Hoyer Statement on Republican Earmark Bill

For Immediate Release:

September 15, 2006

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today concerning House Republicans’ so-called “earmark reform” bill:

             “This Republican earmark proposal is a perfect illustration of why this is the do-less-than-Do-Nothing Republican Congress.

             “Let’s all remember the unequivocal proclamations of House Republican leaders earlier this year, concerning lobbying and ethics reform.  In January, Speaker Hastert stated: ‘I intend to move forward aggressively and quickly to have the House of Representatives address lobbying reform.  Now is the time for action.’  And the Chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. Dreier, stated: ‘We want to be bold.’

             “Their statements, of course, followed closely on the heels of guilty pleas by former Republican Member Duke Cunningham and Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff – whose greed and flagrant abuses have epitomized the Republicans’ Culture of Corruption.  And, in an attempt to disspell public distrust and suspicion, our Republican friends passed a so-called “lobbying reform” bill in May that was derided by newspapers as ‘a complete joke,’ ‘a disgraceful sham,’ and ‘an Orwellian shell of righteous platitudes about transparency and integrity.’

             “So, here we are nine months later and two months before an election, considering what is nothing more than a shell of an ‘Orwellian shell.’

             “Make no mistake: I personally believe that transparency in earmarks is perfectly fine.  But this proposal represents an absolute failure by this Republican Majority to address the most serious ethics scandal this body has experienced in a generation.

             “Meanwhile, it must be noted that the House Ethics Committee has effectively been shut down for this entire 109th Congress.

             “So this is bold?

             “The American people have every right to expect more from us.  And, we should expect more from ourselves, as well.”
 

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