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Honoring Former President George Herbert Walker Bush on his 80th Birthday

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 653) honoring former President George Herbert Walker Bush on the occasion of his 80th birthday, as amended.

The Clerk read as follows:

H. Res. 653

Whereas President George Herbert Walker Bush served as the Forty-First President of the United States and brought to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a commitment to use American strength as a force for

Whereas, during his Presidency, the Communist empire dissolved, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and the Berlin Wall fell;

Whereas, during his Presidency, American troops overthrew the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega;

Whereas President George H.W. Bush rallied the United States people, the United Nations, and Congress and sent over 500,000 American military personnel, who were joined by approximately 200,000 military and other personnel from
allied nations, as part of Operation Desert Storm, to defeat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's million-man army which invaded Kuwait and threatened to move into Saudi Arabia;

Whereas President Bush and his very able Secretary of State secured military and financial support from the United Nations, resulting in many nations participating, for the first time ever, in paying their share of the cost of a major war;

Whereas, during World War II, George H.W. Bush answered the call to duty by enlisting in the armed forces on his 18th birthday, becoming the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings, and flying 58 combat missions,
including being shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire and rescued by a United States submarine, for which he was awarded, among other decorations, the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action;

Whereas George H.W. Bush continued his commitment to public service by serving two terms as a Representative in the United States Congress from Texas, serving as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency;

Whereas George H.W. Bush campaigned for the Republican nomination for President in 1980 and thereafter was chosen by Ronald Reagan to be his running mate, and subsequently served as Vice President of the United States with responsibility for several domestic areas, including Federal deregulation and anti-drug programs; and
Whereas, in 1988, George H.W. Bush won the Republican nomination for President and was elected as the Forty-First President of the United States, probably brought the greatest portfolio to the office of the Presidency since Thomas Jefferson, and served our Nation for four years with distinction and integrity: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors former President George H.W. Bush on the occasion of his 80th birthday on June 12, 2004, extends its congratulations and best wishes to him and to his family, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and his children, President George W. Bush, the Honorable Jeb Bush, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush, and Dorothy Bush Koch, and pays tribute to his lifetime of service on behalf of the Nation.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Carter) and the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Carter).


Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?

There was no objection.

Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, last week was a somber one for America. The Nation mourned the loss of its beloved 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan. All heard numerous revealing accounts of President Reagan's leadership, compassion, and humor.

One of the most touching stories told during the past week was one by the one-time political rival of President Reagan, who ultimately became a close associate and friend. The story took place when President Reagan was recuperating at
George Washington University Hospital following the assassination attempt on his life on March 30, 1981, just over 2 months after he took office.

The story went like this: "Days after being shot, weak from wounds, (President Reagan) spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room, aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. (The President) worried
that his nurse would get in trouble."

Mr. Speaker, the eloquent speaker of these words was George H.W. Bush at President Reagan's funeral last Friday at the National Cathedral. Many people may not have heard that President George Bush, Bush "41," turned 80 years of age on Saturday because of the Nation's week-long celebration of President Reagan's life, which overshadowed President Bush's birthday. But today the House returns to its normal legislative business as we consider House Resolution 653 that honors President George H.W. Bush on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Mr. Speaker, few Presidents have ever moved into the White House as qualified to lead this Nation as one of Texas's most distinguished citizens, George Herbert Walker Bush. As the youngest pilot in the Navy, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after flying 58 combat missions during World War II before returning home to graduate as a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Yale University, where he also captained the baseball team.

After college, he became a successful businessman in west Texas, earned two terms as a Member of this House, and served such high-profile positions as ambassador to the United Nations, ambassador to China, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1980 George H.W. Bush was elected as part of the national Republican ticket with Ronald Reagan and served as Vice President for 8 years. Vice President Bush became President Bush 41 when he was elected in 1988. In the White House, President Bush was perhaps best known for working to inspire a "kinder, gentler America" at home and leading the Nation to free Kuwait overseas. Following the August 1990 invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces, President Bush rallied the world community, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the American people to dislodge Saddam Hussein's army from its control of neighboring Kuwait.

I want to thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hall), my good friend, for introducing this meaningful resolution that wishes our 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush, a happy 80th birthday, and that birthday was on Saturday, June 12. And on Sunday, June 13, I watched him jump out of an airplane at College Station, and he still has got plenty of spark.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I know the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hall) wanted to be here very badly for consideration of H. Res. 653 today, but his flight was delayed, which I had a bad experience with that last week so I know exactly what he is going through, and he is unable to be present. But I want to highly commend him for putting forth this resolution and doing all the work on this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support the adoption of House Resolution 653.


Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Petri). The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Carter) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 653, as amended.

The question was taken.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of those present have voted in the affirmative.

Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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