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Legal Cesspools

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There are certain requirements of this body that the Constitution sets forth. This is the body that controls the purse strings of the country. This body has an obligation to make sure that we act cautiously and carefully in spending the money that we legally steal from those who produce it. It would be theft except we are authorized to pass laws to make it legal theft when we take it from people who produce that money in this country, but it should come home to folks around this body that we have an obligation to those people to be conscientious in the things we do; and, accordingly, it is the obligation of this body to prepare a budget in order to have control over our appropriations.

The people who I serve with, who have been here for years, say this is the first year they recall ever not voting on a budget in the House of Representatives. There is no budget. When politics is more important than actually protecting the country that we are sworn to protect, then from a political viewpoint, it's easy to see why someone might want to do this for the first time in so many years and avoid putting forth a budget. Because if a budget were brought forth in this election year with so many people already upset--with tea parties so angry at the vast overspending--they would be able to see exactly how off the charts this body's spending has been and is projected to be with that money that we legally steal from people who produce it in the country.

So we haven't had time or the political fortitude to step up in this body and to prepare a budget as is required. We have an obligation to protect private property; but as we have seen with the gulf coast, that hasn't happened.

We heard this week from the Minerals Management Service and from those with the Department of the Interior that they have been on guard since day one, since this bill happened. Well, why wouldn't they have been on guard since day one when drilling commenced?

We know from the records and from the hearings we've had that, when the Deepwater Horizon platform was put in place back in 2001, for the first 40 months it was in place, every month, as is supposed to occur, there were offshore inspections done. From there, it gets very fuzzy. We find out that MMS can't tell us exactly how many inspections there have been since then of the Deepwater Horizon platform and of their drilling operations.

We did hear in our hearing and during the question-and-answer time--it was part of the public record yesterday in Natural Resources--that they're not really sure how many times the inspections occurred, but what some of us, through some digging, had found out is that there is one entity, and one alone, in the Minerals Management Service that is allowed to be unionized, and that is the offshore inspectors.

Now, that struck some of us as strange because the offshore inspectors seem a bit like our Armed Forces. You know, they stand between our homeland and bad things that could destroy or harm our homeland. So who would have thought that something, some entity, with obligations similar to our uniformed services, which are to stand between our homeland and harm, would have union contracts?

Well, we couldn't find out from DOI, the Department of the Interior, or from the MMS yesterday in our hearing exactly what is in those union contracts. Normally, union contracts would have limits on travel, limits on the number of hours that could be worked, limits on all kinds of things. You put limits on how much those standing between us and harm can serve and can travel to get between us and harm?

Yet we've done nothing about that. No.

In fact, what has happened is we've now learned that the Department of the Interior, Secretary Salazar, has decided and this administration has decided that MMS has not been functioning very well, so we're going to divide it into three separate entities.

I don't care that it's not a new problem and that it goes back a number of administrations. The fact is it's a problem now, and unionizing people who stand between us and harm allows there to be limits on just what kind of service we can expect from those standing between us and vast amounts of harm. It should never happen. That shouldn't be allowed to take place. What we heard yesterday was, actually, that we are going to possibly let unions take hold in all three of these entities. We don't really know right now. We may let everybody in all three of these things unionize.

But what kept coming to mind for me, having grown up in east Texas, is that I've been around stagnant ponds that stunk to high heaven, that became so stagnant, nonmoving, with no water coming in. They just stunk so bad you could hardly stay around them. It seems that MMS has been a bit that way.

The things that have gone on in MMS stink to high heaven. They are repugnant to anybody with any type of moral fiber: the investigations going on, the bribes that have occurred, nobody's knowing when or if they actually did the inspections they were supposed to, whether they observed or not testing that was supposedly done. We found out literally there may have been inspectors who were in bed with people they were supposed to be inspecting, that there were favors, perks, gifts potentially given, bribes to look the other way.

We don't know what all happened on Deepwater Horizon. The investigation, we're told, is ongoing; but we really haven't done a lot about that yet. Here we have this stagnant cesspool where so much has not been done that was supposed to have been and where so much may have been done that was illegal. Rather than deal with the issues, it sounds like this body is just going to go along and divide it up into three.

Well, now I know, having seen stagnant, stinking cesspools, that if you divide them up, they still stink; they're still repugnant. If you just completely clean them out and put fresh water in, then you've got something to start from, but we're not doing that. We're dividing it up into three groups, and we're going to add to the stagnant cesspool, but we're not going to clean them out. Not only that, we're going to allow the situation to even grow bigger with the potential unionization of people so they can have their travel and hours and things limited so you can't expect as much from them as you would from somebody who is standing between us and great harm.

So we are not doing our job in so many of these areas.

You look further at the kind of money that has been appropriated and you find out that we are appropriating billions of dollars to countries that don't like us. We provided, I believe, $100 million to Somalia. We know just in the last couple of days there is a potential threat that is arising from Somalia, we have been told. We have given them $100 million.

We have given Yemen $100 million, $200 million, I am not sure exactly of the number. There has been a big deal made here that $3 billion was given to Israel, but when you look at all the money added up we have given to the enemies of Israel, it is appears that it is more than that.

So I have a bill that we call the U.N. Voting Accountability Act. I am sure it will not see the light of day in this Congress. But it simply says countries that vote against the United States more than half the time do not receive any financial assistance the following year.

The report comes out each March 31st. We have got the report from last year that came out March 31st of this year, and we see that the vast majority, most of the countries in the U.N. that we give money to, billions of dollars total, they voted against us the vast majority of the time. Some of them voted against us 90-95 percent of the time, and we are just lavishing money upon them.

What occurs to me repeatedly is, you don't have to pay countries to hate you. They will hate you for free. And yet this body just keeps throwing money at that.

We have thrown money at Wall Street. I had begged people on this floor, in private conference, around this Hill, read the bill, read the bill. I begged people. I have implored people. Because if they read the TARP bill, they would have seen that Wall Street was going to have a slush fund, and that has been continued by the current Secretary of the Treasury, a slush fund, bail out your buddies.

Goldman Sachs had the biggest year they have had in history. We can't find out how much of their billions of dollars they made last year came from the United States Government, the U.S. taxpayers, or money we borrowed from China that our great-grandchildren will eventually pay so that people could engorge themselves right now on Wall Street.

We are not really taking care of that issue. We are looking the other way, because we find out, gee, Wall Street is donating four-to-one to the Democrats, so why should we really clean up? We will call them fat cats, we will talk about how rotten they are, but when push comes to shove, we have a financial so-called reform bill that is more of a financial deform bill that is going to empower the very people that are being objected to in ways some of us can't imagine.

We are going to have people in the government pick winners and losers. We are going to say, you are a systemic risk as a bank or a company, which means we won't let you fail. You can run your competition out of business, but we are not going to let you fail. So we are picking winners and losers, and that is in that financial deform bill.

We are not doing our job around here. But we can come in here today and we can go meddling with the greatest military that mankind has ever seen. The men and women of our uniformed services are unrivaled up to now.

No, we haven't had time this year to do a budget, and we apparently are not going to do one. No, we haven't really done much of anything to protect private property. No, we haven't done anything, absolutely zero, to bring down the price of energy. In fact, we are going to skyrocket that.

But one thing we are all so proud of is when it comes to health care and the seniors that were counting on Medicare, we are cutting $500 billion out of Medicare. And as the President himself said, and this is a basic quote, whereas in the past when you went to the doctor and got five tests, now you will go to the doctor and get one test.

Well, it took several tests, many tests, to find my mother's brain tumor, and by virtue of their finding it we had 15 extra years with my mother, and I cherished them all.

But no, we are not going to do that for the future, because, you see, some seniors, they just cost too much. So we are going to cut $500 billion, and we are going to call it waste, fraud and abuse. But we are not really doing anything in the bill to clean up the waste, fraud and abuse. That is going to be ongoing. But we are going to cut that money.

Then we have got our willing lackeys over in CBO. They will score anything that this administration and this majority sends over. I was told last summer, the CBO will not score anything that is not in final bill form. Then we find out, well, that is if it comes from a

Republican. Because if somebody in the Democratic Party just sends over a few notes, oh, they will score it, and they will give them the score they need. And if it doesn't work out, well, we will have a meeting at the White House or here at the Capitol, and then before you know it, if the majority leadership says it is going to be under $1 trillion, they will ignore this amount of money, $250 billion here, they will ignore $150 billion here and wait and suddenly find that 30 days after the bill passes. Their willing lackeys will help them.

We have to do away with the CBO. They are not fair. I am sure, talking to Director Elmendorf, I really believe he means well. I believe he is trying to do the right thing. But the fact is they are funded by the majority in Congress, and they know that. You are not going to ever get an appropriate score, and that is the reason you have over 600 bills from the majority scored by CBO and just barely over 100 scored that were Republican. Over 600 scored, and only about 100 were Republican.

A former speaker told me when I described my health care alternative plan, he said, you got to get that scored. That could absolutely transform the debate over health care because it would save money and give control to patients. Medicare patients would have control over their own health care, yet it would be financed by the taxpayers. They have the best of both worlds. And yet it would be cheaper than what we are spending now. I could not for a year now, nearly a year now, have not been able to get CBO to score it. It is a travesty.

But, oh, yes, we come back again to the military. We don't have time to do the jobs that the Constitution requires this body to do, but, boy, we sure are going to meddle with the greatest military mankind has ever seen or heard of. It is phenomenal.

When I compare the state of the military right now to the way it was when I was in the Army after Vietnam, there is no comparison. This military today is phenomenal. They are incredible. And yet we found something that wasn't broken, and we decided to mess with it and see what we could do, not intentionally, of course, but this majority decided they were going to fix something that wasn't broken.

``Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' it was called. And what it meant when President Clinton instituted that program was that whatever you are drawn to sexually, you keep it private, you don't let it get out and become open with regard to your military service, and we want you in the military. That is what it comes down to.

But that hasn't been good enough. We have too many people in here that did not have good history teachers. They don't know the lessons from history, and so we are destined to repeat them. And that is what we are doing now, we are repeating the lessons of history.

Historians would have a hard time going back and finding any great nation, even to the earliest city states, that achieved greatness, and then toward the end of their existence they forced homosexuality to be accepted in areas like the military. Why have we not learned this? Why couldn't we let the military do their jobs?

Frankly, with as much respect as I have for our majority leader, I was shocked in the debate over Don't Ask, Don't Tell to hear the Americans with Disabilities Act brought up, because I think most everybody on this floor agrees that the Americans with Disabilities Act that made this Nation accessible to so many wonderful people who just happened to have disabilities was a good thing. It really was a wonderful thing. It makes you feel good to know the accessibility that there is, and there continues to be, and there will be until the Nation is gone.

So, why would we want to hasten the demise of this great Nation? Why would we want to mess with the entity that stands between those who want to destroy us and our homes?

Well, we haven't had time to do a budget. We haven't had time to protect our homeland adequately by doing adequate oversight over the Minerals Management Service, or the Immigration Service, or Homeland Security or the Federal Reserve. No, no, no. We just let them run themselves basically.

But, boy, we have found time to work on social engineering to please a political left in an election year, just so some people have their base happy when they come to November.

We're following the footsteps of nations that have walked to the dust heap of history.

Now, I know people think this is such a grand and glorious job in Congress. They have no idea. But it is an honor and it is a privilege to get to serve in these hallowed Halls, and we owe our predecessors so much better than what we've done.

We've had time to make sure that we continue to allow the unborn to be killed. We've had time to make sure that Federal tax dollars can be taken from taxpayers who believe that it's murder to kill a helpless, unborn child and put that into a health care bill and call it health care.

We've had time to cut $500 billion from the health care for seniors.

But we've learned nothing, apparently, about preserving liberty. As Chuck Colson said a little over a year ago in a Bible study: you have morality, you've got economic stability, and you've got liberty. And when you lose morality, you lose economic stability and you get economic chaos.

Well, folks, we've lost economic stability because we've accepted the loss of morality. We've looked the other way when you had the Madoffs engorging themselves. We've looked the other way when the Paulsens and Geithners were seeing that their friends on Wall Street were enriched and engorged. We've looked the other way.

We've looked the other way when the bankruptcy laws were just completely disregarded that required secured creditors to be protected and unsecured creditors to be on the short end of the stick, flipped the laws upside down because the unsecured creditors included the unions. So we give the unions ownership interest in the auto companies. We take a big ownership interest, and we violate some of the very principles on which this Nation was founded.

And it doesn't matter whether it's a Democrat or a Republican President that says we're going to make money for the taxpayers. It's not their job; it's not the job of this Congress. It's the job of taxpayers to make money with their money, not this body and not the White House.

And it was a shame on the Supreme Court when they allowed that auto task force, illegal, unconstitutional order to go through. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to her credit, stayed it for 24 hours, and then the Court looked the other way and allowed that illegal, unconstitutional bill to go through, because, apparently, the White House convinced them that if they didn't let this illegal, unconstitutional bill go through, people in the auto industry would all lose their jobs. Hogwash. They would have been forced into reorganization. The union contracts would have had to have been renegotiated. It would have all gone through a reorganization process. It would have come out leaner, meaner, more efficient. But we couldn't allow that because there were political paybacks to those that helped the majority and the President get elected.

There are some who've said maybe it's a good thing for us Republicans that the health care bill got passed because it was so harmful and detrimental to America that, gee, it'll help us get back in the majority.

As I've said on this floor before, I'd rather stay in the minority than see a bill that devastating to America, to the principles of private property and of sanctity of life just be frittered away. I'd rather stay in the minority than have my party helped by such a devastating bill.

Didn't have time to do the right thing and all that. Didn't have time to read the stimulus bill--$787 billion. Didn't have time to read that. The ``crap and trade'' bill, didn't have time to really read that. We had 300 pages of amendments that were added in the wee hours of the morning when we were to vote on it; and even when we voted on it, as I pointed out, the Clerk hadn't even got the whole 300 pages enmeshed and included with the bill so you could read it and know what it really meant.

But we had to pass it. We didn't have time to wait. We didn't have time for any of these important bills that will devastate America.

But, boy, we have time to meddle with the United States military.

We heard some isolated cases of someone who ended up having to leave the military because they couldn't control their sexual hormones to the point that they could keep their sexual orientation private.

But what about the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people in the military who have now been betrayed?

They were promised we're going to have a study, and we're going to make sure that we don't do anything to harm the military. But a little problem came up in this body keeping its promise to the military. That problem is the November election's coming up. And the problem is that some of the solid base, left wing of the majority were not happy. They didn't feel like enough had been done to suit them, and so we had to break our word to the military, rush this bill in here and eliminate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

But, oh, no, we heard from people that, gee, we're going to roll back Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Sure, of course we are. But we're going to wait until we find out what the study says about how devastating it'll be to the military.

Yes, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff both said they would follow the order of their superior officer, the Commander in Chief. But those who were not politically appointed by the Commander in Chief sure didn't go along with it. They didn't agree to it. You'd find a commander every now and then that would. But we have hundreds of thousands and millions of people who have served, who hope to serve, who are serving now that we have betrayed. And it breaks my heart. I'm so sorry that this body broke its word for political gain.

Now, under the scenario this majority and this administration have pursued, we're in trouble.

The one thing you find historically after Nations on their way to the dust heap of history take after passing things like we just did today, you see a great deal of cockiness arise to belittle those who have studied history and know where this all goes. And we seek to destroy them.

When this Nation was founded, one of the most popular slogans, some quote Cicero, some quote Voltaire, but the same slogan, ``I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.'' We have obliterated that as a hallmark of this Nation's founding and its existence today so that now the slogan is more truthfully, I disagree with what you say, and I am going to destroy you. I am going to get you fired. I am hoping I can get you put in jail.

We have passed laws in this body that will help do that and have already allowed arrests of some, even though, as was pointed out, well, they dropped the charges. Putting people in jail because we disagree with what they say. So we don't defend to the death any longer their right to say it. We want to destroy them. And the people in power will make sure that happens. You disagree politically with the party in power, you have a right to be concerned.

We didn't have time to do a budget; we didn't have time to read these big bills that we have run through and voted on, but we have had time to take over the student loan business. That's right. If you need student loans for your children, Mr. Speaker, those in America to get their kids through college, as my wife and I have because we gave up the private sector and went into public service, we needed student loans and we took them. Thank God I got our kids through college, was at graduation of my youngest Saturday with my wife, a proud moment. Thank goodness we got her graduated before the only source for a student loan was to come begging to the government to let me have a loan for my child to go to college.

You think politics could ever come into play in who gets a student loan and who doesn't? Gee, it sure came into play in who got to keep their car dealership. Gee, it sure came to play as to which States get more government facilities taken away and which have more facilities added. It's certainly come into play in all kinds of things. So why wouldn't it come into play eventually in who gets a student loan?

Now we have taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You would think if it were somebody serious in leadership about reforming the financial sector that we would first reform the two entities that brought this Nation to the brink of ruin, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But instead, we are not going to reform them. Goodness no. We are going to make matters worse because we are going to give the government even more power and more control over everyone's financial situation.

Certainly part of the health care bill. Yes, sir, we get to now tell you what private products you buy and can't buy. This is a time of tragedy. I realize that we have been less than moral as a Nation and we are paying a price. I realize that when you begin to kill 10 million, 20 million, 30 million, 40 million, 50 million sweet little innocent babies--I know our first was prematurely born, and she held onto my finger for hours as the doctor said, ``She's drawing life, she's drawing support from you.'' Those sweet little innocent children. We have supported their being killed.

And as I was at the Lincoln Memorial a couple of weeks ago again--I try to go regularly. I find it inspirational. Reading those words on the inside north wall of the Lincoln Memorial and think about the unborn being killed, the sweet, innocent children doing anything they could to cling to life. My baby could not see, as the doctor said, but she knew enough to hang on. She wanted to live. She struggled to live. And I love her dearly, and I am proud she is my daughter.

And as I read those words on the north wall, I thought about all the shed blood through the death of innocent children. And the words of Abraham Lincoln were these as he tried to make sense of the destruction and the almost complete destruction of this grand experiment in democracy, and how families could fight families and kill family members, how a Nation could turn against itself. But they had been allowing the unthinkable. They had been allowing slavery. They had been allowing brothers and sisters to treat others by putting them in chains and bondage and outrageous treatment.

And as Lincoln sought to make theological sense of it and he thought about the North and South and the destruction of each other, he said, you know, ``Both read the same Bible, both pray to the same God, and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered--that of neither has been fully answered. The Almighty has his own purposes.''

Lincoln adds as a quote from Scripture, quote, ``Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.'' Lincoln went on, ``If we shall suppose that American slavery,'' or nowadays American abortion, ``is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war,'' and I would pray abortion, ``may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said `the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'

``With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the Nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all Nations.''

Lincoln knew about sacrifice. He lost a son. He believed it was punishment for not ending slavery more quickly. I don't know what the future holds, but I know what has happened to Nations when they have pursued the exact course that we have in the last 20 years in this Nation.

We need to get on track because, as Coulson said, When you lose morality, you get economic chaos. And when you get economic chaos, you get those who are always willing to sacrifice liberty to get economic stability. No greater example than Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. They had a little guy with a mustache who was evil who promised economic stability. And he delivered it at the price of their liberty.

It is time to stop the madness. It's time to stop passing bills that have not been read. It's time to stop meddling with the greatest military that the world has ever known and trying to disrupt it by our own social engineering. I couldn't believe I heard the majority leader bring up the Americans With Disabilities Act in the context of talking about open homosexuality in the military.

So immediately I am thinking, what does that mean? We did a wonderful thing when Congress passed the Americans With Disabilities Act, but does that mean next this body is going to force the military to accept the disabled on the front lines? We're going to have to make--as a former prisoner of war said, What, are we going to make our ejection seats wheelchairs so that they roll when they hit?

The military has one purpose, and we need able-bodied people to do it. And we need nothing that detracts from their military mission. It's not a place for social engineering. It's a place for people with single-mindedness, single focus, to be on the military mission, to prevent those who would destroy this country and our freedoms from being successful. And if someone can't control their sexual hormones, then that's a distraction to the military no matter what gender, what sexual orientation. It's a problem.

Don't destroy the military that has been the greatest its ever been.

This still has to pass the Senate, but we haven't seen a great deal of courage on this issue down the hall, and there may be those down there who believe that it will help with the next election. I'm telling you again I'd rather stay in the minority than have things like this that hurt our country and hurt the chances of its survival.

Let's do the right thing. We didn't do it today. And it breaks my heart to hear the applause over the fact that we broke our word to the military who trusted us.

So it is with a very deep, broken heart, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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