(House of Representatives - July 20, 2011)

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[Pages H5243-H5244]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                            IN GOD WE TRUST

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Rangel) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. RANGEL. A previous speaker referred to our distinguished Speaker 
pro tem with that historic name and was suggesting that we look for 
something to guide us that would be over the podium. What I see is ``In 
God We Trust,'' not the Congress, not the House, not Democrats, and 
certainly not Republicans, but in God we trust.
  Recently, I took this to be a very serious thing. I was saying that 
in the process of increasing the debt ceiling and cutting back 
spending, that a lot of people were vulnerable, and I called upon our 
spiritual leaders not to forget them. And, indeed, whether we're 
talking about Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid, that all of 
these things were going to be on the block, subject to being cut. The 
press said that I was calling upon Jesus to help Democrats.
  Well, that's not so. I was calling upon religious leaders, whether 
they were Christian or Protestant or Jewish or Gentile or Mormon or 
Muslim to say

[[Page H5244]]

``in God we trust,'' and that there comes a time when human beings, 
regardless of their party registration, need some help in deciding the 
crucial issues that actually, actually affect the lives of people. And 
whether we're talking about peace or war, with thousands of people 
being killed, no one can deny that this is a moral issue, if we were 
asked whether we support it or not. But yet we find that most Members 
of Congress cannot even give a reason why we're in Iraq and Libya and 
  But having said that, let's face it. It would be ridiculous to assume 
that I'm making an appeal for Democrats when what I'm talking about is 
those people who are vulnerable. When flaws in our financial center 
caused people to lose their homes, it wasn't just Democrats. There were 
Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and those that have no faith in 
government who woke up in the morning, they have lost their jobs; they 
lost their homes; they lost their pension funds; they lost their 
savings; they had to pull their kids out of school; they lost their 
self-esteem; some lost their homes. I don't remember anywhere where 
we're talking about people who are registered Democrats. These are 
Americans that expected more from their government than just saying 
that we will be able to address your needs in the by-and-by.
  And the very people that are aged, God knows we're not talking about 
a party label. When we talk about our sick, when we talk about 
Medicaid, when we are talking about Medicare, when we are talking about 
Social Security, how in God's name can we say we are just talking about 
Democrats? No. We're talking about all Americans that invested in this 
country that now see that some of them are so hopeless.
  We had hoped that we would deal with the debt ceiling which gives the 
President the ability to say, When America borrows, America pays back. 
We thought that the integrity of our great country would never be 
challenged, certainly by Members of the Congress. But that's not the 
case. The President is being held hostage. And what's being held 
hostage is the budget.
  On the other side of the issue is the question of taxes. So it 
appears to me that wherever you find the vulnerable, somebody should be 
protecting them since the lobbyists are not knocking on their door 
saying, Protect the poor. And this is a great opportunity, since the 
President is being held hostage, that we can reform some of the things 
that we wanted to do, whether it's the tax system, Medicare, Social 
Security. But these things are supposed to go through a process.
  I was honored to chair the Ways and Means Committee, which 
constitutionally deals with all tax issues, all fiscal issues. It deals 
with trade. It deals with Medicare. It deals with Social Security. And 
it deals with taxes. So you wake up in the morning, and you find out 
that the Congress, 435 of us who now have this important decision to 
make as we hopefully move forward after the deadline of August 2, and 
the Senate are to decide these questions by the Gang of Six. Well, I'll 
be back because no longer am I making an appeal for the Congress; God 
bless the Gang of Six in trying to save this great Nation.