(House of Representatives - June 26, 2002)

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[Pages H4055-H4062]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2001, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. McInnis) is 
recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, I have a number of subjects of which I wish 
to cover this evening. Of course, having the opportunity to come over 
and wait for my time allotment to speak to the Members here, you get to 
listen to the people that preceded you speaking. The gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is a very capable individual and speaks very well. 
There is only one point I want to make clear about his conversations.
  At the beginning of his remarks, he expressed some dismay that the 
Republican leadership may not be able to bring up the prescription care 
bill, the Medicare bill, this week. He was very discouraged by that. He 
talked about and gave some examples of people that needed prescription 
assistance and senior citizens and their trials and tribulations that 
they go through, of which of course we would all agree with.
  What he did not point out was the fact that none of the Democrats 
want to help us. So there is a reason that that bill cannot come to the 
floor, and that is because we do not have bipartisan cooperation. The 
Republicans have asked the Democrats on a regular basis, pitch in and 
help us. Prescription care is a serious problem in this country. We 
have got to come up with some type of solution. We prefer to come up

[[Page H4056]]

with a bipartisan solution. Prescription care problems out there in our 
society do not happen to just Republicans. The ability or lack of 
ability to pay for prescription services does not just happen to 
Democrats. It happens to all people in our country. That is why it is 
necessary for bipartisan support.
  But, unfortunately, this is an election year; and with November not 
very far away and with the Democrats vowing that they will make 
prescription care services their main issue to try and defeat the 
Republicans, they find within their own conferences no incentive to 
cooperate. This thing is being driven by politics, and that is exactly 
why we get criticism of the Republicans not bringing it up.
  The reason is Republicans do not have the numbers. They need some 
help from the Democrats. But there is no way in an election year that 
the Democrats are going to help us with prescription care services. 
One, they do not want the issue resolved before November. They do not 
want the Republicans to get the credit for having solved the big 
problem in this country, so they will do whatever they can to resist 
any kind of cooperation. And while on one hand they will not cooperate, 
they turn around on the other hand and blame us for not bringing that 
bill to the floor.
  So I would suggest to my good friends over on the Democratic side, 
come on, let us be a little less partisan about this. Help us. Work 
with us. That is what we are asking for.
  But that is not the intent of my speaking to you this evening. I 
really want to cover three separate subjects. I want to talk, of 
course, about the outrageous decision made today by the Ninth Circuit 
in California about the fact that America now must hang its head in 
disgrace because our Pledge of Allegiance has been declared 
unconstitutional, unconstitutional by a Federal appeals court.
  That is no low-level court. That is a very high court in our country. 
It has had the audacity to come out and take the most recognized symbol 
in the world and the Pledge of Allegiance to that symbol and to that 
country, in a time of war, in a time when every other country in the 
world encourages its children in its schools, in its institutions, in 
its areas of public domain, encourages their civilizations to engage in 
religious practice, that this court finds it necessary for the United 
States to see that its Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because 
it mentions the name God. We will talk a little about that.
  I want to talk about the fires in Colorado. In fact, I have got a 
poster. I want to talk a little about the fire damage in Colorado, the 
fires and what is going on. During those discussions, I am going to 
point out, so that you have some proportion of the damage in Colorado, 
Colorado is not burning as a State. The great majority, 99 and some 
percent, of Colorado is not on fire. 99.9 percent of the State of 
Colorado is open for tourism; and if you want the greatest deal of the 
summer, you go to Colorado, because there are a lot of deals out there. 
There are a lot of opportunities.
  Colorado is a very gorgeous State. Of course, I am very proud of it. 
My family on my side and on my wife's side, we have multiple 
generations in Colorado. I could talk about Colorado all evening, but I 
do want to put it in some proportion, and we will be looking at this 
map to my left. I will give you a little idea of exactly what we are 
talking about.
  But we are not going to move to that map yet because I want to also 
talk this evening about corporate greed, this WorldCom stuff, KMart, 
Global Crossing, Xerox Corporation, Tyco Corporation, and now maybe 
even our favorite, Martha Stewart. What is going on out there in the 
corporate world? What is going on with the integrity of these people? 
What are they doing to our society? What are they doing to that 
credibility gap which is a foundation of the economic cycle of this 
country, of the economic principles of this country?
  It depends on integrity from people who manage these companies and 
people who oversee the management of the company, i.e., the board of 
directors. We are uncovering stone after stone after stone in corporate 
America, and what are we finding? We are finding corporate self-serving 
greed, not greed in a healthy capitalistic fashion but greed in a way 
that it is criminal.
  I intend to spend some time on that this evening, too. I intend to 
talk very specifically about what I think some of the solutions are. 
When I think of what is going on out there, it makes me think of a 
four-letter word. That is what I think of when I think of corporate 
greed. I want to use a four-letter word, J-A-I-L, jail. That is exactly 
what I am thinking about. That is exactly where some of these corporate 
executives ought to be, and it is exactly where those corporate boards 
of directors ought to be. That four letter word, J-A-I-L.
  I am not trying to jump into these remarks too early, but let me tell 
you something. If you were an employee with Kmart Corporation or you 
were an employee with Enron Corporation or Tyco Corporation, or let us 
go back to Kmart. Let us say you are just a sales clerk at Kmart, at 
one of their stores and you stole a candy bar. You stole a candy bar 
from Kmart, from your employer, you stuck it in your pocket, a candy 
bar, and walked out of the store with it. Up to this point in time, you 
would suffer more repercussions for stealing a candy bar as an employee 
of Kmart Corporation than will those executives of Kmart Corporation 
who loaned themselves millions and millions and millions of dollars and 
then took a corporate board action and forgave the loans to themselves 
and then filed bankruptcy on behalf of the corporation. Think about 
that. There are people that will get in more trouble stealing a candy 
bar or a magazine or a tool from one of these retailers than will the 
  Let us take, for example, WorldCom. If you steal long distance 
services from WorldCom, let us say you steal $100 worth of long 
distance services from WorldCom Corporation. You are going to get in 
more trouble than the chief executive, Bernie Evers, got in trouble; 
and he got a $350 million loan from the board of directors, $350 
million of which he will never be able to pay back.
  It is unbelievable, and the American economic society is suffering as 
a result. We have got to bring the hammer down on these executives, and 
we have got to bring it down hard and heavy. We have got to make it so 
that every prosecutor in this country, every U.S. attorney in this 
country when they think of these chief executives, they think of that 
four letter word, J-A-I-L, jail.
  Let me start back and let me talk about in a little more detail some 
of these subjects. First of all, let me talk about the flag. I, like 
many millions and millions and millions of Americans today, was 
stunned, stunned, that a Federal appeals court, that two judges could 
bring this country to its knees by saying that this country's Pledge of 
Allegiance, a pledge that every child in this country has said, that 
every school in this country and every school this country has ever had 
has been said within its four walls is unconstitutional because it has 
the words ``under God'' contained within its four corners.
  You think about this decision. What is next? That ought to be the 
logical question. We have these liberal judges. By the way, you take 
the most liberal Member of this House Chamber, and these judges make 
those liberal Members of this House Chamber look like they are right-
wing conservatives.
  The Ninth Circuit is an island of its own as known in the legal 
circles. I practiced law. I was an attorney. The Ninth Circuit has 
always been known as kind of an island of its own, but, nonetheless, it 
is still a Federal appeals court. So you have to ask yourself, okay, 
somebody that wants to stir up trouble, what is the next logical thing 
for this court in California to declare unconstitutional?

                              {time}  2230

  Could it be the crosses at Arlington National Cemetery or the crosses 
at every military cemetery in this country? Is it unconstitutional 
because the cross is seen as a symbol of Christianity and we find it on 
Federal property; we find it on every grave of every military person 
and their spouses and, in some cases, their children, who have served 
this Nation? And now these judges, do we think that is logical? Of 
course it is logical. And of course it is something that now, something 

[[Page H4057]]

we never imagined any judge would go so far out of bounds of their 
judicial duties that they would, first of all, declare our Pledge of 
Allegiance as unconstitutional. Then the next step, logically, would be 
for them to go to our national cemeteries and start yanking crosses out 
of our servicemen's graves. What is next?
  How interesting. I bet these judges, I bet these judges this week; 
let us see. July 1, coming next week. I bet on July 1, those judges 
that made that decision today that the word ``God'' in the Pledge of 
Allegiance is unconstitutional, I bet those judges on July 1 put their 
greedy little hands out and take their paycheck and take that American 
money that says ``In God We Trust'' on it. I bet they take that money, 
and I bet they stuff it in their pockets.
  Now, I would say to these judges, if you are true to principle, you 
should refuse this cash. You should not take American money. It has 
``In God We Trust'' on it. It is unconstitutional. You should uphold 
the judiciary of this fine land. You, after all, are the ones who made 
the earth-shattering decision that the Pledge of Allegiance in the 
United States was unconstitutional. So it should not be you who steps 
forward for the benefits of American cash, because after all, that has 
``In God We Trust'' and that would be offensive to the decision that 
you made.
  But, of course, they will not hear of that; and of course, they will 
take their money on July 1 as they snicker about the decision that they 
handed down to the American people today.
  I studied law. I am a lawyer. Granted, since I have been in Congress, 
I have not practiced law. Granted, I am not a constitutional lawyer, 
although I studied the Constitution. I would not be considered as a 
judicial scholar, by any means. But what kind of scholar does one have 
to be to say to the judicial system in this country, back off? How far, 
how hard do you want to push this Nation? In a time of war, in a time 
when this Nation needs to be unified, what do we think are going to be 
the ramifications to the generation behind us, to the rest of the world 
that is looking at this country and sees that its own judges, its own 
judges declare our Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? Not only do 
they declare it unconstitutional, they issue a dictate that says that 
this Pledge of Allegiance may not be said, may not be said within the 
walls of our schools.
  I mean, I hope that people understand; and I think the millions, the 
mass of millions of people in the United States of America understand 
the slap that was just struck across their face. The refusal, the 
rejection of the American principle of God and liberty, regardless of 
what one's God is, that God and liberty and freedom and strength were 
rejected today by some of the people in whom we put our highest 
confidence. These judges ought to resign in shame.
  Now, I know, I know the arguments. Look, I used to be a cop, I heard 
the defense attorneys, and I know tomorrow the American Civil Liberties 
Union and some of these other people will stand up and talk about the 
bravery of these judges, to stand up against popular opinion, as if 
popular opinion is always wrong; to stand up against popular opinion 
and say, the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional, and somehow 
they want a feather in their cap and a badge on their vest.
  Mr. Speaker, there comes a time when we ought to consider the 
circumstances in our Nation. There comes a time when we have to say, 
why do we need to take this issue on? As if there is nothing more 
important in this world going on; as if this is the psychological blow 
that the American people need right now, and that is to tell them that 
when their children go to school, it is taboo for their children to say 
the Pledge of Allegiance; to the finest country in the history of the 
world, the strongest country on the face of the Earth. I do not mean 
just strong militarily. I mean strong as far as what it does for other 
countries; strong as far as what it does for the poor people in this 
world; strong as far as what it does for its contributions of 
inventions, of mechanical inventions, of medical inventions, of 
medicine, of prescriptive services. I mean think about this.
  Mr. Speaker, do we know what these judges are? They are elitists. 
They are in an ivory tower out there in California, and they take for 
granted the fact of the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who 
have died throughout the history of our country to keep this country 
free. I would like my colleagues to show me one soldier tomorrow that 
is going to say to us that their children, that children should not say 
the Pledge of Allegiance, that our Pledge of Allegiance is 

  Now, I do take some reluctance in criticizing the judges' opinion. I 
think the judiciary has to have some flexibility. But by God, and I 
said that word just a minute ago, because I mean it. I hope He is not 
paying much attention; or He or She or whoever that God is, I hope they 
are not paying much attention as to what these judges in our country 
did today. I hope the patriotism that all of these hundreds of 
thousands of soldiers that are now dead and the patriotic cause for 
which they gave their lives, or maybe not their lives, but gave their 
career; or maybe not their career, but gave some time in their lives to 
go to bat for this country, I wonder what they are thinking today about 
why these judges did not go to bat for our country, why these judges 
have to stretch the law so far, so extreme. This is such a liberal 
interpretation of this that they would have the audacity or maybe the 
ignorance or maybe the stupidity to come to a Nation as great as this 
Nation, as a part of this Nation, which has given them everything they 
have, by the way; those judges have their jobs as a result of these 
soldiers, as a result of the citizens of this country.
  The judiciary has the respect that it does because we do indoctrinate 
our kids at a young age, like every other country in the history of the 
world does. We educate them about what a great country it is. We do try 
and get an allegiance to this country built up early. Is that too much 
to ask? Is it too much for these judges to swallow that a country says 
to the citizens of this country, look, we have an allegiance to this 
country? We have an allegiance to our flag. We have to be willing to 
fight for the freedom and the principles and the Declaration of 
Independence. We need these things. Is the next thing they are going to 
throw out is the Declaration of Independence because it has ``God'' in 
it, and that those rights and those thoughts and those philosophies and 
that idealogy expressed in the Declaration of Independence should no 
longer be taught in the classroom because it has ``God'' in it? Give me 
a break. What is going on here?
  Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow this to stand. Those judges, those 
judges should be isolated; and I will tell my colleagues what else. The 
other body, the leader of the other body who stood up today and agreed 
with me, and acknowledged that this decision was just pure nuts, ought 
to let the President judge and get some of these judicial balanced 
appointments in, get some people in that are balanced. I mean, this 
decision is so extreme, so radical, that tomorrow when all of America 
wakes up, and wait until our Americans overseas take a look at this. 
What do we think it is going to do to them? We talk about discouraging. 
I mean, we talk about depressing, that is, that your own court would 
take one of the things that we grew up with and say it is 
unconstitutional because they use the word ``God'' in it.
  I am ashamed. As a lawyer, as an officer of the court, as a United 
States Congressman, and more importantly than any of that, as a father, 
as a citizen, I am ashamed, I am ashamed at what that court in 
California did today, a Federal court, Federal judges who found that 
the Pledge of Allegiance of the greatest country in the history of the 
world is unconstitutional.
  Do not kid ourselves. Remember years and years ago when the court 
first came out and said we cannot have a Christmas declaration on 
Federal land, we cannot have a cross up there at Christmastime; 
remember when they came out and said, you cannot have prayer in school; 
when they came out and started ignoring the basic principles, started 
penetrating family. And people said, oh, it is just some crazy 
decision; it is not going to go anywhere. This decision, it is so 
crazy. But do we know what happens? These judicial judges, they kind of 
grow on themselves. Some of these judges have egos and they are 
elitists like we cannot believe.

[[Page H4058]]

  In an ivory tower they begin to think more and more and bigger and 
bigger of themselves, and the next thing we know they give another 
judgment. So do not be surprised. There will be before too long, I am 
confident of it, some radical liberal will file in the courts that the 
crucifix, the cross used in our national cemeteries is unconstitutional 
because it is a symbol of Christianity or a symbol used related to God. 
Do not be surprised. Although they will use the money, spend the money 
for their own needs, but they come out and say every American coin, 
every American dollar that says ``In God We Trust'' ought to be 
declared unconstitutional, that our money is unconstitutional.
  Mr. Speaker, back during the Cold War, I think it was Nikita Kruschev 
that said with America, all we have to do is be patient and give them 
enough rope, and they will hang themselves. Give them enough rope, and 
they will hang themselves. We do not have to go to battle with America. 
Just give me elitists. Give the elitists enough rope, and they will 
hang themselves. Give these elitists that declare our Pledge of 
Allegiance as unconstitutional, just give them enough authority and 
enough jurisprudence, and pretty soon they will divide their own 

  Many countries throughout the world are amused by this. These 
countries that hate us: Iraq, Iran, North Korea, think of these 
countries. They are overjoyed. They look and they see within the 
family, one of the most respected symbols of the family, of the 
American family, the family is split. They are probably as surprised as 
we are; but they are smirking, they are elated, they cannot believe 
their good luck that the American family is being split, not by outside 
members, but by members within the family itself, these elitist judges. 
Those judges should be ashamed of themselves.
  Mr. Speaker, I did not think when I went to law school, I never 
thought throughout my time as practicing law, which I practiced for 10 
years, I never thought when I represented the fine State of Colorado in 
the State House of Representatives, nor did I imagine that being on the 
House floor of the United States Congress, a privilege and an honor for 
me, that I would be standing in front of my colleagues talking about 
these judges in the way that I am, about the disgrace they have brought 
about to our country. I hope that the generations and generations of 
their families from now, assuming that this country survives over a 
long period of time, I hope that their families will look back someday 
upon the words of my record this evening and understand my anger and my 
disgrace directed towards them for the decision they made today.
  Mr. Speaker, this is not emotionally driven. This is driven by my 
intense love and my intense belief that this country has to have a 
guiding light, and that guiding light is not only a supreme being that 
all of us may or may not believe in or the type of supreme being that 
one believes in, but a guiding light driven by a sense of patriotism, a 
guiding light driven by a flag, by a symbol, a guiding light driven by 
a President with integrity, a guiding light driven by a Pledge of 
Allegiance. What is wrong with singing a National Anthem? Mr. Speaker, 
that is probably next, for some reason. These are all tools, tools of 
protection of democracy; tools that make people come together as a 
team; tools that are used to excite us about our Nation, that are used 
to encourage us to rededicate time and time and time again our belief 
in this fine country. And yet tonight, a couple of judges at a Federal 
court trash it. I am stunned, disappointed, and even disappointed 
beyond the point of being angry, but I am ashamed of what these judges 
have done.
  Let me move on to an entirely different subject, the subject of fire 
and the fires in the State of Colorado. First of all, I will tell my 
colleagues that my district consists primarily of all of the mountains 
of Colorado. There are a few mountains that are out of it, but most of 
the mountains in Colorado are in that district and will remain in that 
district after redistricting. Our district in Colorado, it is the third 
district, the highest district in elevation, highest place in the 
country when you take the elevation. I am pointing out a few of these 
things because we are having pretty serious problems with a drought out 
in Colorado.

                              {time}  2245

  We do have serious fires. We have had a horrible fire in Durango, 
Colorado. Yesterday we got a second fire in Durango, Colorado, just 
across the road; and it was from another origin, another cause. It was 
caused by an entirely different source. We have a terrible fire raging 
in Arizona. We had a terrible fire near Denver, still in the Third 
Congressional District, called the Hayman fires.
  But these fires, the national press, all the pictures that we see in 
the national press would lead us to believe that Colorado has been hit 
by a bomb; that Colorado, somehow all the mountains are on fire, and 
that Colorado is a dangerous place to visit. I will tell the Members 
that on its face is inaccurate.
  I have to my left, and I would like to go through this map, what this 
map does is shows Colorado fire damage. The black spots on this map 
will show Members where there has been fire damage.
  Members have heard about the size of these fires. They are huge. We 
have heard about them. But when we put it in proportion to the entire 
State of Colorado, these are not the size areas we imagine by seeing 
all the pictures in the national press.
  Here is that massive, massive fire called the Hayman fire near 
Denver, Colorado. That fire is about 70 percent contained, meaning that 
we are 70 percent around it. We are going to whip that fire. That fire 
got the best of us for a few days. But all the publicity Members heard, 
that is where that fire is. That fire does not have any national park 
in it. It has part of a national forest. We have closed part of that 
national forest down.
  We have numerous national forests that are still open for the public 
that are not affected by this fire. We have four national parks that 
are not affected by this fire that are open for the public. We have 
thousands and thousands of tours and attractions, tourist attractions, 
that are not affected by this fire that are open.
  If Members wanted to camp in this black spot, of which I would guess, 
of the people who visit in Colorado, probably less than one ten-
thousandth of a percent of the visitors we have every year in our 
State, less than one ten-thousandth of a percent of the total visitors 
that come to our State every year would camp or be in these particular 
areas to visit. Members' visit or vacation to Colorado would not in all 
likelihood be in any of these black areas of Colorado.
  Durango is down here in this black area. It probably is not a very 
accurate depiction. I am looking for a date. This is 3 days old. This 
map is 3 days old, so Durango would be down in this area about right 
over here where this little black mark is right here. That is the 
Durango fire. That black mark has grown. But Durango, the City of 
Durango, has not burned down.
  In fact, if Members want to go visit a community, right after the New 
York City disaster what a lot of us in this country said would help New 
York was to go visit New York. What would help Durango, Colorado, what 
would help Colorado, is to go visit Colorado, go have a vacation over 
  There are lots of things that can be done, and we can help the State 
and help Durango. Durango needs our help. Why? Not because the city has 
burned. It has not burned at all. It needs our help because the 
perception out there is that we ought to cancel our vacations to 
  In fact, one of our State newspapers ran an article to say, hey, come 
back next year. That on its face is an absurd statement. As I said, 99 
and some percent of this State is unaffected by those black marks, and 
the majority of those black marks up near Glenwood Springs, for 
example, in Glenwood Springs, I do not think, and I am from there, I 
was born and raised there so I know the fire pattern very well, I do 
not think one campground in Glenwood springs was closed as a result of 
this fire, or is closed as a result of this fire. I might be off by 
one. But there is so much area around Glenwood Springs.
  This is the flattop region. Look at all this area. There are hundreds 
and hundreds of thousands of square miles, or, excuse me, hundreds and 
hundreds, millions of acres and hundreds of thousands of square miles, 
I guess would be

[[Page H4059]]

correct, that we can go visit and camp and these attractions that we 
can go to.
  Let me explain what got us to the fire situation that we are in. 
First of all, keep in mind the dryness and the drought. What we have 
had is we have had a large accumulation of dead forest material, and we 
call that material fuel. It drops off the trees, for example, and it 
accumulates on the forest floor.
  Now, nature, frankly, before the Native Americans, before humans 
occupied, nature used to take care of these forests because they were 
what we could truly call at that point natural forests, and fire would 
rage on a consistent basis throughout much of the United States. In 
fact, to give a little history, in the 1900s, 1910, 1920, and really 
this is what led to the birth of Smokey, the Bear, we would, on an 
annual basis, have 50 million acres, up to 50 million acres a year that 
would burn in this country.

  Last year, for example, I think we had 3 million acres burn, because 
we have become much better at fire suppression. Our acreage, and 
because we have really educated the public about the dangers of fire, 
instead of losing 50 million acres a year, we are losing much closer to 
3 to 5 million acres a year, which means over a period of time 45 
million acres a year is not being cleared out by fire, so we have fuel.
  It is like trash in the home. Over time, it accumulates; and, over 
time, it becomes a hazard. That is what has happened on our forest 
floors. We have not been able to get in there for a number of reasons, 
the least of which or the not the least of which is the environmental 
movements, which have opposed, because they are so emotionally driven 
against logging.
  And, by the way, Colorado is not even a logging State. I am not sure 
we have a large commercial sawmill left in Colorado.
  But they are so emotionally driven by logging and their hatred 
towards logging that they have used these emotional arguments and their 
educational efforts to try and stop the thinning of the forests. Now, 
of course, after the fire they cannot wait to get up there and say, Oh, 
no, we support thinning of forests, but look at the facts, and they 
have contributed to it.
  I am not saying that these radical organizations, these radical 
environmental organizations, are the cause of the fire. I am not saying 
that they are the only contributing factor to the fire. But what I am 
saying is, do not let them leave the table. Bring them back to the 
table, because they did contribute. Their actions, instead of allowing 
our forest service to manage our forests based on science, they have 
engineered and financed and engaged in a very sophisticated educational 
effort to have our forests managed by emotion, not by science.
  We have to come back to science. We need to let the people who 
specialize, who are educated, who grow up in it, who work it every day, 
our Forest Service, our BLM people, these Federal biologists, we need 
to let them manage these forests. We need to follow their advice, 
instead of going out to the public as a whole and driving emotional 
thought and then forcing it back on these agencies. I hope these fires 
wake some of these people up.
  But putting the environmental issue aside, I also want to say to my 
fellow homeowners out there in the mountains, I have had some of my 
colleagues who have come up to me and said, look, why do you guys live 
up there? Why do you live in those mountains? Why do you live out there 
where there are trees that can burn up?
  I said, wait a minute, why do you have trees in your yard in the big 
cities? That is where we live. It is our home. It has been our home for 
many, many years; generations in my family's situation and in my wife's 
family, too. Do not tell us to move from where we lived since the 1860s 
and where our Native American people have lived for several hundred 
years. That is our home.
  But we do have a responsibility, fellow homeowners out there, and 
that is to take care of our own properties. Every one of us who lives 
out there in what we call the urban interface, where the homes start to 
come into these forests around ponderosa pine or things like that, we 
need to put some money and put some investment in the protection of our 
  I frankly do not think it is going to take government regulations to 
force us to do it. What I think is going to force us to do it out there 
are the homeowners insurance companies. They are going to say, with 
some justification, we are not going to ensure your home unless we get 
a check-off that your home has been treated, that the trees around your 
house have been trimmed back, that you do not have a ponderosa pine 
tree up against your house, that you have done the proper trimming, 
treating, and cleaned out the pine needles, and so on, and then we will 
ensure your home against fire. So that is something we can do for the 
  But what are the dangers we are seeing this year in this fire season? 
Why is everything so explosive? Not everything, but why, where we have 
had the fire, do we see fires so intense, so intense they sterilize the 
  And these people that tell us, well, this fire in Durango or the 
Hayman fires, these are good for the environment. It is not good for 
the environment. These are horrible fires. In Durango, it rained dead 
birds. We had birds falling out of the skies, flying into the gases. We 
had smoke plumes 50,000 feet in the air. We have soil that is so hot 
that it has been, as I said, it has been neutralized. It will not be 
good for planting. It is so hard, the water is just going to run right 
off it. It will not go in it anymore. It has been scorched to that 
point. These fires are not good for us.
  These fires are burning with an intensity that we have not seen in 
recorded history. These fires are burning at a rate that is incredible. 
Yesterday's second fire in Durango burnt 20 acres in 4 minutes, 20 
acres. Think of four football fields in 4 minutes burning; starting at 
one point, not multiple points, but starting in one point and going 
through 20 football fields, approximately an acre, going through 20 
football fields in 4 minutes. There is a reason that is happening.
  The other thing that concerns us about the fire season that we are 
facing this year is that it is so early in the season. We do not 
usually see these kinds of fires of this intensity this early in the 
  The other concern we have, as I mentioned earlier, the district that 
I represent, am privileged to represent, is at the highest elevation on 
the continent. We do not have fires above 9,000 feet this early in the 
season. Our Nation, for the first time since we have had a level 5, 
which is the highest level of alert for firefighting that we can go to, 
for the first time in the history of this alert we have gone to it 
before July 28.
  Now it is not uncommon to go to a level 5 alert system on our fires. 
We did it in, I think, the fire year 2000. But what is uncommon is to 
go so early.
  So there are a lot of challenges we face out in Colorado, but I will 
tell the Members, what would really hurt Colorado was for tourists, for 
people who wanted to come visit what is one of the most beautiful 
States, one of the most beautiful geographical locations in the world, 
to cancel their visits this summer and decide to come next year.
  I am telling the Members, there are a lot of people that would hurt 
very, very badly if people just decided not to come to Colorado this 
year. I would urge my colleagues, in our own little way we have 
suffered greatly. Some of our families, probably 700 or 800 of our 
families, have lost their homes. Fortunately, the loss of life has been 
minimized, although last weekend not far from my house we lost five 
firefighters in a car accident, which brings me to the point: I want 
everybody to wear their seatbelts. It was a tragic loss, young people.
  In fact, it was interesting, one of the fathers of one of these men 
said, you know something, these bastards, they will not let us timber 
these forests, but they expect us to send our young men and women in 
there to fight these fires. So there is some bitterness out there.
  But one way to help ease this pain, it is the same thing that we 
talked about after September 11 to help New York City ease its pain: Go 
visit New York City. Go visit Colorado.
  Again, I want to refocus on this map to my left. The areas that have 
burned out, the areas where the fires are, and they were burned out as 
of 2 days ago, are indicated by the black marks. If we put all of the 
black marks together,

[[Page H4060]]

follow my finger here to the left, we probably would have an area about 
like this, and the rest of the State is green.
  So do not think for a moment that all of Colorado is burning, that it 
looks like a desert of burnt-out ash. It is not that at all. We have 
our problems, and we have some fires. We are working on them, and we 
need your help. But the best thing you can do to help us, outside of 
your prayers, is to come visit us in Colorado. Go ahead with your 
scheduled vacation. I urge Members to do it, and I am asking people for 
the help. I am asking for consideration to come out to Colorado and 
help us this year. Of any year we have needed some help, we are asking 
for it now.
  Let me move on to my final subject of the evening. I will talk about 
some of the principles of American economics. Now, I am not an 
economics scholar. I do have a degree in business administration. I 
have enjoyed business all my life. I read everything I can about 
business. I think I am pretty studied on it, but I certainly am not a 
scholastic professor or talented, maybe, necessarily. But I do 
understand some principles.

                              {time}  2300

  And some of the principles that we have in business in this country, 
really, our capitalistic system works pretty well; but when you really 
take a look at the capitalistic system, there is one part of the 
foundation, we have a couple of parts of foundation that are important 
for the building to stand. One of them is the judiciary, the 
enforcement of contracts in this country. The other is the freedom to 
operate. Another foundation pillar would be interstate commerce, the 
ability to do business from one State to the other.
  But in the center of all of this, one of the pillars of the 
foundation for our capitalistic system is integrity, integrity and 
credibility from the people that manage these corporations, the chief 
executive officers; and he can tell you that America has been let down. 
Not let down by one person here and one person there. But we have now 
been let down by enough of these chief executive officers, by enough of 
these boards of directors, that the perception amongst the American 
people is that a great majority of the business community in our 
country is corrupt. That is not true. But that is the perception that 
is out there. And frankly the perception is well deserved. Why? Take a 
look at what has gone on. And I am going to give you a few examples of 
why people in this country are sick and tired of what is going on in 
corporate America.
  I want to tell you I am proud. The President promises that we are 
going to have a WorldCom investigation. And I think the President has 
mentioned a couple of points I think that are worth repeating right 
here. President Bush, and I am urging the Democrats to join us in this 
effort, but President Bush today said, ``Let me answer the second 
question first.'' Let me repeat that question. The question from the 
reporter, ``Do you believe there is a crisis in confidence amongst 
American people vis-a-vis the economy, particularly the stock market in 
view of yet another failure of an American corporation?'' The President 
responds, ``Let me answer the second question first. The market is not 
as strong as it should be for three reasons: one, corporate profits.'' 
The President is right. We are having an economic cycle. We have 
economic cycles, and in the downturn your profits are not good. The 
President is right on that point. ``Second, there are concerns whether 
or not the United States and our friends can prevent future terrorist 
  So you have number one corporate profits; you have number two post-
September 11. What is next? How do we protect our assets? Are our 
nuclear plants at risk? Is the Capitol at risk? How do we protect our 
assets? That is the second item.
  But of interest this evening to my remarks are what the President 
says is the third factor that is hurting our stock market, that is 
hurting our national economy. I quote from the President: ``Thirdly, 
there are some concerns with the validity of the balance sheets of 
corporate America and I can understand why. We have had too many cases 
of people abusing their responsibilities and people just need to know 
that the Security and Exchange Commission is on it. Our government is 
on it. We will pursue within our laws those who are responsible or 
acting irresponsible.''
  The President is right. Corporate America, many of your leaders in 
corporate America have let this country down in many different ways. 
You can take a look at some of the corporations that are making every 
effort they can to incorporate in other countries to take their 
headquarters, even though they have no customers, like Stanley Tool 
Corporation. Even though Stanley has no sales in Bermuda, no customers, 
no employees in Bermuda, they have reincorporated their corporation, 
remember Stanley Tool, the tape measures you buy at the hardware store, 
in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes like every other American has to make. 
Despite the fact that we have American soldiers fighting so that 
corporations and business in this country can have the freedom of 
commerce, they give their lives, these young men and women, people 
throughout this country sacrifice whether it is in the judiciary or 
other means, to provide for free enterprise, to provide for commerce 
and the free flow of commerce, and yet we have these people that are 
abusing the privilege that has been granted to them.
  Let me give you some other examples. We hear about Enron. Take a look 
at WorldCom, which today admitted, today admitted a 3 or $4 billion 
fraud against the stockholders of its corporation. And not only the 
stockholders of its corporation, it has a ripple effect. It affects all 
of America. What did they also announce today? That because of this 
fraud they had to lay off 17,000 people. There are 17,000 people today 
without jobs because of greed in that corporate board room, because of 
greed of a few self-serving criminals, in my opinion. And you can find 
it in WorldCom Corporation.
  And WorldCom is not alone, unfortunately. Take a look though what 
WorldCom did. They are not a bank. WorldCom is not a bank. It is a long 
distance company. It is a communications company. It is a telecom 
company. It is not a bank. Banks loan money. Long distance companies do 
not loan money. They sell you long distance services, but WorldCom was 
different. It was a bank. It loaned money. But you know who it loaned 
money to? It did not loan money to any of its employees at the lower 
level. It loaned money to their chief, to the president. The guy needed 
five bucks for a sandwich at lunch. That is not what they did. They 
loaned the chief executive officer, Bernie Ebbers $350 million, $350 
million. By the way it did not come out of the board of directors' 
pockets. It came out of the stockholders'. It came out of the corporate 
treasury. It came out of the consumers'. It came out of the American 
buying public to give one person a 350 or $360 million loan, while at 
the same time this person who is the head of the corporation so he is 
captain of the ship, a ship which is committing, while this is all 
going, a 3 or $4 billion fraud just unveiled in the last few days. Why 
are those people not in jail?

  I am telling you I am going to do everything I can within the 
abilities of the office that I hold to faithfully and diligently 
prosecute these people who are abusing the privileges in our system of 
commerce in this country.
  Now, was it WorldCom alone? No, take a look at K-Mart Corporation. K-
Mart is in bankruptcy. That is a fine corporation, and they drove it 
into the hole. But before they took it into bankruptcy, what did the 
executives at K-Mart do? Well, they borrowed money. K-Mart is not a 
bank. K-Mart does not loan money to its customers. K-Mart sells 
merchandise. But their executives used K-Mart, their board of directors 
used K-Mart as a bank. Their executives used it as an ATM machine. Just 
like Bernie Ebbers pulled 350 million out of the ATM machine at 
WorldCom that he built and put in place, the ATM machine, so did the 
executives at K-Mart corporation.
  How many people have lost their jobs at K-Mart because of their 
corporate greed? Those executives not only borrowed the money, but they 
wanted to make sure right before they have filed for bankruptcy for K-
Mart corporation, that they passed a board resolution which forgave the 
loans, said do not pay us back. You do not have to worry about it. It 
is a gift.
  Enron, we have heard a lot about Enron. What a disgrace. Andrew

[[Page H4061]]

Fastow, you heard about Andrew Fastow, F-A-S-T-O-W, sets up secret 
partnerships, pays himself $40 million. And I am telling you today, so 
far at this point in time, if you stole a candy bar or you stole a 
magazine at the magazine store up the street here from the Capitol, you 
would be suffering more consequences than this Andrew Fastow who worked 
for Enron Corporation is suffering for stealing 35 or $50 million that 
he paid himself as a salary. He does not call it stealing. He says, 
look, I earned it. I went out and did a little work for a couple of 
months and should have got paid $40 million. By the way I did not 
bother to tell anybody about it because I wanted it to be a secret.
  By the way, I was a big art donor and down there in Texas I gave lots 
to charity and stuff so leave me alone. You know what? Andrew ought to 
spend a long time in that four letter word I used earlier on, J-A-I-L, 
jail. He ought to go straight to jail. He ought to be on that Monopoly 
card when he bets everybody else's money. And he not only bets their 
money, he takes their money for his own self-serving purposes. He ought 
to pull that card every time he reaches into that deck, he ought to 
pull out that card that says you ought to go straight to jail. He ought 
to go straight to jail. And that is not the only one at Enron. We all 
know about the Ken Lays and some of the other mismanagement that went 
  Take a look at the bonuses they paid to their executives. They paid 
some of their executives millions and millions of dollars to stay with 
the company after the news broke about the corruption of the company. 
And some of these executive officers took their millions of dollars in 
bonuses and walked away 30 days later. And how many thousands of 
employees of Enron now are losing houses because they cannot make 
payments, have to give up their cars, cannot send their kids to the 
colleges they all dreamed of? How many of these 17,000 employees that 
got laid off today at WorldCom lose their dreams because Bernie Ebbers 
got a $350 million loan from the corporation while they drove the 
corporation into the ground as a result of a $4 billion fraud.

                              {time}  2310

  It does not stop there. Take a look at Xerox Corporation. Who could 
have ever imagined that Xerox would find itself in this situation? Take 
a look at Global Crossing. Who today, on a small paragraph in the 
national media, you will notice Global Crossing also admit they 
shredded a few documents, that they really are going to try and behave 
themselves, but how much punishment has been doled out to the Global 
Crossing executives?
  Take a look at the billionaire that runs that, billionaire, flies 
around. By the way, the executives at WorldCom, the executives at 
Enron, the executives at Kmart, the executives at Xerox, the executives 
at Global Crossing and the executives at Tyco, as well as our favorite, 
Martha Stewart, all fly around in private jets. This has not hurt many 
of these people. You think Andrew Fastow down there in Texas is flying 
commercial? No, he is probably flying private commercial jet, living 
like a king down there, having taken all this money.
  How many of those people that work for Enron are flying around like 
that? They are lucky to go to a garage sale to try and sell some of the 
things they have.
  Let me go on because it does not stop just at Global Crossing.
  How interesting that WorldCom today had as its auditor Arthur 
Andersen. Ever heard that name before, Arthur Andersen? I can tell you, 
instead of bringing the corporation down, I do not understand why we 
did not go to those specific auditors that are responsible for the 
obstruction of justice, that are responsible for the malfeasance in 
Enron audits and now WorldCom audits and take those auditors and send 
them to jail, give them that four-letter word, give them that card in 
the Monopoly game that says you go straight to jail. It is not 
  I got a little encouragement today when President Bush, and you know 
how he is when he announces a commitment, when he sets his eyes on 
something. When he is focused, he goes for it; and I think he is 
  I would hope the Members of the U.S. House, both Republican and 
Democrat, come on board and clean the system of the dirt that we have 
got in there. This dirt is in our filter, and this filter is important 
for our engine to run. Our economic engine needs clean filters. We have 
got to take the time to slow the engine down enough, although it has 
been slowed down because the filter is too dirty. We have got to pull 
those filters out, and we have got to get the dirt out of the filters.
  The dirt means that we go after people like the WorldCom that have 
taken this money, that have committed these acts of larceny and crime 
against the people of America and their stockholders, and it does not 
stop there. Look at Tyco Corporation, look at the lawyer for Tyco 
Corporation. I used to practice law. This lawyer made an agreement, had 
their board of directors approve an agreement that if he was convicted 
of a felony within a year and got fired because he was convicted of a 
felony, they had to pay him $10 million. This guy got paid $20, $30, 
$40 million, and he put the payments in such a way that he did not have 
to go in front of the board of directors or disclose it on their public 
disclosure statements as an executive salary, and his lawyer stands up 
for this lawyer and says this is justified when the whole story comes 
  We are anxious to see the whole story, and I will tell you this, if 
the whole story does not pan out, and it is not going to pan out, by 
the way, that lawyer ought to go to jail. He ought to be disbarred and 
every asset that he has that he got through his ill-gained fruits ought 
to be taken away from him and given back to the people that he took it 
  It is the same thing with the guy at WorldCom. I understand I think 
his annual retirement is $4 million a year. They ought to take it away 
from him.
  Why do we reward these people who have put dirt in the filter that is 
so important for our economic engine to run? It does not stop there. 
How do you restore confidence in the stock market in this country? In 
the last 5 years, what we experienced in this country was a tremendous 
participation in one of the neat mechanisms of our economy and that is 
the stock market. We had people, whether they were driving a taxicab, 
we had congressmen, myself included, we had people that had never 
before been in the stock market. They invested in the stock market.
  Now we have got an economic downturn, but that is being hidden. The 
cycle of the economic downturn is being concealed and hidden and 
distracted, diverted from by fraud in the corporate boardroom and in 
the corporate chief executive offices.
  Once we start this cycle, and we need confidence to get that cycle 
going back up again, how many of those people driving those cabs or how 
many of those people that invested in that market are going to have 
enough confidence that they will get back into the market?
  Take a look at some of these people. What is that guy named Henry 
Blodget or something from Merrill Lynch, and he went out there and on 
TV and in front of the public he said, this is the greatest stock since 
sliced bread; and then behind the scenes, he would write something, 
this stock stinks or what a rotten piece of stock or this breakdown in 
that funnel of trust is significant, and we need to go after it.
  I will tell you, it is amazing to me. Martha Stewart, is that what is 
next? How many more rocks out there that when we look under them we are 
going to find problems, we are going to find fraud? I hope not too many 
are left.
  The only way to teach a lesson here is you have to have punishment. 
You have got to have consequences to their actions. You cannot allow 
these chief executives, this Andy guy, Andrew down there at Enron or 
Ken down there at Enron or Bernie Ebbers or the lawyer that worked for 
Tyco or John Rigas of the cable company, whatever it is out there in 
California, you cannot allow these people to walk away, rewarded from 
malfeasance. These people have to pay the consequences, or the 
credibility of the system is damaged for a long, long time.
  Let me summarize my words this evening. I really covered four areas.
  First of all, I wanted to stress to my friends on the Democratic 
aisle, who in their comments this evening started

[[Page H4062]]

out by criticizing the Republicans, because this week and the remaining 
2 days of this week we may not be able to bring a prescription care 
bill to the floor. My point was the reason we cannot bring it is we are 
not getting any Democratic support at all. We have had no Democrat over 
there, especially on the liberal side of the Democratic party, none of 
them have come across the aisle and been willing to help us. That is 
why we cannot bring the bill to the floor. All they want to do is kill 
it for political purposes.
  So let us call an ace an ace. That is why we cannot. We want to bring 
it to the floor. We want bipartisan support. I urge the Democrats to 
help us.
  I talked about the fires in Colorado and the characteristics, some 
characteristics of the fire, what we are concerned about. We have 
plenty of resources that we are putting out there in those fires. The 
Forest Service has done a tremendous job so far, the Bureau of Land 
Management, our local fire departments, our local volunteer fire 
departments have saved thousands, thousands of structures in Colorado 
around these communities that were burned.
  I cannot tell you how proud I am of our emergency personnel, whether 
they are ambulance drivers, whether it is the Red Cross people 
volunteering their time, whether it is our local sheriffs, our local 
police chiefs, our policemen, our sheriff's offices, our whole 
communities have come together in Colorado to put the resources 
necessary to beat down these fires. And we will win. We will win over 
time, but in the meantime we have taken a horrible loss to our 
wildlife, to many people's residents. We lost five firefighters last 
  The other point I wanted to make about the fires in Colorado was 
Colorado is still open for business. Colorado is open for tourists. And 
again, I just want to point out in this map to my left, please look to 
my left, it is the black part on this map here and a few dots 
throughout the mountains, and that is actually a lake down there. These 
blackened areas, that is all of Colorado that is burned. The entire 
State is not on fire. Our State does not look like a wasteland, a 
desert of ash. It is a State waiting for you to visit. It is a State 
prepared to give you a time. It is a State that this year more than 
anyone probably next to New York State needs you to come and spend some 
of your money. Come to our Rockies baseball games, go see the Air Force 
Academy, go over to the Western slope, go enjoy the pool in the 
Glenwood Springs and the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction 
or up in Estes Park the Rocky Mountain National Park or the great sand 
dunes down near Alamosa.

                              {time}  2320

  We have a lot of areas open for you to come and enjoy. I hope you do.
  And, of course, the final subject that I spoke about this evening was 
corporate greed. All of us, and I am urging the Democrats to join us, 
must fight this corporate greed.