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National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007

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Location: Washington, DC


NATIONAL SECURITY FOREIGN INVESTMENT REFORM AND STRENGTHENED TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2007

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Last year the Bush administration made a grave error. A proposal came from the country of Dubai to buy a company that ran our ports. The response from the administration, and there was an intergovernmental committee called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. which Members will hear us abbreviating as CFIUS, should have said to Dubai, you know, we have found you to be a reasonable group of people, but you are in an area of the world where there is great tension, where there are violent, armed people who wish us ill. You will be subjected to great pressures. There will be efforts to infiltrate and there will be assaults on your integrity, and that makes us nervous about your controlling something as sensitive to security as ports. We have been worrying about the possibility of the shipping ports being entry ports for harmful activity.

So the people of Dubai should have been told, look, we mean you no ill, but we think it is a mistake for you to buy these ports. There are, I would have thought, many other investments I think they could have made.

Instead, incredibly, a series of people from the White House's various offices, from the Departments, did not see this coming; and in consequence, they gave an approval which led to an entirely predictable outcry in the country.

Our job, Mr. Chairman, is to prevent this great lapse in judgment by the Bush administration over the Dubai situation from leading to bad public policy that would extend to restricting and discouraging foreign direct investment in general.

Members should be very clear when we talk about foreign direct investment. All three words are important. We are not talking about buying equities and we are not talking about foreign countries holding our debt, which can be problematic. We are talking about foreign investors, mostly, in some cases government, but mostly private investors, taking money and investing it in real economic activity in the U.S. That is what direct investment means.

And that inevitably, not inevitably, that, in fact, will produce more economic activity here. It is very much in our interest as a Nation to have people investing in real economic activity. That creates jobs and that creates taxation for local governments and that creates the kind of economic activity that we thrive on.

The fear again was that others in other parts of the world, seeing the reaction to Dubai would say, you know what, we better not invest there.

One of the great assets America has economically is we are about as stable a place as there is in the world to invest your money. This is a problem. It is a problem for Russia. Russia is suffering I believe legitimately because of concern from people that if they invest in Russia their investments will not be as fully protected as they should be. The security legally and in every other way of money invested in the U.S. in direct ways is an asset for us. We do not want the political fallout from the Dubai mistake to discourage this.

What we then decided to do together, and while there was an earlier reference to this being a Republican bill, which I regret because this has been a genuinely bipartisan bill and that sort of partisanship doesn't help, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney) who was then the ranking member on the relevant committee; the gentlewoman from Ohio, who is with us now who was Chair of that subcommittee; the minority whip, then the majority whip; myself; the former chairman of the committee, Mr. Oxley of Ohio, we all worked together to say, look, let us give a set of rules and procedures so that people with money in other countries who want to invest it in the U.S. in ways that will be beneficial to us can get some assurance that they can make that investment and not be buffeted politically.

People say, Look what happened to Dubai. First they got approval, and then it was withdrawn. We want to have a good process so that people can invest with assurance. People who are investing money need stability and certainty.

They also need a certain amount of privacy before the fact. One of the things that we jointly did was to reject efforts to expose potential investments to wide publicity and the political process at too early a stage. There is no point in scaring these things off.

Now it should be noted that entirely independent of this bill authority exists in the President of the United States, delegated as he chooses, to reject investments that would jeopardize our national security. There are also separate statutes that limit investment in particular parts of the economy. Some of those, I think, go too far. None of those are altered. In other words, this bill does not weaken any existing statutory protection against investment that might undermine our security.

What it says is that the great bulk of investments not only do not undermine our security, but add to our prosperity by providing more resources here within the country for good, beneficial, economic activity. We will have a process which gives you some assurance that you can go ahead with that investment. That is what this bill does.

There are some questions about it. There will be some amendments, but that is the core of the bill. It is in the interest of our economy. It protects national security even more than currently because it does have some procedures to require a kind of inspection that would have prevented, we believe, the Dubai mistake.

I should say that this bill is widely supported. We have worked closely with the administration. The Treasury has been very helpful, and they do not like everything in this bill, but on the other hand, I do not like everything in the Treasury. In fact, if you look at the great bulk of it, we are together on this, and this is a bill which the Treasury, I am pleased to say, and you can see in the statement of administration policy, regards this as an advance. They would like some changes, but they clearly regard this bill as an advance. A broad swath of the business community is in favor of it, and all should be in favor of it.

While there are controversial aspects of international policy, this is one that should not be controversial. This is one which welcomes foreign investors who want to take money and engage in real, beneficial, safe economic activity in the United States.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1 minute just to say, before I yield back, that there has been a debate about whether or not an open rule was controversial or not. I know in today's Wall Street Journal, there is an editorial grudgingly giving us some credit for moving on this. Essentially they are surprised that, given that we are Congress, we didn't do a lot worse.

But I will note that in the Wall Street Journal editorial this morning, there are two negative references to an open rule. It is clear from this that they are among those that did not want an open rule because they said they were afraid that protectionists in the House would ruin the bill.

So I do, again, want to note the idea that the open rule was somehow something of no particular consequence. This contradicted the Wall Street Journal in its editorial today, and I urge Members to read it. I am not going to put the whole thing in the Record because it takes some shots at some Members that I think are unfair. But I urge Members who think that this was some sort of a slam dunk to read the Wall Street Journal.

I am submitting the following jurisdictional correspondence on H.R. 566:

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, DC, February 23, 2007.
Hon. BARNEY FRANK,
Chairman, Committee on Financial Services, Washington, DC.

DEAR CHAIRMAN FRANK: I am writing to you concerning the bill, H.R. 556, the National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007. There are certain provisions in the legislation which fall within the Rule X jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, including provisions relating to the Defense Production Act of 1950, as it pertains to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

In the interest of permitting your Committee to proceed expeditiously to Floor consideration of this important bill, I am willing to waive this Committee's right to sequential referral. I do so with the understanding that by waiving consideration of the bill, the Committee on Foreign Affairs does not waive any future jurisdictional claim over the subject matters contained in the bill, which fall within its Rule X jurisdiction. I request that you urge the Speaker to appoint Members of this Committee to any conference committee which is named to consider any such provisions.

Please place this letter into the Committee report on H.R. 556 and into the Congressional Record during consideration of the measure on the House Floor. Thank you for the cooperative spirit in which you have worked regarding this matter and others between our respective committees.

Cordially,

Tom Lantos,
Chairman.

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COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES,

Washington, DC, February 23, 2007.
Hon. TOM LANTOS,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your letter concerning H.R. 556, the National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007. This bill was introduced on January 18, 2007, and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce. The bill was ordered reported by the Committee on Financial Services on February 13, 2007. It is my expectation that this bill will be scheduled for floor consideration in the near future.

I recognize that certain provisions in the bill fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Affairs under Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives. However, I appreciate your willingness to forego action on H.R. 556 in order to allow the bill to come to the floor expeditiously. I agree that your decision will not prejudice the Committee on Foreign Affairs with respect to its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar legislation. I would support your request for conferees on those provisions within your jurisdiction should this bill be the subject of a House-Senate conference.

I will include this exchange of correspondence in the Committee report and in Congressional Record when this bill is considered by the House. Thank you again for your cooperation in this important matter.

Yours truly,

Barney Frank,
Chairman.

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COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE,

Washington, DC, February 27, 2007.
Hon. BARNEY FRANK,
Chairman, Committee on Financial Services,
Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I write with regard to H.R. 556, legislation to overhaul the process for reviewing foreign investment in the United States, which was reported favorably by your Committee on February 13, 2007.

As you know, the Committee on Energy and Commerce received a referral of the bill. The bill concerns section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. App. 2170). The Committee, together with the Senate Committee on Commerce, wrote that section, which is the so-called ``Exon-Florio Amendment' to the Act. (See section 5021 of Public Law 100-418; 102 Stat. 1425.) Additionally, the bill concerns the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (``CFIUS'). The membership of CFIUS includes the Secretaries of Commerce and Energy. The Secretary of Commerce is a vice chair of CFIUS. CFIUS's annual report will also be directed to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Department of Commerce must be consulted on the study of foreign investment in critical infrastructure and industries affecting national security.

I have reviewed the manager's amendment that was approved by your Committee. In general, I support the passage of the bill with that amendment. I will not hold a markup of the bill in the Committee on Energy and Commerce, notwithstanding the Committee's strong jurisdictional and policy interests, because it is my understanding that you agree with me on the following:

(1) The term ``national security' should not be defined in the statute. The term is meant to encompass a wide variety of circumstances, as indicated by the origins of the Exon-Florio amendment.

(2) The decision to remove from the bill the requirement of Inspector General reports should be reconsidered. The Committee on Energy and Commerce has always found IG reports to be very effective tools for accountability and oversight. The bill's requirement of annual reports, while important for the purpose that they serve, are not an adequate substitute. The Dubai Ports deal, GAO's critical report, and CFIUS's failure to file required quadrennial reports, as well as the multi-agency and department structure of CFIUS, argues in favor of having an independent entity conduct performance and systems audits and evaluations in order to identify problems quickly and efficiently.

(3) The inaction of the Committee on Energy and Commerce with respect to the bill does not in any way serve as a jurisdictional precedent as to our two Committees.

In the main, I applaud the work that your Committee has done on this bill. I request that you send me a letter confirming our agreement and that, as part of the consideration of the bill on the House floor, you insert our exchange of letters in the Congressional Record. If you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact me or have your staff contact Consuela Washington, Chief Counsel/Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, at extension 5-2927.

Sincerely,

JOHN D. DINGELL,
Chairman.

--

COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES ,

Washington, DC, February 28, 2007.
Hon. JOHN D. DINGELL,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your letter concerning H.R. 556, the National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007. This bill was introduced on January 18, 2007, and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce. The bill was ordered reported by the Committee on Financial Services on February 13, 2007. The bill is scheduled for floor consideration on February 28th.

I appreciate your input on this bill and am pleased to confirm our agreement on this bill. I recognize that certain provisions in the bill fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Energy and Commerce under Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives. However, I appreciate your willingness to forego action on H.R. 556 in order to allow the bill to come to the floor expeditiously. I agree that your decision will not prejudice the Committee on Energy and Commerce with respect to its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar legislation. I agree that the term ``national security' should not be defined in the statute and I will offer an amendment re-instating the Inspector General reporting requirement as previously discussed.

I will include this exchange of correspondence in the Congressional Record when this bill is considered by the House. Thank you again for your cooperation in this important matter.

Sincerely,

BARNEY FRANK,
Chairman.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, this is a compendium of amendments that came from some of our sister and fellow committees. The Chair and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, the gentleman from Missouri, the gentleman from California, collaborated on some language. They, for instance, have noted that when we say periodic reports, that means not less than every 6 months. It also clarifies that CFIUS will report to any committee having jurisdiction over any aspect of the transaction, not just the named committees. And at the insistence of the gentleman from Missouri, which we agreed with, it says that if there are risk analysis performed by mitigation agreement, they will be performed by CFIUS.

The gentleman from Michigan, the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, correctly pointed out that the bill had stricken a report from the Inspector General during our markup. He believed, and his committee believed this is important to reinsert, we agree, and it is reinserted. The gentleman from California, the chairman of the IR Foreign Affairs Committee, moved that we make the one-time report on how people deal with the Israel boycott an annual report, and that has been done. So these are seven amendments that we have incorporated, all of them recommended by three other committees of jurisdiction. They are supported on both sides. We believe they enhance the bill. And I hope they are adopted en banc as one amendment.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, sometimes people get up in the legislative body and say, Mr. Chairman, I am opposed to this amendment because it is unnecessary.

It has been my experience that no one who says that is ever telling the truth. That is, no one opposes an amendment simply because it is unnecessary or superfluous or redundant.

Many us are lawyers. We are in the most redundancy-prone profession in the world. We rarely use one word where we can use two, lewd and lascivious, although I do not suggest that this amendment is either.

I say that because I do not think this amendment is necessary. I don't think it adds a great deal, and I support it. That is, it does not detract.

The reason I say that is I do not think that an administration that was cognizant of these elements would have excluded them. The only reason I rise to say that is this, and I hope we will adopt the amendment, but I wouldn't want us to set a precedent that if a factor was not specifically enumerated, it was not to be taken into account.

This enumerates factors that clearly should be taken into account, and I will therefore be supportive. I just want to make clear there is a Latin maxim, and my English does not always translate well over this microphone, so I won't try Latin, but it is when you specify one, you exclude the others. I just want to make clear that this is not a precedent for that.

The fact that we are specifically here singling these out, I am sure the gentleman from Iowa agrees, does not, in any way, denigrate the importance of other factors not mentioned.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word. And I think what the gentleman from Georgia has offered is very constructive. He called this to my attention. I have discussed this with the ranking member. I certainly believe it improves the bill. He pointed out an instance where he as a Member in whose district an important transaction took place had taken initiative and come up with some information that was directly relevant that should have been shared. I regard Members as useful input sources here.

Now, again, let's understand. The way this is drafted and the gentleman agreed to offer it, no one can say that this is the kind of amendment that might jeopardize the investment. Nothing in here would in any way lead to an investment not going forward. This is postapproval. If there is disapproval, then the issue doesn't arise.

What this does is, and we have all agreed that it is important to be able to monitor these arrangements, it lets the Member of Congress in whose district a transaction took place join in the monitoring.

Frankly, I guess as the chairman of the committee, I get a lot of these reports. I want to tell the Members that the extent to which I am personally going to travel around to these areas and monitor this, I hope no one is relying heavily on that.

On the other hand, knowing that the Members in whose districts these are happening are available and then come and talk to me, talk to the ranking member and talk to others, I think that improves what we had in there. So I hope the amendment is adopted.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment and its siblings which are apparently to follow.

I gather, I guess, an open rule, we have had so few of them, people can't resist the temptation to take advantage of them, even on matters that are not relevant to the bill.

Now, there is a different between relevance and germaneness. You can make a bill germane with a certain amount of ingenuity, or an amendment. But ingenuity does not affect logic. It only affects parliamentary rules.

This is a requirement that the administration do a report about taxation as it affects business. It says, to be germane to this bill, that it should see how it affects the foreign businesses. But, in fact, no one thinks that foreign direct investment or foreign-owned businesses are differentially affected than others. This is a call for an annual report on the effective taxation on business.

Apparently the gentleman may think that the Council of Economic Advisors annual report doesn't do a very good job. It is the kind of subject that they are supposed to be talking about. It is an effort, I think, to introduce an ideological debate, which is an entirely legitimate one, into a bill that it really does not pertain to.

I can say we have worked closely with the administration. The Treasury, on behalf of the administration, is not supporting this. They have, in fact, been saying, please keep this to national security.

Now, national security, in the CFIUS context, is meant to be clearly defined. It is possible, of course, to say that everything is national security. Health is a matter of national security. Farm policy, agricultural policy is a matter of national security. But if you try to do everything, you often wind up not doing anything very well.

This is a narrowly targeted bill to talk about the extent to which foreign direct investment does or doesn't affect national security in a very specific definition of national security.

This amendment, and the following amendments, say, let's require the administration to do general reports on the effect of regulation, taxation, and something else, I don't remember what it was, on the economy. And it sort of bootstraps it into here.

It is not useful. It is a diversion. If Members think such a report ought to be done, then there are other fora in which to do it. To burden the CFIUS process with this would be a mistake, and I, therefore, hope that the amendment is defeated.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I would just say to the gentleman from Texas, yes, everything is connected to everything. Everything that rises must converge. But that does not mean that you don't try to deal with it before it has risen and converged.

The fact is that if you define everything as national security, you really can't do the piece by piece that you want to. And an inability to make those distinctions gets in the way of good public policy. This grew out the Dubai Ports situation. It grew out of a fear that things that were generally good for us economically might have an element that compromised national security narrowly defined, that they might lead to physical or other kind of problems, espionage, terrorism. And it is an effort to try and harmonize those. It doesn't mean that taxation and health care and a whole range of other things, elementary and secondary education, aren't ultimately related to national security. It does mean that trying to use this specific bill, in which we try to make sure that what is our national economic interest doesn't impinge on national security, but trying to load everything into that gets in the way of the committee that is charged with it, which is why the Treasury doesn't support it, among others.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The gentleman said he is unable to differentiate. I agree. He asked why don't I want this information. Mr. Chairman, I want lunch too, but I am not asking CFIUS to bring it to me. The question is not what I want. An intelligent, mature adult has a whole set of wants but differentiates, to use a word with which the gentleman said he had difficulty, in where and how you get them.

Yes, it is important to know what the effect of taxation is on the economy, and the Ways and Means Committee should be doing a lot of work on that. It is important to know about regulation. And our committee deals with regulation. Energy and Commerce deals with regulation. Other committees deal with regulation. The point is not that these things are not at some point useful, but whether a specific governmental entity, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which is being created for a very specific purpose, ought to be given the burden of doing all that.

We have a Council of Economic Advisers. It is charged with many of these duties. We have the Federal Reserve system. They, under the Humphrey-Hawkins bill, make a monetary report twice a year. It is not that you don't have the information.

Here is, again, the situation. As a result of the Dubai Ports, there was a fear that that reaction would discourage people, foreigners, from investing in the U.S. This has a very specific purpose: to create a system in which people can be reassured that foreign direct investment has no negative effect on national security. In the sense that the gentleman is talking about that, that is not relevant to this bill. No one thinks foreign direct investment unfairly affects the tax system or the regulatory system. The concern is that we might have foreign direct investment that would put foreigners not loyal to this country, perhaps even inimical to this country, in positions where they could do us damage, through espionage, through sabotage, through the planting of bombs. That is what this bill is about.

The gentleman said, Isn't taxation important? Of course it is. Climate change is important. Should they report on climate change? Nutrition is important. Education in the sciences is important. There are a whole lot of important issues. Burdening this particular intergovernmental committee, which has a very specific focus, with all of these other problems doesn't make any sense. That is why, as I said, it is not supported by administration. It is opposed by the business community. The business community would share many of the gentleman's views, many of them, on the specifics of taxation and regulation, but they don't want to dilute the mission of this very specific committee.

Now, in this particular bill, frankly, even in its own terms I have trouble understanding what the gentleman is getting at. He says we ``shall include a detailed discussion of factors ..... including trend information on the number of jobs' that affect the filing. Now, unemployment, it is hard for me to understand how that affects the filing. Does the gentleman mean that if unemployment goes too low, foreign investors won't come to America because wage rates may go up? I mean, this is an important datum to have. We have this problem. We have annual reports, monthly reports on jobs.

The point we are making is that you should not, for whatever purpose, ideological or whatever else, inject this into this very specific, very important function. We want these people to thoroughly vet whether or not there is a purchase by foreign investors in America that could lead to national security issues in the narrow definition. That doesn't mean that there are not broader factors, such as, as I said, education and the environment and agricultural production, that affect national security. But this is not a bill on national security in general. It is a bill to say that we want very careful vetting of foreign direct investment to make sure that that in itself doesn't do negative things to national security.

There is broad agreement within the administration, within the business community, within our committee that that is an important function. The gentleman has broader purposes. I wish the jurisdiction of the committee encompassed that. We don't have jurisdiction over taxation.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I would say this. He is now focused on the issue. This is not about a bill about national security in general, and it is not a bill about anything that might discourage foreign investment. That is precisely the point. We want to focus on the extent to which the fear of the Dubai situation would discourage foreign investment.

There are other issues that might affect foreign investment. Currency. The gentleman didn't mention currency exchange rates. There are a whole number of things, environmental policies and other things, that might affect foreign investment. The gentleman has stated this is not a bill about whatever might affect foreign investment. We wouldn't have the jurisdiction and nobody in the administration wants to do that particularly. They want to focus specifically on national security. And what the gentleman would do would be to the move the focus on sabotage, espionage, terrorism, those very specific issues that call that forward.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. There is room for honest disagreement, but to suggest that I in any way said jobs aren't important is simply silly. Of course jobs are important. A lot of things are important. The war in Iraq is important. Global warming is important. They don't all go in the same bill. The gentleman's inability to distinguish between what is important and what you try to accomplish in a specific piece of legislation is disappointing, although it does not quite reach the level of a threat to national security.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, this is fourth effort by the minority to get exactly the same thing voted on. Apparently, this strategy has become if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again and again and again.

I am disappointed at the poverty of their ability to obstruct. Now, here is where we are. We have a bill that is strongly supported by the administration and by the business community, their erstwhile allies.

We were asked by some on the Republican side and in the business community to get a closed rule, because they were afraid of irresponsible and silly amendments.

I rejected that request, and now I see, frankly, some people who asked me to support a closed rule voting for the amendments that came forward because we had an open rule. Apparently the motto of some of my Republican colleagues, when it comes to rules is, stop me before I obstruct again.

I don't intend to do that. I don't intend to protect you from your own worst impulses. After all, no one has protected me from mine.

We have a bill which says we do not want foreign investment which is good for this country, which is job producing and economically stimulative prevented by fears that unnecessary security interests will be raised. So we set up a policy, we set up a committee to vet proposals for foreign investment to make sure that there is no threat to national security and its very specific definition of terrorism, of espionage, of a transfer of information that might hurt us. This is to undo the damage that might have come from Dubai.

Apparently, the minority is dissatisfied because we are not somehow conforming to this stereotype of us. We have brought forward a responsible and balanced bill. We worked with Treasury. We worked with the business community.

They have decided now to expand the scope. What they have asked for, frankly, here, is a report from the committee that is charged with dealing with this very specific set of issues. Does a particular foreign direct investment impinge on national security?

They want to burden that committee over the objection of the Treasury Department, which does not like this recommit and did not like the amendment before that, the amendment before that, which all said the same thing.

They are trying to dilute the work of the committee by doing what? By asking for a report, for example, on hedge funds. Look at page 2. Let's have a report on the stability of the financial markets.

So instead of focusing their energies on whether or not a particular investment is a national security threat, this committee is supposed to give us a report on hedge funds and on derivatives, the stability of the financial markets. They are supposed to talk about nondiscriminatory treatment of entrepreneurs and the deleterious effect of burdensome regulation.

Of course, that is the right-wing premise that regulation is necessarily burdensome. There might, of course, be a conflict if you are going to talk about the deleterious effect of burdensome legislation, that might be in conflict with your ability to promote the stability to promote financial markets.

They don't belong in this bill. It is an effort to bring in right-wing ideological precepts into a bill that plays an important role. Now, I guess I regret their frustration that we haven't given them a better target to shoot at. But this proposal to take the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. and turn it into the Federal Reserve Board and the Council of Economic Advisers, and God knows what else, will detract from the mission of that committee, make it harder for them to focus on national security, and serves no other purpose.

I would ask the Members for the fourth time to vote against the same issue. I would say to my Republican friends, I know you are not going to be worried about our time, I know you are not going to be worried about civility and comity, but could you take boredom into account.

The next time you are being obstructive, could you be a little creative, could you think of at least a couple of variations and could you not ask for the same vote four times. I have Members asleep over here because they are so bored for what you are doing.

I ask Members to rally themselves for one more ``no' vote for the fourth time. I don't think there is any other means by which you can do it again, and let's then pass this bill.

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