Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

Congressional Record2017/4/28Senate | House | Extensions

2017/4/28 > House > H2962 > 1 | 2 | Next Article

Special Order:

[Pages H2962-H2967]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                              HEALTH CARE

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 people's lives.

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. {time} 1215

So he agrees to come back. Then an incredible thing happened at the Constitutional Convention. After they [[Page H2963]] 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 as President.

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 serious infection.

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 weaker.

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 under ObamaCare.

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 increased.

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 be catastrophic.

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 [[Page H2964]] 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. {time} 1230

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 people?

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 premiums.

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. [[Page H2965]]

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. {time} 1245

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 inflation.

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 help America.

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 insurance.

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 doing that.

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. [[Page H2966]]

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 authority.

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 years.

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. {time} 1300

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 consent.

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 [[Page H2967]] 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. ____________________

Back to Top | Next Article | Source:

Legislative BranchLive Floor Updates, Congressional Record


Members, Committees

Plan: House, Senate; Prayer

Live: House, Senate, Deck

Record: Daily, Weekly

Votes: House, Senate

News, Reporters