Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege and honor to address you here on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in this world's great deliberative body. And taking it from the top, as I listened to the statements that were made tonight in the 1-minutes, I think of the gentlelady from Texas and her statement about Syria.
Now I'm not here, Mr. Speaker, to defend President Assad and Syria. In fact, I think he needs to go. And I believe that all people of the world have a right to a self-determination, and they should not live under tyranny and they should not live under despotism.
I just think back to when some of us objected that the former Speaker of the House, Mr. Speaker, and that was Nancy Pelosi, as she took over the big gavel, she set up a diplomatic tour and mission, and one of those places was Syria. And I remember the President of the United States, whom, according to the Constitution, is in control of--and I'll say according to the interpretation of the Constitution, he's Commander-in-Chief but also controls the foreign policy. It's implicit, and it's more than a two-century practice that you have to have the President of the United States as conducting foreign policy.
The President of the United States was George W. Bush who asked the then-Speaker of the House, please, do not go to Syria. Do not seek to negotiate with President Assad. Do not upset the diplomacy that's taking place between the United States and Syria, or the lack of that diplomacy.
And I think about that time when Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker, crossed that line, even though it was requested by the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, and the individual who was in command of all of our foreign policy, had asked her not to go.
Now we see what's going on in Syria. And I listened to the comments, and I just think that if the gentlelady from Texas had spoken up at that time when I did, it might be a little bit easier to hear tonight than this particularly was.
Mr. Speaker, there are many things in front of us in this Congress. Among them, of course, are economics and national defense, and our national security.
Right now, as I listened to the gentleman from Texas talk about the Israelis, and there's an event going on tonight that brings together about 12,000 people that are some Israelis, many people of Jewish origin here in the United States, and all who will be sitting there at the AIPAC dinner will be strongly supporting an independent Israel that is in control of defending themselves, the sovereignty of Israel.
I'm a strong supporter of Israel. I look at the country of Israel surrounded by its enemies, formed in 1948, and for most of my life, I've watched Israel develop and defend herself, and I've watched how they are the most stable and reliable democracy in the Middle East, and for a long time they were the only democracy in the Middle East. It would be the only place for a long time where an Arab could get a fair trial out of all of the Middle East.
Today, we're seeing the dialogue take place from Iran, not with Iran, and Israel is the stated target of Ahmadinejad. They've been working in Iran, as you know, Mr. Speaker, urgently and feverishly to develop a nuclear weapon and a means to deliver it.
When I came into this Congress and was sworn in in 2003, I sat down then with the ambassadors to the United States from Germany, France, and Great Britain, who were seeking to convince us here in the Congress that we should encourage our President to open up dialogue with the Iranians and perhaps be able to talk them out of their nuclear endeavor.
Now, that was in September of 2003 that that meeting took place over in the Rayburn building, Mr. Speaker. As I sat in on that meeting and weighed in on that meeting, I kept hearing the message come back about ``open up dialogue.'' They wanted to open up dialogue.
So when it came around to the opportunity where I had the floor, I asked those three ambassadors from each nation, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, What is your long-term agenda here? What do you propose to do? They said, We want to open up dialogue. My answer was, If we open up dialogue with Iran, what is the next step? They said, We're only here to talk about opening up dialogue.
But if you open up dialogue with Iran, there are other steps along the way. If we just talk with them, and they refuse then to shut down their nuclear development within Iran, what are you prepared to do?''
I watched these diplomats start to get nervous. When you talk to diplomats about action, they start to get nervous. So what are you prepared to do? What do you mean? We all, I think, knew what was coming.
Well, are you prepared to go to the United Nations with us and ask for a resolution rejecting Iran's nuclear endeavor? Are you prepared to bring about sanctions? If the sanctions don't work, are you prepared to bring about a blockade? If the blockade doesn't work and there's a line in the sand that says if you violate the blockade, and if you continue on your nuclear endeavor, are you prepared then to go to the desert and enforce the very things that are being started in this dialogue here?
Of course they weren't prepared to do that. They weren't even prepared to talk about that.
Mr. Speaker, when you start down the path of diplomacy and you think that the only tool you have is diplomacy, there is nobody out here operating as a sovereign nation in the world that's just kind of dumb or duped that doesn't understand that there has to be a force, there has to be some kind of threat, there has to be a consequence and an ``or what,'' or otherwise we would go to the Iranians with our hat in our hand and say, Why don't you be some nice guys for a change and shut down your nuclear development, your nuclear endeavor? What kind of luck will we have with that?
If they believe, as they seem to, that they're called upon by the entity that they worship to annihilate Israel, the miniature Satan, and then turn around and annihilate the Great Satan, the United States of America, that's their stated purpose, Mr. Speaker. And their stated purpose is target one, Tel Aviv, because it's the city that was created after the origins of Israel, and its predominantly of Jewish population. So they would target Tel Aviv.
Now, any nation that would take that position, we would think that somehow we would say to them, Even though your goals are to annihilate Israel and to annihilate the Great Satan, the United States, would you just please be a nice guy and stop developing your nuclear weapons? I mean, how naive could we be to go to Ahmadinejad and make that kind of a request under the guise of dialogue and think somehow that that's going to get the job done?
We should have known then--I'll tell you, Mr. Speaker, I knew then--that dialogue was not going to solve the problem. You never win on dialogue alone. You always have to have a leverage point, so they will look at that, they'll look you in the eye and decide, they mean what they say. It isn't worth it any longer. The juice is not worth the squeeze. I'm going to back off and stop developing the nuclear. But of course that didn't happen. The three countries that were here asking us to engage in dialogue, good people and good friends, very respectable ambassadors each. I have personal admiration and respect for them. But when you start down the path of dialogue, you must also understand there has to be a consequence at the other end. That consequence, in sequence, was to go to the United Nations for a resolution of rejection and disapproval, make it clear in the international world that the Iranians were violating the nuclear nonproliferation agreements that were established, make it clear that there would be sanctions, and if that's the case, there would be then an embargo and there would be a blockade, and on the other side of that, that there would be action to take out their nuclear capability.
Now, our current President has said that he takes nothing off the table. But when you say you take nothing off the table, that doesn't mean that everything is on the table. It's a little bit of that language that we've learned we have to look at pretty carefully and understand that there's a loophole in that. If you didn't put it on the table in the first place and you take nothing off the table, he may have already in his own mind taken military action off the table, and we don't know.
Mr. Speaker, I was watching the news on Friday morning, and on ``Fox and Friends,'' I heard Gretchen Carlson release the story that Israel and the United States, and that would be President Obama and President Netanyahu, had reached an agreement that Israel would not strike Iran's nuclear capability before the election.
Now, I'm a little amazed that that isn't all over the newspapers and all over the floor of Congress, Mr. Speaker. I'm a little amazed that that story has not been picked up and pasted throughout the blogs and Americans up in arms, Israelis up in arms. I'm a little amazed that that's not going to be the central discussion taking place in the AIPAC dinner with 12,000 people there tonight, and I'm amazed that the President of the United States can give his address to AIPAC, as he did last night, to such a great applause and support, as was reported in the news. I'm amazed.
First of all, was the Fox story true? My experience has been you don't see news come out of there that's unbased or unfounded. It's based on something. It's founded upon something. I haven't chased it down to look at the original sources that are there, but I know what I heard. It disappeared from the media.
But if the President of the United States is even thinking in terms that he would play nuclear showdown with Iran by calculating an election date as part of that equation, it is an appalling concept to think that it could even be reported in the news as fact that the President of the United States would conduct his negotiations and manipulate his foreign policy, especially when it comes down to an Armageddon-type of a policy based upon an election date for his reelection.
I can understand the motive, Mr. Speaker. But to think in terms of if something bad happens between Israel and Iran that might risk the President's reelection, that at least it's reported in the news that he would have had the incentive to negotiate with Israel to say, Do not mount a military strike to knock out Iran's nuclear capability before the election.
I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, I don't believe we have that much time. I think we count this time in weeks, perhaps 2 or 3 months. But I don't think we count this time until after the November election.
Furthermore, when you get to the point where you have these kinds of crises coming forward and when we have the President, who has announced that the Iraq war is going to be finished on such and such a date and that the Afghanistan war is going to be finished in 2014 and that by the way, oh, time out, Iran, on your nuclear endeavor here until after my reelection because then it will be a lot more comfortable time to deal with this crisis as I take nothing off the table, I don't remember the President saying he has put military strikes on the table. I just remember him saying, I take nothing off the table.
So here is what needs to be done, and I don't know that the credibility exists at this point in the White House for this to be done; but a President who was a credible individual could look at the camera and look across the ocean into the eyes, through video, of Ahmadinejad and the mullahs and say:
I have put an X on the calendar, and that marks the date beyond which you will not be allowed to continue your nuclear endeavor. I know that date, but you do not. I will work with you so that you can save face in Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. I'll work with you to accelerate the demolition of your nuclear capability to the satisfaction of American inspectors, and we'll do all of that so you look as good as you can and can save as much face as possible, but you will never know what that date is on the calendar unless you push it too far.
By the way, if you're one day from having it all demolished and you're not done, sorry. The date is the date. You'll not be able to develop your nuclear endeavor beyond that date on the calendar, which you don't know and I do.
That's how you negotiate with terrorists, with cold-eyed people who believe that the United States is the Great Satan; that they're somehow called by the entity they worship to annihilate Israel, to annihilate the United States and to negotiate with them--to think that you can open up dialogue and go through all of the resolutions and sanctions and embargoes and knock the blockade and let some of the rest of the world violate those agreements, by the way, and profit from it.
We saw it happen in Iraq. It didn't work. We're watching it happen in Iran. It's not working. Now we're dangerously walking very close to that line of Iran having the capability of having developed a nuclear weapon and a means to deliver it.
By the way, when I say ``a means to deliver it,'' Mr. Speaker, it isn't just a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike Tel Aviv from Iran at 750-or-so miles from the sovereign territory of Iran to Tel Aviv, itself. It is the ability to put that anywhere in a suitcase. It could be delivered aboard ship; it could be delivered aboard a little boat; it could come about any way over land. Once they have that capability and it's proliferated, there is no stopping the proliferation. We must end their capability before they have that capability--not after. After is too late. That nuclear horse is out of the barn as soon as they are able to produce that weapon; and when it is, they will terrorize the world. We don't know where it is.
So, Mr. Speaker, I urge the support of the American people in the United States Congress for the autonomy, the sovereignty, and the self-protection of Israel. Should Israel decide that they need to take out Iran's nuclear capability tonight, tomorrow, at any moment, I stand prepared to stand with Israel. Even though this administration might send the message that military support and global political support would no longer be forthcoming from this administration, I believe we have a new administration around the corner.
If we can tell the Iranians to wait with their nuclear development and if we can tell the Israelis to wait with a military strike to take out the nuclear capability that's growing now in Iran, then I can say that the American people look forward to an administration that will treat Israel right, an administration that will support and encourage that Israel defend herself, and a United States of America that will step up and protect and defend Israel as we are pledged to do both philosophically and spiritually and by the obligation that we have from history.
That is just what comes to mind, Mr. Speaker.
Then, as I listened to the speakers here tonight, Syria is a very dangerous place. I am for a regime change, and I don't think that we should have negotiated with nor sent a delegation to President Assad. He is slaughtering and murdering his own people. So to that extent, I agree with the gentlelady from Texas.
But I came here tonight, Mr. Speaker, to address a number of subject matters. On this subject matter, I'm looking out at tomorrow as Super Tuesday, Super Tuesday with 10 States having primary elections. Perhaps out of that comes a direction, the likelihood that there will be one Presidential candidate who will emerge and become the likely nominee, the apparent nominee. I think the odds are a little less than even that that can happen, but it's close.
What we have is a longer, drawn-out nomination process than was anticipated, which started back in Iowa more than a year ago as we worked with the Presidential candidates through that time. Some of them were just putting their toes in the water. They were looking. They came to Iowa and decided they didn't really want to do it, and they stepped back out again. Others hadn't quite emerged. Rick Perry came on a little bit later in August of last year and made a credible run. For a while, he was at the top of the polls. In piece after piece of this race, we've watched as some candidates took a look and stepped out while other candidates stepped in and stepped out.
Now we're at this point where there are four Republican candidates for President who are in the race, and we're watching as the polls are starting to separate. I don't want to make this prediction, Mr. Speaker, but I'll say this: if I look across the platforms of the Republican likely nominees, potential nominees for the Presidency, I begin to say: we don't have a Republican agenda that's a national agenda. We don't have a consensus on that national agenda.
This Congress has been moving pieces of legislation, almost all of them tied to jobs, jobs, jobs. It seems to me I can think back about 4 years, and I can hear our current Speaker ask the previous Speaker: Madam Speaker, where are the jobs? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, I've heard ``jobs, jobs, jobs'' for a long time. It's nice that we're about jobs. I haven't heard a lot about profit, profit, profit, which is required to pay for the payroll to create jobs, jobs, jobs. Yet profit isn't something that comes from a government job, Mr. Speaker. That would be something I hope the President would have overheard. Profit is not something that comes from a government job. Government jobs consume the profits of the private sector.
There are two sectors in the economy here, the public and the private. The public sector is the regulatory sector, but not exclusively. When the public sector provides law enforcement, for example, that gives us security so that the private sector can operate--so you can open up your shop and do business, so you can open up your factory and do business. You have to have some security. You have to be able to have a judicial branch of government, more limited than the one we have, I might say, so that you can enforce the laws. You need some functions of government. You need people to build the roads, and you need people to sometimes reach out and do for the people that which they cannot do for themselves. Leave us otherwise alone, I would say, Mr. Speaker.
But the drain on the private sector, on the productive sector of the economy, comes from the public sector. The public sector generally consumes the energy and the resources and the product of the private sector. The private sector invests capital; it produces goods and services that have a marketable value both here and abroad; and the economy dynamically grows. The Federal Government reaches in and takes out 22, 23, 24 percent of the gross domestic product, most of which needs to be on the private sector side because they're the only ones generating wealth; they're the only ones taking capital and reinvesting capital.
Historically, for the last 40 to 50 years, the Federal Government has consumed about 18 percent of GDP. Now that has grown up, roughly, to the neighborhood of 23 percent of our gross domestic product; but it saps the vitality of an economy to have a government that grows and consumes more, and it saps the vitality to tax and spend it on the government entity side. The endeavor of the President's economic plan should be to roll people out of public employment and into the private sector because the private sector is producing goods and services with a marketable value both here and abroad.
I don't see that coming out of this White House today. I pray it comes out of the White House in less than a year from now when a new President, Mr. Speaker, is elected who understands the principles of free market economics. I can go deeply into that, but I'm hopeful that I can express to you tonight the need for this Congress to move on a series of issues that are very important to the American people.
It is unclear who the apparent nominee, and in the end the nominee, for President is. So, therefore, we can't go to that individual and say will you please write up for me the platform that you are going to run on when you are nominated as President of the United States. That's unclear.
To me what is clear is there are a series of issues that are universal across the contending Presidential candidates. These are the issues that we should move through this Congress, planks in the platform of the next President of the United States. We are in a perfect opportunity to do this.
We are here with a not particularly intense legislative agenda. It's kind of hard to have a lot of things to do when you send them down there and stack them up like cord wood on the desk of Harry Reid. Let's send some things down there that the American people can see are the planks in the platform of the next President.
We know what this President will do. He gave us ObamaCare. He tried to give us cap-and-tax. He gave us Dodd-Frank. Those are the big egregious pieces. He gave us TARP; he gave us the economic stimulus plan, all of that out of President Obama. He blocked the Keystone XL pipeline because apparently he had concluded that it wasn't a national security issue and he needed a little more time to study. I'll come back to that in a little bit, Mr. Speaker. That's the agenda of the current President of the United States.
The next President of the United States needs to have a clear platform to run for office on. They have been articulating that, but the American people don't know what it is because they don't know who the apparent nominee will be.
Well, I can help out with that, Mr. Speaker, because I have sorted through the platforms of each of the viable Presidential candidates and come down with a list of those issues that would be universal across the campaigns of the likely or potential nominees of the Republican Party for President of the United States. And I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the leadership in this Congress move the legislation that's universal to any of the potential nominees so that we can lay out that platform for the next President. The planks are there. If it's something that's popular with the American people, and it's in the agenda of each of the Presidential candidates, bring it to the floor of this Congress.
Bring it through committee first. Let's go through regular order. Let's mark it up in committee, bring it to the floor, and let's have a debate and a vote on it and send it over to Harry Reid and see how well he does rejecting the agenda that the American people support.
Let me start off the list, and this is off of a bit of a research list that I put together about 2 weeks ago. It comes this way: every Presidential candidate that is a viable candidate and with a reasonable potential to be nominated for President of the United States on a Republican ticket supports a fence.
I have stood on this floor over and over again and said go down to the southern border, those 2,000 miles, build a fence, a wall, and a fence. We can't just think that four strands of barbed wire is good enough or that a vehicle barrier is good enough or that a single fence, where the other day they showed a video of the panels in the fence where they went in with a post jack, is what I call it, and jacked the panel up. Then the drug smugglers and the illegals poured underneath that, and then they dropped the panel back down again and walked away with their jack kind of laughing or whatever the south of the border version is for high fives was taking place.
Now, we need to build a fence, a wall, and a fence, Mr. Speaker. I have stood here on this floor and demonstrated how you do that. We need to go down to the border and build first the barrier fence that defines our border, and that says don't come across this, it's U.S. territory, you can only come here legally.
Next, we need to come north of there, a reasonable span, 40 to 50 feet, perhaps, and put in another fence. I would make that out of concrete, precast panels with a slip form trench foundation in it, and I would drop those panels in and affix that in such a way that it would be a strong barrier so that humanity is not pouring through across the border.
I would come again further up another 50 feet or so and build another fence. That can be steel, that can be chain link, it needs to be tall so that you end up with a fence, a wall, and a fence, two zones of no-man's land that it can be enforced. Yes, we need to use all the virtual that we can, all of the cameras and the sensory devices that technology will provide, so that we know to deploy our Border Patrol to the place where there has been a breach or a violation in that fence and enforce that 100 percent.
We can't just let people come into the United States, shrug our shoulders and say, well, we'll catch somebody later on or somebody tomorrow. We have to ensure that if you're going to sneak into America, we're going to catch you, and we're going to enforce the law. In the end, if you violate that law, we are going to need to punish you and put you back into the condition you were in before you broke the law.
Now, I don't understand why that somehow seems to be cruel and unusual punishment to encounter someone who is unlawfully in the United States, who has violated our laws if they crept into the United States across the border and entered into the United States illegally. That is a crime, Mr. Speaker. It's not a civil violation. It's not. It is a crime. That makes the people who sneak into the United States illegally, people who commit crimes, by definition, are criminals.
I suggest that we build a fence, a wall, and a fence. Some will say we can't build 2,000 miles. My answer is, have you ever seen the Great Wall of China? The Great Wall of China is 5,500 miles long and armies marched on top of that.
The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, back in 245 BC connected the existing sections of the Great Wall of China so that it is one continuous 5,500-mile long wall. They did that, not with huge machines and excavators and cement plants; they did it with stoop labor, putting it together piece by piece by piece. If the Chinese could build a 5,500-mile long great wall, and it's one of the wonders of the world, it would be a wonder to me why we have such difficulty building something that approaches 2,000 miles in length, a simple solution to a complex problem.
Our little old construction company could get tooled up to build a mile a day. I'm not suggesting that our people go do that; but if our little company has that capabilities, think what the big companies have for a capability.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that we build 2,000 miles of fence. I just say this, build it according to the Secure Fence Act. That's the law we passed. That's what Duncan Hunter was for; that's what I was for. Let's just build a fence, a wall, and a fence, and just build it till they stop going around the end. It doesn't have to be 2,000 miles long if they stop going around the end sooner than that. They leave tracks, by the way.
You go out there and you take a look. Well, okay, they went around the end of this fence. Well, let's add another 20 miles, and now I'll see how that works, and we'll just keep building fence until they either quit crossing the line or we have 2,000 miles of it.
The math on that, Mr. Speaker, is not that hard to figure out, although the question doesn't get asked often enough. So we did the math on this a little while back, and I have got to adjust it by a mental calculation to get it into contemporary, and now it's probably even a year old.
We're spending about $12 billion enforcing our southern border, $12 billion a year. Now if I take 12 billion, divide it by 2,000, that's $6 million a mile. If you are spending $6 million a mile to defend the border, the Border Patrol comes before the Judiciary Committee, the immigration committee, under oath and testifies we think we interdict about 25 percent of those who attempt to cross the border.
I go down to the border and I ask those enforcing it, so you're stopping about one in four? They laugh at me. Oh, no, we're not stopping one in four, maybe 10 percent. Some say 2 to 3 percent, but the most consistent answer I get from the enforcers on the border is 10 percent. But I'm willing to go back to the 25 percent number and use that, even though I think it's probably high.
I do the calculation. I think, let me see, if Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, came to me and said, Congressman, I want to hire you to guard the west mile from your house across rural Iowa, that mile gravel road for that mile. For that mile I'm going to pay you the same amount that we're paying to protect our southern border, $6 million a year--oh, and by the way, if that's not enough incentive, it's a 10-year contract. She would lay, in theory under this formula, $60 million on my kitchen table, and my job is to guard that mile of road and see to it that no more than 75 percent of those that try get across?
I'm going to snap that up, Mr. Speaker. And I'll tell you, I'm not going to go out there and hire myself a multitude of people that are boots on the ground. I'm going to hire some, but I'm going to be very well aware that you have a benefits package that goes along with it, health insurance, retirement benefits and all of the pieces that have to do with supporting an officer, including a vehicle for him to drive, multiple vehicles in some cases. I'm going to recognize that. And I'm going to look at the capital investment for the long term all of the way through retirement of hiring boots on the ground. And, yes, we need them; and those that are there do a good job, and they want to do a good job.
But I'm going to look at it and think: I could invest some of this $60 million in this contract a little more effectively. I think I'll just build a fence, a wall, and a fence. Then I'll have myself a few Border Patrol officers there to rotate the shifts and monitor the sensors and watch the cameras, and maybe man a guard tower here and there. And we'd make sure that no one would get across that.
And, by the way, as I brought up Israel a little bit earlier, they built a fence. They designed that fence so that it would be as reliable and as tight as possible. It has some wire there. It has got towers and they monitor it, and it has been 99-point-something percent effective. So we can learn something from the Israelis. Why do they build fences if fences don't work?
We look at the Mexicans. They have barriers down there between Mexico and Guatemala.
There's a fence that was being built between Saudi Arabia and Iraq so they could interdict the refugees that they anticipated would be coming into Saudi Arabia, to keep them out.
There is a fence that's being built right now in that bankrupt country of Greece, between Greece and Turkey, to keep the illegals that are pouring into Greece from Turkey out of Greece. Even though the Greeks can't afford it, they are building the fence to keep the illegal Turks from pouring into Greece.
Now, some will say there is something inherently immoral about a fence--a fence, a wall, and a fence, in my case, Mr. Speaker--and I would argue there's a difference between that, those who would say, Haven't you ever heard the Berlin Wall? Well, of course I have heard of the Berlin Wall. I've walked almost every foot of the Berlin Wall. I have a piece of the Berlin Wall in my office over at 1131 Longworth, and it's framed. It is framed with a wood frame and it has a red cloth behind it and a piece of the Berlin Wall about that big. It was chopped out on September 12, 1990. It represents the single-most significant historical event in my lifetime, the end of the Cold War when the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall itself, literally the Iron Curtain came crashing down.
But the Berlin Wall was designed to do something entirely different than all of the fences that I've described, Mr. Speaker, and that is it was designed to keep people in, not out. And that's the difference. A wall that's designed to keep people in because you don't want them to achieve and access freedom and liberty and our God-given liberty rights, that's what the Berlin Wall did. It trapped people; it fenced them in.
The other fences that I've talked about are designed to keep people out who are trying to come into the United States, and other places, in violation of existing law.
And others will say--and some are clergy that will say: Well, you were a stranger. You were an alien in a foreign land, and I took care of you.
There are a lot of quotes in the Bible that remind people that we should reach out to the less fortunate among us. But I happen to have stood on Mars Hill in Athens where St. Paul gave his famous speech, his famous sermon in Act 17, when he said: And the Lord made all nations on Earth, and he decided when and where each nation would be.
That was St. Paul's statement on Mars Hill in his famous sermon in Act 17. Each nation has its sovereignty. The Lord decided each nation on Earth and when and where those nations would be, and we should not shrink from that responsibility, that sovereign responsibility, to protect our borders and to protect the rule of law.
And the borders of the United States are what define the sovereignty of the United States. If we should accept the idea that there aren't borders, that people have always migrated and somehow it is immoral for us to define those borders or tell people you can't come across, then I would ask those who advocate a policy like that, and I believe it is an illogical policy, but those who advocate for such a policy, I would say to them, then: How many people do you believe should be allowed to live in the United States? What should the population of the United States of America be? Six billion people on the planet. We're the third largest population country on the planet, 300-plus million of us. How many should live here?
If you asked the rest of the world: Would you like to live in the United States of America and we'll buy you a plane ticket to go and we'll give you an unlimited supply--well, how about the current access of welfare benefits that are there? Seventy-two different means-tested Federal welfare programs; and, by the way, refundable tax credits for illegals working in America under an employer ID number, a 42-dash number instead of a Social Security number.
I congratulate Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas for bringing his legislation that prohibits any tax credits from going to, any refunds from going to those who are filing their taxes without a Social Security number.
But they could tap into all of these benefits, 72 different means-tested welfare programs and the refundable tax credits that are there, and we'd say to them: You can live by an implied guarantee in the United States of America at a middle-income level, middle class without working, and we're going to see to it that it's all available to you. Come to America and we'll give that to you. I would predict, Mr. Speaker, that more than half of the 6 billion people on the planet would opt to come to the United States.
So how many people do those who advocate for open borders, what do they think the population of the United States should be? Should it be 3 billion? Am I right on that? Should it be 2 billion? Should it be 4 billion? I'll suggest it would surpass 3 billion under that kind of an offer, except many of those on the tail end of that great transshipment of humanity would realize that our system here would collapse long before you could ever load 3 billion people into America, or 2 billion, or maybe even 1 billion.
So what is the number? What is it that those who advocate for open borders and suspending the rule of law, what is it that they believe should be the future population of the United States of America? How many would they let in?
And I constantly hear the lamentation that it takes too long to come into the United States legally. It takes too long. Well, I suppose if we just opened it up and we accelerated the process and everybody that was in line, if we let them in right away, inside of a year, maybe that's not too long. I'm constantly hearing candidates, Presidential candidates even, some in the past, not so much now, argue that we need to speed up our immigration process and that those who are here in the United States illegally need to get right with the law and that they need to go to the back of the line.
So if they need to go to the back of the line, do they really understand that the lines don't start in the United States? The lines for legal immigration into the United States start in foreign countries where people have an aspiration to come here, and they apply for a visa and eventually a green card to come here; and that line, those lines, when you add up all of the lines of the various visas that are out there--H 1Bs, H 2Bs, the visa lottery program, the list goes on and on--you add up all of that, the lines to get in, waiting to come into the United States legally are 50 million long--50 million. Fifty million people are waiting in foreign countries to come to the United States legally, and I hear constantly the wait's too long. We need to accelerate coming into the United States.
So we bring 1.2 million people into this country legally, kind of on average each year, 1.2 million. We're the most generous country on Earth by far. And some data shows that we bring more people legally into the United States than all other countries combined. I can't anchor that in a data point, so I want to put that caveat in the Record, Mr. Speaker. But it's in that category, someplace pretty close, 1.2 million legals coming into America, drawing from a pool of about 50 million that are waiting in line. And in all of that, we only have about 7 to 11 percent of those legal immigrants that we even score their ability to contribute to the United States. The rest of it is all about how they can benefit from the taxpayers and the workers here, how they can benefit.
No nation other than the United States would allow for the, what should I call it, the evolution of an immigration policy that just simply grants this to people because they want to be here and gives them the authority to accelerate the legal immigration of the family reunification plan so that beyond that first individual they can start bringing in people outside that extended family tree.
We sat down and did a spreadsheet calculation and wondered how many people could one individual bring in to the United States under family reunification. We built it on a spreadsheet. We got out to 357 individuals brought in by one single individual, and then we ran out of room on the spreadsheet and realized you really can't calculate it. But you can calculate the visas, the means by which we are legalizing people in America.
It depends on whether you look at one study or another. There are competing studies, and that is between 89 and 93 percent of the legal immigration into the United States is not based on merit whatsoever. There's no merit quality there whatsoever. And then the balance of that, between 7 and 11 percent, does come from some measures of merit such as H 1Bs, having a skill.
I'm suggesting this, Mr. Speaker, that we develop an immigration policy here in the United States Congress, with the cooperation of our next President, that's designed to enhance the economic, the social and the cultural well-being of the United States of America. Any country worth its salt is going to have an immigration policy designed to benefit the country itself. We're not in the business of trying to alleviate--well, we'd like to, but we cannot be in the business of trying to alleviate all world poverty, all world hunger, and all world lack of liberty and freedom. It isn't just enough to bring people in here and let them understand and be inspired by American liberty--God-given American liberty; but we need to promote and inspire it in other countries in the world instead of going there to bow before foreign leaders and apologize for being Americans.
I'm astonished, Mr. Speaker, that we had a Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who told the world that she wouldn't wear a lapel pin with an American flag in foreign countries because she was afraid it offended people. My attitude about that is, go find a country that's offended that's not accepting foreign aid. And what are they offended about? American liberty? The way we've led in the world? Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas has so well and famously said with regard to foreign aid that goes out to people who set themselves up as our enemies and that vote against us consistently in the United Nations, he says, You don't have to pay people to hate you. They'll hate you for free.
So I want to configure immigration policy that's designed to enhance the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the United States. We should be scoring the applicants for legal immigration into the United States. We should be scoring them by their ability to contribute to this society, this economy, this culture, and this civilization. And one of the ways that we can do that is we can look to our English-speaking allies for some guidance. Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia come to mind.
Each of them either has a policy or has been developing a policy to set up a point system, a scoring system, so that they can evaluate the applicants for immigration into their countries. And here are some of the criteria: education, job skills, earning capacity, and age--you want young people to come in so they can pay taxes long enough so that you can justify paying for their retirement--and English-speaking abilities, because the ability to speak, write and understand English is the strongest indicator we have of the ability to assimilate into the broader overall culture.
So there is nothing discriminatory about this other than if we're going to have a policy that's good for America, we have to do some discrimination in favor of those who can do the most to help our country. I'd like to bring in and continue to bring in bright, energetic people, especially young people. And if they are preeducated by the taxpayers of a foreign country, that's fine. I'm happy with that. Come on in here and help America's economy grow and raise your family, but embrace our American traditions, our American culture, and our American civilization. After all, that's why you came. And to the extent that you bring some of your culture along with you and there are certain traditions that you follow, that adds to the flavor and it adds to the zest of life here in America.
But, Mr. Speaker, when they come and reject American liberty and the American way of life, and they try to recreate in an enclave the life that they left instead of embrace the life that's offered to them here in America, I would ask, why are you here? Why would you come to America if you're going to reject Americanism and seek to recreate the place you left? Why didn't you just stay there? And that's some of the foundation of the immigration concept that we have, Mr. Speaker.
By the way, as I get to item number two on this long list of universal items that I think all Presidential candidates should embrace and this Congress should pass, I would add that we've got E-Verify legislation before this Congress, and I am not satisfied that it is written in a way that it will work in the way it's intended. I am very concerned, Mr. Speaker, about the preemption that's written into it that prohibits the political subdivisions from supporting and enforcing immigration laws that mirror those of the Federal Government.
Aside from that, I have proposed an offer that actually solves this problem without having to go there and preempt the States and the political subdivisions, and it is called the New IDEA Act. New IDEA stands for the new and the acronym is the New Illegal Deduction Elimination Act. The Illegal Deduction Elimination Act clarifies that wages and benefits paid to illegals are not tax deductible, and we know that. But the practice is to write off wages and benefits paid to illegals because they know that nobody is going to come along and enforce. And this has been a practice since the Amnesty Act of 1986.
Under the New IDEA Act, then, the IRS, coming in to do a normal audit of an employer's company, would run the Social Security number and other pertinent data through E-Verify. So let's just say I have 100 employees. The IRS would come in, the Internal Revenue Service would come in to do an audit of my company. They would look at my receipts and my expenditures; they would look for anomalies in that calculation that might indicate that there would be money that was scooped out that tax wasn't paid on, or a tax avoidance. And in the process of doing that, they would run those Social Security numbers of the employees through E-Verify, the Internet-based system that can verify whether the data identifies someone who can legally work in the United States.
As they run those 100 Social Security numbers through E-Verify, then E-Verify would either come back and affirm that they could lawfully work in America; or if there's no answer, there's no response, then it's implied that they can't work legally in the United States. So therefore the IRS could deny that business deduction of the wages and benefits paid to that illegal.
And they would give a period of time for the employer and the employee to cure any data that is there and give the employer safe harbor if he uses E-Verify so that for another means of lack of verification, they can't come in and enforce against him for hiring illegals. Safe harbor for using E-Verify, not a mandate that they use E-Verify, the IRS would make the determination by using E-Verify and that result is this: if out of those 100 employees, let's just say I had 10 that were illegal, the IRS would say, I'm sorry, but you paid $50,000 a year to each one of these employees, and that's no longer a business expense because they were unlawfully working in the United States and you had the tool to verify.
And so that $50,000 times 10 is $500,000. That $500,000 that you wrote off of the gross receipts number--just say I grossed $10 million and that 500,000 would be one of my expenses that's there--they would deny the expense of $500,000, $50,000 paid to 10 illegals, and that $500,000 then goes out of my expense column on Schedule C, goes over into the gross receipts side and shows up down on the bottom line as net income, taxable net income. That means that your $10-an-hour illegal, by the time you pay the interest, the penalty and the tax liability, becomes about a $16-an-hour illegal.
So the employer can draw a choice. Does he really want to take a chance on being audited every year and seeing his expenses of his illegals move from $10 an hour up to $16 an hour, or would he maybe go offer an American a job at $13 or $14 an hour? I think that's what happens, Mr. Speaker. And it provides an incentive so an employer doesn't have to switch it all overnight. They can calculate the risk, and they can clean up their workforce incrementally if that's what it takes.
Furthermore, in my bill, the New IDEA Act, it requires that there be a cooperative team put together between the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security so the right hand, the left hand, and the middle hand know what each other are doing. We get Social Security No-Match Letters that used to come out--they stopped sending them out a while back because nobody was doing anything with them. They would just send them out saying: We did our job; these Social Security numbers didn't match that you're sending in. A letter would go out; nobody shows up; that's the end of it.
You've got Homeland Security that is operating at the direction of the White House, that has decided they're going to provide administrative amnesty. Three hundred thousand illegals in the United States already adjudicated for deportation, and the President and Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder set up a policy--primarily Janet Napolitano--set up a policy to take staff time and scour through the 300,000 already adjudicated for deportation illegals that are there and see if they can find a means and a way to justify allowing them to stay in the United States. Administrative amnesty.
My bill, New IDEA, puts the three of them together so the IRS sends the information to Homeland Security and to the Social Security Administration; No-Match Letters from Social Security Administration go to the IRS and to Homeland Security, and it says: Put your heads together; figure out how to enforce America's immigration law.
That's what we need to be doing, Mr. Speaker.
By the way, the President of the United States, who has disrespected the rule of law, has a couple of family members who have received some type of administrative amnesty asylum--Auntie Onyango, whom I hope I don't have to spell that. But in any case, she has been in the United States for a long time illegally, since the 1990s--President Obama's aunt--living in public housing, reportedly, was finally adjudicated again for deportation. And the Obama administration declared her to be at too much of a risk if now, after all these years since the nineties, if she were sent back to Kenya. Because his aunt is now too high a profile public figure to be sent to Kenya, someone might kidnap her and hold her for ransom, and so it's a great risk; therefore, we should give her asylum in the United States where surely no one would kidnap her living in public housing and hold her for a ransom here. They just would do it in Kenya.
So, Homeland Security--I presume the State Department may have had a voice in this--granted, according to news reports, asylum for Barack Obama's aunt.
Now, if you can get asylum for the President's aunt, and you think in terms of the rule of law as applied the same to everyone, then who would it not apply to? Well, the rule of law surely didn't apply to Barack Obama's drunken Uncle Omar, who had also been processed and adjudicated for deportation and also didn't honor the court order to be deported. So drunken Uncle Omar nearly ran into a police car, found himself afoul with the law with a blood alcohol content of nearly twice the legal limit--it was 1.4--nearly twice the legal limit, and drunken Uncle Omar disappeared from the scene. And I'm confident that he went the way of Barack Obama's aunt, an administrative amnesty manufactured by the administration, not deported, not shipped off back to Kenya.
So if we won't deport the President's aunt, if we won't deport the President's uncle no matter what his blood alcohol content, and we've got 300,000 that are in the United States illegally who have already been adjudicated for deportation, and even though we're shorthanded and we're having trouble processing all of this and the President has said--well, at least Janet Napolitano has said that we don't have the resources to enforce all of the laws, why are we using our staff resources to go try to give people an exemption from the law that's already been enforced? That's administrative amnesty. So they've been scouring the books to give people a pass on a rule of law.
I raised the issue, and I asked dozens of people across the spectrum in my district and around the country: What's the most important component of immigration law? Mr. Speaker, what I hear is the rule of law. The rule of law. Not the idea that some people are needy and it hurts our hearts to enforce a law--it does. But in the end, if we don't respect the rule of law, if we don't refurbish the rule of law, we have then desecrated one of the essential pillars of American exceptionalism.
We cannot be a great country if we don't have the rule of law. We must be a country, a sovereign nation. Sovereign nations must have borders. Borders must be defended. Those borders must be controlled in a way where we decide who comes in and decide when people go out, if they don't decide on their own. And we must preserve and protect and refurbish and enhance the rule of law.
That's what the New IDEA Act does. It has the support of all Presidential candidates--formally, not attested to yet by Governor Romney, but I believe philosophically he would tell you that he sees the logic in it. If we passed this off of the floor of the House of Representatives, I believe that Governor Mitt Romney would be supportive of such an initiative.
Then, if you go on down the line of the planks and the platforms that are universal among the Presidential candidates, you would see the desire to repeal Dodd-Frank there universally among Republicans. Dodd-Frank, that's set up such that the government would decide which lending institutions were too big to be allowed to fail. Then, once declared too big to fail, the three entities in the Federal Government would decide whether they were going bankrupt, and if they went into receivership, who and what entity would receive them.
It's a horrible scenario to think that the Federal Government will decide winners and losers by a statute written by the very people that contributed so much to the financial problem that we had, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, so I'm for a full 100 percent repeal of
Dodd-Frank. If it has a couple of redeeming qualities--and I believe it does--let's restate them back into the law. Let's not make exceptions and leave pieces there.
Dodd-Frank needs to be repealed. We need to pass the repeal of Dodd-Frank here on the floor of the House. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has been the lead on that. She drafted the legislation to repeal Dodd-Frank. She's been a strong and vocal advocate for repealing Dodd-Frank. So have all the other Presidential candidates. We should do this for the American people, for the next President, and we should do it to honor the effort of Michele Bachmann, Mr. Speaker.
Next piece is official English. Almost every country in the world has an official language, at least one official language. It's been so recognized throughout the ages that the single most powerful unifying force known throughout all history and humanity is having a common language. If we can talk to each other, we have an instantaneous bond with each other. Here in America, we're so fortunate that English is that language, and yet there seems to be an open effort to try to encourage language enclaves in America where the second and even third generations of Americans don't learn English; they just live within the enclave. They're trapped in that economic and that cultural cycle of the enclave, the silo of an ethnic minority instead of assimilating into the broader society.
We need to establish English as the official language of government, not to disparage another language, but to unify the American people and hold us together as a people and strengthen our unity. The government does not need to be spending that kind of money on language.
Then repeal ObamaCare and a number of other things.
I appreciate your attention to this matter this evening, Mr. Speaker, and I would yield back the balance of my time.