Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I think it is pretty clear at this point that there is broad bipartisan support for legislation that provides greater transparency in Congress. The more important question at this point is whether the executive branch is willing to play by the same rules. I mean, I think a lot of people out there want to know why a venture capitalist who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the President, only to end up overseeing the administration's green energy loan program, should not be held to the same high standard as others. Shouldn't the President's Chief of Staff be held to the same standard as a legislative director to a freshman Senator?
Let's be honest, people are equally, if not more, concerned about the kind of cronyism they keep reading about over at the White House and within the executive branch agencies such as the Department of Energy that it controls. There is no question that Congress should be held to a high standard, but if we are going to pass new standards here, the same standards should apply to the White House and to the executive agencies that spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money at the President's direction.
That leads to a larger point, which is this: As long as the White House and the agencies it controls continue to play favorites, this economy will never fully recover and the playing field won't ever be level. As long as Washington has this much say over the direction of the economy, people won't ever feel they are getting a fair shake. So, yes, let's hold Congress to a high standard, but the White House must be held to the very same standard.
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
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