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"We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bills asks."
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed and as, no doubt, it would but for that speech, it received but few votes and was lost.
It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people.
Originally posted by theindependentjournal
reply to post by imd12c4funn
This is called NOT YOURS TO GIVE and it is much bigger than what you posted, and it wasn't Davey Crockett that figured it out. It was one of his voters.
Read the whole thing here