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House Democrats' Top 100 Broken Promises

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC


HOUSE DEMOCRATS' TOP 100 BROKEN PROMISES -- (House of Representatives - June 28, 2007)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CARTER. I thank my friend and colleague from North Carolina.

This is an interesting document that we have got here. I have got a copy, certainly a smaller version than is on the board there. These Top 100 broken promises, I thought it would just be interesting to just thumb through here and turn to a page and see if we can find one that we might find interesting.

I am just going to randomly look here. Let's see, energy policy, Energy Independence Day.

Promise: ``We will make this 4th of July Energy Independence Day.'' That's coming up next week, I believe. That's from Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi back on May 9, 2007, at a press conference. ``The House energy bill has evolved into a heated internecine battle'' that threatens to spoil Democrats' hope of passing an overall energy policy by July 4. ``Pelosi versus Dingell Heats Up.''

``Energy Tension Rises At Meeting,'' Roll Call, one of our newspapers here on the Hill, June 13, 2007. ``House Members will depart for the 4th of July district work period without passing independence energy legislation of any kind.'' That's a quick look through here.

Let's look over here at something else. ``Eliminate Reliance on Foreign Oil,'' promise: ``To free America from dependence on foreign oil, we will achieve energy independence for America by 2020 by eliminating reliance on oil from the Middle East and other unstable regions of the world.''

``Nancy Pelosi, A New Direction for America,'' her speech, page 6. ``During the first 6 months of the Democrat-controlled Congress, no energy independence legislation has been passed by the House, much less sent to the President's desk. But 228 Democrats voted to impose more than $6.5 billion in new taxes on small and independent American energy producers, which will lead to less domestic supply, higher prices for consumers, and an increase in America's dependence on foreign sources.'' That's also from Roll Call.

Let's turn over here a couple of more pages and look at what we can find.

Probably one of the things that Americans worry about most is their security for their families and their that children. You know, we don't ever want the United States of America to have to suffer the kind of terrorist activity that our friends in Israel suffer where, when you send your kids to the park to play ball or just swing or just visit with their friends, there is some idiot that wants to blow you up and kill you. We don't want that in this country. Homeland Security is important.

The Democrats, when they ran the last election, they made promises that they would implement all of the 9/11 Commission report. That was kind of their campaign.

``On the first day we control Congress, we will begin by passing all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations,'' that's what the then minority leader Nancy Pelosi promised in the last election cycle campaign.

Another part of that promise, ``House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she plans to pass all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations within 100 legislative hours of a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.'' That comes from Congressional Quarterly.

But, now, I am afraid that promise got broken. Let's see what they actually did here. ``But the 9/11 package will not include a reorganization of congressional oversight of Homeland Security Department or an attempt to declassify the intelligence budget, despite the fact that those two were key recommendations. Although the Democrats pledged during the election to implement all of the Commission's unfulfilled recommendations, aides now concede that doing so will be harder than they thought,'' Congressional Daily, December 15, 2006.

``Pass clean spending bills without Iraq policy changes. House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member John Murtha, Democrat from Pennsylvania, told reporters last week that he would not use the spending bills to enact policy on Iraq, a war he strongly opposes.'' That's from Congressional Daily.

Then we have ``A Broken Promise.'' An editorial in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette accused Democrats of using the supplemental spending bill to author resolutions that would severely restrict supplies and reinforcements for American troops in harm's way and would tie the President's hands by imposing all kinds of conditions on his ability to reinforce the troops. It comes from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette editorial, February 21, 2006.

CNN John Roberts questioned JOHN MURTHA, Democrat from Pennsylvania, about his slow-bleed scheme to undermine our generals and our troops on the ground on the American Morning, CNN, April, 2007. Mr. Roberts asked ``You heard what President Bush said, that Congress shouldn't be micromanaging the war. What do you say?'' JOHN MURTHA, ``That's our job, John.''

On the upcoming Department of Defense spending bill, it's clear that House Democrats and Representative Murtha do intend to attach to the latest version of his slow-bleed scheme to undermine our troops. House Democrat leaders are considering votes next month on another legislative package aimed at changing course in Iraq and might announce those plans this week,'' said aides Monday. ``The Iraq language would be an attached to the Defense Appropriations bill.'' This was June 26, 2007, ``Democrats Weighing Attempt to Change Course of Iraq War,'' another broken promise.

Let's thumb over here just a little bit more and see what we can do. Something that--I just heard a lecture this morning by an expert from over at Georgetown University on international terrorism, where he told us in an hour-long lecture that the resources that we have on the ground, and the intelligence community and the special operations forces that operate are critical in being able to bring down al Qaeda, which is a world-wide network, and, quite frankly, very, very much still alive in countries like England and Western Europe, and their number one target is still to attack the United States of America.

He stressed that we have got to have intelligence at every level assisting us in finding these people. I think this was recognized when we started this session of Congress.

Here is a promise, ``We all, Democrats and Republicans alike, take very seriously our responsibility to protect the American people. We know the important role that intelligence plays in that.''

Another bill, another promise, ``This bill contains robust funding for critical intelligence programs.'' The first quote was from Nancy Pelosi. This is from SILVESTRE REYES, chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

But here is the broken promise. ``Democrats pledge to provide full funding for critical intelligence programs. But just months after taking power, they took precious resources away from critical intelligence programs and used the money to fund research on global warming instead. Led by U.S. Representative SILVESTRE REYES of Texas, a coalition of D.C. Democrats say national security will be better served if the CIA cash is used for global warming research, because apparently there just aren't enough people studying this issue out there.'' This is from an article that says Intelligence Committee Threatens National Committee, Detroit News editorial, May 13, 2007.

We can move on. This is fun. You just turn to a page and see what we have got here. I welcome anybody to come turn the page for me. I am not making these things up here.

``Reform Entitlement Spending to Protect Future Generations. This summer, Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman said the administration would return to entitlements and taxes in earnest following the elections. Senior Democrats on the House and Senate Budget Committees, Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Representative John Spratt of South Carolina, responded by saying Congress, not the administration, must drive these efforts.'' That's from The Hill newspaper.

But the broken promises, but the Democrat budget plan puts off tough and divisive decisions. Democrats did not include proposals to control growth and entitlement programs that are projected to swamp the rest of the budget in coming decades as the baby boom generation retires.

That comes from Congressional Quarterly March 29, 2007. Democrat budget does nothing to curtail runaway entitlement spending, Tallahassee Democrat editorial April 16, 2007.

So we've just got promise after promise after promise. And as my colleague from North Carolina pointed out to us tonight, we've got an approval rating of this Congress at 14 percent, the lowest in the history of the United States Congress, by my understanding. The last time we were close to this low was back when the Democrats were last in power back just before 1994.

This is a sacred body here. And it's important to win elections, and people use a lot of tools to win elections.

But back where I come from, and where a lot of the folks around here come from, when you tell somebody you're going to do something, you ought to do it.

I once had a man tell me, if you ever serve in a legislative body, the greatest tool you take to that body is your word. And if you give somebody your word, you ought to keep it. And if you don't keep it, you ought to go home. And that's a man named Bob Johnson, who there now is an office building in the Capitol complex in Austin, Texas named after this great Texan. That is great advice. And that's why these broken promises, I think, should weigh upon all of us because, quite frankly, a man or a woman's word ought to be their bond. And if you say you're going to do something, you ought to do it, and if you can't do it, you ought to at least try. And if you're not going to try, then you've broken your promise. And that's really not what this House ought to be all about.

I know there's a lot of campaign rhetoric, but a lot of these things were not said in campaign and, in fact, many of them were said right on the floor of this House as a pledge to the colleagues in this House. These pledges shouldn't be broken. We have a duty to raise the level of honor that it now seems to be the American people seem to be perceived is lost in this House of Representatives. I hope we can all take my friend Bob Johnson, who's now passed away, his advice. Let's make our word our bond.

I'll yield back to my colleague from North Carolina.

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Mr. CARTER. Will the gentlelady yield?

Ms. FOXX. I will be happy to yield to my colleague from Texas.

Mr. CARTER. And I thank the gentlelady for yielding to me.

As you were reading those interesting broken promises, I was thumbing through here and saw my name in one of them so I thought I might read about it. Broken promise No. 43: Protect U.S. Borders. Promise: ``I believe there is virtually unanimous agreement in Congress that we must secure our borders and know who is entering our country.'' Then-House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, press release May 25, 2006.

Promise: ``Democrats are for the rule of law. We want to get the border security right. We would do what's necessary to protect our borders.'' Then House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, press release December 15, 2005.

Broken promise: ``Just 6 months after Democrats took power in the House, 114 House Democrats voted against a Republican proposal to provide the funds necessary for construction of at least two layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barrier, roads, lighting cameras and sensors pursuant to section 102 (b)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1986.'' This comes from the GOP Motion to Recommit, a rollcall vote, June 15, 2007.

Broken promise: ``218 Democrats voted against an amendment by Representative John Carter, Republican, Texas to strike new bureaucratic hurdles in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill designed to undermine the Department's efforts to complete the construction of the fence along the border. As Brit Hume said recently on Fox News: `House Democrats added more than a dozen new rules the administration must meet before it can spend more money on the border fence.' Special report, Brit Hume, Fox News, June 18, 2007.'' And I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

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