>Barney Frank


I do not know how I am going to vote on this bill yet because I have a notion that a bill of this weight, I ought to read it. What I want to talk about now is my deep disappointment in the procedure. We now, for the second time, are debating on the floor a bill of very profound significance for the constitutional structure and security of our country. In neither case has any member been allowed to offer a single amendment.
At no point in the debate in this very profound set of issues have we had a procedure whereby the most democratic institution in our government, the House of Representatives, engages in democracy.
Who decided that to defend democracy we had to degrade it? This bill, ironically, which has been given all of these high-flying acronyms, it is the PATRIOT bill, it is the U.S.A. bill, it is the ‘stand up and sing the Star Spangled Banner’ bill, has been debated in the most undemocratic way possible, and it is not worthy of this institution. The House has not been well served by a procedure which degrades democracy in the name of defending it.

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