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Republican Corruption and its Impact on America

Location: Washington, DC

REPUBLICAN CORRUPTION AND ITS IMPACT ON AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - October 18, 2005)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, at a time when working families are trying to pinch pennies to pay for skyrocketing gas, record high heating bills and ever-increasing health insurance premiums, this is not the time for Washington to ignore the real needs of the American people.

But that is exactly what has happened over the last 5 years under Republican leadership in Congress. Mr. Speaker, a culture of cronyism exists here in Washington unlike anything we have ever seen before. At the White House, we have the President's chief political adviser and the Vice President's chief of staff under investigation for illegally leaking a covert CIA operative's name to reporters. Today we learn that the Vice President himself may also be under investigation in that case. Evidently, according to today's Washington Post, the special prosecutor is assembling evidence that, and I quote, ``Cheney's longstanding tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.''


The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will suspend. Members are reminded to avoid remarks personally offensive to the Vice President.

Mr. PALLONE. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Despite the fact that President Bush promised 2 years ago to fire anyone that was involved in the leak, both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby remain on the White House payroll.

And it is just not over at the White House. Here on Capitol Hill, you have the Republican Senate leader under investigation by the SEC for possibly having inside information on stocks that he sold off earlier this year. Over on this side of the Capitol, the Republican majority leader was forced to step down from his leadership post----


The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will suspend. Members are reminded that they are to avoid personalities toward Senators, as well.

Mr. PALLONE. Okay, Mr. Speaker.

Shortly after the majority leader stepped down, Time Magazine's Jonathan Alter wrote about the majority leader's tenure as majority leader and how the Republican majority leads this House. Alter recalls his first visit with DELAY a decade ago. These are Alter's own words, and I quote: ``A decade ago, I paid a call on Tom DeLay in his ornate office in the Capitol. I had heard a rumor about him that I figured could not possibly be true. The rumor was that after the GOP took control of the House that year, DeLay had begun keeping a little black book with the names of Washington lobbyists who wanted to come see him. If the lobbyists were not Republicans and contributors to his power base, they----


Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, a point of order.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his point of order.

Mr. STEARNS. Can a Member of Congress intimate as the gentleman from New Jersey is doing about Mr. DeLay in reference to a black book and all the innuendo that he is doing on the House floor? Can he do that?

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman stating an inquiry or making a point of order?

Mr. STEARNS. I am stating an inquiry.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New Jersey has not yielded for purposes of a parliamentary inquiry.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I am just reading from Time Magazine, so I do not see why I cannot continue.

As I said, the gentleman from Texas may no longer be the majority leader, but he is still wielding power here in this Chamber and that power is not benefiting the American people. Instead, the actions of the House Republican majority benefit only a small few to the actual detriment of everyday Americans.

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder that this House only brings legislation to the floor that benefits the wealthiest few in our Nation, because these are the people who are in TOM DELAY's black book. The House Republican leadership has heard that the American people are struggling to afford skyrocketing gas prices, so what do they do? House Republicans pass an energy law this summer that even the Bush administration admits will do nothing to lower gas prices for the American consumer. Instead, the energy law provided billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and these are companies that are already experiencing record profits.

What about the American people? Well, as Alter explains in the Time Magazine article, they are not in the Republican leadership's black book and so their concerns really don't matter to the Republican leadership.

Mr. Speaker, whether you are in New Jersey or wherever you happen to be, the American people do not like what is happening here in Washington. They see examples of cronyism in every Republican corridor and they want it to stop. The American people want us to get back to addressing their needs and their concerns. It is time for the House Republican leaders to throw away their special interest black books like the one that TOM DELAY has so they can finally listen to the real needs and concerns of ordinary Americans.

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