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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeMINT. Mr. President, I allowed that to be read because it is so short. I think all of us know that in just about all areas of life power corrupts. And despite the good people in the Congress, the good intentions here, we have found that the longer folks stay in Washington the more likely their associations with interest groups and other temptations often cause bad behavior.

What we are working on here with this STOCK Act is just treating the symptoms again when what we need to do is work on the root causes. If we bring a professional class of politicians to Washington, and we know incumbents always have the advantage in reelections, elections are not the only way to limit terms.

If we want good government, if we want representation of the people, then we need to have folks represented in the House and the Senate who are from the people and not from an elite class of politicians in Washington. That is why for years many of us on both sides of the aisle have worked on this idea of term limits.

My amendment is not a law. It does not set any specific term limits for the House or the Senate. It is a sense of the Senate that says we should pass a constitutional amendment that allows the States to ratify some limit on the terms of office. We know this would likely attract people who want to make representation a calling and not a career. So I would hope that as we look at this total bill, and certainly we do not want insider trading, Congressmen and Senators benefiting from their service in any personal way, if we want to get at the root cause of many of the problems here, many of the problems between parties across the aisle, many of the false differences, we need to limit the terms of people who come to Washington and bring in some fresh voices from all over the country. I think we will get better government, certainly less corruption.

I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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