DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 07, 2004)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support for this amendment. This, to me, is a freedom issue, as the gentleman from Florida has indicated. I think everyone in this body is concerned about freedom in Cuba, and we should be, and we should do whatever we can to encourage it, but obviously some believe you can encourage freedom by sanctions, which has not worked very well, but it seems to boggle my mind that if we restrain freedom here, that we help freedom there.
This is what we are doing. We are restraining the freedom of our people to send a package, and of course not dealt with in the amendment, but travel as well.
The founders of this country gave strong advice to us, and for 100 years or so we followed it. They said friendship and trade with everyone who is willing, alliances with none; and that is pretty good advice. But what have we done in recent years? We have a hodgepodge when we deal with other countries.
Just think of what has happened recently. We took the gentleman from Libya, the so-called gentleman Omar Qadhafi, who is now scheduled to shoot four nurses and a doctor, and we have given him normal trade sanctions, and we are going to subsidize trade with him. And here he admits to having shot down one of our airplanes or blown up one of our airplanes. He is a terrorist, but here we are dealing with him in that way.
We have trade with China. Things have gone better with China, not worse.
Where are the free traders? It really bothers me when I hear the free traders who promote free trade in every other area except the freedom of an American citizen to send a package to Cuba.
I do not believe you can enhance freedom in Cuba by limiting the freedom of American citizens. We must be more open and more confident that freedom of choice by American citizens is worth something to defend; and I stand strongly for this amendment and I compliment the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) for bringing it to us.
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AMENDMENT NO. 10 OFFERED BY MR. PAUL
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Amendment No. 10 offered by Mr. Paul:
At the end of the bill (before the short title), add the following:
TITLE VIII-ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay any United States contribution to the United Nations or any affiliated agency of the United Nations.
The CHAIRMAN. Points of order are reserved.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul).
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
This is an amendment that I have offered several times in the past, and it is very simple. It says none of the funds made available in this act may be used to pay any United States contribution to the United Nations or any affiliated agency of the United Nations. So very simply, it would defund the United Nations.
The United Nations and the international organizations are now receiving more than $3 billion; so there would be some savings there. But that is not the whole reason why I bring this up. My concern, of course, is for national sovereignty, and I think that we have drifted a long way from the time when this Congress and the President decided on foreign policy to the point now where we are more or less driven by the United Nations. The United Nations has not too long ago set up an international criminal court that we are trying to avoid jurisdiction on our people but nevertheless it hangs out there as a threat to our military. We now pay a larger sum to the United Nations than anybody else. For the administrative part, it is 22 percent, and for the peacekeeping part, it is 27 percent. So essentially we are paying a quarter of the U.N. dues; and, of course, we do not get 25 percent of the vote.
In recent months, we have all become aware of the scandal involving the United Nations, the Food for Oil program, and there is $10 billion missing. And if there was ever a time that we ought to send a message that we do not condone this type of activity, it is now. There is an investigation going on led by Paul Volcker, but he has no subpoena power. The United Nations and the personnel have no intention so far of cooperating. The odds of our really finding out where this $10 billion went are really quite slim.
But the whole process is wrong. So over the years I would say not only the $10 billion that was taken but the many tens of billions, if not hundreds of billions, of dollars that we have pumped into these international organizations have essentially been money down a hole.
But the bigger issue, of course, is the United Nations making decisions for us. We do now capitulate to the WTO. I am a free trader. I have talked this evening about free trade, true free trade. But the WTO is an organization that, because we are a member, we obediently come and change our tax law to conform with what the WTO tells us to do. We should not be very pleased with that type of an organization that does not really even defend free trade. And we have the IMF and the World Bank, and all it is is a big payment and a big burden for the American taxpayer.
Shortly after the United Nations was established, one of the worst acts occurred early on, and that was that our President took us to war in Korea. And it is ongoing. There is a U.N. war that has been going on, and we have had troops in the United Nations there for over 50 years, and that is quite a bit different than if war would be declared by the Congress and we would fight and win wars.
Even the current war that we are having today, it is not a war, but it is a war when it is necessary to call it a war; but we did not declare a war against the Iraqis, and yet in 1991 we went to war under a U.N. resolution. It was said at that time we did not even need a congressional resolution. We could just go because it was under U.N. orders. Even this current time it confuses us quite a bit because when we voted on going again into battle in Iraq, the United Nation was mentioned 21 times to give this authority, but still it was not a declaration of war.
But at the same time that we use the United Nations to do something to enforce U.N. resolutions, then we turn around and we defy the United Nations. They might ask for a resolution of support. We do not get it, but we do it anyway, which does not do a whole lot to build friendship around the world.
So I see this as totally chaotic, not in our interests. It exposes our men and our women to battle in undeclared wars that are generally not won. Ever since World War II, since wars have not been declared and they have been fought essentially under United Nations, wars have not been won, a lot of men and women are killed, and the resolution is never complete.
So my argument is it is time to send a message to those who are questioning whether or not we are too unfriendly to the United Nations, but at least we ought to assume that there should be a responsibility here for us to have the prerogatives of making these decisions ourselves and not by an international body.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) has expired.
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) will be postponed.