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Public Statements

Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. This is an enormously positive exhibition of the working relationship of the members of the House Judiciary Committee. And I thank both the chairman and the ranking member for the evidence of collegiality in these waning moments of the 112th Congress.

I'm going to follow my ranking member and acknowledge appreciation for the service of Judiciary Committee Chairperson Lamar Smith, who happens to be a tall Texan. And so we are delighted to thank him very much for the work that he has done, and to join with an established icon of Judiciary prominence in John Conyers. The two match well in their excellence, and I thank the ranking member and the former chairperson for his work and service. There is great work being done by the Judiciary Committee, and I think it is enormously important that we are the holders and protectors of the Constitution on behalf of not only our Members but on behalf of the United States of America.

Now is not the time, but I do want to acknowledge and hope that the House will consent at the appropriate time to acknowledge one of our fallen of great prominence of this committee, someone who I sat in his office as a baby Member of Congress, the Honorable Jack Brooks, who has passed. I hope there will be an appropriate moment for us to honor him before we leave today.

I rise to be able to thank the sponsor of this legislation--he attracted my interest in it--to correct something that probably was thought to be of good direction, but was not, in the limitation of the coverage of the President and the President's children, the First Family's children.

As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, let me say that we are celebratory of the fact that we have not had another attack on our soil since 9/11. If we look at it in a global perspective, we've not fought a war on our soil since--I believe at least an intense one--since the Civil War. But certainly we know that terrorism and danger have taken a new direction in this country and the world. And for those of us who spend time on these issues on a regular basis, this is a forward-thinking and smart initiative to ensure that the security of the men and/or women who have served as President of the United States and their children can be fully protected.

Let me acknowledge, as well, the service of the men and women of the United States Secret Service. And to be very frank, having jurisdiction over the Secret Service and Homeland Security and having interacted with them on a number of occasions, certainly we note that there was a moment in this last year that did not reflect well upon the decades of service of the United States Secret Service. But they have done their job well. They have been dutiful servants and protectors of the men that have held the highest office, along with the First Ladies and their children. This legislation speaks to a modern-day world where you never know where danger may approach someone and can be utilized in an untoward manner, such as being held hostage and used to threaten the sanctity and democracy and freedom of this Nation.

So this legislation reflects our smartness and astuteness in correcting what was probably thought to be good but upon reflection does not reflect on the goodness of this Congress, the goodness of the American people, who respect the service of their public servants to the highest office in this land.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleagues to support the underlying legislation. And as this exhibits our opportunity that we can work together, I know that we'll find the right solution for solving our issues of middle class tax cuts and the fiscal deadline and make sure we move in a very positive direction.

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