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Public Statements

Where Is The Transparency?

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Gingrey, for yielding.

I have a 19-year-old son. His name is Paul Collins Broun III. We affectionately call him ``Bear.'' Collins and his friends have a peculiar type of language. They talk about something being ``bad.'' Well, to me, if it's bad, it's bad, but when they say something's bad, they really mean that it's good. Well, we've developed a similar kind of language here in the leadership of this House, in the leadership of the Senate, as well as the leadership down Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House. When they say something is transparent, they mean opaque. When they say that there is a new era of openness, that means secrecy. That is exactly what we're seeing. It's unfair to the American public. It's unfair to their representatives, both Democrat and Republican alike.

We have a newspeak here in Washington. It's a newspeak where transparency actually means opaque and obscure, where the American people are being kept in the dark, where major policies are being proposed that are going to radically change how health care--as well as every aspect of life in America--is going to be done, and it's not fair. The American people need to stand up and say no. They need to say no to this newspeak. They need to say, Mr. President, Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker, Harry Reid, Mr. Majority Leader, we want openness. We want transparency. We want a new era of open government so that the American people can understand what's going on up here in Washington.

It's absolutely critical that the American people stand up and speak to the leadership and demand something different, that the American people demand that nothing is passed, particularly on health care, that is going to radically change the economic future of our country, that is going to radically change the way people live because anything and everything can be brought under the aegis of health care. I think probably we are going to see way beyond the things that are going on today where government is trying to control what we eat, how we live, what kind of car we drive.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If the gentleman will yield.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Certainly.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, even so, we're talking about one-sixth of the whole economy of this great country of ours, and it's going to expand.

I yield back to the gentleman.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, this is not about health care. It's about the government. It's about government control. It's about government telling people how to live, government making decisions for us. It's taking away our liberty. And we see right now New York City is trying to control the amount of salt in

everybody's food.

This health care plan can tell us what kind of car to drive, whether we can own guns or not to protect ourselves and our home, whether we can teach our children the way that we, as parents, believe that our children ought to be taught.

This is the largest takeover of liberty and freedom this country has ever seen. The American people need to stand up and say no to this obscure, opaque, secret process that this leadership of this House and the Senate across the other side of the Capitol and the administration, the Obama administration, and the leadership are doing, because it is totally, totally against everything that this country stands for.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. If the gentleman will yield, Mr. Speaker, just for a second.

The American people--and I think that my colleagues would agree with me--the American people have spoken, haven't they?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. They really have.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Over 60 percent of them are vehemently opposed to this government takeover that Dr. Broun is talking about.

I will make one other comment before yielding back to my friend, and that is that the Speaker herself--Mr. Speaker, you're in her stead in the chair this evening, but the Speaker, back in 2006 on the campaign trail when your party did indeed take over the majority, Mr. Speaker, Madam Speaker--minority leader at the time--said to the American people, You give us an opportunity to take back over control of the leadership of this Congress, this House of Representatives, and you will see the most open process you have ever seen. It will be a breath of fresh air. That sun will be shining in. The American people will come up and the children will sit around as I'm sworn in and they will be right there at my knee and I will be patting them on the head, Mr. Speaker, she said. And it will be wonderful. Happy days are here again. Well, when you say something like that--and I think my colleagues agree with me, Mr. Speaker--you need to deliver.

Now, she could have said, back in 2006 on the campaign trail, These rotten Republicans who have run this place for 12 years and they haven't given us a fair shake. Man, you give us an opportunity, put us back in, when we get there, we are going to roll them at every opportunity. Well, she would have been speaking the truth, Mr. Speaker. Madam Speaker would have been speaking the truth. That's what she should have done because that's what she did. We have no openness here. It's kind of like our current President said, you know, a change you can believe in.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think this is the change the American people were expecting, and they certainly don't believe in it.

I yield back to my colleague.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, Dr. Gingrey, thanks for yielding back.

And you are exactly right, the American people were promised many things by this Speaker: transparency, openness, the new era of a clean government with a prosecution of corruption. Nothing could be further from the truth. This Speaker has not fulfilled those promises to the American people.

The American people need to stand up and understand that they are really in control. The Constitution of the United States, which I believe in as it was originally intended, starts off with three very powerful words. In fact, I have a copy in my pocket. I carry a copy all the time. It starts off with three powerful words, ``We the people.'' This is the government that is supposed to be for the people, by the people, as President Lincoln said.

The people have the power. They have the power to demand openness. They have the power to demand transparency and stop this secrecy and stop the veil that's going on up here. In fact, I challenge any Democrat in this House or in the Senate to show me anywhere in this document that we have the authority, constitutionally, to take over the health care system. It's not here. I challenge any Democrat to show me in the Constitution where we have the authority to pass this health care bill that they're taking. They won't find it. It's not there.

The American people can demand from their elected representatives within the House or the Senate something different than we have today. Former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen once said when he feels the heat, he sees the light. What he means by that is when the people who elect him, or reelect him, contact him and say, You're headed in the wrong direction. You need to head in a different direction, when enough people contact him, that's putting heat upon the elected representative. The elected representative, if he wants to be reelected, will start paying attention to enough of those phone calls, emails, faxes, and visits and will start seeing the light.

We need to shine the light of day. The American people can control the light in their hand right now today by getting on the telephone, getting on their computer, by calling their Representatives, by calling their Senators, their district offices or their offices up here, and saying no to this government takeover of health care, saying no to this obscure, secretive process that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama are undertaking, and saying yes to the openness and transparency we have been promised by Ms. Pelosi as well as Mr. Obama.


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

As you and our colleague from Tennessee, Dr. Roe, were talking about the Senate bill and as you went on, it just occurred to me that I spoke just earlier about the Newspeak in the leadership in Washington--in the House and the Senate as well as in the Presidency--and about how ``transparency'' now means being obscure and opaque and how ``openness'' means being in secret.

As to the deals that are being struck, from everything we understand in my language, when people are threatened with harm if they don't go in a certain direction, that's called ``extortion.'' If somebody is offered a perk or money or something for going in a particular direction, that's called a ``bribe'' if one accepts it.

Mr. Speaker, we're having a lot of extortion and a lot of bribery going on in this process. I will repeat that. There is a lot of extortion and bribery going on in this process, and the American people deserve better. The American people deserve more. They need to stand up and reject this process of secrecy, of obscurity, of opaqueness, of broken promises, and of everything that we see going on in this House.


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