Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a ten-term congresswoman from Illinois, brought a can of “whoop ass” to a progressive rally designed to protest cuts to social programs under President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget.
The event, attended by progressive heavyweights and hosted by a progressive reverend, featured a dozen speakers of activists and Democratic lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.)
Schakowsky was introduced with a call for political action. “We have more power than Russian bots on Twitter and Facebook. We have the power of the vote!” the host said.
The Illinois congresswoman wasted no time in showcasing her prop.
“So I was just over with AFGE, our American Federation of Government Employees, and I brought with me my AFGE can of whoop ass!” Schakowsky shouted, shaking a can with the name AFGE on it, a fist over the words “WHOOP ASS,” and the logo for the union in the corner.
“This is a can–can of whoop ass,” Schakowsky continued to laughter and applause. “Because that’s what we need to have.”
After she put the can down, she said in reference to the White House fiscal year 2019 proposed budget, “I want to just say, shame on President Trump and the Republicans.”
“I ask them, did you really come to Congress to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids?” she said.
Schakowsky then wondered how Republican lawmakers can reconcile their religious beliefs with the newly proposed budget.
“There isn’t a religion in this world–and they’re so pious–that says you don’t house the homeless. It’s unbelievable that we won’t care for our brothers and sisters,” Schakowsky said.
“Their philosophy is you’re in it alone,” she continued. “Ours is we’re all in this together.”
“And we’re in this fight to the finish. Because when we fight, we win,” Schakowsky said, leading into a chant.
“When we fight,” she shouted to a respose from the crowd of “we win!”
She repeated the chant with the attendees before saying again, “and we’re going to win.”
Grabbing for the can one more time, Schakowsky said, “need some whoop ass!”
Prominent progressives spoke at the rally including Democratic Nation Committee deputy chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.)
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