ON BOSNIA AND BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 141, No. 190
(House of Representatives - November 30, 1995)

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[Pages H13847-H13852]
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                   ON BOSNIA AND BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of May 
12, 1995, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Scarborough] is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Mr. Speaker, although I am going to be speaking 
today primarily on the need to balance the budget for the American 
people, I would like to echo some of the sentiments that the 
gentlewoman from Ohio just stated before this House, all and all, to 
those that may be watching at home.
  I just returned from a national security meeting where we had the 
Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Chairman of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Shalikashvili, coming and testifying 
before our committee one more time telling us why American troops need 
to be sent to Bosnia. Unfortunately, while we saw a lot of good charts 
and saw that General Shalikashvili obviously had done his homework and 
was going to try to carry this mission out in as impressive a way as 
possible, unfortunately, there was one question that was not answered 
over there. That question was, 

[[Page H13848]]
why? Why are we sending young Americans to get involved in a 1,000-
year-old civil war where everybody admits there will be bloodshed and 
young Americans will die? Why are we doing that?

                              {time}  1545

  Is there a vital American interest involved in the Bosnian civil war? 
Absolutely not, and that is something unfortunately that the 
administration has not been able to convey to the American people. They 
have not been able to make their case that getting involved in a three-
way civil war halfway across the world is worth the death of young 
American men and young American women that would be sent to Bosnia.
  The fact of the matter is that we in the post-Vietnam era have set up 
some basic requirements to make sure, to make sure, that before young 
Americans go to get involved in a war where there will be casualties, 
and everybody who has testified before the Committee on National 
Security admits there will be casualties in Bosnia, we set up a 
framework to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of Vietnam.
  Remember what happened in Vietnam? The fighting did not just go on in 
the jungles of Vietnam halfway around the world. The fights went on in 
the streets of America, and the streets of the Capital, in the Halls of 
Congress, on college campuses across this country, and what did that 
do? That undercut American forces' ability to do what they needed to do 
to win the war in Vietnam. In fact, after the war North Vietnamese 
generals were quoted in the press as saying, ``We knew we would never 
win the war militarily in Vietnam, we knew the Americans would continue 
to rout us in battle after battle after battle. But we knew one thing. 
If we kept fighting long enough, we would win the war on the streets of 
America and in the Halls of Congress.''
  So what happened? Young Americans, white and black, rich and poor, 
northern and southern, died in the jungles of Vietnam, and very little 
was accomplished when the Americans retreated and pulled out of 
Vietnam.
  So in 1980, in the mid-1980's, we came up with a doctrine and said, 
``Before we send Americans, we're going to have a few requirements. The 
first requirement is that there is a vital American interest involved 
in that war.'' And that is important because, when you are the 
President of the United States, and you have to pick up the phone and 
tell a mother and a father that their 18-year-old boy or girl has just 
died on foreign soil, away from home and away from their country, you 
better have a good reason, you better be able to explain to them that 
their son or daughter died for the best interests of the United States 
of America, and that is that vital American interest that we are all 
clamoring about, that we are all asking for: What is the vital American 
interest?

  Quite frankly there is none, and the administration in the beginning 
said that it was because it would look bad to our NATO allies. Mr. 
Speaker, that is no reason to send Americans off to die. The fact of 
the matter is the United States is and has been NATO for the past 
generation. We have protected our NATO allies from the threat of 
communism, we have provided them with troops, we have provided them 
with protection, we have gone beyond the call of duty to NATO. Just 
because we do not get involved in a European civil war that has been 
going on for almost a thousand years does not mean that we will be 
traitors to NATO and NATO will kick us out.
  The fact of the matter is we are the lone superpower in this world, 
the lone superpower on the world stage. So that is the first straw man. 
Second straw man is that this war will somehow explode beyond the 
borders of Bosnia. Well, in all the testimony we have heard before the 
Committee on National Security that is also a straw man that has been 
set up and knocked down. It is just not the case, and a few weeks ago 
in Philadelphia the Secretary of Defense admitted that this may not be 
a war in which a vital American interest is at stake. But then they 
started backtracking, and Time magazine quoted several sources that 
started saying maybe we do not even need a vital American interest in 
this post-cold-war world, maybe we can go ahead and send our volunteer 
troops to die in Bosnia.
  Let me tell you that is just--it is sickening to think that we have 
people here that are willing to allow young Americans to die abroad for 
an interest that is not even our own.
  Certainly it is horrible to see what is going on in Bosnia. I was 
watching a newscast a few months back, and there was a 7-year-old boy 
that had literally been blown off his bicycle, and they had him on a 
stretcher, and he was screaming, ``Please don't cut off my leg, please 
don't cut off my leg,'' and the news reporter came on and said they did 
not cut off the young boy's leg, but he died 2 hours later.
  Now I have a 7-year-old boy myself, and that touched me, it tore me 
up, and I thought we have got to do something about it, we have got to 
stop the killing in Bosnia. There has to be something we can do. We 
need to send American troops over there.
  But then I backed up and started thinking about it and started 
thinking about the fact that we had said the same thing in Somalia, and 
what happened? We sent troops over to Somalia, but it was not Somalians 
2 months after we sent our troops in dying on TV screens. It was young 
American GI's who had been beaten, and tortured, and burned, and drug 
through the streets of Mogadishu.
  And what happened? This same emotional impulse that pulled America 
into the civil war in Mogadishu pulled them back out, and the same 
emotional response that this administration is feeling right now when 
we see Bosnians dying on the TV screen, that will cause American troops 
to be pulled over into the middle of that conflict, it will also pull 
them back because it would not be Bosnians that we see dying on our TV 
sets 2 months from now or 3 months from now, it will be Americans, and 
make no mistake of it. General Shalikashvili just today, 30 minutes 
ago, testified before our committee that we need to expect casualties, 
young Americans will die.
  And let us personalize this because I have heard a lot of talk from a 
lot of people over these past few weeks saying, well, it is a volunteer 
force, it is a volunteer army, they signed up for it, they should not 
be afraid to go and fight. It is our military, we spend money on our 
military, they should be willing to go and fight.

  Let us make no mistake about it. It is not just a faceless military 
man or woman that is going to die if we go to Bosnia. It is going to be 
somebody's son, it is going to be somebody's daughter, or it is going 
to be a father or mother or somebody. In the class of my 7-year-old 
boy, he has several friends whose fathers are in the military who are 
waiting to be called and may be going over to Bosnia, and on December 
15 or December 16, when we are all planning for Christmas, and when 
hopefully I will be able to go home and be with my family, and we can 
prepare for Christmastime, they are going to be saying goodbye to their 
fathers, they are going to be saying goodbye to their mothers, they are 
going to be parents who are going to be crying and kissing their young 
men and women, their sons and daughters, going to be kissing them 
goodbye, knowing that they are not going to see them Christmas morning.
  And the question we have to ask is why. What is the vital American 
interest that we have that is worth sending Americans to get involved 
in a three-way civil war that will certainly end in conflict and will 
end in Americans' deaths? And I am not saying that we, as Americans, 
need to be isolationists. I am not an isolationist. There are vital 
American interests that need to be protected across the globe. But in 
this case we are not going to be able to make a difference.
  Fact of the matter is this civil war has been raging for centuries, 
and it was brought home in testimony before the Committee on National 
Security by a general of the United Nations who came to us and said, 
``I want you Americans to understand what you are about to get involved 
in.'' He said to us that he was a monitor for the human rights abuses 
that went on, and, monitoring those abuses, he said, one morning he had 
to go out and survey a situation where the Serbs had slaughtered young 
and old Muslims, and as he saw the young victims and the elderly 
victims in the ditches of Bosnia, he was surveying the scene and 
through how horrendous it was.

[[Page H13849]]

  And a Serb came up to him, and he said, ``It serves them right,'' and 
the general turned around and said, ``It serves them right for what?''
  And the Serb responded, ``It serves them right for what they did to 
us 600 years ago.''
  Then the general paused, and he said to us, ``And you Americans 
believes that you are going to be able to end a thousand-year-old civil 
war that you do not even understand in 1 year and with one division.'' 
He laughed. He said it was not doable.
  And the fact of the matter is we have a bipartisan group in the U.S. 
Congress that is urging the President to please hold back and not send 
troops until he gets the support of this Congress. The last speaker 
that was just up was a Democrat. I would guess she votes with the 
President 80 to 90 percent of the time. But she and several others of 
her colleagues on the Democratic side realize that this is a war that 
we cannot win.
  This is a situation where young Americans will be sacrificed, and 
when the press turns bad, and the body bags start coming home, and 
inside those body bags will be the sons and daughters of Americans, 
when those body bags start coming home, we will have an emotional 
response, and we will quickly yank those troops out, and for what? I 
say today for absolutely nothing. We know we cannot bring about a peace 
to a country that has been fighting a three-sided civil war for a 
thousand years, and it is sheer folly and idealism to believe today 
that we can do that.
  Also another important thing we have to take into consideration is 
public support of a mission. You know then Secretary of Defense Cap 
Weinberger talked about how the lack of overwhelming public support 
torpedoed our efforts in Vietnam. It was about a 50-50 split, if I am 
not mistaken, over having troops in Vietnam. We are not even at 50 
percent today. The overwhelming majority of Americans from some of the 
polls that I have seen recently oppose sending troops to Bosnia.

                              {time}  1600

  So what is going to happen? If they are already thinking that right 
now, what is going to happen a month from now, or 2 months from now, or 
6 months from now, when young Americans are killed and taken, paraded 
through the streets of Bosnia and brought back in body bags? What is 
going to happen?
  Chances are good that we will see what happened in Vietnam. Fighting 
will erupt in Congress, demonstrations will occur in the streets of 
America, and we will have a President responding once again based on 
emotion rather than based on solid, hard military principles.
  I have to say again, following up from what the previous speaker 
said, we should not send troops to Bosnia until the President can 
convince the overwhelming number of Americans from coast to coast that 
not only do we have a vital American interest getting involved in a 
1,000-year-old civil war, but that interest is so essential to this 
country that it would damage America directly if we did not send those 
troops. Those are the questions that the President is going to have to 
answer.
  Outside of Bosnia, we have other issues that are involved, issues 
that are every bit as important, and every bit as important to where we 
go as a country in the 21st century. For too long in this Congress we 
have had Members on both sides of the aisle willing to spend this 
country deeper and deeper and deeper into debt. Today we are $4.9 
trillion in debt.
  I spoke of my two boys, my 7-year-old and my 4-year-old. The fact of 
the matter is both of those boys are $20,000 in debt, as are all of 
you, and everybody who is watching owes $20,000, if you divide the $4.9 
trillion that we owe. It also means that every child born today will 
have to pay $175,000 in taxes over their lifetime just to pay the 
interest on the Federal debt, just to pay the interest, $175,000.
  When we talk about $4.9 trillion, a lot of people's eyes glaze over. 
My eyes glaze over. We cannot really begin to fathom how much $4.9 
trillion is, but I want you to consider this. Think about this for a 
second. Starting with the day that Jesus Christ was crucified, if you 
made $1 million a day from the day that Jesus hung on the cross to 
today, made $1 million a day over those almost 2,000 years, you could 
not pay off the national debt that the United States of America now 
has. Can you fathom that? Do you know, you would have to go through 
seven more time periods making $1 million a day over seven more time 
periods, just to pay off the national debt that we owe today?
  That is absolutely incredible. Yet, we still have people in this 
Chamber and in the media and across the United States of America that 
say, ``Maybe it does not matter whether we balance the budget sooner or 
later.'' That astounds me. That absolutely astounds me, because let me 
tell you what is going on here. Let us brush aside all the political 
rhetoric that you have heard, let us brush aside what the Republicans 
tell you, what the Democrats tell you, what independent demagogues tell 
you. Let us just look at the facts.
  The fact of the matter is that this is how it works in Washington, 
DC. One year ago when I was a citizen sitting on my couch in Pensacola, 
FL, never being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives or to any 
other position, I had never run for office until a year ago, but the 
simple fact is this; this is what is happening in the House of 
Representatives and in the Senate and in the White House: We are 
stealing money from our children and our grandchildren's pockets to pay 
off special interests on this bill or that bill, paying out money that 
we as a Federal Government are not even constitutionally empowered to 
pay out.
  Whatever happened to the words of Thomas Jefferson in our 
deliberations, where Jefferson said ``that the government that governs 
least governs best?'' Why have we forgotten the words of the 10th 
amendment that says:

       All powers not specifically given to the Federal Government 
     are reserved to the States and to the citizens?

  And we certainly have forgotten the words of James Madison, one of 
the Framers of the Constitution, who said:

       We have staked the entire future of the American 
     civilization not upon the power of government, but upon the 
     capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, control 
     ourselves, and sustain ourselves according to the Ten 
     Commandments of God.

  Yet, today we have a Federal Government that has ignored these pleas 
of our Founding Fathers on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. They have 
continued to spend more, they have continued to overregulate, they have 
continued to punish people for daring to be productive. They have 
continued to let Federal bureaucracies explode.
  This House has continued to allow the Federal Government to step in 
and tell us how to educate our children and how to protect our 
communities. It just makes absolutely no sense, but this Congress, 
after a generation, after 40 years of not being able to balance its 
budget, this Congress finally passed a Balanced Budget Act for the 
first time in a generation. What does it do? It makes sure that this 
Congress does exactly what Americans are required to do by law. That 
is, spend only as much money as we take in.
  Right now, even though given the fact that we are $4.9 trillion in 
debt, we as a government this past year spent $4 for every $3 that we 
take in. What happened at the White House when the real crisis came, 
and we refused to raise the debt ceiling in Congress until the White 
House committed to balancing the budget, where they simply went in and 
raided the trust funds of our Federal employees, simply decided that 
they would go in when it suited them to raid the trust fund of Social 
Security recipients and to raid the trust funds of Medicare?
  Let me ask this, as a rhetorical question. If you were running a 
business and you were spending $4 for every $3 that your company took 
in, and you piled up such a massive debt that you decided to raid your 
employees' retirement funds, what would happen to you? You would be 
sent to jail. But what has happened in Washington, DC? We have 
reelected these people for years and years and years.
  Up until 1994, when 72 freshmen who campaigned on balancing the 
budget came to Washington, and we told the Speaker of the House, we 
told the majority leader, we told the President of the United States, 
we told everybody who listened that we as a freshman class were going 
to draw a line in the sand and not allow this Federal Government to 
continue its runaway deficit spending, that we were going to say 

[[Page H13850]]
no to higher debts, we were going to say no to higher taxes, we were 
going to say no to more regulation, we were going to say no for 
punishing people for daring to be productive, and that we were finally, 
as a principle, going to stop stealing money from our children and our 
grandchildren, and it has worked.
  We passed the first Balanced Budget Act in a generation's time, but 
what have we heard? What have we heard from the media? You would think 
that all of America would rejoice, that the media would come out and 
say, ``Good job, guys.'' Some have, but unfortunately two many have 
listened to the scare tactics from the liberals and have listened when 
they told them that we have massively cut all these programs.
  You heard about the massive cuts in Medicare, you heard about the 
massive cuts in student loans, you heard about the massive cuts in the 
earned income tax credit, you heard about all these massive cuts in 
education and environment. I guess as a freshman I did not understand 
how it worked in Washington, DC, but I figured it out. I am not too 
good at math, but there is some new math going around in Washington, 
DC. You see, a spending increase is actually now called a spending cut. 
I say that because you hear how we are slashing all these programs. You 
have heard about the draconian cuts, but let us talk real numbers. If 
you want the budget, call your Congressman or Congresswoman and they 
will send it to you.
  These are the real numbers. Under the Balanced Budget Act of 1995 
that the Republicans passed, spending on the following programs will 
increase. In the school lunch program that we heard that we savaged, 
spending increases 37 percent, from $4.5 billion to $6.17 billion at 
the end of our plan.
  Under the earned income tax credit, spending increases 28 percent.
  In student loans, and how many of us have heard that student loans 
are going to be cut, in student loans spending increases 48.5 percent, 
and it increases from $19.8 billion to $25.4 billion in student loans.
  Why is the White House angry? Why are the liberals angry? Because we 
actually want to keep the power in the communities, so students who 
want to go to college do not have to kowtow to a Federal bureaucracy in 
Washington, DC, to get student loans. That is what the Clinton 
administration wants.
  They actually want, and they are arguing against history here, they 
actually wanted to consolidate power in Washington, DC, so if you are a 
student who wants a student loan you have to come to Washington, to the 
Department of Education bureaucracy here, and crawl on your hands and 
knees for a loan instead of getting it in your local community.
  Despite the fact that we are spending about 50 percent more under our 
plan for student loans, they still characterize that as a cut.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. I yield to the gentleman from Kansas.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Speaker, I think in our effort to balance the budget, 
we see some honest differences on what money should be spent in 
education between the States and the Federal Government. I know, as a 
Member of Congress from Kansas, that our State constitution does have a 
requirement to educate the children in that State. We have a State 
board of education, and through State funding it provides 94 percent of 
the funding requirements and the needs of the children to get a public 
education for Kansas. So where does the authority come to override that 
constitution in the State of Kansas?
  There are some things we could do, I think, as niceties, and 
providing student loans is one I advocate. I was able to go through 
college on student loans, as was my wife, and I am glad to see we are 
supporting student loans in a strong fashion. But to say that kids will 
not be educated if the Federal Government does not take that role is 
somewhat misleading. I think it is a violation of the 10th amendment; 
where States can provide that need, I think we should allow them to 
provide it.
  In your home State of Florida, I know they have a magnificently large 
building that would house the Department of Education or whatever it is 
termed in Florida; and again, they have plenty of requirements there to 
meet the needs of the children in Florida.
  So I guess what I am saying is that there is an honest difference 
when it comes to Federal spending for education that we have with the 
liberals. We think that the States have that responsibility through 
their constitutions, and I am unable to find that requirement in the 
Federal Constitution that I have sworn to uphold.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. I would say to the gentleman, the fact of the matter 
is he mentioned the 10th amendment. All powers not specifically given 
to the Federal Government and in the Constitution are reserved to the 
States and the citizens. Read the Constitution of the United States. 
There is no mention of a Federal role in having an education 
bureaucracy to micromanage education at the State and local level.
  Then read the constitutions of all 50 States. Did you know all 50 
State constitutions have contained in them provisions for the States 
controlling education? That is why, as you know, I have introduced a 
bill that 120 people have cosponsored, including most of our 
leadership, I think all of our leadership, to abolish the Department of 
Education bureaucracy and send all those education dollars back home, 
send them back to the communities. So instead of a bureaucrat in 
Washington, DC, educating my children and your children, we will have 
parents, teachers, principals, school boards, and communities empowered 
to make choices about education, because our Founding Fathers 
envisioned this country as being a nation of communities and a nation 
of families and a Nation of individuals who could be empowered to 
control their own life, and not have those decisions made by a highly 
centralized Federal bureaucracy.
  Mr. TIAHRT. If the gentleman will continue to yield, going back to 
Kansas again, we do have recent legislation that addressed the concern 
that Kansas had that their students were not getting the quality of 
education that they would like. If they looked at test scores, there 
was a degradation in test scores, and they passed measures called 
quality performance accreditation, QPA. It has been very volatile, very 
controversial, but it was in fact duplicative of what is going on with 
American Goals 2000.

                              {time}  1615

  So now we have a Federal entity in the Department of Education, as I 
join with the gentleman to abolish, duplicating the effort of the State 
board of education in Kansas and duplicating paperwork, duplicating 
effort, duplicating, all under the guise of getting a world-class 
education for our students. So I think that we are struggling at the 
State level trying to provide the quality of education that we need, 
and we really do not need big brother Government looking over our 
shoulder asking for twice the amount of paperwork.
  We have spent hundreds of millions, close to billions of dollars here 
in Washington, DC, in the Department of Education and not educated one 
child. I think it is a little unique that we have wasted so much money 
when our goal is to provide a world-class education for our students.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Mr. Speaker, I will tell my colleagues some 
interesting facts that people do not understand about the Department of 
Education is that it was just recently created. A lot of people said to 
me, what in the world will we do without a Federal Department of 
Education bureaucracy? I said, we will do what we did for the first 203 
years of this constitutional Republic. We will allow parents, teachers, 
principals, school boards, and communities to make decisions on how to 
best educate their children.
  It was not until 1979, when Jimmy Carter struck a deal with the 
National Education Association, that we even had a Federal Department 
of Education bureaucracy. Since that time, spending has gone from $14 
billion to $33 billion, while test scores have plummeted. That is $33 
billion in education money that is being drained, literally drained out 
of the education programs at the local level and brought up to 
Washington, DC, and for what?
  The fact of the matter is the Department of Education only gives 
States 6 percent of their funding for education, and yet they give them 
over 55 percent of their paperwork. 

[[Page H13851]]

  Mr. Speaker, I do not know if my colleagues watch ``Baywatch.'' I do 
not watch ``Baywatch,'' but I know what it is about. Did you know that 
your money, your Department of Education money goes into an educational 
program to provide closed caption for the hearing impaired for 
``Baywatch''?
  Did you also know that the Department of Education said that they had 
to slash $100 million this year from the education budget in money that 
was to go to keep schools safe, to stop roofs from caving in, to make 
sure that children had a good learning environment and safe learning 
environment? While they slashed and chopped $100 million from that 
upkeep, that building upkeep program, they added $20 million to upgrade 
their own bureaucracy building here in Washington, DC.
  So they are literally taking our education dollars, robbing money 
from our school children to build their bureaucracy here in Washington, 
DC, and that is not what people in my community think is a wise 
investment for education dollars.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Kansas.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Chairman, I would say to my colleague that I did not 
realize that there was any educational or intrinsic educational value 
to ``Bay- watch.'' I have never seen the program myself. As you, I have 
heard that it is not worth watching.
  Be that as it may, I think it is ironic that we spend this money here 
that has no educational value as far as fully teaching children, which 
is where the rubber meets the road. This goes back to the overall 
picture, why are we spending money in certain portions of our 
Government that have no constitutional authority, that have no apparent 
success, and there is no correlation between the spending of additional 
funding and the quality of education?

  Much of what has occurred in the past in the educational realm has 
not been related. I mean, if you track it on a graph, how much money 
has increased, and test scores, as they have either held stable or 
increased or decreased, there has been no correlation between spending 
more money. So we have not really addressed the problem, the problem of 
seeing that our children have a better education.
  So, again, we are going back to these attempts to balance the budget. 
Why should we waste money on funding areas that are not effective and 
that have no constitutional background?
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Mr. Speaker, I agree with the gentleman. We need to 
ask that constitutional question. We need to hold everything that we 
pass up and see how it does in the light of the 10th amendment.
  Mr. Speaker, let me in the remaining minutes that we have discuss 
some things about Medicare. Because, again, talking about the big lie 
that has been promulgated and all of these other issues that we are 
gutting funding for, all of these other things when, in fact, we are 
increasing funding, the same thing occurs in Medicare where we hear the 
President saying that he is going to shut down the Federal Government 
because our plan cuts too much in Medicare.
  Well, the fact of the matter is that the President of the United 
States himself came out with a report with the Medicare trustees, with 
three people in his own Cabinet telling us that Medicare was going 
bankrupt and we needed to reform it, and we dared to step forward and 
reform it. And yet, remember when the Government shut down, the 
President said, I will not allow them to slash Medicare benefits. Well, 
it ended up that it was a sham. His plan was just like ours.
  If I could read a few quotes from The Washington Post. Now, mind you, 
the Washington Post has not been a Republican ally, but they have been 
very straightforward and fair, and this was written actually by Matthew 
Miller, who is a former administration budget official for Bill 
Clinton.
  Mr. Miller wrote in the Washington Post last weekend:

       Though many of the President's advisors think the 
     Republican premium proposal plan on Medicare is sensible and 
     that it differs very little from the President's own plan, 
     the President fired sound bites from the Oval Office daily, 
     taking the low road in ways that only Washington pundits can 
     recast as standing tall.

  Also on Medicare, the Washington Post wrote on November 15, 1995:

       The Democrats have been prospecting harder for votes among 
     the elderly and against the Republican proposal than they 
     have for the savings to bring the deficit down.

  Finally, on November 16, in what I believe is one of the most 
important editorials that has been written this year, the Washington 
Post wrote that ``The budget deficit is a central problem of the 
Federal Government and one from which many difficult problems flow.
  ``Bill Clinton,'' again, this is the Washington Post, not me, ``Bill 
Clinton and the congressional Democrats were handed an unusual chance 
this year to deal constructively with the effect of Medicare on the 
deficit, and they blew it. The chance came in the form of a 
congressional Republican plan to balance the budget over 7 years.
  ``Some other aspects of that plan deserve to be resisted, but the 
Republican proposal to get at the deficit, partly by confronting the 
cost of Medicare, deserved support. The Democrats, led by the 
President, chose instead to present themselves as Medicare's great 
protectors.''

  Again, this is the Washington Post. ``They have shamelessly,'' and 
this is what they say, ``They have shamelessly used the issue, 
demagogued on it, because they think that is where the votes are and 
the way to derail the Republican proposals generally.
  ``The President was still doing it this week. A Republican proposal 
to increase Medicare premiums was one of the reasons the President 
alleged for the veto that shut down the government, but never mind the 
fact that the President himself, in his own budget, would count it as a 
similar increase.
  ``We have said it before, but it gets more serious. If the Democrats 
play the Medicare card and win, they will have set back for years, for 
the worst of political reasons, the very cause of rational government 
in behalf of which they profess to be behaving.''
  Again, I want to show my colleague, just so no one will think I wrote 
this, this is the Washington Post saying that Democrats have 
shamelessly demagogued on this issue and have tried to scare senior 
citizens into believing that the President is the protector, when his 
plan is just like our plan.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield, Medicare, just 
in a short review of the 1960's BlueCross/BlueShield plan that was put 
in place 30 years ago, the medical industry has progressed some 
considerable amount, and yet BlueCross/Blue Shield in this Medicare 
Program has been stagnated, frozen in time. So what we are proposing to 
do is not cut Medicare at all. In fact, the average payment per 
beneficiary goes from $4,800 per recipient this year to $6,700 per 
recipient in the year 2000, with more recipients.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. If the gentleman will yield, actually, they have 
redone the numbers, and it actually goes from $6,700 up to $7,100 per 
Medicare recipient. We go from spending $900 billion on the program 
this year to $1.7 trillion on Medicare in the year 2002. Now even in 
the schoolrooms that I went to that is considered a spending increase.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Chairman, I think if we could talk to someone in 
elementary school and showed them a basket that had 47 baseballs in it 
and a basket that had 71 baseballs in it and ask them which one has 
more, everyone would realize that there is more in the basket with 71.

  That is kind of a simplistic example, but there are no cuts to 
Medicare. There is a reduction in projected growth, but, good grief, it 
was growing at 11 percent per year. Medical inflation is growing at 
about 4 to 5 percent per year. Something needs to be done.
  I think the plan that we have before us that the Republican Party has 
come forward with, the Republican Conference, is a good plan, because 
it not only preserves and protects Medicare, but it also gives options, 
it empowers individuals, seniors. They can choose alternate plans or 
they can stay in Medicare, as they choose. I think it is still within 
the realm of balancing the budget. We have been able to preserve and 
protect Medicare and provide some options.
  I do not know how much time we have here, but I do want to say before 
we close, talk about some of the recent agreements that have been 
signed in a continuing resolution as far as making 

[[Page H13852]]
a commitment to balance the budget by 2002.
  Briefly, most of America knows that for a long, long time, a man or a 
woman's word was their bond. Well, my grandfather bought cattle and 
bought grain. His word was his bond. He would return some day later and 
pay cash for it. When my father purchased farm equipment, his word was 
his bond. My father-in-law taught me many lessons about honest and 
integrity. His word was his bond.
  Yet we have just recently signed a agreement on November 20, 1995. 
The President signed a continuing resolution that said this:

       The President and the Congress shall enact legislation in 
     the first session of the 104th Congress to achieve a balanced 
     budget not later than fiscal year 2002.

  Now, the first session of the 104th Congress ends on December 31, so 
we do not have a whole lot of time to do this.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Does it say Congress and the President ``shall'' or 
``may''?
  Mr. TIAHRT. It says the President and the Congress shall.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. So it is required by law. The President is required 
by law.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Required by law to enact legislation to balance the 
budget by fiscal year 2002.
  I want to quote something that was reported on the Fox Morning News 
on November 28. It was in the White House Bulletin on November 28 and 
in the Associated Press on November 28. This is quoting White House 
Secretary Mike McCurry when he was asked whether the White House would 
prefer to put off the larger budget debate until after next year's 
election and operate the Government on a continuing resolution, and 
here is what he said. ``There are big differences between the President 
and Congress.'' That is a true statement.
  He continues by saying, ``and I suspect that those kinds of issues 
will have to be settled in November 1996. But, in the meantime, we can 
avert the crisis, avert the shutdown, get on with the orderly business 
and have our debate next year during the national election campaigns 
when we should, as Americans, have that kind of debate.''
  I would put to Mr. McCurry and the American public that this was a 
signed agreement. This is not something that is debatable. This has the 
power of law.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield, the next 
day Presidential Spokesman McCurry said, ``I think they will get a 
compromise that everyone will agree needs to really be a placeholder 
until we have a national election. Pragmatically, that is what is going 
to happen anyhow.''
  So the gentleman is correct. It astounds me that this White House can 
waffle the way it does. Remember Leon Panetta saying the day after they 
signed this law, ``The President and Congress shall by law enact a 
balanced budget to save future generations in 7 years.'' The day after, 
24 hours after that, Leon Panetta had the audacity to go on national 
TV, being smug, and say, ``Well, maybe 7, maybe 8; we really do not 
know.''
  Now, this is the same Leon Panetta that said, Congress is holding a 
gun to the President's head. He called us terrorists right after the 
terrorist attack in Israel.

                              {time}  1630

  This is the same Leon Panetta who said we were being terrorists for 
attaching something to the continuing resolution requiring the 
President to balance the budget. This same Leon Panetta did the same 
exact thing when he was sitting on that side of the aisle in this House 
of Representatives and did it to two different Republican 
administrations.
  These people feel so free to use the English language any way they 
want to use it to try to get around the fact that we must balance the 
budget for the sake of our children. And they think they are cute 
playing these semantics games.
  Well, we are $5 trillion in debt. My children and your children and 
their children are $20,000 in debt apiece. My children and your 
children and their children will spend over $150,000 in their lifetimes 
just to service interest on the debt.
  Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Will the gentleman kindly yield?
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. My children, your children and their children are 
the ones who this Congress has been stealing money from for the past 40 
years and the past generation and the time has come to say enough is 
enough.
  I see the gentleman from Hawaii is asking for time. We have to close 
right now. I will say this, though. I am looking forward to working 
with the gentleman from Hawaii who yesterday appeared to say that we 
did not go far enough and we actually needed to find another trillion 
dollars, and I would welcome the gentleman's help in figuring out a way 
to get Social Security off budget and find a way for us to go that 
final step, to find the additional trillion dollars to do what we need 
to do.
  But I have got to tell you this: If we are $1 trillion short, then 
the President of the United States is $1.85 trillion short.
  I look forward to working with the gentleman. I certainly look 
forward to working with the gentleman from Kansas.
  Mr. DORNAN. Would the gentleman yield for a second?
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Unfortunately I believe we are out of time.
  Mr. DORNAN. I just wanted to say that I am going to do an hour 
special order later on Bosnia. I will not have to say it now.
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. I thank the gentleman. Unfortunately, we are going 
to have to wrap this up. I thank the gentleman from Kansas for helping 
us out.
  I ask Republicans and Democrats alike on both sides of the aisle to 
dare to make a difference.
  Bobby Kennedy, a Democrat, said the future belongs to those who dare 
to make a difference.
  I got a letter from a constituent in Pensacola, FL, thanking Congress 
for daring to make a difference and going where this Congress has 
failed to go for the past 40 years.
  He said a South African missionary once wrote to David Livingstone, 
``Have you found a good road to where you are? We want to know how to 
send some men to join you.''
  The missionary wrote back, ``If you have men who will come only if 
they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want those who 
will come if there is no road.''
  For 40 years this Congress provided no road to balance the budget. 
For 40 years this Congress shamelessly stole money from future 
generations to pay off their political interests, and for 40 years this 
Congress did not have the guts to do what we have done as middle-class 
Americans for the past 40 years, and that is to balance our budget and 
to spend only as much money as we have.
  Well, we have made the difference now. I ask people on both sides of 
the aisle to come forward and dare to make a difference, and stop 
trying to scare senior citizens. Follow what the Washington Post tells 
you to do: Save Medicare, balance the budget, pass true welfare reform, 
and ensure that our future generations will have a lifestyle in America 
that is even better than our own.

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