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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAUL. These amendments are recognizing what the authors of this bill have been discussing: that people should not profit off of their involvement in government; they should not profit off of special relationships; they should not profit off of special knowledge they gain in the function of serving the people.

Currently, there are some large donors who have been giving to this administration who have profited enormously and disproportionately. This will allow this bill to apply to the administration, and I do not believe people who are multimillionaires and billionaires should use the apparatus of government, as was used in the loans that were given to Solyndra, by someone who is profiting off of their relationship and ties to the President, profiting off of people who used to work for these companies who are now employed in the administration and using these connections to get taxpayer money to go to private individuals. This is wrong and this should stop.

I think this bill is a great vehicle for discussing how people in government are abusing their roles in government to make more money at the expense of the taxpayer. I think it should end.

I yield the floor.

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Mr. PAUL. This amendment will address some of the situations that are concerning the American people. I think the ability to serve in the Senate is a great honor. The ability to serve in the House of Representatives is a great honor. But I am somewhat sickened and somewhat saddened by people who use their office, who leave office and become lobbyists, who leave office and call themselves historians but basically leave office and peddle the friendships they have found here and the relationships to make money. I think it is hard to prevent people from being lobbyists. But I think if people choose to leave the Senate and leave the House of Representatives and become lobbyists, they should give up something. These people are making millions of dollars lobbying Congress. I think maybe they should give up their pension. Maybe they should give up the health benefits that are subsidized by the taxpayer.

If someone is going to use their position as an ex-Senator or as an ex-Congressman to enrich themselves, maybe they should have to give up some of those perks they accumulated while in office. So this amendment would say that if you go out and become a lobbyist, you have to give up your pension and you have to give up your health benefits and you need to pay for them yourself. I think this is the least we can ask.

I think we have a great deal of coverage now talking about people who are either lobbyists or not or whether they are historians. The bottom line is we have a lot of people peddling their friendship and their influence for monetary gain, and I do not think the taxpayers should be subsidizing that.

I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.

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