|2:29 PM EDT||
Barney Frank, D-MA 4th
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, this rule to begin with is further evidence of the contempt which the majority of this House has for something called democracy.
We have heard in a few brief minutes from both a Republican and a Democrat their unhappiness that important issues will not be brought forward.
Why? Well, we work probably all day today; we may work a half day tomorrow. So in this week when we could have worked many days and debated many amendments at length, we will have some not discussed at all and others discussed for a handful of minutes because this majority cannot be bothered with anything as cumbersome to them as open debate and having Members have to record themselves.
One of the issues which is given inadequate time, it is given some time but inadequate time, I think 10 minutes, is an outrageous effort by the majority to further diminish the ability of elected State governments to defend their own citizens.
State governments are sometimes popular around here and sometimes not. When State governments, democratically elected governors and legislatures, appear to be obstacles to letting major players in the energy industry get whatever they want, then they are to be diminished, they are to be dismissed, they are to be thrown out of the process.
With regard to liquefied natural gas terminals, a very important issue, an issue which has become more important because of their relevance to the terrorism threat which security officials tell us is the case, this bill takes a limited State role in the siting of these and makes it a nonexistent State role.
The ability of governors and legislatures--I have a Republican governor in my State who does not like a proposal to site an energy plant in a wholly inappropriate place, way up river in the city of Four Rivers, which the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) and I share. This governor's objections will be muffled. So I guess I should congratulate you on the bipartisanship of your contempt for democracy. It is not just our colleague from Tennessee who could not get amendments through;
my Republican governor cannot get his voice heard.
This rule and this bill ought to be defeated.