Statement on the House Passing Ethics Reform

Transcript: 

... majority leader, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. hair mr. hoyer: i take a back seat to know one in loving this institution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house is in order. mr. hoyer: too oven it is demonstrable on this floor, but we don't. the issue is will the american people have respect for us. that is the issue. that is the critical issue that confronts us this evening. not because any of us are pointing fingers at anybody else in this house, but unless you were sound asleep prior to the last election, unless you were living in another country, another land in another time, you know what the people thought about this, the people's house that we love. . and that, my friends, is why we're in the majority. because the people thought changes were necessary in this house. the people asked for change. they asked for accountability. there have been some things said on this house floor that are not accurate. mr. tiahrt said that the speaker and mr. boehner would make independent appointments to this. mr. capuano changed that. as a result of the suggestions of these members. it was a good change. because it meant that mr. boehner and ms. pelosi are going to have to agree on six people. it's been said on this house just now that this replaces the ethics committee. it absolutely does not. does it compliment it? i think it does. but it does not replace it. nor does it substitute its judgment for the ethics committee. the ethics committee can continue to operate as it does now and can initiate -- it does not need to wait on this committee. it can initiate the defense of the ethics of this house. 435 of us elected by our neighbors and friends and we are all said when one of us comes short of the expectations -- all sad when one of us comes up short of the expectations of our constituents as we should because we know only too well those of us who have served for significant periods of time in the public sphere that the actses of each of us -- acts of each of us is often attributed to the rest of us. there needs to be a confident -- confidence level among the american people in the people's house. how are they going to have that confidence? i suggest to you that it is my belief as one who is not for many of the things that the so-called groups are for, who think that it's going to change. it will not change. many times. the substance of what we deal with. i happened to have come to the conclusion that this proposal that mr. capuano and others have made and i regret the fact that this is not a bipartisan proposal. one of my best friends in life, not just that served here in the house, is senator ben gordon. many of you know how close he and i are. he and bob livingston lived on the last major ethics reform together and came with a bipartisan fashion. i am one who works in a bipartisan fashion. ask bob nay in the help america vote act. ask steve bartlett on the americans with disability act. i believe in operating that way. i wish this were a bipartisan product. i frankly, if we had the vote on the republican alternative, i would vote against it. why would i vote against it? because it has within its framework submitting to the justice department after 45 days, a complaint that the ethics committee has not dealt with it. i don't think that's appropriate for a violation of the rules. it should be within the boose am of this body. this proposal keeps it there. this does not give subpoena power to people. to go on fishing expeditions. it gives to six people selected jointly by mr. boehner and speaker pelosi who i hope and believe that they will agree upon people of very high integrity and good common sense. and because when they say and somebody comes along and says in a press conference, steny hoyer has violated the rules. ...