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Public Statements

Inequities In The Rules

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CARTER. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If you read this statement right here, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on November 8, 2006 made this statement, which has been quoted quite a bit, ``The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history,'' November 8, 2006. That's a very, very noble goal, a noble goal that unfortunately doesn't seem to be being met by the majority.

I've been here on the floor of the House talking about ethics now and talking about basically right and wrong, stuff that anybody can understand, I think; that there are just certain things that really just by their very nature just don't seem right.

I credit the American people with an awful lot of common sense, and I think that common sense leads them to look at some of the things that go on in Washington and say, You know what, that doesn't make sense. That's just not right. Something's wrong here.

Generally when the American people are saying to themselves, That doesn't sound right, something's wrong, that's just not the way it ought to be, generally they've got a pretty good judgment of what they're looking at and what they're hearing.

It's been my--I wouldn't say duty--but the goal that I've taken on to try to point out some of these things. And I started off with a good friend, a gentleman named Charlie Rangel.

Charlie is the chairman of one of the most important committees in the House of Representatives, the Ways and Means Committee, the taxation committee of the House of Representatives. I actually discovered when Mr. Rangel spoke on the floor of the House about the fact that he hadn't paid taxes on a piece of Caribbean real estate that he owned for a long period of time because he just misunderstood that that was income to him and that he had submitted the unpaid past-due taxes and would pay any penalties and interest that might be assessed. But none had been assessed.

It just struck me, having been a small-town lawyer and a judge in a medium-sized suburban county, that that didn't sound like the IRS that most of my friends and neighbors were familiar with. Because most of my friends and neighbors were familiar with the IRS that when they just didn't pay on April 15 but paid on October 15 of the same year, they looked at their tax bill, and along with the taxes was interest and sometimes penalties. If they went longer than that, there was even more interest and even larger penalties.

It seemed to me when you're talking about something like 10 years I believe, but don't hold me to that--it was in double figures anyway--when you're talking about the years that Mr. Rangel didn't pay his taxes, and it was in the sum of, as I recall, it was about $10,000 or $12,000 that he had to pay. I don't remember the exact number on that either. But for there to be no penalties and interest, when somebody who pays their tax bill 6 months late, and they only owe maybe $400, $500, and they look down there and there's penalties and interest. I thought--and I think people listening to that would have thought the same thing--Well, that's not right. If everybody else is paying penalties and interest, why isn't the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee paying penalties and interest? Surely it's not because he's the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and is in charge of overseeing taxation for the House of Representatives. Surely that is not the case. But if it is the case, then the rest of the world is being treated differently than Mr. Rangel.

So I introduced a bill to this august body to create the Rangel Rule. The Rangel Rule is very simple. If you fail to pay taxes for whatever reason, and you're willing to pay those past-due taxes, but you don't want to pay penalties and interest--even if it's been 10 or 20 years that you haven't paid the taxes--just like Mr. Rangel, you can claim the Rangel Rule, and you won't have to pay penalties and interest.

All you basically do is write on your taxes when you pay your taxes, ``exercising the Rangel Rule,'' and then you will be treated the same as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and your penalties and interest should be excused.

Now, a lot of people thought that was funny. And a lot of people caught on to it and thought it was a good idea. And it is still here looking for signatures on a discharge petition which is growing which would allow us to bring this to the floor of the House. But its real purpose was to have people who use common sense apply common sense to this issue and say, That is not right. That is not fair. And it put a spotlight on one particular incident that is not fair. But I have got three pages here of various people that have issues.

And then of course, in our current news, we have issues with the Speaker. So, we will get to all that as we go through this evening. But right now, I don't want everybody to think I'm just picking on Mr. Rangel because quite frankly, there is a lot of other issues here.

And to start off with, we have the Secretary of the Treasury. Do you know that guy? That is the guy that has told us we need to spend these trillions of dollars to save the world. Well, the man who has spent us into the poorhouse almost didn't pay his taxes. Now, the difference between Mr. Geithner and Mr. Rangel, in Mr. Rangel's defense, is what we call the ``Geithner rule precedent.'' Even with solid evidence that a taxpayer was aware of their self-employment tax liability, was given funds specifically to pay their obligation and still consciously failed to pay, only interest should be assessed. Because Mr. Geithner failed to pay his self-employment tax, even though the people who paid him sent him the money in a check, $30,000 worth, and said, Here it is. This is to pay yourself employment tax. And he didn't pay it. Now, I assume he kept the money. But he didn't pay it. And when he then was at that time being offered up as the nominee for the job of the Treasurer of the United States, he did rush down and pay that amount of money. But he didn't have any penalties assessed against him, even though, arguably, it is an intentional act, because he was specifically told, Here is the check to pay your taxes, and he didn't pay them. And it took the fact that the President of the United States chose him to be Treasurer to get him to pay those taxes. We don't know if he ever would have paid them if he hadn't come under the spotlight of this government. But when he did, he paid them.

And if anybody intentionally did something like that, you would think that there would be some kind of penalties about it. And yet all he had to do was, he did have to pay some interest, so that is why it is not exactly a Rangel Rule. But he didn't have to pay any penalties. And my gosh, if the ordinary citizen from Toledo, Ohio, just doesn't pay on the 15th of April and pays on the 15th of October, he will pay some penalties. It may not be a lot, but he will pay some penalties, and he'll pay some interest.

The question you have to ask yourself is, what makes Mr. Geithner so special that he doesn't have to pay penalties for intentionally not paying his taxes? And I guess the answer is it is because he was the second highest man in the Treasury, and now he is the Treasurer of the United States, and he is the man who is advising us on this massive spending program that this House has set forward before it in the last 100 days. More money has been spent by this House in the last 100 days than all the Congresses and all the Presidencies that have ever gone before put together on the advice of the man who was aware that he had to pay his self-employment tax because he got a letter telling him that which he had in his possession and he didn't pay it.

I think almost everybody thinks it is not right for somebody, because they have a government position, to be treated differently from somebody else. I think common sense in America tells us that is the right thing to do. The right thing to do is treat everybody the same. And just because you're a big shot doesn't mean that you don't have to pay your fair share and you shouldn't be treated exactly like anybody else in this country. And that is what we have been talking about. So that is just an extension of the Rangel Rule.

We could stop there because I talked about this before. But there are others that need to be mentioned.

This is an article from The Washington Post, Federal funding funneled to Representative Murtha's supporters. A Pennsylvania defense research center regularly consulted with two handlers close to Representative John Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, as it collected nearly $250 million in Federal funding through the lawmaker, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post and sources familiar with the funding request. The center then channeled a significant portion of the funding to companies that were among Murtha's campaign supporters.

This brought to attention another issue. This issue has to do with the fact that Representative Murtha has steered millions of dollars to a group of people, contracts, to a group headed by a man named Bill Kuchera, who is a government contractor. And these offices of this firm, PMA, were raided by Federal officers on January 3 of this year. It says, this contact has very close ties to John Murtha. The agents were from the FBI, IRS and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. They searched the offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems in three different locations in Pennsylvania. This is the same group that has contributed thousands of dollars to Mr. Murtha's campaign.

Now, this is something that, at a very minimum, should be talked about by the Ethics Committee. I didn't mention that in the ethics report on Charlie Rangel we were promised by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, back when this all broke last fall, that the Ethics Committee would have concluded the investigation and cleared up the Rangel situation by the beginning of this Congress. So we all waited in anticipation of finding out if there was a solution to this issue concerning Mr. Rangel. Nothing has come. And we have heard nothing, absolutely nothing, from the Ethics Committee.

The same thing, Nancy Pelosi has actively blocked seven resolutions that would require the Ethics Committee to form an investigative subcommittee that would look into the relationship between PMA-awarded earmarks and

campaign donations with Mr. Murtha. Why does she feel the need to protect PMA? Well, we have a body here called the Ethics Committee. And that Ethics Committee's job is to go look into these allegations against our Members and come up with solutions to that problem. Either they have violated the rules of this House or they haven't violated the rules of this House. Either they have violated, more importantly, rules of the laws of the land or they haven't violated the law of the land. And if that is the case, the Justice Department should, I assume by this search that they had, be looking into this issue.

These issues need to be resolved. These issues prevent us from having the most open, ethical Congress in history and caused that rule to rest in peace. So that statement is now resting in peace in those two cases because nothing has been done.

And there is more. An organization got earmarks from Representative Alan Mollohan that gave free rent to a family charity. Mollohan provided millions of dollars in earmarks to a group he helped to start, and that group gave the Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation $75,000 in free rent, according to Roll Call newspaper on the Hill. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium has provided more than $75,000 in free rent and administrative services to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation according to the tax records while receiving millions of dollars' worth of earmarks from Alan Mollohan, Democrat from West Virginia, who serves as the family charitable foundation's secretary.

Here is a copy of The Washington Post article, upon taking control of the Congress in November of midterm elections, Democrats vowed to require lawmakers to disclose their requests and to certify that money they are requesting does not benefit them. Another key Democratic reform requires House Members seeking earmarks to certify that neither they nor their spouses have any financial interest in the project. In the Democratic Congress, pork is still getting served. That is from The Washington Post, May 24, 2007.

And then, West Virginia charity got rent deal, Roll Call, March 10, 2009. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium has provided more than $75,000 in free rent and administrative services to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation while receiving millions of dollars of earmarks from Alan Mollohan.

Now Mr. Mollohan says that this is perfectly legitimate. And do you know what? It might be. It might be. But that is not for us to judge.

Once again, if you are trying to have the most open, ethical and honest Congress in the history of the Republic, then when you have questions raised like this, there should be a place you go to resolve those questions. To me, at least the starting place is the Ethics Commission and the Ethics Committee. And yet here we are. There has been no ethics investigations that we know of launched to look at these allegations.

I think the American citizens ought to look at this and say, well, why not? If in reality this is innocent and there is nothing wrong with it, then why couldn't it be brought before the Ethics Committee and they can tell us this is perfectly all right, normal behavior to give large amounts of earmarks to a company and then get free rent for your charitable foundation. Maybe it is perfectly legitimate. I don't know. But if you listen to that, and you think of the most honest, open, ethical Congress in the history of the Republic, then you would say, something needs to be resolved about this issue.

And really that is what we are about here. We are saying we want resolution. We want someone to look into these matters, and let's be what Nancy Pelosi has promised us we would be.

I would like to say that was all. But there was also this issue recently. Representative Maxine Waters pushed for a $12 million TARP giveaway to One United Bank. Waters' husband is a stockholder and member of the board of directors of that bank. Daughter Karen Waters and her firm have made over $450,000 charging candidates and ballot measures sponsors for endorsements for Ms. Waters. And L.A. County supervisor, Yvonne Burke, supported a measure to lease the Chester Washington Golf Course to American Golf, owned partly by Representative Waters' husband and son after Waters supported Burke in her campaign. All these allegations came out in the Los Angeles newspapers.

Now, there may be absolutely nothing to this. We don't know. But you ask yourself, does it sound like there is nothing to it? Because what I failed to say was part of that article was that it is a clear indication that Ms. Waters used influence to get them to look at giving TARP money to One United Bank. And doesn't that talk about benefits to House Members or their spouses, any financial interest in the project?

I would argue if that is the rule passed by the Democratic Congress, the ethics rule for this Congress, imposed upon themselves and others, shouldn't we follow that rule?

Doesn't it make sense? Doesn't it make sense to say let's get answers to that question? I don't understand why that also is not something for the Ethics Committee to report on.

Rahm Emanuel, a former Member of this body, now the, some would argue, the number two man in the White House, the man who has President Obama's ear, he got free rent from Rosa DeLauro, who is also a Member of this body, by living in her basement in an apartment. I mean, you know, I am sure it was a nice place, for 5 years. Rent free.

Now, you say to yourself, Well, isn't it all right for one Member of this Congress to allow another Member of this Congress to stay in their place if they want to and not charge them any rent?

I would say, yeah, I don't really see anything wrong with that. But then, if you knew that Ms. DeLauro's husband was a lobbyist who regularly lobbied this Congress, then all of a sudden you have got to say, wait a minute. Now we're talking about this rule right here, these requests, and spouses and Members and financial interests and interest in lobby events in this Congress.

And, you know, the lobby right now, they are the enemy of the state as far as we hear around this place all the time. These are the most horrible people on Earth we hear from people around here. I don't agree with that. They're human beings just like anybody else and they're doing a job, but those who aren't doing it properly are
an issue for this Congress. And I would argue that that ought to at least be looked into.

No action has been taken by the Ethics Committee, and when Rahm Emanuel was put on as Chief of Staff to the President, the Ethics Committee said it now has no jurisdiction over him. So I guess if there is an issue there, it's gone away by moving from the legislative branch to the executive branch. But just because you move doesn't make it right. It's an issue that ought to be answered to.

And it may be absolutely positively nothing there, but what do you think? What do the Members of this body think? Does it sound like it ought to be looked into? Does it sound like it ought to be questioned? Does it sound like something you would like to know the answer to? Because, let me tell you, I can almost take judicial notice of the fact that rent in Washington, D.C., it's not cheap. And so if he's getting rent every month for 5 years, I would say, I don't know what the place looks like, but I've shopped around for those basement apartments. I rented a room with a microwave for a thousand dollars a month. Others rent those apartments down in the basement of people's townhouses around here for anywhere from $1,500 to $1,800 a month, times 5 years. That's a pretty decent gift. That's a pretty decent reward.

And it wouldn't be bad if it was just a Member of this Congress, but it is the lobbyist spouse who also is giving that gift, and it ought to be talked about. It ought to be looked into.

We say that we don't want to have conflicts of interest in this House. We want to disclose those conflicts of interest. Anyway, you are supposed to disclose what you're doing. Here. Disclose the requests and the money being certified and what you do.

Now, Hilda Solis served, who has now been appointed to the Labor Department, Secretary of Labor. She was the treasurer with fiduciary duties for a labor organization, in direct violation of House Ethics Rules. Her group lobbied Congress and took direct action in elections under all her fiscal approval while serving in Congress.

Her husband failed to pay taxes, even after the IRS liens, for 16 years. And I guess the shift to the executive branch is the solution to that problem, but it really ought to be the Ethics Committee's job. But once again, now that she's Secretary of Labor, the Ethics Committee has no jurisdiction over here. But does that make it right? Does that make it not--does that make it okay to do that? Is that the kind of government that our President promised us he wanted to have? He was going to have the kind of a government that we could be proud of; and yet this lady, in violation of House rules, represented a labor group that lobbied this Congress, and she was part of their executive committee and didn't report it, and now she's Secretary of Labor and all is forgiven. And yet she's right where the conflict was, if there was a conflict. I mean, doesn't that make sense to anybody that that ought to be looked in[Page: H5703]to by somebody?

We had an ethics issue down in Florida, and it caused one of the Members of this House, rightfully, for other reasons also, to lose the election. Tim Mahoney, the Democrat, we learned through the press and from his own lips, paid off a mistress that he had with Federal funds so that she'd keep quiet. He is accused of using these taxpayer Federal funds to pay a former staffer and his mistress. The Speaker of the House refused to take

action. Florida voters told her she was wrong and kicked him out.

Compare that to the pledge. The Ethics Committee took no action. He was voted out of office after one term. The people took some action. So maybe that's where we are today. Maybe that's the only place we get recourse is from the people of the United States. They have to step up.

You know, we took a big battering as a party. I was very offended, as were many Members, when we were accused of all being part of a culture of corruption. You don't hear me accusing every Democrat in this House, because of these people on this list, being part of a culture of corruption. There are good-hearted people on that side of the aisle who are doing the right thing, and I don't think it's fair for anybody to step up and classify a whole party because of the issues of some.

But I do think that when those issues come up, it's the duty and responsibility of that party to make sure those issues are resolved. We resolved ours. Many people resigned. Many people didn't run for reelection because of issues that came up, and here we are with these issues.

And then finally, once again, resting in peace is the most open, ethical, honest Congress in history, and that very noble phrase basically died between January 4, 2007, and February 10, 2009. And it died because of all these issues not resolved by this House, not resolved by its Ethics Committee, not resolved by the Justice Department if it is applicable. And when you come out of a world of right and wrong and you try, to the best you can--and people make mistakes. You know, some of these things could be mistakes. I want to make that very clear.

But these are the kinds of things that others have been accused of being part of a culture of corruption, and those issues were resolved. These issues go unresolved, and the leader who set the standard, who has told us that these things would be resolved, has not only not resolved them, she has been a stumbling block for resolving these issues.

And now, that brings us to an issue that we have with the Speaker. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is having an ongoing war with the CIA. I think most of the country is aware of that, and it has to do with accusations and allegations concerning what some call torture and others call interrogation practices with those people who are, have been held in Guantanamo or other places as potential terrorist enemies of our state. And the issue, of course, that makes the front page is waterboarding. Whether it's good or evil, whether it's torture or not torture is not what we are talking about today. That's for--I think each of us has our own opinion about that.

I think the real issue here, the issue we have to resolve, is that the Speaker of the House has attacked unmercifully this entire operation and all of these things to do with the--who got told what about this interrogation practice. And she denied vehemently that she had ever gotten any knowledge of these extensive interrogation tactics. And she's just really stood up and in no uncertain words said, I never knew about it.

Well, the current CIA director, the current Democrat CIA director who was appointed by President Obama, has released information to the fact that Ms. Pelosi was, when she was the minority leader and in the minority, she was in the room when these interrogation methods were discussed and that there are notes to show she was there. And she has said--she's basically taking the position that the CIA is not telling the truth. Some say either Ms. Pelosi's not telling the truth or the CIA is not telling the truth. That's kind of where we are.

But truthfulness, public statement truthfulness is what we would expect from a Speaker who tells us this is going to be the most open, ethical, and honest Congress in history.

I don't know. I think most everybody comes from a part of the world sort of like mine, honesty means telling the truth. And I think at your parents' or your grandparents' knee, they would tell you, You be honest. You tell the truth.

I have told my children, when something was broken or something happened, Now, you be honest and you tell me the truth, because if you don't, it will be worse on you than if you did tell the truth. And I believe they will testify to that fact. Because the truth is just, that's something we instill in our children. We hopefully all do that because, quite frankly, truth and honesty is a goal we set for ourselves as Americans. We set the goal for ourselves as a Nation to be an open, honest Nation. And we do that by raising the next generation, hopefully, to understand the difference between telling the truth and not telling the truth.

I don't like the word ``lie'' or ``liar,'' and I'm not going to use it. Others might, but I'm not. I will tell you that you are not honest if you are not telling the truth. It comes down to: Is this CIA telling the truth or is the Speaker of the House telling the truth?

Now, why would somebody go off on this in such a big way? Well, I don't
think I'm going off on it in nearly as big a way as are some of the people in the press right now. Let's wake up, folks. The reality is we're talking about a person who, through a series of horrible disasters, might end up being the President of the United States, an unelected President of the United States, because if something should happen to the President or to the Vice President, God forbid, the Speaker of the House stands in line to be the President of these United States. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is an important, important position.

This issue of truth plays on how we want this place to operate and who we want to be. Do we want to talk to each other straight, tell each other the truth, look each other in the eye, give our word, and keep it? When something happens, do we want to tell them, yes, it happened or, no, it didn't happen, and it's the truth? How do 400-plus people get together and try to work things out and keep saying, let's all work together, if we don't talk honestly to each other?

So it's either the CIA--the agency that is in charge of intelligence for this Nation--or it's the Speaker of the House. They're both important. I would allege the Speaker is more important even though the duty of protecting this Nation by National Intelligence is really what has kept us safe for these last 8 years since the attack on 9/11. Even so, as for the Speaker of the House, who is standing in line to be President should a disaster strike this Nation, I think the truth should be part of what comes from her lips.

So this needs to be resolved. The American people have a right to know. This Congress has a right to know. We have a right to know all that we can about those meetings where enhanced interrogation was discussed, whether it was at one or whether it was at 50. I don't know how many it was discussed at, but I know it has been clearly stated by the head of the CIA that at one Ms. Pelosi was present, and it was clearly stated that enhanced interrogation was being used.

So I guess the best, real title to this discussion we are having these days is: Let's get to the bottom of it. Let's get to the bottom of this stuff. Let's get through it and find out what the truth is. Let's lay it out before the American people, and let's let the cards fall where they may. That's what I think ought to happen.

As a solution finder for 20 years, everybody who comes into the courthouse is looking for a solution to their problems. You hope most of the time you're right, and sometimes you might not be right, but your job that day is to try to solve that problem to the best of your ability under the law.

We owe a duty to this wonderful body, to the greatest legislative body ever created on the face of the Earth. We owe a duty to this great bunch of folks out there--we call them Americans of all sorts--that this government speaks the truth.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CARTER. The gentleman raises an excellent point, and that's just what we've been talking about here. I thank the gentleman for reminding me of that fact. In reality, that testimony is treated under oath, and lying to Congress carries penalties. If the CIA is lying, as Ms. Pelosi seems to be alleging, then, quite frankly, we ought to look into it. I mean, the one thing this body should do is enforce the laws of this land. So I thank the gentleman for reminding me of that.

As we've been talking here today about solutions, that would be one solution, to bring this to light. It's all about sunlight. You know, sunlight is purifying, and if you put the light of day on things, we generally get the answers to questions we have. All of the things I've talked about today, all of them, just need sunlight on them. Maybe they'll all clear up, but we've got to have somebody asking for it, and that's what I've been doing these last 6 or 8 weeks.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CARTER. Reclaiming my time.

I'm reminded of when I was in law school. It's a beautiful spring day and the baseball team was playing off in the distance. And the professor called on every member in the back row to respond to a case, and every one of them stood up and said, I'm unprepared, Mr. Fritz. And when he finally went all the way across the back row of the auditorium, he said, Everyone stand and look around. You're seeing the greatest concentration of ignorance in the history of man.

Maybe we're witnessing the greatest lapse of memory in the history of this Congress, because if you give them credit for forgetting, they sure have forgotten a lot. And I thank the gentleman for pointing that out.

There are those that say that the way politics should work is you tell people what you're going to do in the campaign, and then you do it, and then you tell them what you did to get elected the next time. Of course, the new modern world is you tell them over and over and over what you're going to do, you don't do it, and you tell them over and over and over that you didn't. Maybe that is where we are. All of these things are curious, but the reality is, we raised enough issues here tonight that we don't meet anywhere close to this standard.

I want to ask the Speaker how much time we have left.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CARTER. Thank you.

I thank my friend from Texas, a wise counsel, to look at that and decide maybe it's not that we're not having any untruths here; maybe we're just having a gigantic lapse of memory by the leadership of this House, the Democratic leadership of this House and possibly some of its participants. But I don't think all of the participants. There are open, honest, ethical men and women in this House. I think their voices all should be heard on both sides of the aisle.

Resolve these issues, Madam Speaker. Make the Ethics Committee work. Make your office work. Follow the rules and procedures. As Mr. Kirk says, if we have the top leader of the House of Representatives saying a Federal agency has lied to Members of Congress and to its leadership, then file charges and let's go take them to task on this and find out if they did lie, and then let's open the pages of the books and let's look at the events and let's decide.

The burden of proof will be on the state. That is fair. Our Founding Fathers created that. They don't have to defend themselves other than sit there if they want to. But the state has to prove that they are lying. But if someone is accusing them of untruth--because I just used a word I swore I wouldn't use--then the law says telling a falsehood to Congress is an actionable offense, as Mr. Kirk pointed out. Let's take that action. If the CIA has been lying to this body, let's take them to court. Let's find out. Let's have a hearing before this body. Let's find out and let the sunlight, the purifying sunlight of day shine upon this issue between the Speaker of the House and the CIA.

And by the way, the CIA director appointed by President Obama confirms what other CIA directors and other Members of this Congress who were present said, that there was a briefing. Maybe it's part of Mr. Gohmert's famous memory lapse or just forgotten. Maybe that is the defense to all of this we've talked about. Maybe all of these issues we raised, the solution is, I forgot. Maybe with all of the ethics issues that have been raised before this Congress, someone would think could be resolved by, I forgot that was a rule. It's not the way it works, and that's not the way it should work.

We've got issues before this Congress that are issues that divide this Nation. We are about putting back this Nation together, not dividing it. That is what our President has told us. We, in this body, are about putting this body back together in a healthy way. The noble statements made by the Speaker are only noble if they're carried out. But if they're only words--we hear lots of words around this place. There is more than just words involved in everything we do. There is action. Let's resolve these issues. That is all I ask. That is all the Members of Congress ask. And I think that is all that the American people ask. Let's resolve these issues.

I guess the ultimate resolution will be at the polling place, but that is not really the solution we should have. There should be more pride in this institution than having to settle it at the ballot box. That is kind of like settle it out in the street in Gunsmoke. That is not the law we want to have in this country. Let's settle these issues.


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