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House Proceeding 03-24-09 on Mar 24th, 2009 :: 5:13:55 to 5:24:00
Total video length: 8 hours 7 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Steven C. LaTourette

5:13:53 to 5:14:13( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: things from everybody that's participated. and i appreciate everything that you've said. thank you so much. i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: viv las vegas. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. latourette, for 60 minutes.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:13:55 to 5:24:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Steven C. LaTourette

Steven C. LaTourette

5:14:14 to 5:14:34( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: mr. latourette: i thank you for the recognition and i thank the minority leader for granting us this hour. i'm going to be joined by mr. ti berry and mr. austria of ohio and we are going to talk about wh occurred last week and the week before. i know the speaker will remember

Steven C. LaTourette

5:14:35 to 5:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: that the capitol is sort of roiled and our constituents are upset over the news that somehow after getting billions of dollars of taxpayer funds, the insurance company, a.i.g., awarded $170 million in bonuses. and a lot of people came to the floor last week and said they were shocked.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:14:56 to 5:15:16( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: and i said last week, i'm really shocked at the sho, because i can't figure out how some people in this chamber and at the other d of pennsylvania avenue can be shocked when they approved the language that authorized the bonuses. and just a little bit of history here, mr. speaker. when the economic plan, the

Steven C. LaTourette

5:15:17 to 5:15:38( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: stimulus bill, was making its way through the united states congress, there was an amendment offered by two senators, a democratic senator fro senator wyden and a republican senator from maine, senator snowe, and that would put a limitation on bonuses like in the a.i.g. case, that basically

Steven C. LaTourette

5:15:39 to 5:15:59( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: said that you are receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to bail you out, perhaps you shouldn't be given millions of dollars away in bon this moment in time. if you're not taking the taxpayer money, you run your business as you see fit. that amendment was adopted by voice vote in the senate and was

Steven C. LaTourette

5:16:00 to 5:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: included in the senate version of the stimulus bill. and so, you know, i read about it in the newspaper, and i thought ok, the bill's in pretty good shape. when the bill went into the conference committee -- mr. speaker, i know you know this, but for those who may not be educated with how things work here, we pass a bill here and

Steven C. LaTourette

5:16:21 to 5:16:42( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: the senate passes a bill and each house appoints a few members and they meet in a room and they sort out the differences between the two bills and we get a conference report. now in years past -- this is my 15th year -- that conference committee included democrats and republicans. we, being republicans, were in the majority for 12 years and

Steven C. LaTourette

5:16:43 to 5:17:03( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: the democrats would come into the room and democrats would come into the room, the senators would come into the room and we would hash out the differences. and at the end of the process, everybody who was on the conference committee would sign the report and that's what you have. sadly, even though people have discussed this being the most transparent administration, the most transparent congress in the

Steven C. LaTourette

5:17:04 to 5:17:24( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: history of the country, no republins were invited into the conference room. and clearly what we have seen sadly what we've seen is that the congress is about as transparent as this envelope. and we're not being included. and you know what? we don't have to be included.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:17:25 to 5:17:47( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: we are this the minority and clearly the majority party can write legislation as they see fit. but what they can't do is what happened last week, and so in this conference room, all of a sudden somehow the snowe- language is removed and the words behind me, only about 50

Steven C. LaTourette

5:17:48 to 5:18:09( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: words, were inserted. and this langue specifically authorized the payment of millions of dollars of bonuses to people at a.i.g. and anywhere else. so anybody who voted -- when it came to us back in the house for a vote, this language was included in the bill. so the reason i say i was

Steven C. LaTourette

5:18:10 to 5:18:30( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: shocked at people's shock is that anybody who voted for the stimulus bill voted to give and authorize and protect the bonuses at a.i.g. and any other company that's taking billions of dollars through the bailout program. now, we don't know -- and i know the speaker will rember last week we were on the floor for out how did it happen.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:18:31 to 5:18:52( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: and we started with -- i talked about the fact that there is a face book, 435 members of congress, 100 senators and we began crossing them out and got down to 520 during the course of that hour. and i indicated we would come back and report to the speaker the progress of this search. and i'm pleased to report to you

Steven C. LaTourette

5:18:53 to 5:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: that we have made significant progress. and my friends and i are going to talk about this this evening. we can r republicans, because there were no republican representatives in the room. we can also remove all 41 republican senators, because they were were not in the room. and i mentioned that we also

Steven C. LaTourette

5:19:14 to 5:19:35( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: have this senate race that is unresolved in minnesota and cross off al franken and senator kohl man. they are not the culprits. we got down to a smaller group. but then our group exp because there are a couple of news reports out that there were people from the administration that were also participating in these negotiations.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:19:36 to 5:19:58( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: so we had to add a few suspects to figure it out. now, what's disappointing is that in a transparent administration and transparent congress, people make mistakes. i probably made three before ump lunch today. when you make a mistake, you should say i made a mistake. what's not acceptable is to

Steven C. LaTourette

5:19:59 to 5:20:20( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: compound the mistake by pretending you didn't know about it and then when you're caught, you come up with goofy pieces of legislation to tax people at 90%. that was political theater. it never is going to become law. these people that are so outraged about a.i.g. executives

Steven C. LaTourette

5:20:21 to 5:20:43( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: getting bonuses, they're going to get their bonuses, because that bill's not going anywhere. and my friend is going to talk about that in a second. that isn't going to become law. that was to provide cover for people who voted for the economic recovery bill, because they found out, sadly, that they had authorized these 50 words that protected the a.i.g.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:20:44 to 5:21:04( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: bonuses and now they're shocked. now, on our side, i have to tell you that we were kind of saddened even though we don't need to be invited into the rooms, we don't have to be invited to negotiate, before the stimulus bill came to a vote in the house, we had a motion that was made and the motion said that before any member of

Steven C. LaTourette

5:21:05 to 5:21:25( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: congress is asked to vote on the stimulus bill, we're going to have 48 hours to read it. every member of this house, every republican and every democrat that was here, voted to give 48 hours for every member to read the bill and that's probably a good idea because the bill was over 1,000 pages long.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:21:26 to 5:21:46( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: sometime between tuesday when every member said we're going to get 48 hours and friday when we voted on the bill, people forgot that promise and we were given 90 minutes to read 1 to determine whether or not we could be supportive of the president's most important

Steven C. LaTourette

5:21:47 to 5:22:07( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: domestic economic policy position. . and i voted no. i don't have a problem with the fact think a voted no. there were some good things in the stimulus pill and horrible things in the stimulus bill. i couldn't go home to cleveland and say to people, yeah, i voted for it and -- because i didn't read it. and i don't think any member of

Steven C. LaTourette

5:22:08 to 5:22:28( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: this chamber read the bill and if they did then more power to them. but i doupt everybody read the thous read the thousand pages. so what that leads to is the embarrassment and the embarrassment is that everybody who voted for that stimulus bill voted to give the bonuses to a.i.g. then to cover their tracks they come up with with this, oh,

Steven C. LaTourette

5:22:29 to 5:22:49( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: let's tax them at 90%. which if you think about it is pretty silly, too, because let's say the guy at a.i.g. got $5 million in a bonus. well, under that bill, he still gets to keep half a million dollars. so if you're so outraged, why don't you take all the money away from him? forget about the constitutional arguments and the bills of retainer and other business.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:22:50 to 5:23:10( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: it was political theater and it makes you sad when that happens. so we are going to spend the remainder of our time this evening attempting to sort of ferret out who was in the room and i have good news bazz the secretary of the treasury -- because the secretary of the treasury was at the financial services meeting and the

Steven C. LaTourette

5:23:11 to 5:23:31( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: se in the room when this happened and he said he was not. so we can cross off the secretary of the treasury. he was not in the room when this was done. last week during the course of the debate on ms. kilroy's resolution saying that they were doing everything they could to stop these businesses, we asked the chairman of the

Steven C. LaTourette

5:23:32 to 5:23:52( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: financial services committee, mr. frank of massachusetts, he said he wasn't in the room, so he's off the list as well. and the speaker actually indicated the other day, speaker pelosi, that nobody from the house did it. and so we have to look elsewhere, i guess, and we're going to talk a little bit about that.

Steven C. LaTourette

5:23:53 to 5:24:00( Edit History Discussion )

Steven C. LaTourette: but first to sort of set the table on this bill, this 90% tax bill, this political

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