President Obama should go to Wisconsin to show his support for the labor movement, a House liberal leader said Wednesday night.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, ramped up pressure on the president to weigh in more heavily against the Republican governor's labor reform proposal.


"I'd like to hear more from President Obama. He's made some statements. He should get credit for that," Ellison said on MSNBC. "We would like to hear him make some more statements. I think that President Obama should come to Wisconsin and stand with the workers."

Ellison joined Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the other CPC co-chairman, in a conference call on Wednesday morning to boost the administration and Democrats on their handling of the labor issue. The Minnesota congressman's remark adds pressure on the administration to act, especially by calling on Obama to travel to Wisconsin.

The two generally praised Obama's handling of the situation, though he hasn't spoken out at length about the situation. The president's only comment was to call Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to limit collective bargaining rights for most public workers "an assault on unions." His political arm at the Democratic National Committee helped organize demonstrations in Madison, though it backed off taking too much credit after drawing criticism from Republicans.

Vice President Biden weighed in on Wednesday, accusing Republicans of trying to advance a "social agenda" by launching the labor bill. Biden, along with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, will meet on Thursday with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and the presidents of other AFL-CIO organizations. 

Ellison said he wanted to be "fair" to the president, and noted where he's spoken out, but wanted to encourage Obama to do more. He said Obama must show the workers he's counting on to drive his reelection effort that he's on their side by becoming more aggressive.

"The fact is that it's working people who are going to be pounding for him in a couple of years," Ellison said. "It's working people whose policies that we elected him to pursue, and so, I think it's only sensible that he would stand on the side of labor at this time."

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