious who’s doing what. Mitch McConnell needs to see and feel the pain of these folks,” Adams said. “Sen. Reid understands it.
According to the group’s website, OurDC’s “primary mission ... is to ensure that every city resident has a Good paying job, a Good benefits package, and Good working conditions so that all District families can live Good successful lives. In addition to advocating for good job creation, OurDC resolutely supports enforcement of living wage laws and first hiring rights for District residents.”
Warren Rojas, Emily Pierce and Emma Dumain contributed to this report.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.