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Republican House Leadership Continues to Abuse its Power

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

(Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, yesterday we saw another example of how the Republican House leadership continues to abuse its power. The gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) offered an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have blocked a controversial provision in the PATRIOT Act.

At the end of the 15 minutes of voting time, the Sanders amendment looked well on its way to victory with 20 Republicans voting with the majority of the Democrats. But the Republican leadership would not give the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) a victory and refused to gavel the vote. Despite the fact that no more Members were still
waiting to vote, the Republican leadership left the vote open an additional 20 minutes. What were they doing during these 20 minutes? They were exerting intense strong-arm pressure on their own Republican colleagues who had the audacity to vote against the leadership.

The Republican leadership finally threatened enough Republicans to defeat the amendment. Yesterday's outrageous action was just another example of the Republican leadership's win-at-all-costs approach at running this House.

The gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) played by the rules yesterday. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership long ago threw the rules out the window in this House. I conclude with the words chanted by many of my Democratic colleagues during the 20 minute delay: shame, shame on the Republican leadership.

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