Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 12-16-09 on Dec 16th, 2009 :: 0:08:05 to 0:14:55
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Jeff Flake

0:08:01 to 0:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: after that debate, the chair will put the question of the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: approximately 68 years ago on january -- in january of 1941, rayburn was elected to the

Jeff Flake

0:08:05 to 0:14:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake

0:08:22 to 0:08:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: house of representatives. just prior to swearing in he rose on the house floor and said, you have elevated me to a position. i must confess that it has been one othe ambitions of my lifetime. the house of representatives has been my life and my love for this more than a quarter of a century. i love its traditions. i love its precedence. i love its dignity.

Jeff Flake

0:08:44 to 0:09:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: i glory in the power of the house of representatives. it is my highest hope and my unswerving aim to preserve, protect and defend the rights, prerogatives and the power of the house of representatives. . as speaker, he considered himsel a custodian of its

Jeff Flake

0:09:05 to 0:09:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: traditions, its precedent, and as he put it its dignity. you may ask why i'm telling this story, why i raise this point. it's because we are about to consider a bill that endorses and condones a practice that has placed a dark and ominous cloud over this institution. this practice for lack of a better term can be called circular fundraising.

Jeff Flake

0:09:27 to 0:09:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: it involves the awarding of earmarks which are esstially no-bid contracts in close proximity to the receipt of campaign contributions from earmarked recipients. this legislation contains more than 500 earmarks where a private for-profit company is the intended recipient. let me repeat that. this legislation we are about

Jeff Flake

0:09:48 to 0:10:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: to consider contains more than earmarks, or no-bid contracts direct the -- directed to private companies. in many cases the members of congress securing these no-bid contracts have either received legislation is enacted into law large campaign contributions from the executives of the

Jeff Flake

0:10:09 to 0:10:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: companies and-or the lobbyist that is represent them. by now my colleaguesare well aware of the p.m.a. which was largely centered on the track tiss of circular fundraising. since news broke in 2008 of the f.b.i.'s raid on the p.m.a. offices, press reports and editorials from coast to coast have raised questions about the action of that firm and the

Jeff Flake

0:10:30 to 0:10:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: integrity of this body. showing public distrust and tarnishing the dignity of the house. just listen to what is being said off the hill and beyond the beltway. abc's news site noted that, quote, p.m.a.'s operations, millions out to lawmakers, hundreds of millions back for clients have made it for many observers the poster child for

Jeff Flake

0:10:53 to 0:11:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: tacit pay to play politics in washington. an editorial in the "new york times" entitled political animal 101 referred to the relationship between campaign donors and the customized appropriations they are fed by grateful lawmakers as, quote, the ultimate in symbiotic survival and cynical influence trading.

Jeff Flake

0:11:14 to 0:11:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: an article in the kansas city star noted that, quote, the earmark gain gets a little less baffling when taxpayers consider the quote campaign donors that grease political palms. "the columbus dispatch" summed it up when they noted congress has an abysmal public approval rating of 26%, and as of early november, and the smell of quid

Jeff Flake

0:12:20 to 0:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: sit on the proningses committee , the subcommittee on defense, are, quote, under scrutiny by ethics investigators. the article notes that, quote, together the seven legislators have personally steered more than $200 million in earmarks to clients of the p.m.a. group in the past two years, and received more than $6.2 million in campaign contributions from

Jeff Flake

0:12:41 to 0:13:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: p.m.a. and its clients in the past cade. according to the journal," members who sit on the defense subcommittee had this issue, quote, re $141,000 in campaign contributions from companies that received earmarks from the law makers, unquote. here we are today,

Jeff Flake

0:13:02 to 0:13:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: speaker w. a backdrop of investigations into the irk circular fundraising, but we are poised to pass a defense appropriation bill that contracts for private companies. in mid july of 2010 we will see a quarterly report from the office of congressional ethics

Jeff Flake

0:13:24 to 0:13:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that will shed light into their investigations, thereafter it's likely our own ethics committee will have to provide additional notice of their actions related to the if the future is anything like the past, additional canls will spring from the earmarks that we approve today. we are surely as the poet said, traipsing down a flower strewn

Jeff Flake

0:13:45 to 0:14:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: path unpricked by thorns of reason. i should note that circular fundraising is not a partisan issue. both parties engage in it. and the cloud that hangs over this body rains on republicans and democrats alike. it's ir to ask, what about the dignity of this body? are we appropriately concerned

Jeff Flake

0:14:06 to 0:14:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: that the words pay to play, quid pro quo, swamp and cesspool are increasingly routine in articles describing the appropriations process? should we have no standard higher than whether the abuse of the process rises to the level of an indictable offense? one thing is clear, the practice of circular fundraising will someday end.

Jeff Flake

0:14:28 to 0:14:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: the question is, who will end it? will it take us in our own initiive to clean our own house or will we wait for the justice department to launch more investigations and take further action? my own hope is that those who find themselves in leadership positions today will summon the

Jeff Flake

0:14:49 to 0:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Flake: dorment custodial spirit of those who have protected and defended this wonderful institution long before we arrived in this chamber.

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