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Public Statements

Defending The Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. King. I appreciate you yielding.

You have a document there that I know you are going to explain it, but I want to say before I have to leave that my name is on that document. It is the Declaration of Health Care Independence. In fact, I recently signed a copy of the Declaration of Independence. I was honored to do so, as I was honored to sign the Declaration of Health Care Independence.

But what I want to say is the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States cannot be separated. And in fact, the Declaration of Independence in itself, the original declaration penned by Thomas Jefferson, set out the philosophies of government. The Constitution took those philosophies and embodied it into a foundational principle that this government should be run upon. We have left that idea.

We hear people talking all the time about a Constitution that is flexible and that is changeable and that it is a flowing document. Well, it can be amended. The Founding Fathers set in place the process for amending the Constitution. There have been just a few, over 20 amendments to the Constitution.

It shows the beauty of the Constitution of the United States. I carry a copy in my pocket all the time. I believe in this document as our Founding Fathers meant it, one of very few Members of Congress that believe in the original intent and vote that way here on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. Speaker, the American people are suffering. They are suffering, and frankly they are scared, they are angry. They are scared and angry because they see their freedom being taken away from them. And this health care bill that we have been discussing for the last several weeks is something that is bringing that to the head. Because what I see is an American sleeping giant is arising, a sleeping giant that has had some nightmares, nightmares about Obamacare, nightmares about an energy tax that is going to destroy our economy and kill millions of jobs in this country, a nightmare of overgovernance from the Federal, state, as well as local level.

They are angry, they are scared, and they are sleeping giants waking up. And I'm excited about that because, frankly, Mr. Speaker, I think the best days of America are still ahead, but they're not going to be ahead for our children and grandchildren if we continue down this road where government is going to control our health care, what cars we drive, what we eat, how we live our lives. And the American people understand that very firmly; they understand that government is trying to rule them instead of them taking care of their own family's situation.

Most people in America just want to go to work, come home, live a great life for their families and take care of all their family business without all the government intrusion. That is what you are fighting for, Mr. King. That is what I'm fighting for here. That is what the declaration of health care independence is all about. We must return back to the foundational principles.

In Hosea 4:6, God says, ``My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.'' And I am encouraging people to get a copy of the Constitution of the United States. We give out hundreds, maybe thousands, of copies out of our offices in Georgia as well as our congressional office here in Washington. But I encourage people to get a copy of the Constitution. Read it; it's readable. It wasn't written by a bunch of lawyers. And that is all there is to it. In fact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and every single amendment that has ever been passed, in this little booklet. ``My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.'' America is going to be destroyed for a lack of knowledge if we don't become knowledgeable about limited government and start demanding something else.

Mr. King, you have been very vigilant in coming to the floor over and over again fighting for what you and I believe in, and that is fair and limited government, personal responsibility and accountability. I applaud the efforts that you have made, and I feel very honored to serve with you. I feel very honored to come to Special Orders and speak with you, and I thank you. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being engaged in the fight. I'm a marine. You're not a marine, but you're a fighter, and I appreciate that. I thank you and yield back
Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, I very much thank my good friend from Georgia, who is always there when I need him, and he shows up sometimes before I realize I need him. This may well be one of those times.

Mr. Speaker, there are certain bonds that get built here in the House of Representatives. There are people here working late at night and they're up early in the morning and they are pushing an agenda, those that carry a Constitution in their pocket and those that believe it. There are some that carry a Constitution in their pocket that believe that it is a living and breathing document. That way of thinking that began to erode our liberties over 110 or 120 years ago is the way of thinking that says that there is no guarantee whatsoever, that the Constitution is not only a protection of the rights of the majority, it is the protection of the rights of the minority, whichever side of that equation you happen to be on.

This liberty that we have is not just in the document, but it is something that we have to preserve and protect. Those that set about with the argument that it is a living and breathing document are actually undermining our liberty and turning it over to people in black robes who then can decide in their fashion what they believe the Constitution is supposed to say. So I pose the question, Mr. Speaker--and I posed this question to Chief Justice Rehnquist when he was alive and sitting on the Supreme Court--and that is, if the Constitution doesn't mean what it says, if it doesn't mean what it was understood to mean at the time of its ratification, then what has it become? Has it become just an artifact of history, or is it a shield that liberal judicial activists can hold up to protect themselves from the criticism of the public that they would like to convince that they don't have the capability of reading a very simple document, that clear, plain, precise language of our Constitution?

I yield again to the gentleman from Georgia.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. King.

In Psalm 11, God asks a question. He says, ``If the foundations be destroyed, what are the righteous to do?'' Well, the Constitution of the United States was obviously the foundation of this country. But if you think about it, if it is a living and breathing document, then that means it can be applied by anyone in any manner. What does that have a potential of leading to is nothing but tyranny. Tyranny. And that philosophy is a tyrannous philosophy.

Mr. KING of Iowa. The tyranny of the majority, as our Founding Fathers defined it.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. It is the tyranny of the majority. And it's tyranny that destroys freedom and liberty in this country. And I say liberty and freedom. Let me define liberty for you, Mr. Speaker, because I see them differently.

Liberty is freedom bridled by morality. A wild dog is free. True freedom for everybody is anarchy. But we have liberty in this country. Liberty is where my freedom ends, where yours begins, where you and I can come together in a society and we can work for a common good. That is what our Founding Fathers very firmly believed. That is what I believe. We need to work together for our common good.

We are supposed to be, under the Constitution, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, not a government over the people. That is what many in this House, many in the Senate, and many Presidents, even Republicans and Democrats have----

Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, if I can just make this point that however long we might talk to the people on that side of the aisle, they're not going to change their mind. They are the wrong people. I can tell you that I stood here for 7 years and made some powerful arguments, and I can't think of a single time when one of them stood up and said, Oh, my, I didn't realize that. I didn't think about it that way. I'm going to change my mind. It doesn't happen in the real world.

I yield to the gentleman from Georgia.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, you are right. They are absolutely entrenched in the philosophy that they know best: The government needs to control everything. Well, there is a word for that. It's called socialism, central planning. That is exactly what many people on the other side hold very dear to is they think we are too ignorant to control our own lives, to make our own decisions, so they have to control our health care. They have to control what light bulbs we screw into the lamps in our home. They have to control what kind of toilet we can have in our bathrooms and what kind of showerhead, what kind of cars we can drive. That is socialism, that is central planning, and that is the road we are going down.

We are on a road towards people losing their freedom, where they cannot make decisions for themselves. This health care bill, proposal--it's actually not a bill; it's a proposal that the President put forth this morning. I went on the Web site and looked at all the things. There is no bill. The proposal is nothing but the first step in taking over the whole health care system and making it government control so that government bureaucrats control that part of it. We have got to stop it, and it is up to the American people.

Mr. King, you are exactly right. Mr. Speaker, Mr. King is exactly right that there are folks that don't pull out the Constitution. They talk about the Constitution, but they have no clue what limited government is supposed to be under the Constitution. They fight for bigger government, bigger government control, socialism, central planning so that it takes everything away from individuals. And the American people are going to have to stop it by standing up and saying no to ObamaCare, no to an energy tax, the tax-and-trade, or cap-and-trade as they call it, no to forced unionization, no to the illegal aliens in this country--they need to go home; they're criminals. They need to say no to all those things. The American people need to say no to those. We are accused of being the party of ``no,'' but we are the party of ``k-n-o-w,'' because we know how to solve these problems over here on the Republican side if we can just have our voices heard. The American people need to demand that also; that is absolutely critical.


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