About 20 unemployed and underemployed D.C. residents occupied the office of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) on Thursday, pledging to remain until the senator met with them about the Rebuild America Act.
An organizer for the group Our D.C., James Adams, told Raw Story that they had entered McConnell’s office around 10:30 am and vowed not to leave until they meet with him.
Legislative aides offered to meet with the protesters, but the group has made it clear they only wanted to meet with the senator face-to-face.
“We’re here until we meet with him,” Adams said. “The people here have suffered unbelievable hardship because they haven’t been able to find work and they believe that Senator McConnell needs to hear their story, needs to understand the pain… folks are angry and tired and they feel like he needs to hear them.”
One of the protesters, an umemployed man named Andre Henson, said he hoped McConnell would change his mind about the legislation, which would have provided $60 billion for infrastructure projects.
He said he had been unemployed for about a year and was determined to stay in the office until the senator met with him.
The legislation would have provided at least $387.3 million to the District of Columbia, which could have created approximately 5,000 local jobs, according to Our D.C.
Later in the afternoon, the group announced on Twitter that supporters of the occupation of McConnell’s office had sent them free pizza.
Senate Republicans and two members of the Democratic caucus killed the Rebuild America Act on Thursday afternoon, voting 51 to 49. Democrats needed 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster against the legislation.
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