Politics

Jackson, Jr: Government becoming ‘less relevant’ in Americans’ lives ‘a tragedy’ [VIDEO]

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Nicholas Ballasy
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      Nicholas Ballasy

      Nicholas Ballasy is the Senior Video Reporter for The Daily Caller covering Congress and national politics. Ballasy has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and celebrities including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. John Kerry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, Neil Munro, Stevie Wonder, etc. His work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.

Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, who has offered to be the first co-sponsor of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, told The Daily Caller that congressional gridlock is causing the federal government to become “less relevant” in Americans’ lives. He calls this “a tragedy.”

Watch:

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“While I support the president’s jobs bill and its efforts, I want him to go further. I think that it’s clear when he offered the bill that the [Republican-dominated] House of Representatives was not going to consider it,” said Jackson.

“Every day that this government doesn’t have solutions to the real problems — the real economic problems that confront the American people — we become less and less relevant in their lives, and that is a tragedy at this hour.”

As TheDC reported, the jobs bill was filed by Democrat Rep. John Larson of Connecticut at the request of President Obama and currently has no co-sponsors in the House. Rep. Jackson told TheDC that he has “no problem” co-sponsoring the legislation.

“I have no problem becoming a co-sponsor of the bill. I didn’t realize John [Larson] was actually carrying the bill until you just mentioned it. If the chairman of the Democratic caucus offers a bill, for the most part, the chairman of the caucus is speaking on behalf of the caucus,” he told TheDC on Wednesday in his Capitol Hill office.

“So whether there is a named co-sponsor or a list of co-sponsors on the bill, I don’t think is quite the point. … The fact of the matters is, Congressman Larson, the Democratic bill offered by the president is not being considered in Mr. Boehner’s Congress … Why are there no Republicans who are outraged about the unemployment levels in our country?”

Jackson also stressed the need for Congress to not offer support for the wealthy “1 percent” of Americans.

“I appreciate, while I don’t completely understand, all of what is taking place on Wall Street — on the South Street in Chicago — that we have to identify with the 99 percent of Americans. Not the 1 percent who support our campaigns and help us get elected financially, but the 99 percent of Americans that are looking at a government of, for, and by, the people, with the hopes and the expectation that it would do something about the quality of their lives,” he said.

The jobs bill failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate on Tuesday but has not been put to a vote in the Republican-controlled House.

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