Congressional Record

Democratic Congressman Says Ben Quayle Took His Bill and Put His Own Name on it

With the blessing of the Obama administration, Republican congressmen are proud to announce the parts they contributed to the GOP's Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, including Arizona Congressmen Ben Quayle and David Schweikert.

Problem is, a Democratic congressman from Connecticut says a bill in the package with Quayle's name stamped on it is actually his bill.

Congressman Jim Himes says Quayle's "Capital Expansion Act" is "nearly an exact replica" of his bill that would allow smaller banks to avoid registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The Republican replacement, sponsored by Congressman Ben Quayle (AZ-3), was dropped [February 24]," Himes' office says. "Despite Quayle's newfound interest in financial services legislation, he is not a cosponsor of the Himes bill."

In a statement from his office, Himes says it's "disappointing that Republicans have once again resorted to petty gamesmanship.

"While it's unfortunate the Republicans felt it was necessary to copy my legislation rather than include me and my Democratic colleagues in their package and press conference today, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I'm eager to see these bills become law."

Himes hasn't been quite so cordial about the situation on the Twitter, dropping the word "plagiarism" alongside Quayle's name in a few "tweets."

Himes has suggested following Quayle and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Twitter "though the content of their twitter streams will not be their own," and also took a jab at one of Quayle's co-sponsored bills made it through its committee.

When Cantor announced Quayle's bill would be in the JOBS Act, Himes wrote, "Why? Primary w/ [Schweikert]."

Schweikert has two bills in the JOBS Act.

To Quayle's defense -- while we're waiting for a call back from his spokesman -- the bills are not identical.

The first sections of both bills are almost exactly the same, although Himes' bill -- which was actually passed by the House in November -- has an extra section requiring a study and report to be done on the bill's effects.

To compare the brief text of the bills, click here for Himes', and here for Quayle's.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley