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House Proceeding 07-10-09 on Jul 10th, 2009 :: 1:40:50 to 1:46:45
Total video length: 1 hours 58 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Jeff Flake

1:40:47 to 1:41:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 111-195 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 622, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair. this amendment would simply

Jeff Flake

1:40:50 to 1:46:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake

1:41:08 to 1:41:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: strike funding for all the member requested earmarks for mill t construction projects and would return the money to the various accounts. i'm not here to dispute the merits of any of the earmarks in this account. i have no doubt that each of these projects will vastly improve the quality of life for military service members and for their families. but that's not the issue here.

Jeff Flake

1:41:31 to 1:41:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: i'm here to draw attention to what we've talked about before and that is the spoil system that these earmarks represent. there are 109 member-requested earmarks in the bill, 43 of them are going to powerful members of coress who serve in leadership or as appropriators, committee chairs, ranking members.

Jeff Flake

1:41:52 to 1:42:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that represents about 40% of the share of earmarks being taken by less than 24% of the members of the house. i'm sure my colleagues will tell me that these projects are sorely need at the military bases that t and service members will suffer without them. but what about the many installations that don't receive member-requested earmarks in the

Jeff Flake

1:42:15 to 1:42:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: bill and the service members stations there? neither camp la june or camp pendleton received any earmarks requested in the bill. each of these camps houses a marine expeditionary force comprised of tens of thousands of marines who deploy with great frequency. i'm willing to bet that each of these installations have suggestions for new structures

Jeff Flake

1:42:36 to 1:42:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: to build. why haven't they received any earmarks in this bill? the answer is pretty simple. neither of them resides in a district rresented by a powerful member of congress. the earmarks in this bill total more than $578 million. that's just a little bit less than the earmark totals for the c.j.s. and ag bills put

Jeff Flake

1:42:57 to 1:43:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: together. that dollar amount, more than $240 million, are being taken home by powerful members of congress. that's nearly 41%. when you take into account earmark dollars secured by rank and file members in conjunction with powerful members, that number jumps to more than $300 million or 52%. just to reiterate, the earmarks in this bill favor

Jeff Flake

1:43:19 to 1:43:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: powerful members by a ratio of two to one. 1/4 of the members of is house are associated with more than half of earmark dollars in this bill. i wish i could say this is a novelty but this pretty much jives with the rest of the appropriation bills that we've considered so far this year and i have a chart that demonstrates

Jeff Flake

1:43:41 to 1:44:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that. earmar powerful members of congress. again, those are committee chairs, leadership, those on the appropriations committee, representing 24% of the members in this body. in the c.j.s. bill that we considered earlier, 58% of the earmarked dollars went to just 24% of the members.

Jeff Flake

1:44:03 to 1:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: in the homand security bill, 68% of the earmarked went to just 24% of the members of the house. in the interior bill, 64% of the earmarked dollars went to just 24% of the members of the house. in the agriculture bill, 67% of the earmarked dollars go to just 24% of the members of the house.

Jeff Flake

1:44:24 to 1:44:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: and in this bill, as we talked about, 52% of the earmarked dollars go to just 24% of the members of this house. that's a pretty stark pattern and so there are different types of earmarks, obviously. there are those that are simply wasteful, we see those for rock and roll hall of fame and for whatever else that we -- that's

Jeff Flake

1:44:45 to 1:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: easy to laugh at. sometimes it's small amounts of money, sometimes it's a lot larger. and then there are those that have to do typically in defense bills where you're giving no bid contracts to private companies and there's often a pattern of campaign contributions coming back to members who secure no bid contracts in private companies. that does not describe what's

Jeff Flake

1:45:06 to 1:45:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: going on here. these earmarks, as i mentioned, have no doubt that they have -- they are for a legitimate purpose. but here's another problem with earmarking, it represents a spoil system. where rank and file members of the house aren't given access to those that others ar in the homeland security bill

Jeff Flake

1:45:27 to 1:45:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that was particularly stark, as i mentioned, a huge percentage, nearly 70%, went to just 24% of the body. in fact, more than 50% went to just 14%. those represented on the appropriations committee. i don't think -- and these were for predisaster mitigation programs, flood control districts and the like. i don't think mother nature

Jeff Flake

1:45:48 to 1:46:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: decides i'm going to hit those districts represented by appropriatormore than i'm going to hit other districts. it's just because they're able to do it and they do it and so the rest of the congress, the rest of the country, not the rest of the congress, the rest of the country that competes for these grants on a competitive basis has at least in that case

Jeff Flake

1:46:09 to 1:46:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: 25% of that account is earmarked before they can even compete for the rest of the grants that are given out on a competitive basis. and that's just not fair. that's just not the way we should do this. i think that we ought to rethink this and we ought to strike the funding in this bill and with that i reserve the balance of my time.

Jeff Flake

1:46:30 to 1:46:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purposeoes the gentleman from texas rise? mr. edwards: madam chair, i rise to claim my time in strong oppo eight,. the chair: t recognized for five minutes. mr. edwards: i'd like to begin

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