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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4402, National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentleman from Colorado.

I rise in opposition to this rule. There is no reason we could not have an open rule on this legislation--well, unless there are amendments the majority does not want the Members to vote on. Obviously, my colleague, Representative Holt, has offered one such amendment. The Rules Committee did not make his amendment to require companies that earn a profit mining on public lands to disclose their public donations in order. Why not? Vast amounts of secret money are ruining our democracy.

It is the ultimate irony that free speech now has such a high cost. Our democracy has truly become the best that secret money can buy. That's not good news for the average voters who do not have tens of thousands of dollars to shower on their preferred candidates.

Representative Holt's amendment would shine some light on this practice and ensure that the entities profiting from public resources are accountable to the electorate. The public, I believe, has a right to know, a right to know who is funding our elections. Apparently, under this rule, they don't even have the right to know where Members of this House stand on this issue.

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