Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding on Jul 28th, 2009 :: 0:14:35 to 0:19:20
Total video length: 35 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Jeff Flake

0:14:31 to 0:14:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: i commend my colleagues for their support of this legislation and protecting the interests of all americans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, for five minutes. mr. flake: i thank the chair. madam chair, later today, the rules committee will be promulgating a rule for the defense appropriation bill that

Jeff Flake

0:14:35 to 0:19:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake

0:14:52 to 0:15:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: i believe we will consider tomorrow. this is a, in my view, quite remarkable, that we'll be considering the defense bill. it spends hundreds of billions of dollars. we'll be spending less than a day debating that legislation. what is remarkable about it as

Jeff Flake

0:15:16 to 0:15:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: well is that there are 1,087 earmarks in the bill. more than 1,000 earmarks in the defense bill. that was considered by the full appropriations committee for a total of 18 minutes. not 18 minute pers earmark or per section of the bill or anything else, but the appropriations bill, full

Jeff Flake

0:15:38 to 0:15:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: committee, appropriations committee, considered that bill for 18 minutes, past, done, rkup, finished. now we've got that bill on the floor tomorrow. unfortunately, as is the case, or as has been the case with the rest of the appropriations bills this season, it will come

Jeff Flake

0:16:00 to 0:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: to the floor under a structured or closed rule, where the rules committee, the majority party, will determine which amendments the minority party and members of the majority party get to offer. breaking from tradition that has held for decades and decades and perhaps centuries in this institution where appropriations bills have come

Jeff Flake

0:16:21 to 0:16:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: to the floor under an open rule this will come to the floor under a rule that only allows amendments to be offered that the majority party wants to see. not those that the minority party necessarily wants to offer. there are 548, at our count, earmarks in this bill that will go to private companies.

Jeff Flake

0:16:43 to 0:17:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: these will be no-bid contracts for private companies. now the majority party will say, well, we're inserting language saying these earmarks have to be bid out. the purpose of an earmark is to ensure that that contract is not bid out. otherwise, why earmark it? why not just let the defense department decide where to

Jeff Flake

0:17:05 to 0:17:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: spend its money. these are earmarks. they are -- these are no-bid contracts. they're going private companies. in many cases, those private companies will turn around and executives from those companies will make sizable campaign contributions to the members who secured the earmarks. that's been the pattern in this

Jeff Flake

0:17:26 to 0:17:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: place for year, not just with the majority party in power, but when the minority party was in power as well. it's simply gotten worse over time. our ethics committee foes members, and it's a good thing to sign a certification letter saying they have no financial stake in the earmark they are securing that a family member doesn't work for the firm

Jeff Flake

0:17:47 to 0:18:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: receiving it, for example. but there's also guidance issued from the ethics committee that says that campaign contributions do not necessarily constitute financial interest, members in this body are given a green light to basically earmark for campaign dollars. the so-called circular fundraising that's become the norm around here.

Jeff Flake

0:18:09 to 0:18:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: if this wasn't bad enough, there are investigations swirling outside of this body, members' offices have been subpoenaed, some people on the outside have pled guilty and are working with authorities, involving earmarks and campaign contributions. there are allegations of straw

Jeff Flake

0:18:31 to 0:18:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: man contributions that are set up, where individuals are reimbursed for contributions to members who secure earmarks. there are investigations swirling outside, yet we're moving through this appropriations process as if nothing were wrong and we'll consider a bill in one day and limit the number of amendment this is a members can bring forward.

Jeff Flake

0:18:52 to 0:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: now this isn't the perfect way to scrutinize or vet a bill. i recognize on the house floor, but it's all we've got when the full committee, appropriations committee, takes a full 18 minutes to approve a bill that spends hundreds of millions of dollars and contai earmarks, 548 of which are

Jeff Flake

0:19:14 to 0:19:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: no-bid contracts to private companies. we do that nall a day, then tell members, oh, but we're

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