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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Mr. President, I also stand and commend the majority leader for allowing this process to unfold in a thoughtful and fair manner, the way it should. We are starting the new year off correctly and allowing everybody to feel as if they are participating in the democratic process, not moving for cloture, shutting off debate, and filling the tree, but allowing us to stay late and work together in a bipartisan manner to work through the amendments, allowing me and Senator Collins, and on their side, Senators LIEBERMAN and GILLIBRAND, to call individual Members and say: You have four amendments up; which ones do you want? Is there a modification or can we combine them with other similar amendments? That is how it should work.

This is what I have been saying for the last 2 years and why I have continuously moved to work across the aisle: to allow that democratic process to work.

I am thankful we are here. These are some tough votes, but we are the Senate. We should be taking tough votes. That is why the people sent us here. I am thankful that we can send the message to the American people that we are trying to reestablish that trust that seems to have been lost with them by moving on the STOCK Act.

There are other issues we are taking up. I hope they are just as thoughtful and methodical and respectful. I hope we are going to do the postal bill next. It is something Senators LIEBERMAN, COLLINS, CARPER, and I have spearheaded. It is a solid bill and a good framework. If we allow it to move forward and everybody has their say and their day in the Sun, and we do as we have done today, we will have another good deed and, who knows, maybe we will be in double figures in terms of the approval rating pretty soon.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.


Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Madam President, I would like to take a moment to commend Senator Blumenthal and Senator Kirk. As you all know, Senator Kirk is battling to come back with us. As a gesture and also because it is a good-government measure, this particular amendment, No. 1498, extends the number and types of felonies for which Members of Congress and executive branch employees or an elected State or local government official can lose his or her pension. This is a good-government amendment and an appropriate way to honor our colleague, Senator Kirk, whom we wish a speedy recovery.

I ask to have the yeas and nays by voice vote.



Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Mr. President, further, before I yield to Senator McCain, I would like to briefly set up amendment No. 1471.

Fannie and Freddie have cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars. This year, they paid exorbitant bonuses to their executives.

I wish to commend Senator McCain for his work on this very important issue and his leadership, and I encourage everybody to vote yes on it.

I now yield to Senator McCain.


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