Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 07-15-09 on Jul 15th, 2009 :: 0:14:15 to 0:20:40
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Jeff Flake

0:14:11 to 0:14:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: down to doing the business of the american people. mr. balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: may i inquire as to the time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. i realize that this is an

Jeff Flake

0:14:15 to 0:20:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake

0:14:32 to 0:14:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: unfunded mandates point of order that's been raised. this is not unfunded mandates we're talking about here. unfortunately this is about the only way we can get time to acally talk about this rule at sufficient length. and the way that these appropriation billare being shut down for members. when the gentlelady said this should be voted on, this bill

Jeff Flake

0:14:53 to 0:15:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: should be voted on according to its merits, the problem is there were a number of dozens and dozen of meritorious amendments that were submitted to the rules committee. and the fact that they actually had to be submitted tells us we got some problem here. because as i mentioned, appropriation bills have traditionally been opened.

Jeff Flake

0:15:14 to 0:15:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: but meritorious amendments have been submitted and only a few have been allowed. now, i happen believe, allowed in this bill. and i know full well the game here. i offer limitation amendments on earmarks. the majority party knows full well that earmarking is a bipartisan addiction, and the

Jeff Flake

0:15:37 to 0:15:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: process of log rolling takes effect and my amendments are defeated routinely. they can throw me a bone her and there and that's fine. i understand that. still we need to raise these earmarks, and let me tell you why. "the washington post" today, you can look yesterday in "roll call," the day before in "the

Jeff Flake

0:15:59 to 0:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: hill" or virtually every day there's a new story about earmarks gone awry. and this one in particular talks about defense earmarks that there are some individuals in the lobbying community have just pleaded -- and in the defense community have pleaded guilty to taking earmarks from this body and spreading them around to several contractors who didn't do the work that

Jeff Flake

0:16:21 to 0:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: they promised to do. and some actually taking kickbacks for the earmark money thathey distributed. these were earmarks that were supposedly vetted by the appropriations committee, but we know that the appropriations committee doesn't have the time or resources to vet these earmarks. we're going to be doing a

Jeff Flake

0:16:42 to 0:17:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: defense appropriation bill in just a couple of weeks. we've allowed one day for that bill to be on the floor. if history holds, only a couple of amendments will be allowed, particularly amendments to strike earmarks. if we're not going to on this floor challenge these earmarks, where are we going to do it? they're not doing it in t

Jeff Flake

0:17:04 to 0:17:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: appropritions committee. from sad experience we know that. over the past several years. the chairman of the appropriations committee has said they don't have the time or resources to adequately vet these earmarks. so we have two choices. ought to have two choices. either strike the earmarks, not bring the bill to the floor with congressional earmarks in

Jeff Flake

0:17:25 to 0:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: there, or have proper time to vet them on the floor. or simply say that we're not going to allow them at all until we get this process fixed. but instead what we've chosen to do is cover up the process and pretend that there's no problem here and simply limit the number of amendments that

Jeff Flake

0:17:46 to 0:18:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: can be offered on the floor and hope that nobody notices and nobody sees. but what happens when nobody sees, last year, for example, we weren't allowed to offer any amendments on the floor. the defense appropriations bill was part of a minibus and no

Jeff Flake

0:18:07 to 0:18:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: amendments were offered at all then we have articles like this. quote, it really puts a fine point on the murky, unaccountable web on earmarks said steve ellis, watchdog group for common sense. it provides a petri dish for corruption. and certainly that's what we've seen over the past several

Jeff Flake

0:18:28 to 0:18:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: years. but we're not allowing adequate time on the floor to vet what will likely be over 1,000 earmarks, if not several hundred, in the defense bill that's going to be coming up. what's worse, many of these, hundreds of these amendments -- i'm sorry -- these earmarks

Jeff Flake

0:18:49 to 0:19:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that will be in the defense bill will be given to companies whose executives will turn around and write large campaign contributions to the sponsor of the earmark in the bill. so essentially we are earmarking for our campaign contributors. i think we should all agree that if there are earmarks in this bill they certainly

Jeff Flake

0:19:10 to 0:19:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: shouldn't be going to those who can turn around and then make a campaign contribution right directly back to them. to give federal appropriation a no bid contract, that's what earmarks are, particularly in the defense bill, no bid contracts, to give that to somebody who can turn around anwrite a campaign contribution right back to you is wrong.

Jeff Flake

0:19:33 to 0:19:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: what makes it doubly wrong is in the house we are going to tell members, you can't even challenge those earmarks on the floor because we are going to limit you to three or four amendments. choose them. that's it. th, mr. speaker, is wrong. we can't continue to do that. people say that outside of the beltway nobody cares about

Jeff Flake

0:19:55 to 0:20:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: process, and that may be true. but take it from somebody who was in the majority and is now in the minority. bad process yields bad results. and it will catch up to you sooner or later. and what's worse, what we're doing particularly with earmarks in the defense bill

Jeff Flake

0:20:18 to 0:20:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: reflects poorly on this house. the cloud that hangs over this body reins on republicans and democrats alike, and we ought to stand up for the institution and say, we think more of this institution than that, to have this cloud out there. so i would plead, mr. speaker, with everyone to not proceed with bills like this that don't

Jeff Flake

0:20:39 to 0:20:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: allow members to offer

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