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Public Statements

FHA Reform Act of 2010

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MAFFEI. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Frank and Chairwoman WATERS for bringing this bill and my amendment to the floor.

We were all outraged when we learned that dozens of employees at the Securities and Exchange Commission were found to have been using their government-issued computers to view pornography. Some of these employees were senior staffers, earning as much as $222,000 a year. One SEC attorney in Washington, D.C., spent up to 8 hours a day watching pornography. An accountant in a regional office was denied access by the government firewall 16,000 times when he tried to access Web pages containing sexually explicit material.

Mr. Chairman, this behavior, these abuses are not just an abuse of government resources but also of the public trust. It undermines confidence in our institutions. It subjects the thousands of SEC and other government employees who work hard every day to a diminishment, and, simply put, it is outrageous and unacceptable.

This amendment is very simple. It simply says that if you are an FHA employee who is officially disciplined for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, you lose your job. No private business in America would tolerate this kind of behavior, and there's no reason our government institutions should either.

Again, very, very simple. If you're caught and officially disciplined for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, you lose your job. It's that simple.

This should not be a partisan issue, and I urge swift passage of this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. MAFFEI. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentlewoman from West Virginia for her support of this amendment.

I again want to reiterate that thousands and thousands of workers at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies are extraordinarily hardworking, would never engage in this kind of behavior. And, in fact, the reason why this amendment is so important is to protect their reputation for the important jobs they do.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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