March 20th, 2010
08:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Protesters hurl slurs and spit at Democrats

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Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis was the target of racial slurs on Saturday.
Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis was the target of racial slurs on Saturday.

Washington (CNN) - Civil rights icon and veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, said anti-health care bill protesters Saturday repeatedly yelled the "N" word at him as he left a heath care meeting and walked to the Capitol.

"I haven't seen heard anything like this in more than 40 years, maybe 45." Lewis said. "Since the march from Selma to Montgomery really."

"Yeah, but it's okay," Lewis added. "I've faced this before. So, it reminded me of the 60's. There's a lot of downright hate and anger and people are just being downright mean."

The incident was confirmed by Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indiana, who was walking with Lewis at the time. Protesters were yelling, "'kill the bill, kill the bill' and the 'N' word several times," Carson said.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, released a statement late Saturday saying he too was called the "N" word as he walked to the Capitol for a vote and that he was spat on by one protestor who was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police. Cleaver declined to press charges against the man, the statement said.

Protesters also hurled anti-gay comments at Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, who is openly gay, as he left the same health care meeting that Lewis attended in a House office building.

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Filed under: Barney Frank • Health care • John Lewis • Popular Posts
May 19th, 2009
04:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Black lawmakers urge Obama to make Sudan crisis a priority

Rep. John Lewis is vocal in the fight to end the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
Rep. John Lewis is vocal in the fight to end the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus urged President Obama on Tuesday to act on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, including pressuring China to intervene in the mass killing of civilians in the African nation.

"We have to act," said Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia. "If we fail to act, we fail to do something, history will not be kind to any of us. This is genocide."

The Darfur conflict started in February 2003 when black African rebel groups attacked government property, accusing the government of neglecting Darfur in favor of the Arab population in Sudan. Darfur is a region in Sudan.

Lewis, who is also a civil rights activist, was arrested during a protest last month outside the embassy of Sudan in Washington. He and others called for expressions of solidarity such as fasting, petition drives and meetings with top U.S. envoys.

Actress Mia Farrow was a keynote speaker at a news conference lawmakers held near the U.S. Capitol. The actress said Obama has yet to affirm his strong statements made as a senator against the situation in Sudan.

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Filed under: Congressional Black Caucus • John Lewis • Sudan
March 19th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
5 years ago

IRS committed to collecting back taxes

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A spokesman for the IRS said Thursday that the agency "stands ready to take collection action if the need arises" to get back taxes from 13 still unnamed companies that received billions of dollars in federal bailout money.

"The IRS has every expectation that these amounts will be paid and is committed to collect every dollar of taxes that are owed," IRS spokesman Frank Keith said in a statement.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis, chairman of a House subcommittee overseeing the federal bailout, first revealed at a hearing on Thursday morning that 13 companies receiving stimulus money owed over $220 million in back taxes. Keith said the IRS will closely monitor the companies and take action to make them pay, if necessary.

"The IRS recognizes that those entities that receive taxpayer support have a special obligation to pay their taxes, and these taxpayer accounts will remain closely monitored by the IRS to ensure that the full amount of taxes due are paid," Keith said. "The IRS stands ready to take collection action if the need arises."

Keith said the IRS gave Lewis' committee tax information related to TARP recipients. He noted that there could be a number of reasons why the companies did not pay all of their taxes and that having an unpaid balance "does not signal any intent not to pay."


Filed under: John Lewis
October 12th, 2008
08:51 AM ET
6 years ago

Lewis tempers tough statement on McCain and George Wallace

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Georgia Rep. John Lewis said late Saturday that controversial remarks he made comparing the feeling at recent Republican rallies to those of segregationist George Wallace were misinterpreted.

The civil rights icon issued a statement Saturday evening which said a "careful review" of his remarks made earlier in the day "would reveal that I did not compare Sen. John McCain or Gov. Sarah Palin to George Wallace."

McCain said Lewis' earlier statement was "a brazen and baseless attack" and called on Sen. Barack Obama to repudiate it.

Lewis had said earlier that he was "deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign" and that the Republican running mates are "playing with fire."

"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse," Lewis said in a statement.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John Lewis • John McCain • Sarah Palin
October 11th, 2008
05:20 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain calls on Obama to repudiate 'shocking' Lewis comments

Lewis and McCain traded tough statements Saturday.
Lewis and McCain traded tough statements Saturday.

(CNN) - John McCain – who has often praised civil rights icon John Lewis – called a statement by the Georgia congressman Saturday comparing the outbursts at recent Republican rallies to the rhetoric of segregationist George Wallace “a brazen and baseless attack” that is “shocking and beyond the pale.”

Lewis issued his statement after several days of headline-grabbing anger directed at Democratic nominee Barack Obama by some attendees at McCain campaign rallies.

"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. [Sarah] Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse," Lewis said in a statement.

Watch: McCain defends Obama at campaign event

"George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama," wrote the Democrat.

McCain has written about Lewis, praising his actions at Selma during the civil rights movement. The Republican nominee even said during a summer faith forum that Lewis was one of three men he would turn to for counsel as president.

But the Arizona senator blasted the congressman’s remarks, and called on Obama to repudiate them. "Congressman John Lewis' comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale,” he said in a Saturday afternoon statement released by his campaign.

(Updated with Obama camp reaction after the jump)

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Filed under: John Lewis • John McCain • Popular Posts
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