Rep. Matt Rosendale: The American People’s Voices Have Been Diminished

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Rep. Matt Rosendale rails against Congress’s “broken system” which no longer represents the American people. He and others are standing against a Speaker of the House who is untrustworthy, and who will continue the same failed system. This speech was given during the 9th round of voting in the race for Speaker of the House on January 5, 2023.

Madame Clerk: For What purpose does the gentleman from Montana rise.

Rep. Matt Rosendale: Thank you very much Madame Clerk, I would like to nominate the name of Byron Donald’s to Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Madame Clerk: The gentleman is recognized.

Rep. Matt Rosendale: Let me begin by stating that it is an absolute privilege to be here standing and serving with each and every one of you. I know we have differences of opinions, and I know we have differences of agendas that we would like to pursue, but I will tell you that we all are representing the United States of America in the best fashion that, I know, that we truly believe in, so thank you and it is a privilege.

When I walk out every evening from the Longworth office building, I will tell you that as I look back on the capital with the lights cleaning up on it, that I recognize the honor, the privilege, and the responsibilities that each one of us has taken on to be in this place that we all right now and the obligations that we have to the district’s that we represent back home. It is an incredible privilege, but it is also an incredible responsibility, and I do not take it lightly and I know that no one in this room does.

We are participating in a system that has endured 247 years, through drought and through flood, through world wars, and through a civil war, and some way we return to this place year after year to serve the people of the United States of America. But unfortunately, over the past 15 years the process that we use has been dramatically broken. The voices that were sent here to equally, two equally, represent each of the 435 districts across this nation have become diminished. This through the consolidation of power into the hands of the Speaker and a fortunate few who happened to serve on the rules committee, which control every aspect of legislation that travels through this body. The debate and the discussion has been all but eliminated and the balance of us are left to vote Yes or No. Those are our options and that is what has led to the disintegration of the relationships that we see across this floor. That is not equal representation which is guaranteed by our Constitution and expected by our constituents. We have had more discussion and debate over the last three days that I have participated in on this floor for the last 2 years, and it’s healthy. It absolutely promotes the collegiality that everyone is striving to obtain. We’re having discussions not just within our own party, but amongst each other as we walk around the start planning for the legislation that we will need to address over the next two years in the 118th Congress, that sooner or later, yes sooner or later, we will begin to function as.

Those are the good days, and guess what? Our constituents think as they watch us on C-Span today that this is how every day functions. They think that this is how every bill gets addressed in this body, and they will be shocked to learn, the ones that you have not disclosed the little nasty secret to, that unfortunately that’s not how it works around this place. That under the current rules and under the current leadership construction that on fly-in days, typically Monday, at the beginning of the week, the leadership on both sides of the aisle negotiate a number of Bill’s, 15 to 20 pieces of legislation, that one Democrat and one Republican stand on this floor, they discuss momentarily, and then they say the magic words, ‘without objection we will pass this by unanimous consent’. And there are two people standing on the floor passing pieces of legislation that often times are the naming of buildings that don’t really bother anybody or affect one’s life, but in many circumstances spend millions and tens of millions of dollars that the taxpayers are obligated to cover and their representative was not even here to vote upon it. And that, my friends, is wrong. It is wrong. So yes, we need to have change. We need to fix this broken system. several of us have taken it upon ourselves to fly in and object to those very bills, not because we are objecting to the bill, but just to force them to be brought out into the daylight, so that everyone can hear about those bills. To force people to come out and vote up or down for those bills as their constituents believe that they are doing right now.

That’s just one of the little secrets and it demonstrates again how broken this system is.

Last summer we began to negotiate, a group of us, in good faith, a list of changes, amendments to the rules of this body. Not to empower ourselves, not to bring personal benefit to ourselves, but to empower you, and you, and you Maxine, and you, and you, and everyone sitting in this chamber equally. There’s no rules, I did not use anyone’s name. Everyone should be, excuse me, Maxine

Madame Clerk: Member Direct your remarks to the chair, please.

Rep. Matt Rosendale: I will, Madam Chair, thank you, Thank you.

That is so that everyone will have equal representation, equal representation for the districts that elected them. These are not radical deviations from the norm, these are a restoration of the rules so that this place can function properly. Things like single-subject legislation that most state houses utilize, right now, so that we don’t have 4000 page documents, that we are given a matter of hours to review, that are filled with many many subject matters that are trillions of dollars in in cost. Rules like Germaneness so that you can actually bring an amendment forward on the floor as long as it pertains to the bill that was originally being address.

An open row process again so that each individual here can participate in the thing that we were sent here to do to help collaborate and craft legislation and work together that is what we were sent to your to do these are common sentiments that would restore the process and give each of us and equal voice this is how we’re going to secure the border that everyone now I do believe has recognized that there is a problem with this is how we are going to regain energy dominance again which is not just an economic issue it is a national security issue this is how we are going to reduce the inflation rate by By working together but we cannot call it working together if you see all of that power to the hands of a few hoping for this change will not create this change a change is uncomfortable we understand that but it is not on a Chiva below and we must make change in this broken system we must the current leadership that is in place will continue and support the use of earmarks in this body and that is the Golden Trail to corruption the Golden Trail to corruption it is a way to buy votes and spread money around this body from places outside of this city that leads to bad legislation and bad decisions the current leadership I was told I should not be so concerned with these suspension bills that get passed every week because now they have made an amendment we keep hearing about these amendments and the concessions that were made the concession was that they will not ask for anything to be suspended that cost more than 100 million dollars now I don’t know about the neighborhoods that you live in but the neighborhood that I live in 100 million dollars is a lot of money and my constituents expect me to vote upon 100 million dollar bills and 80 million dollar bills and 10 million dollar bills so that they know what in the world is in them and what is going on and they do not expect them to be passed by you none of his consent with no one on the floor I made a living developing property and as many of you probably know it takes a while to take a piece of brown from bear Earth took to a community and my mother God Rest her soul came out the one of my projects and I just opened it up and it’s been two years since the time I had bought the property and by the time we went out I had a nice entrance built and the streets were built and the street lights were there and they were just starting to build homes and she said oh my goodness Matthew you must really really be pleased to finally see your project coming up out of the ground and I said no mom actually I’m pleased that everyone else can see it because I sold it 2 years ago when I first walked out there well I have a vision for this place that we can restore regular order so that each of us may have the ability to represent are districts and our constituents equally as we move through this process and then again at that time we will be able to call it truly the people’s house again I’ve been here just two years and I have watched Barn Donald’s during that time and previously as he proudly served in the Florida legislature and I can tell you this he’s a man of intellect he is a man of integrity and he is a man that I am proud to nominate as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives 

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