Beam me up: 5 classic Jim Traficant quotes

Beam me up: 5 classic Jim Traficant quotes


Former congressman Jim Traficant, who died Saturday, was over-the-top, pugnacious and in a class of his own.

For much of his nearly 20 years in Washington, Traficant was the king of the one-minute speech in the House and able to spout off on any topic while wearing a cheap suit and his hair piled high atop his head. The Ohio lawmaker would often end his tirade with the phrase “beam me up” to show his indignation.

1997 – REP. TRAFICANT – “BEAM ME UP!”: Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH) speaks on the House floor on September 29, 1997, using his signature phrase, “Beam me up.” In 2002, the House voted 420-1 to expel Mr. Traficant for violation of ethics rules after a felony conviction which sent him to prison for 7 years. He ran again for Congress from prison, winning 15 percent of the vote. This C-SPAN video from 1997 features Traficant railing about the Internal Revenue Service and its powers, using his signature line.

The House expelled Traficant in 2002, following his conviction on federal corruption, bribery and tax evasion charges, and he served seven years in a federal prison for his crimes. Here are some of Traficant’s best rants on the House floor and from his epic, four-day appearance before the House ethics committee in July 2002.

On bras:

Madam Speaker, it started with the training bra and then it came to the push-up bra, the support bra, the Wonderbra, the super bra. There is even a smart bra. Now, if that is not enough to prop up your curiosity, there is now a new bra. It is called the holster bra, the gun bra. That is right, a brassiere to conceal a hidden handgun. Unbelievable. What is next? A maxi-girdle to conceal a Stinger missile? Beam me up! I advise all men in America against taking women to drive-in movies who may end up getting shot in a passionate embrace. (2001)

On gastric emissions:

If you don’t get those cameras out of my face, I’m going to 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that’ll clear this room. (2002)

On judgment by House:

When I go to the floor for the final execution, I’ll wear a denim outfit. I will walk in there like Willie Nelson, combination of John Wayne, Will Smith – ‘Men in Black,’ — James Brown. Maybe do a Michael Jackson moonwalk, right up to the stand and ask unanimous contempt to undress and revile the House. (2002)

On government regulation:

Mr. Speaker, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words. The Declaration of Independence is 1,322 words. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage are 27,000 words. Mr. Speaker, now if that is not enough to stuff your cabbage roll, regulations cost taxpayers $400 billion a year, $4,000 per every family each and every year, year in and year out. Unbelievable. It is so bad, if a dog urinates in a parking lot, the EPA declares it a wetland. (1999)

On the Internal Revenue Service:

From the womb to the tomb, Madam Speaker, the Internal Rectal Service is one big enema. Think about it: They tax our income, they tax our savings, they tax our sex, they tax our property-sales profits, they even tax our income when we die. Is it any wonder America is taxed off? We happen to be suffering from a disease called Taxes Mortis Americanus. Beam me up! (2001)


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