From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Garrett). Under the Speaker's announced
policy of January 3, 2017, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, on Friday, so many say TGIF. My late mother
passed away in 1991, but she said TGIF one time, and the lady
responded, S-H-I-T, and mother looked shocked. She said: “Sorry,
honey, it's Thursday.” But this is not Thursday, it is Friday, and I
really hoped we would be voting on a bill that wouldn't totally repeal
ObamaCare, but it would give people a great deal of relief.
I know with all the talk from the other side of the aisle about how
great ObamaCare is, when we look at the numbers, we know that promise
after promise was broken in the passage of the ACA, or ObamaCare.
People lost their insurance, they lost the medications that they were
eligible to have under their prior insurance, they lost their doctor,
and they lost their treatment facility. That does take a toll on
There was bragging about the people that now had insurance that
didn't have it before. But we know it was clear, most of that was
people that got stuck on Medicaid. It wasn't real insurance. As we look
at the evolution of health care in America, we see that insurance has
changed to where it is no longer insurance.
Right now in America, people who are actually medical doctors are
some of the best and brightest that America has ever produced. But as
an old history major and someone who continues to read and learn from
history every week, it is worth noting that there have been strides
made in health care and in medicine in the last 100 years that are
unparalleled in the entire history of mankind.
There was a book called “The Five Thousand Year Leap.” I don't want
to do it an injustice, but basically it points out that when settlers
came to North America, not the immigrants that came perhaps from Russia
who then later were referred to as Native Americans, but immigrants
coming from Europe, the English, and even from Norway, during those
years, they came in boats that were not powered other than by sail or
by arm strength. Mankind had not made a lot of progress over 5,000
recorded years of history. If you looked at the implements that were
used in farming when settlers in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries
came to North America, there really had not been any great developments
in production of food and in farming tools over the thousands of years
that mankind had existed.
Yet I think largely because the Founders of the United States of
America recognized the importance of ingenuity and rewarding not only
hard work but intellectual developments and processes--in fact, in the
Constitution, the Founders had the incredible foresight to provide for
something called copyrights or patents because they wanted to protect
intellectual property. They felt that if we protect and reward
intellectual property, then it will encourage people to develop new
ideas and find new and better ways. Within the last 100 years, we have
made much more than a 5,000-year leap, and that is also certainly true
in health care in the realm of medicine.
I don't think it is just pride in America. I think anyone objectively
will have to note that if not for the Presidents of the United States
of America and the medical breakthroughs in the United States of
America and the contributions of medicine in the United States, we
would not be where we are now with so much potential to cure diseases,
to prevent diseases, to improve quality of life, and to elongate
people's years on the Earth.
Some medical historians would say it was around 100 years ago that
for the first time--some believe in the entire history of the mankind,
recorded or otherwise--that for the first time, about 100 years ago, a
person had a better chance of being healed or getting well after seeing
a doctor than they had of getting sicker. It is extraordinary to think
that for the thousands of years of man's existence it is only in the
last 100 years that physicians actually were able to have a better
chance of healing than harming.
We saw an old Saturday Night Live skit that played out where the
barber was often also the doctor because he had sharp instruments to
cut with. But even going back 200 years to 1799, just over 200 years,
George Washington got ill. He had been out in the land that he loved
there at Mount Vernon, just southwest of here, a place that he longed
to be all during the Revolution. For the 8 years he served as the
commander to the Revolutionary forces, all of those days, nights, and
weekends, he longed to be back at Mount Vernon. But for the good of his
country, he stayed with his troops.
There were entries in journals and letters from people who served
under him and were stationed at Valley Forge: Why, even though they
weren't fighting? Because Washington knew if he let the men go home,
there was a good chance they wouldn't come back. If they didn't come
back, then the Revolution was going to be over, and all of those who
had participated would be killed by the British forces. So he stayed
with the troops. He often allowed the officers to take leave and go
home at night or on a weekend perhaps, but he stayed with the troops.
After the war was won, he went back to Mount Vernon. He thought he
was done. He had served his country and done what no one else had ever
done in history. Although Cincinnatus did an incredibly selfless thing,
it still wasn't to the level of selflessness of George Washington. When
he thought he was done in 1787, here came leaders begging him to come
back and lead the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia because, as
they eventually made clear to Washington, if he did not come back and
reside, all would be lost. All those who fought during the Revolution
would have fought for nothing: it would all go away, and the British
would be back in charge. There would be chaos.
So he agrees to come back. Then an incredible thing happened at the
Constitutional Convention. After they
could not reach any agreement on much of anything, as Ben Franklin
pointed out, Randolph made a motion that they recess until after a
celebration of the country's birth, its anniversary in early July.
Why don't they go to church together, worship together, celebrate
God's love and his gift in this country, and then come back and try
what had been so unsuccessful for the 5 weeks or so to that point?
The motion passed. They went to church at the Reformed Calvinistic
Church, a Christian church, and they worshipped God together. They
asked for his leadership. The Right Reverend William Rogers, pastor of
the Reformed Calvinistic Church in Philadelphia, did a powerful job of
leading the worship of God in this Christian church. It was a
nondenominational service. We still have a record of the prayer that
was prayed by Reverend Rogers at that celebration.
People noted after they came back that there was a different spirit.
Yes, there was disagreement, but it wasn't as rancorous as it had been
before that. It eventually came to the great compromise that allowed
one body to have equal numbers of representatives from each State, no
matter what size, and another body would have equal power and its
representatives would be chosen according to the number of people who
lived in that State. That was one of the great compromises.
We end up with a Constitution. George Washington thinks he is done,
but after the Constitution is ratified, they begged him to allow them
to elect him unanimously to be our first President. He doesn't want to
do it. He eventually agrees, gives in. They elect him unanimously. They
have a contested vote for Vice President, but John Adams wins. After 4
years, he was ready to go home. They begged him again to allow them to
reelect him unanimously. He eventually gave in and served 4 more years
Some did become disappointed with Washington during those 4 years
because he would not allow the United States to get involved in the
French Revolution. That irritated some people, but Washington believed
that America was so weak in that time, that if we got involved in a
foreign war, albeit a civil war, we would end up losing what had been
gained to that point. So he didn't let the United States get involved.
When he was begged to stay and let them elect him to a third 4-year
term, it would not have been unanimous. He said, basically, that it
would look too much like a monarchy if someone served 12 years. He
refused and could not be deterred. He went back to Mount Vernon.
There at Mount Vernon, as he loved to do, he was going around
assessing what improvements needed to be made there on his property. It
was cold. It began to rain. He was marking trees as to which ones would
be cut and which ones would be allowed to remain.
It got dark. He came to the house, not realizing that visitors had
come. Since the Washingtons were always so hospitable, even if they
didn't know people were coming, Martha would provide food for them.
George Washington came in. He was wet, he was cold, and Martha
implored him to go change clothes, as did the guests, but he wouldn't
have of it because he was so polite, always more concerned about
others. So he remained, ate in cold and wet clothes, and ended up
developing some kind of cold or infection, and it turned into a very
A doctor was called, and he couldn't understand why Washington wasn't
doing better. They were draining blood from Washington. It should have
healed him. It should have made him all well. If we are getting the bad
blood out of him, we don't know why he is not getting better, but got
Imagine that: you drain a man's blood, he gets weaker. They didn't
understand what they were doing. That was 218 years ago.
Washington got weaker. They were able to get ahold of the doctor, who
was one of George Washington's best friends in the world, Dr. Craik.
Dr. Craik loved George Washington. Washington loved him like a brother.
Craik wanted to do all he could to get him well. This man who loved
Washington and cared so deeply was one of the better doctors of the
18th century. He bled him again. He drained more blood from
Washington's body, thinking that would help, and it didn't. As we know
now, that was not helping. It was hurting. It was doing great damage.
That is what they thought just 218 years ago. In that intervening 218
years, the advancements in medicine have been staggering. We know now
what helps and what doesn't help. There will probably come a time when,
if we continue to develop research, as we have in the past, we will be
able to look back at the year 2017 and say there were things that we
were doing that were not as helpful as we thought, may have been
harmful, but never again to the extent as occurred where the doctors
actually were responsible for killing their friend, our American hero.
I don't think we will get to that point again.
It is worth noting historically the developments of health care so
that we can adequately see what has happened in the 7 years since
ObamaCare got passed. We have done damage to health care in America
I know people talk about all the people that have health insurance
now that didn't before. So many lost their policy. They got a much
worse policy. ObamaCare basically outlawed catastrophic insurance
policies, which are those that have a high deductible with a low
premium and ensure against basically something catastrophic, disease,
injury. Yet, because of the problems that ObamaCare created, premiums
skyrocketed for so many people and the deductibles dramatically
So many people have told me about their deductibles going from $250,
$500 to $6,000, $7,000, $10,000. There are so many paying more than
$10,000 for their health insurance with a high deductible that they can
never pay. We have done great damage to people's ability to get the
health care they need, that they used to be able to afford.
It was in the last 40 or 50 years that, when people brought up health
insurance, it really was insurance. You paid a very small premium each
month against some unforeseeable event out there in the future, a
catastrophic disease or injury. So you just paid a small premium, like
term life insurance, to ensure against something you hope never would
happen. In the meantime, you just paid for your health care.
I know that while growing up in Mount Pleasant, Texas, everybody knew
the doctors that were there. We went to more than one. It was sometimes
dictated by who raised their prices and who hadn't. Now we don't know
who raises their prices. You get a bill from a healthcare provider and
there is no way in the world to know how much the procedure costs, how
much the visit costs, how much anybody is actually going to pay to
satisfy this massive indebtedness. Chances are, maybe less than a tenth
of what the bill says that the government will pay if it is Medicaid,
Medicare, Blue Cross, Aetna, Anthem, or any of these health insurers.
You can't improve the cost of health care if you don't know what it
costs. You can't have free-market principles bringing down the cost of
health care when nobody knows what it costs.
We have gone from the days of having health insurance ensure against
a distant catastrophic event to paying behemoth companies to manage our
health care, to tell us what doctor we can see, which hospital we can
go to. We pay for so many other people who come into the country
illegally and don't have insurance. We pay for people in the country
legally that don't have insurance.
We pay exorbitant amounts for people that go to an emergency room
because the Supreme Court has told us that, regardless of whether
someone can pay or not, they have to be seen and treated. What happens
at the emergency room costs those who do pay dramatically more than if
those individuals had just gone to a health clinic and had the same
treatment for the same problem.
So there have been some great solutions proposed, none of which have
been to have the government have more role, turn all of the Nation's
health care into a big Veterans Administration where things can often
One of the things that has really broken my heart to be a servant of
the people of east Texas is so many veterans' stories of how they were
not properly cared for medically. They
didn't get the care they need. They were waiting for months. Then I
will have people tell me they got treated very well. They are in the
Lufkin Clinic named for Charlie Wilson.
Overall, I think our veterans would still be better off if all of
them were given a card and told: If you want to go to your local VA
clinic, if you have one close, fine. You just go to whichever is
closest and it gives you the best health care. That provides
competition and it keeps our word to the veterans that they will have
the health care they need.
Veterans should not be penalized because they served our country and
put themselves in harm's way. My 4 years on Active Duty in the U.S.
Army did not entitle me to life health care, so I don't have that
personal experience of dealing with the VA health care. I was not
disabled. I still feel guilty because during my 4 years, 1978 to 1982,
we were never in combat.
We were put on alert in 1979 that some of us, at least, might be
going to Iran, and we should have. I still feel that thousands of
Americans would be alive today if we had been sent back then and had
done the job of the radical Islamists that President Carter had been
welcomed in. Ayatollah Khomeini, President Carter welcomed him as a man
of peace, and he has done anything but provide peace.
But we owe our veterans so much. George Washington knew that, and
that is why in that picture just down the hall, that huge painting that
John Trumbull had painted, Washington has his arm outstretched, piece
of paper in there. On that piece of paper was his resignation. He had
also sent a copy to all 13 Governors. Amazingly, the last part of his
resignation was a prayer for the Nation. In that prayer for the Nation,
he included that he prayed God would ensure that we would never forget
those who had served in the field; talking about our veterans who had
fought for this country because Washington knew if we were going to
remain a free nation, then we would have to honor those, take care of
those who suffered as a result of giving us, protecting our freedom.
That is why also, if we ever fail to honor those who have honored us by
serving us in the military, we won't last past the next major conflict.
It is important we do that, and Washington knew that.
So, since Washington's death was certainly propelled by blood being
drained, we know draining somebody of their life-giving blood is not
normally a good idea, but in the last 100 years, just thinking about
you have a better chance of getting well than you do of getting sick,
look at the progress that was made in medicine in 100 years and look at
the developments in medicine since ObamaCare came about.
Yes, we know the big pharmaceutical companies signed on to endorsing
ObamaCare, as did the American Hospital Association and the American
Medical Association and AARP. For every organization that signed on
endorsing ObamaCare, if you read the ObamaCare bill, as I did, you
could normally find where they got their payoff. You could normally
find something that they were given to buy their support.
AARP has made more money than they would have ever dreamed before
ObamaCare through the health insurance policies that they endorse. So,
yes, there was a great deal of self-service for AARP to endorse a bill
that did massive medical damage to retired people, a bill that cut $716
billion out of Medicare.
When people realize AARP endorsed a bill that did so much gutting of
Medicare, how could they do that if they really care about retired
Well, how they could do it is that they were going to be rewarded by
selling or endorsing insurance that wouldn't have the 2 percent tax on
it that most insurance would have. They got some other benefits out of
it. I haven't seen how much profit they have made for a nonprofit
organization, but I believe it was in 2008 that they made over $400
million, basically profit for a nonprofit, from their insurance sales.
There is no telling how much that has increased. I would love to see
the number since ObamaCare came about. But they got a big payday
because they endorsed ObamaCare.
The pharmaceuticals, we knew they were going to make tens of billions
of dollars more than they ever had after ObamaCare. They were bought
off to endorse it. But for some of us who could see clearly down the
road where it was heading, as I have told some in the pharmaceutical
industry: By endorsing ObamaCare, if it is not changed, you will have
signed the death warrant for your own industry because eventually it
will lead to failure to recoup research and development.
Not initially, but by then the people who had endorsed ObamaCare from
the pharmaceutical industry will no doubt have gotten their golden
parachutes and could own an island somewhere. Who knows? But they will
be plenty wealthy. They would have overseen the steps that would lead
to the demise of the greatest developments in health care in thousands
of years, really just in the last 50 or 60, extraordinary developments.
Something has to be done. That is why a majority of Americans did not
support ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010. It is why a majority of Americans
wanted change. They had to have change.
Like the old joke about the guy up in the tree who went up to get the
gorilla out. After tangling for so long, he yells at the guy: Just
shoot up in the tree.
He said: Yeah, but I might hit you.
And the guy yells: Yeah, but one of us has got to have some relief.
People suffering from health care under ObamaCare have been crying
for relief: Just do something. We have got to have relief.
I have heard that from so many in east Texas. Look, something has got
to be done. We can't keep going like this. We can't afford the
premiums, and it is not going to get me help with health care because I
can't pay the deductibles. Something has to be done.
I was hoping we would have a full repeal. The bill 2 years ago didn't
fully repeal ObamaCare. It did more than we have done in the bill we
have now, but the reason I agreed to sign on was so many people were
saying: We don't like ObamaCare, but we have got to have some relief.
We have got to have relief.
We finally got concessions that would ensure that people's premiums
would come down in 2 years--too late for the year, but would come down
in 2 years, and then would continue to make progress in the area of
We would make great inroads in encouraging people. Instead of paying
tens of thousands of dollars to health insurance companies, they would
have a big hunk of that money going to their own health savings
account. That was clearly going to lead us--and still can--to a place
where patients control their own health care again, where they can go
talk to a doctor and not have an insurance manager intervene and say:
Uh-oh, you can't do that. Nope, you can't go see that person. Nope, we
haven't given approval to this or that.
It is a doctor and a patient relationship the way progress has been
made in the last 100 years that has given us, to a point, the best
health care in the history of mankind.
Now, in the 1970s, when I was in the Soviet Union as an exchange
student for a summer, I saw socialized medicine. We are talking real
socialized medicine, the same kind of socialized medicine that
President Obama and so many others called--they put this lovely
sounding name--single payer. Now, it is socialized medicine. The
government controls it all. You don't have any choices. It is in the
hands of the government. They see all; they know all.
Once the government has that power, then they have the right--and an
obligation even--to tell you what you have to do physically, what you
can eat, who you can see, where you can go, when you can go. People who
want total government control over people's lives--not of their own,
but everybody else's--they understood, they had the vision that if we
can get government control of health care, then we will be able to
control all these minions all across America.
There are a lot of people in this body who I disagree with, but I
know they want to do what is right for America. But it is not right for
America and for Americans to have the United States Government
dictating every aspect of our lives.
I long for the days when my liberal friends used to yell: We don't
want the government in our bedroom.
Because since then, they have been saying: Yeah, let's get the
government in our bedroom, in our bathroom, in our kitchen, in our
living room, in our garage. We want government control of everything.
As I have said before, the only thing it appears that George Orwell
got wrong was the date. It wasn't 1984. But we still have a chance to
get off this miserable road we are on. That is why the huge bulk of
geographic America rose up on election day in November and said: We
have got to have some relief. Whether we like Donald Trump or not, we
have got to have some relief, we have got to have some change.
That is why the huge geographical United States voted for Donald
Trump. The fringes of the United States, the coast and a few major
cities said: No, we like the government telling us what to do, how to
live, what we can have.
But across America geographically, that was not what people wanted.
This is our chance. I really had hoped that by compromising again, as
the Freedom Caucus, that we could have a vote by today on a bill that
would start us down the road of getting rid of ObamaCare, getting us
back on a road toward freedom. We knew it was going to be tough.
If you don't think it would be tough, look at the Soviet Union after
the fall of the wall and the Soviet Government. There were so many
Russians who said: What are we going to do? We have to look for a job--
find our own job. We don't want that kind of freedom.
Well, they are finding out that perhaps they do.
One of the things that we had gotten as a compromise to try to help
Americans in the agreement that has developed to this point was the
elimination of the taxes that would have been kept in place under the
proposed bill that was first filed by our leadership.
Another thing that would be in there is a requirement that if you are
going to now be part of Medicaid, as we have had millions now having
the government pick up the insurance through Medicaid, then we are
going to put a similar work requirement, as was put on by Congress in
the 1990s by the Republican House and Senate.
And though President Clinton didn't want to agree to that, once he
saw they had the votes to override another veto, he agreed to sign it
because rather than have his veto overridden--and now it is one of the
things he brags about: Oh, yeah, while I was President, I reformed
welfare, so you had to work.
As a result of that reform in the 1990s--it was not a callous move.
It was a caring move by Republicans in the House and Senate who
understood that it is not a punishment to have a job. It gives you a
feeling of self-worth.
We are not going to get back to the days where as many people have
jobs as used to until we restore that freedom and a requirement that,
if you are going to make the American taxpayers pay for everything that
you want and need, then, if you are able to work, you are going to have
to do something.
As a result of that work requirement in the 1990s, income for single
mothers, when adjusted for inflation, for the first time since welfare
began in the 1960s under the so-called Great Society, for the first
time, that income increased for single moms when adjusted for
The Federal Government, since the Great Society legislation, had
begun to lure young women into holes, into ruts, from which they could
not extricate themselves. After 30 years of the Federal Government
luring people into holes they then could not get out of, they were
required to get out of the hole, they did, and their lives improved.
Now, I know the mainstream media has been there to defend every bit
of government control as it took over more and more. They would take
their potshots at people like me that probably were more intelligent on
national testing than they were. But, nonetheless, used all kinds of
excoriating terms, make fun. Like the time I mentioned that I was told
by somebody that they were in line to get groceries and the person in
front of them had crab legs that were expensive, and this person said:
Gosh, I am wishing I could have afforded crab legs.
But it turns out, when they pulled out the card, which let them know
taxpayers were paying for those crab legs, he realized the reason that
he can't afford crab legs is because he is paying for his and this
other person's food.
Well, the press went nuts over that. It has been some years back. It
wasn't long after that, after the media here in Washington belittled
me, the media in New York belittled me, never brought it out, but we
got a picture. They said nobody can get crab legs with money from food
stamp programs, CHIP, any of that. You can't do that. We have got
pictures of crabs for sale and the sign saying “we take food stamps.”
Anyway, it is very clear that, when you see the signs that say “we
take food stamps” for the crabs, that the media that belittled me back
in those days, they had their fun, but they were just wrong, and they
were lying to cover for more and bigger intrusive government.
I want to also thank my friend Tom MacArthur. I am not crazy about
the amendment that he provided, but Tom is making a real effort: let's
reason together. Let's come together on a bill. We compromise, and we
get to a point where we can help our respective constituents. We can
I felt like, with all of the compromises, we were going to bring down
premiums more quickly. We were repealing at least some of ObamaCare--
not enough, but at least some of it--and we were going to be able to
move the ball forward so that we could get back to great advancements
in improving people's health care and getting away from the insurance
monopolies that have developed in each State. It has been reported that
in around 30 States there is only one company left providing the
Well, this body did a great thing, and I appreciate very much Speaker
Ryan agreeing to do it. But he and Kevin McCarthy allowed a bill to
come to the floor. Our whip, Steve Scalise, found: Gee, this is a lot
easier doing a whip on this thing than we thought.
But it would eliminate the exemption for health insurance companies
from antitrust laws. Under the state of the law since 1945, under the
McCarran-Ferguson bill back then, health insurance companies have been
allowed to monopolize. They can take actions that, in some other
industry, would cause the Department of Justice to come after them and
sue them, take very strong actions, and could even result in criminal
actions if someone is trying to monopolize. But, in health care, it has
been allowed for years.
You can go in and tell somebody: We want, in our agreement, that if
you take any of these other upstart insurance companies' insurance, you
are going to be out of our network; and we are the big dog, so you will
be out of luck.
Well, you can't do that when you are under the antitrust laws of the
United States, but you can when you are exempt.
That bill came to the floor. We had over 400 people on both sides of
the aisle vote for it. And I know good and well that if Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell would bring that to the floor of the Senate, it will
have probably every bit as high a percentage. It could even be
unanimous. I can't imagine somebody in the Senate voting against it.
But, if we simply change the law to allow people to buy across State
lines and we don't eliminate the exemption from antitrust laws, then
instead of having 30 monopolies in 30 States, you will have one
monopoly for the whole country. The one big company can drive everybody
else out because the healthcare providers will know, if they are going
to survive, they have got to have this one monopoly paying them. And
the monopoly can put in the contract: You won't be in our network if
you accept insurance from any other place.
So that has to go. The House did that. I look forward to the Senate
Our revised version that I was hoping we would vote on today still
does not fully repeal ObamaCare, but by the negotiations that have
occurred in the Tuesday Group, Freedom Caucus, Republican Study
Committee, committee of jurisdiction, we have made a great deal of
progress, and I thought we were there. We didn't have any assurances
that the Senate would pass exactly what we did, but we were going to
move the ball forward.
Now, today was as close as we have gotten to repealing and getting
into law a big repeal of a big part of ObamaCare, but it didn't happen
today. It needs to happen, and it needs to happen very soon.
But what did happen in the White House, the President has stood
undeterred. Again, today, he signed another executive order. This one
didn't do as the prior administration and usurped power that was not
his, that only Congress has. He is working well within the law and gets
good advice on this stuff.
I have got to say, even when I have talked to the President over the
last few weeks, more than once, he wants to make sure that he is
following the Constitution, and he is careful to say that. I like that.
Let's check to see and make sure we are following the Constitution and
we are not missing something here. I love having a President that is
concerned about that. For all of the grief that President Trump has
taken, he is concerned about it. He does not want to exceed his
Unfortunately, we have judges in the Ninth Circuit, particularly,
that exceed their authority on a regular basis. Mr. Speaker, that is
why I am hoping that, in the very near future, we will break up the
Ninth Circuit. It would be okay with me if we restricted the Ninth
Circuit, who doesn't have one care about precedence, about the
Constitution. They just have their political agenda. If we are not
going to get rid of them altogether, then let's at least restrict their
jurisdiction to controversies that arise within their building and then
divide up the rest.
We need a new circuit. Let President Trump appoint all of the new
12th Circuit that will be created. I am very pleased that our Judiciary
Committee is wanting to do something major regarding the Ninth Circuit
being out of control.
And I do think an important step will be, when we eliminate the
jurisdiction of a district court over immigration and naturalization
matters, we have authority to create courts--all but one. The Supreme
Court is the only one formed under the Constitution. All the rest of
them, we brought them into the world and we can take them out. We give
them their jurisdiction and we can take it away. We need to do that if
we are going to save this constitutional Republic.
So, Mr. Speaker, I would also like to finish by mentioning the
National Day of Prayer recognition that is coming up on Thursday. Anne
Graham Lotz took over the gavel from Shirley Dobson. Both are dear
friends. Shirley Dobson has done an extraordinary job over the last 25
The National Day of Prayer has continued the tradition for many years
now. We do have an observance at the Capitol. For a couple of decades,
it has been at the Cannon Caucus Room. It seats more than the rooms
here at the Capitol do. We had hoped to have it in the rotunda. It is
nondenominational. There are others than Christians. There are Jewish
leaders that will participate and always have.
This coming Thursday is that day. Thousands of cities around the
country will observe the National Day of Prayer that President Trump
will do, as all the Presidents for many decades have done, and sign
recognizing that as the Day of Prayer. Congress has passed it
recognizing that. Though Senator Schumer wouldn't let us have it in the
rotunda, it will be in Statuary Hall, and it will be a day of prayer,
thanksgiving, and fasting for some.
Our National Day of Prayer is really a day of celebration. I think it
is something that has characterized this Nation from our very
beginning. We had an order like none other from any commander I am ever
familiar with. In my 4 years in the Army, we never had a commander
issue an order like this. And certainly if one had been issued under
the Obama administration's generals and admirals, the administration
would have, no doubt, fired them immediately.
Washington issued an order for all its commanders that they had to
allow our military members fighting for the United States to worship on
Sunday. They were to set up chaplains in each unit if there was someone
who could fulfill that role, and, if not, they would be allowed to go
to another unit's worship of the Lord on Sunday.
Now, that was back in our founding. That is when we were fighting for
existence. And for all those who have turned a blind eye to the real
history of America--which is really hard to do with all of the evidence
that is so overwhelming. But if one would just go down to the State
Department down the road here, within the glass case there at the State
Department, they have a copy of the original Treaty of Paris, 1783.
It surprised me. As much as I have studied history, I did not know
how it started until I saw that. And I was actually with our pastor
from Green Acres Baptist Church there in Tyler. He and his wife, Cindy,
were with me and my wife, Kathy.
I have actually not been on a tour of the State Department since. A
lot of it is pretty boring, but this is intriguing. This is the front
of the Treaty of Paris, 1783. This was the document that required
England, Great Britain, to recognize, in writing, that the United
States of America was an independent country, that we did not have to
do what we were dictated to by Great Britain, and that we were free and
independent. There was still concern there in 1783.
Yes, they surrendered at Yorktown under General Cornwallis' command,
but it is still 1783, the delegates are there at Paris, and the United
States delegates are trying to figure out: How do we get these people
to swear that they recognize we have a right to be independent? What
can we get them to swear under that is so important to us and so
important to those delegates from England that they would not dare
break that oath?
Should we have them swear in the name of Allah, or Muhammad, or
Confucius, or Buddha? What could we get the representative delegates
from Great Britain, the United Kingdom, the most powerful empire in the
world at that time, the most powerful military, navy to swear to? They
are a lot bigger than us. What do we get them to swear under so that we
know they have to take it seriously?
Well, they came up with it, and it starts the treaty, and it is the
only thing in the Treaty of Paris that is huge lettering. And even I
was surprised. In huge lettering, it says: “In the name of the most
holy and undivided trinity. . . .” That is how the Treaty of Paris
starts. That is what the United Kingdom Representatives had to swear
under: “In the name of the most holy and undivided trinity.”
It is also worth noting, as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the planner of 9/
11--thank God he is still in Guantanamo Bay--he noted in his pleading,
he gave the reference to the verse in the Koran that says that anyone
who attempts to attach someone else to God, to Allah, should be killed.
It is a capital offense. It is a death-penalty offense the way Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed, ISIS, and others read the Koran, the way the radicals
read it. It is a death-penalty offense, as he points out in his
pleadings, if you say God has a son. If you say there is a Holy
Trinity, that is worth the death penalty for the radical Islamists--not
for the moderates, but some estimate 10 percent of Islam.
It is a capital offense, and both the United Kingdom Representatives
and the United States of America Representatives signed proudly the
Treaty of Paris, recognizing our independence, proclaiming what Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed says is a death-penalty sentence. “In the name of the
most holy and undivided trinity.” They said right there. It started
our country, independently.
We recognize there is a most holy and undivided trinity. We say the
Declaration of Independence started us, but that didn't really happen
until somebody else agrees it is true. And our enemy, at that time,
agreed it was true, and we began our Nation. And this National Day of
Prayer is a day of rejoicing, a day of thanksgiving to the most holy
and undivided trinity. And it would have been awesome if it could have
been in the rotunda, but, under the rules of the Senate, if any Senator
puts a hold on the bill, then it doesn't go forward for unanimous
Hopefully, Senator Schumer is still there next year when it comes
time. Hopefully, he won't put a hold on it if Anne Graham Lotz still
has a vision of having the National Day of Prayer
celebration there in the Nation's rotunda.
But instead, next Thursday, it will be after 5 so it doesn't
interfere with the normal workings. I had no problem with having the
Holocaust recognition at 11 a.m. in the morning. Not only did I not
have a problem with it, I was proud that we did it during the day like
that. It should be noted. People should understand that unless you
stand up for freedom, stand up for the teachings of Jesus, stand up for
things that are actually in the Bible, you are not going to have the
kind of freedom that allows people to be part of the greatest country
in the world because that greatest country in world history will end up
sliding down to the dustbin of history.
So it will be a great day. Mr. Speaker, I hope to see you there.
I yield back the remainder of my time.