In a video that circulated online on Friday, Alabama Representative Mo Brooks told supporters that an entrenched system of corruption prevents Congress from passing legislation that would benefit the average American. Brooks said that both parties charge their members $1 million and beyond for chairmanships of committees, and that only those taking donations from lobbyists can afford these seats.
“Special interest groups run Washington, and I don’t mean that metaphorically. I mean literally,” Brooks told supporters at an event in March, video footage of which was shared on Friday by conservative pundit Lauren Windsor.
According to Brooks, lawmakers who want to be chairman of a major committee “have to purchase it.” Either the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will charge members of Congress a fee to chair a committee for two years.
The fee varies depending on how important the committee is, but bidding for a top-tier chairmanship starts at $1 million, Brooks claimed. One unnamed candidate running to lead the NRCC literally showed representatives “a brochure” of his prices, Brooks claimed, explaining that the prospective NRCC chief had broken his pricing down into three tiers, and boasted that he would charge less than other candidates.
Those who can’t afford to cough up a million dollars take donations from special interest groups, and are then beholden to these lobbyists once in office, Brooks continued.
“Now you understand how the public policy debate is so corrupted,” he said.