Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 04-01-09 on Apr 1st, 2009 :: 1:57:15 to 2:01:55
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Gregory W. Meeks

1:57:06 to 1:57:27( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: for other purposes the gentleman from new york rise? >> i have an amendment at the floor. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 offered by mr. meeks of new york. the chair: the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, and a member opposed each will control

Gregory W. Meeks

1:57:15 to 2:01:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Gregory W. Meeks

Gregory W. Meeks

1:57:28 to 1:57:49( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks. mr. meeks: thank you, mr. chairman. i, like most americans, was deeply upset and emotionally charged when i learned of the bonuses that a.i.g. gave to its employees. i, like most americans, believe strongly that if you receive taayer dollars, you should have standards to limit abuses.

Gregory W. Meeks

1:57:50 to 1:58:11( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: i believe that this bill does begin to set those standards but with just one flaw. to correct this flaw, i have to contemplate because some have said this amendment may not be the safest thing for me to do. some say for the sake of ex peedyens, this may not be the political thing for me to do and

Gregory W. Meeks

1:58:12 to 1:58:32( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: others say for the sake of vanity it defitely may not be the popular thing to do. but i'm reminded of dr. king who said there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor political, nor popular, but one position because it's the right thing to do.

Gregory W. Meeks

1:58:33 to 1:58:53( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: the rule of law in economic growth have been critically linked in the drofmente of -- development of our nation. the strength of our laws allows investors to trust they can do business here. a legal system like ours provides protection and has allowed investors to innovate and take risksnsurpassed anywhere else in the world. right now we are undergoing a necessary and painful

Gregory W. Meeks

1:58:54 to 1:59:14( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: examination of our system of regulation and of our financial markets and the risks that were taken. however, we have to be careful that in this process of correction and damage control, we do not do more harm than good. i fear that if we legislate changes to the rules in the middle of the game, we begin to undermine the trust that has made us so strong.

Gregory W. Meeks

1:59:15 to 1:59:35( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: do we really want to be dismantling confidence in our laws now? this body should be the safety measure against arbitrary ushers it in. just bazz we c do it doesn't mean we should. yes, we can take retroactive action.

Gregory W. Meeks

1:59:36 to 1:59:57( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: we have that sal vent right. and congress has acted accordingly in the past. but we should do so carefully and in a limited and not a broadway. the supreme court has made it clear that congress has the right to act retroactively. but its right is not unfettered. and our founding fathers were strong in their concern about

Gregory W. Meeks

1:59:58 to 2:00:18( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: breaching contracts. james madison summed it up this way, bills and laws impairing the obligation of contracts are contrary to the first principles of the social compact and to every principle of sound legislation. i am concerned about unintended consequences that will impact the jobs linked to the financial

Gregory W. Meeks

2:00:19 to 2:00:39( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: services industry in the united states and the potential impact on our economy -- economic recovery efforts. the fact is, in new york there aren't just fat cats on wall street. there are everyday people that commute to their jobs from my district. those jobs are directly and indirectly linked to the financial services sector. and as the sector goes, so goes

Gregory W. Meeks

2:00:40 to 2:01:00( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: their jobs. i just heard from one compy that is losing approximately 1,000 people a week, many going to foreign competitors and they aren't able to hire enough employees to replace them. i've also heard from companies that are nervous about participating in public-private partnerships because of the uncertainty that congressional action could cause. our actions are having a

Gregory W. Meeks

2:01:01 to 2:01:23( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: chilling effect on government efforts to partner with private sector in meaningful ways. in closing, mr. speaker, and to sum up, let's do something. yes, we must do something. but let's do something that won't have unintended consequences. let's do something that will make an already difficult economic situation far worse or perhaps irreverseably so.

Gregory W. Meeks

2:01:24 to 2:01:45( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: let's not cut off our nose. i find myself concerned about h.r. 1664, even as i support most of its provisions and its intent and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i retain the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. price: mr. chairman, i claim

Gregory W. Meeks

2:01:46 to 2:01:55( Edit History Discussion )

Gregory W. Meeks: the time in opposition, though i am not opposed to the amendment. mr. frank: apartment meantry inquiry. i am in opposition to the amendment. does that give me priority in claiming the time?

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