(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages H6912-H6917]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                             CURRENT EVENTS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Farenthold). Under the Speaker's 
announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gohmert) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority 
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
  I do appreciate the opinions of our friends across the aisle and 
those who have spoken here tonight, and I know we both have similar 
goals--get people back to work. But when I hear my colleague across the 
aisle say Republicans keep proposing plans that have proved failures, 
the truth is the failures that the Republicans have supported were the 
things that our Democratic friends were in favor of.
  I sure like President George W. Bush, but in January of 2008, he took 
a page right out of the Democrats' playbook--proposed a $160 billion 
stimulus, $40 billion of which went as rebates to people that didn't 
pay any income tax. So you had people getting rebates that didn't put 
any ``bate'' in. That money really didn't do any good.
  And then we come around and end up in late September or early October 
of 2008, having unfortunately the Treasury Secretary appointed by a 
Republican, pull a page out of the Democratic playbook and help the 
folks on Wall Street that contribute and vote 
4-1 for Democrats over Republicans. Bailed them out.

                              {time}  2100

  Some of us made clear you don't abandon free market principles to try 
to save the free market. If you have to abandon free market principles 
to save the free market, it's not worth saving. The trouble is we've 
gotten away from free market principles and that's why we were in 
  We had friends across the aisle that were demanding that loans be 
made to people that couldn't afford the loans. We had friends across 
the aisle that were verifying here in this room and in other hearing 
rooms that, by golly, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, they were healthy, there 
were no problems, when it turned out they were rotting from the inside.
  So, apparently, as smart as my dear friends are across the aisle, 
they have not been taught history very well. The things that have 
failed are the very things that are being proposed again. The $700 
billion wasn't enough. Actually, President Bush's Treasury Secretary, 
the second worst Treasury Secretary in the history of our country, 
exceeded only now recently by Secretary Geithner in just how poor a job 
has been done, but they spent maybe $300 billion, $250 billion of the 
$700 billion. So the Obama administration got about $400 billion, $450 
billion of that $700 billion. President Bush unfortunately listened to 
``Chicken Little'' Paulson as he ran around saying that the financial 
sky was falling. That ended up all going to President Obama and 
Secretary Geithner for them to squander, which they have, and basically 
used it as a slush fund, in fact.
  Then we're told we have got to build bridges. We have got to do 
infrastructure. How could anybody disagree with infrastructure? Well, 
most of us didn't disagree with doing infrastructure as long as it was 
governmental functions. The trouble is the President had $400 billion, 
$450 billion from TARP still

[[Page H6913]]

left over, and asked for $800 billion on top of that. And then it 
turned out that $800 billion may have been close to a trillion by the 
time they got around to having what was available under the bill. Of 
course, forty-two cents out of every dollar of that was borrowed, much 
of it from our friends and neighbors across the world in China.
  But here again these governmental giveaways, the governmental rebates 
to people that didn't put any ``bate'' in, the giving more and more 
money to entities that were not creating jobs, the fiascos like 
Solyndra. And I understand even after Solyndra, Leader Reid down the 
hall was able to procure another $700 million for a similar company in 
Nevada. This is insane.
  My friends, were just saying in the last hour that Republicans keep 
proposing plans that have proved failures. The failures of Republicans 
are when we adopt the Democratic strategies on these things. It's time 
to get back to the principles on which our government was founded. It's 
very basic, very simple. You give equal opportunities to people to 
excel, you stop paying people to fail, and we can get this country 
going again.
  We also had a bill today that was finally going to allow people to 
exercise their First Amendment rights. There's not supposed to be, 
under the Constitution, under the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment, 
the government's forcing people to practice religion that is entirely 
opposite from the religion they believe. So we passed a bill here in 
the House that would allow health care providers who believe with all 
their heart, soul, and mind--most of them, it's a religious 
conviction--that to conduct an abortion and to take and kill a baby in 
utero, remove it and kill the baby in utero, out of utero, that it is 
  Having had my wife's and my first child come 8 to 10 weeks 
prematurely and sitting by her isolette for 8 hours--it was supposed to 
be only 2, but I couldn't leave, and they didn't make me until I had 
been there for 8 hours--with that little child, her hand clutching to 
the end of my finger. She was hanging on to life. The doctor pointed 
out, Look at the monitors. They've stabilized since she's been holding 
on to you. She's drawing strength. She's drawing life from you. That 
tiny preemie, my daughter, trying to cling to life, and my friends 
across the aisle condemning people like me or health care providers who 
think it's wrong to take that life when they just want to cling to 
life. Give them a chance.
  I was a bit surprised but embarrassed for Minority Leader Pelosi when 
she said here on Capitol Hill about that bill that would allow people 
to practice their religious beliefs and not kill babies, the quote from 
our former Speaker Pelosi, was: ``Under this bill, when Republicans 
vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die 
on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene.'' 
Well, there's good news for former Speaker Pelosi. We didn't vote to 
allow women to die on the floor and health care providers do not have 
to intervene. That did not happen. Yet the bill passed.
  Good news. Apparently, the Speaker did not read the bill. She didn't 
know that what this allows is a health care provider not to have to 
kill a baby if it's against their religious beliefs. And also, no women 
will be allowed to die on the floor. If they do, there will be severe 
and dire consequences for any health care provider that allows that to 
  There is nobody, despite the former Speaker's contentions here on 
Capitol Hill, there is nobody that voted for that bill today that would 
in their wildest nightmares want a woman to die on the floor without a 
health care provider intervening. And the bill doesn't do that. So 
whatever nightmarish bill the Speaker was referring to when she thought 
she was talking about the bill we passed today, good news for her. She 
didn't know what she was talking about. It does not allow women to die 
on the floor. It just allows people who believe with all their heart, 
mind, and soul, and their religious beliefs, that killing a baby is 
wrong, that when that baby wants to cling to life, as my little girl 
was clinging to my finger and her heart rate stabilized and her 
breathing stabilized, they can live. They don't have to be killed. They 
don't have to be killed in utero.
  It's good news. It's a great thing. I hope that the Senate will pass 
it and not be dissuaded by those who misread the bill. Maybe they were 
reading some disaster book or something, because obviously they were 
not reading the bill that we passed.
  There is also a real easy fix to establish cuts in the Federal 
budget. And it would be so great if our colleagues down the aisle in 
the Senate, our colleagues across the aisle, the Democrats, would take 
the fact that this House agreed to cut our own budgets in this 
legislative session by 5 percent and say, Hey, rest of the Federal 
Government, look what we have done.

                              {time}  2110

  We've not talked about it. We did it, but we haven't really talked 
about it. And the truth is, by Congress, by the House at least cutting 
our legislative budgets by 5 percent this year, and as I understand it 
we're going to cut 6 percent next year, it gives us the moral authority 
to say to every Federal department in this government, Congress has 
cut--or at least the House has cut--our own budgets by 5 percent this 
year, and you're going to, every one of you, cut your budgets by 5 
percent next year. We have the moral authority to do it because we've 
done it. Now, maybe the Senate doesn't want to do that, but it's the 
morally responsible thing to do.
  And then, if it comes through and we do cut our legislative budget 
here 6 percent in the House, we have the moral authority to say, hey, 
Federal Government, every department, every agency, we cut our own 
budgets 5 percent last year, 6 percent next year, so you're going to 
cut 5 percent next year and 6 percent the year after that. That's an 11 
percent cut. Now we're on the right track. And if you don't want to cut 
some invaluable program, there's good news: cut it off some program 
that's a waste.
  My friend, Daniel Webster from Florida, has been looking into the 
different transportation agencies that provide rides to people to get 
to their place of appointments, whether it's with the VA, whether it's 
with a doctor, whether it's with the Federal Government, different 
agencies. Eighty-five different groups provide rides. How could that 
be? Well, the rules, the way they were set up in 1974 by a Democratic 
Congress--that also set up the screwy CBO rules that do not allow a 
good score for things that really do help the country--that same time 
they were also busy sticking different agencies that do the same thing 
in different committees so that we have massive duplications of those 
type things. Well, all we've got to do is start cutting those things 
  And I hope and pray that before I leave Congress, this body and the 
one down the hall will have the courage to step up and say, you know 
what, I know I've been on my committee for a number of years and I've 
got seniority, and I know this committee is critical and this committee 
is critical, but it's time to reform the committee process. And the 
only way that we'll ever be able to completely eliminate or come close 
to eliminating all the massive duplication, replication of the same 
programs--spending massive amounts of money to do the same thing and 
yet we could combine those and save trillions of dollars over the next 
10 years--we need to have a welfare committee. We take the food stamps 
out of the ag budget. People hear how big the agriculture budget is and 
they just can't believe it--there aren't that many farmers. They don't 
know that between 70 and 80 percent of the ag budget goes for food 
stamps. Let's put that in a welfare committee.
  Robert Rector over at the Heritage Foundation has done fantastic 
work. He was telling me it takes him 2 years to find all the hidden 
welfare provided from all the different subcommittees, all the 
different agency budgets, it takes 2 full years to do that. It's time 
to change things here. And I realize that with a Democratic-controlled 
Senate it's not going to happen this session. But I hope and pray that 
the next session of the Senate that begins in January of 2013 will have 
people in the House and the Senate, regardless of their party, that 
will finally reform the government here in Washington, and to use the 
President's words, fundamentally change the way we do business so

[[Page H6914]]

that we don't set ourselves up to provide massive amounts of waste, 
fraud, and abuse.
  Now, it helps to reform government if the people here in Washington 
who vote on the bills and down Pennsylvania Avenue who sign bills or 
veto bills actually read them. Wow, what a concept. It would help if 
the President himself, before he had gone out on the road condemning 
Congress for not passing his American Jobs Act, had actually had an 
American Jobs Act written. But after he spoke here on this floor, Mr. 
Speaker, he went around the country spending millions and millions of 
dollars--some say it was campaigning. Whatever he was doing, he was 
condemning Congress for not passing a bill that didn't exist. He did so 
that weekend, did so on Monday. Monday evening they finally had a bill, 
and I got it printed out. But it turns out nobody was filing it. And 
yet that didn't stop the President from running around saying we were 
refusing to pass a bill, pass his bill, right away, right now. Nobody 
bothered to file it. In fact, if he had taken 10 minutes out of his 
schedule running around the country, spending millions of dollars 
condemning us for not passing his bill, to have picked up the phone and 
called one of his Democratic friends here in the House and said, hey, 
I'm running around the country condemning Republicans for not passing 
my bill, I'm embarrassed that nobody filed the bill. I forgot to ask 
anybody over there to file the bill so that you could pass it. So how 
about filing my bill? Didn't bother to do that. Just kept running 
around the country condemning us for not passing his bill.
  By Wednesday, that's when I realized if the President of the United 
States, who obviously had not read his bill, which I did, the entire 
bill--clearly, from the things he said about the bill, he hadn't read 
it at all--I decided, you know what? If he's going to condemn us for 
not passing the American Jobs Act, there ought to be one, so I filed 
one. And I was flexible. I said here on the floor I'd be willing to 
negotiate. And it would create jobs because it deals with an insidious 
tariff of 35 percent that we put on every American-made company's goods 
here, which keeps them from being able to compete globally because 
nobody else in the world slaps that kind of tariff on their own goods 
produced in their country. We're doing it to ourselves.
  And then the insidious part is that the American public has been 
convinced by people here in Washington, hey, hey, it's a corporate tax, 
so you don't have to pay it. Of course they pay it. The corporations 
are nothing but a collection agent. And the way that crony capitalism 
has been working around this town, the only way you get out of paying 
corporate taxes or the massive tariffs so you can compete globally is 
if you've got a friend down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, or 
in the Senate, perhaps. Because friends of those here in the House are 
not fairing so well--they're having to pay taxes. But if you are an 
entity like General Electric and you're close friends with the 
President, you really enjoy each other's company, top executives and 
the President, good news: You're probably going to get out of paying 
any taxes no matter how many billions you make.
  So why not level the playing field, which would bring back 
manufacturing jobs--and I'm surprised the unions are not all for this--
it would bring union manufacturing jobs in massive numbers back to this 
country. And I know there's a lot of environmentalists in the United 
States who really don't want the manufacturing jobs back. Even though 
they provide good union jobs, folks that would probably vote Democrat, 
they don't want them back because they think somehow--and it's really 
unbelievable that they think this, but they think somehow by driving 
those manufacturing jobs out of the United States and into countries 
that pollute 4 to 10 times more, producing the same products, as there 
was added to the atmosphere here, that somehow they've helped the 
environment, not realizing that that pollution goes up in the air, and 
the way the world turns we get an awful lot of that Chinese pollution 
right here in our own country, even though we don't have the jobs, we 
don't have the tax revenue from those, and we suffer the consequences 
of having run those companies out. So we get all of the disadvantages 
of running them out and none of the advantages.

                              {time}  2120

  We hurt our economy and we hurt our ability to prepare for any type 
of defense that may be necessary to those who want to destroy us, 
because anybody that knows history knows a country that is looked to as 
the securer and protector of freedom must be able to provide all of the 
things that it would need in a battle within its own country. And if it 
can't do that, it's not going to last very long as the protector of 
freedom, which means freedom won't last very much longer.
  Now, the President talked about his bill so much, and it would be 
easy to be very cynical since the President went on the road and went 
for 6 days before there was ever an American Jobs Act filed, which was 
my bill. It might be easy to become cynical and say, ``It doesn't sound 
like the President had any intention of ever getting a bill voted on; 
all he wanted to do was run around the country and condemn 
Republicans,'' when this was some kind of political game. He had no 
intention of that bill being pushed, even being filed.
  There is a dramatically important piece of evidence that would seem 
to establish irrefutably that Leader Harry Reid and the President were 
not serious at all about his bill passing. What would that piece of 
evidence be?
  Well, it would start with article I, section 7 of the United States 
Constitution, which says all bills for raising revenue shall originate 
in the House of Representatives. But the Senate may propose or concur 
with amendments, as on other bills. The critical part was all bills for 
raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.
  Well, it's not hard to find, from the President's bill, that he's 
raising revenue, he's raising taxes. So, clearly, under the 
Constitution, no question about it, the President's bill has to 
originate in the House. No question about it. It raises revenue. 
Everybody knows that. Leader Reid knows that.
  So, when I heard that finally the President's bill was passed in the 
Senate, or not passed but filed in the Senate, then I knew, because I 
know something about the Constitution, well, that has to be a House 
bill. The President is popping people with extra tax. It raises 
revenue. So, obviously, it has to originate in the House.
  Now, normally, unless there were games played in this town, that 
would mean the bill starts here, and we would take up the President's 
bill, and if it passed, then the Senate would take it up. But over the 
years, both parties, apparently, have played a political game where, if 
the Senate wants to start a bill that raises revenue, they will take a 
House bill that has already passed, strip out of it every word, and 
substitute for all that language of the House bill the Senate bill. And 
then, under the gamesmanship up here in Congress, that's been 
considered to satisfy the requirements of the Constitution because, 
technically, the bill started in the House. It has a House bill number 
on it, and so it did start in the House. They just took out every word 
and then put in the Senate bill.
  From a practical standpoint, it originated in the Senate, but from a 
technical standpoint, since it has a House number on it, then obviously 
they slide by, under the gamesmanship here, by saying it's a House 
  In fact, that's exactly what happened with ObamaCare. The House had 
not passed a bill that the Senate would take up on health care back 2 
years ago. So what the Senate did was take a House bill, H.R. 3590, and 
this is the actual name of the ObamaCare health bill. I've got the 
first volume of the two volumes that make up the 2,400 or 2,500 pages 
of the President's health care so-called bill, H.R. 3590, entitled, 
``An act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the 
first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces 
and certain other Federal employees, and for other purposes.'' 
ObamaCare is H.R. 3590, and it was a bill the House of Representatives 
passed mainly to help our veterans, to help our armed services, our 
members who have pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred 
honor to serve in our military--that is mainly who it was for--and give 
them a tax credit for the first-time purchase of a home.
  It just seems so coldhearted to have taken a bill that started out to 

[[Page H6915]]

veterans and our armed services members and, beginning with line 1, 
page 1, strip out every single word of the bill to help our veterans 
and substitute therein ObamaCare, 2,400, 2,500 pages. But that's what 
they did because that was the game. Because they knew in the Senate, if 
they were going to pass a bill that raised revenue, under Article I, 
section 7 of the Constitution, they had to take a House bill so they 
could play the game of saying, Well, it did originate in the House, has 
a House number on it, House title on it. We just stripped all that 
language out and put our bill in.
  That's the only way that the President's so-called jobs bill could 
originate in the Senate, practically, is to take a House bill, strip 
out every word, keep the House bill number, keep the House bill title, 
and put the President's so-called jobs bill in there. That's the only 
way that bill could ever have a chance of becoming law. And Leader Reid 
knows that. He's a smart man.
  And from what I understand, the President at one time was a local 
instructor in a law school, and surely he had to have read the 
Constitution and understand that. So he would know, as would Leader 
Reid, that for the President's jobs bill to meet the constitutional 
requirement of Article I, section 7, then Leader Reid would have to 
strip out a House bill.
  So when I heard that Leader Reid had filed the President's so-called 
jobs bill, I directed my staff to find out what House bill number and 
what House bill title that Leader Reid had stripped every word out of 
and substituted therein the President's so-called jobs bill. And I 
found the answer. He didn't do that. Leader Reid filed the President's 
bill with no cosponsors.
  A little trivia. The American Jobs Act, my bill, I think it's got 
five cosponsors. The President's so-called jobs bill, zero cosponsors. 
Mr. Reid filed it. Mr. Speaker, it is S. 1549. That's a Senate number, 
S. 1549. That's a Senate bill.

                              {time}  2130

  Leader Reid did not bother to do what would be required, even under 
the gamesmanship of Capitol Hill, to strip out a House bill. And 
there's only one reason he wouldn't do that. There's only one reason 
the President wouldn't request that he do that, and that is because 
they had no intention of that bill--this bill--ever passing. Now I've 
only got the first few pages because the President's bill is actually 
155 pages. But that came before. I got a copy of that before it was 
ever filed by anybody.
  So then I heard that Leader Reid actually filed an amendment to the 
President's so-called jobs bill, and I thought, ah, now he's no longer 
going to play this ridiculous charade of acting like he wants a bill to 
pass that he knows could never become law because it originated in the 
Senate and doesn't have a House bill number. So, okay, he's filed an 
amendment, the new bill, it has surely got to be some House bill that 
was stripped of every word, but it turns out that was Senate bill 1660. 
It's still a Senate number, it is still originating in the Senate, 
there's not even a charade, facade being shown here, which makes very, 
very clear Senator Reid and President Obama never ever intended for the 
so-called jobs bill of the President to pass. Never intended for it to 
pass. They never did.
  A smokescreen is all this has been for weeks now, millions and 
millions and millions of dollars running around the country demanding 
we pass a bill that neither Leader Reid nor the President had any 
intention of ever having passed because they knew the way the procedure 
works here when a bill like this that raises revenue originates in the 
Senate and the Senate were to actually pass it, then the Senate Clerk 
would send it to the House, it would go to our Clerk, and they would 
review it, and they would find that it raises revenue, as the President 
and Leader Reid know and acknowledge, and they would do what's called 
blue slipping it. They put a blue slip on it in essence saying that the 
House cannot take up the Senate bill because it raises revenue. And 
that means under article I, section 7, it must originate in the House, 
and, therefore, it's being sent back to the Senate without any action 
whatsoever because obviously people at the other end of the hall were 
playing some kind of game, knowing that a bill to raise revenue that 
originated in the Senate and did not have a House number, did not have 
a House title, would never become law. It was all a game. All a game.
  Apparently, the goal of this political game played by the President, 
and Leader Reid has as a goal the President winning the game, the 
political game, and getting reelected and the American people losing 
because there was no bill that was ever seriously intended to pass by 
the President or Leader Reid. That is tragic, simply tragic.
  The American people suffer, people are losing their jobs, and the 
only reason that the unemployment rate did not rise one more time 
again, that it stayed at 9.1 percent, that disastrous rate, was because 
so many employees who had been out on strike came back on to work. If 
they had not done that, then the unemployment rate would have reflected 
the truth.
  This country is still in big trouble, all while the President travels 
around making speeches about passing a bill that neither he nor Leader 
Reid ever had any intention of passing and becoming law as the American 
people suffer.
  Now, I heard my friends across the aisle here tonight say they wish, 
in essence, that the Republicans would bring their jobs bill. Well, 
there's great news. Apparently, while my friends hadn't noticed, we 
have passed about a dozen bills out of this body and sent them down to 
Leader Reid that will create jobs across the country, will bring down 
the price of gasoline, will bring down the price of energy, all kinds 
of bills we've sent down there, and they're sitting in the Senate.
  So for all of those people who have said the President is flat wrong 
when he says that we have a do-nothing Congress and as he is traveling 
around this week saying there's a do-nothing Congress, I'm going to 
defend the President here. For those that say the President is 
completely wrong when he says it's a do-nothing Congress, well, I'm 
going to defend the President. And I stand up for him because the 
President, when he says there's a do-nothing Congress, is one-half 
right, and he ought to be acknowledged for being one-half right when he 
says there's a do-nothing Congress because there is a do-nothing 
  They're sitting on bills that would create jobs, bring down energy 
prices and would bring jobs back to America easing the burdens that 
have sent companies fleeing from this country to South America, to 
China, to India and to other countries. We bear them no ill will, but 
we want our jobs back here in America. And how wonderful to have the 
President's big job czar as a guy who has sent thousands and thousands 
of jobs from his own company overseas.
  Well, he apparently knows what he's doing because since he's been our 
jobs czar for President Obama, we've had thousands and thousands and 
thousands and thousands more jobs continue to flee and go across to 
other countries. He knows what he's doing. He did it with his own 
company, and now we're continuing to have that happen with other 
  Well, obviously, since the President, based on the things he said 
about his so-called jobs bill, has not read the bill, clearly, that's 
how we know he's not misrepresenting things, he just doesn't know what 
his bill says. And, in fairness, he could not possibly know what his 
bill says because he was on the road for 4 or 5 days, the whole time 
the bill was being written, demanding we pass a bill that hadn't even 
been written.
  I'll just flip through some of the provisions here. We're told, once 
again, just like we were in January of 2009, that we must pass the 
President's bill, just like in 2009, because it's going to provide 
bridges and infrastructure. I'm surprised that in 2\1/2\ short years 
the President was thinking people would have already forgotten that he 
used that sales pitch to sell a nearly trillion-dollar bill that didn't 
do anything he said it would. And then I found out today--my friend, 
Mick Mulvaney, pointed out this morning that when adjusted for 
inflation to the current level today, every interstate highway in this 
country had $425 billion spent in total to construct all the interstate 
highways we have in the country. Yet the President, in January of 2009, 
talked about creating all these new roads, infrastructure and bridges, 
and yet there was only a tiny fraction of all that

[[Page H6916]]

money that was used at all on such infrastructure, and if he had taken 
half of that money and used it on infrastructure, we could have had an 
entirely new interstate highway system to mirror the one that we 
already have.
  It is amazing the kind of money that was squandered with nothing to 
show for it. That's the embarrassing part. If we had more people 
employed today than ever before, then even though it was an abandonment 
of free market principles, I would have to be grateful that there were 
new jobs and people were employed. You want to help people? Let them 
get a job that was not a giveaway from some government agency. Let them 
earn their own keep.

                              {time}  2140

  For those of us who believe the Bible--I won't try to shove my 
religious beliefs on anybody else, but for those of us who do believe 
the Bible, you can look. Before there was a fall from grace, before 
such a thing as some people call ``sin'' was ever introduced into the 
world by improper choices, God gave Adam and Eve--not Adam and Steve, 
but Adam and Eve--a job.
  He said, ``Tend the garden.'' They were in a perfect paradise where 
there were no thorns, no sweat--a perfect paradise. People had a job. 
``Tend the garden.''
  A job is a good thing. It builds self-esteem, and it allows people to 
give of themselves to help others, not to come to Washington and use 
and abuse the taxing authority to take people's money to give to our 
favorite charity. It's for individuals to be blessed because they 
earned money at their own jobs and then helped people.
  I believe the Creator knew how much good that did our hearts, minds 
and souls to earn something and then help ourselves and others who need 
  That's not what you find in the President's so-called ``jobs bill.'' 
Just when we thought, surely, Washington had learned a big, big lesson 
about the disaster when the Federal Government starts getting into the 
business of financing things, we have the President proposing what he 
calls the American Infrastructure Financing Authority, page 40. It's 
another massive bureaucracy.
  Who would control it?
  Oh. Well, it's a financing authority, so maybe it's not run by the 
government. Fannie and Freddie had government fingerprints all over 
them, all over some of the worst problems. Maybe the President learned 
a lesson from the damage done to this country by Fannie and Freddie 
being improperly managed.
  Then you can turn the page to page 41 and see, oh, the board of 
directors of the American Infrastructure Financing Authority consists 
of seven voting members appointed by the President. How about that. How 
about that. I guess the President didn't learn his lesson. He thinks 
the government is still the way to go about, not only funding housing 
for 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 or so, but now we'll fund billions of 
dollars in infrastructure financing. He'll stand good for that.
  Ironically, just as in the President's so-called ``stimulus bill'' in 
January of 2009, where the President promised all this great 
infrastructure and it turned out it was just a tiny bit of 
infrastructure compared to the overall amount, we find he has done the 
same thing in this new so-called ``jobs bill.'' There's a little bit of 
money for infrastructure, but compared to $450 billion, it is a tiny 
drop in the bucket. There's a little revenue generated here by 
auctioning off some broadband spectrum. Oh, I see there are provisions 
here where the public will relinquish some of its licenses and where 
other people will relinquish different things.
  I always hate to see that word when the government makes people 
relinquish things, but the language is there.
  Then what we get by selling off a little bit of broadband spectrum is 
found at page 75 of the President's bill, called the Public Safety 
Broadband Network. If individuals in this country were disappointed 
that the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, did not totally 
control the airwaves the way they wanted them to--maybe they wish 
there'd been a Fairness Doctrine reinstated or maybe they wanted the 
Federal Government to just exercise with an iron fist its authority, 
which I think would be unconstitutional, but to limit speech--well 
then, people would have to be encouraged by this new entity, the Public 
Safety Broadband Network, because it will take over the broadband for 
  But not to worry. We'll call it a ``corporation,'' so it won't be 
government, right? Wrong.
  If you look at page 76, even though it says it will be established as 
a private, nonprofit corporation, it turns out the members of the board 
will be the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of the Office 
of Management and Budget, and they will go about appointing 11 more 
individuals to serve as non-Federal members of the board.
  Well, happy days, happy days.
  More and more government.
  It's interesting. There's a little money for a reemployment program. 
How many reemployment programs are we going to throw money away on to 
train people for jobs that don't exist? How about allowing the public 
sector to have that money?--which is not available to borrow when the 
Federal Government is sucking that money out of use by the private 
sector. It's not there to be borrowed and used to build up companies, 
to build up jobs, to create jobs. Oh, no. The Federal Government is 
taking it to build more government--more training programs for jobs 
that don't exist.
  Then there's a new program here at page 106 that most people have 
never heard about, and I really doubt that the President knows it's 
here. It's a new program, entitled Short-Term Compensation Program. It 
does say that it's initially voluntary, but it also says if an employer 
reduces the number of hours worked by employees in lieu of layoffs--and 
I've had people tell me they were doing this, where, for example, they 
didn't want to lose their valuable employees, but business was 
terrible, so they all agreed among themselves they would take a 
reduction in hours/a reduction in pay so that they could save the 
company, weather the storm, maybe get to January 2013 when the economy 
would rebound because we'd have new free market principles put in place 
and things would take off. Then everybody could go back to making an 
even a better living.
  Under this provision, if you're part of the President's new program 
and if you reduce by at least 10 percent the hours of your employees, 
then according to subsection 3, those employees would be eligible for 
unemployment compensation. That means the unemployment tax rate for 
that employer would go up. I've heard from employers who've said, If 
you raise my unemployment tax rate, I'm going to have to lay off a 
whole lot of employees instead of being able to save the company, save 
their jobs and weather this storm.
  It does say on down the page, under subsection 7, that if an employer 
provides health benefits and retirement benefits under a defined 
benefit plan, then the State agency is required to certify that such 
benefits will continue to be provided, which means, for the employers I 
talked to who are struggling and just trying to hold on, they're not 
going to be able to hold on. They're going to have to keep providing 
benefits at the same level. They're trying to weather the storm, which 
is what companies normally do just to survive. That's what individual 
mom and pop operations do--they cut their budgets. Not here in 
  One of the best things I've heard all year is when Chairman Ryan said 
the vision he has for our budget includes finally adopting a zero 
baseline budget. I am so grateful to Chairman Ryan. He sees the same 
thing I do. We need to have a zero baseline--in other words, no 
automatic increases. It started in 1974. It's time it quit because a 
mom and pop operation--a mom operation, a pop operation, any operation, 
any business. When times are tough, they have to cut. Not here in 
Washington. Under the rules set up in 1974, there is a formula so that 
we have automatic increases every year. It's time to stop it.

                              {time}  2150

  If an agency is going to get additional money, they need to prove 
that they should get it. But as I started off this hour, Mr. Speaker, 
saying this House has adopted a budget that cut our legislative budgets 
by 5 percent across the board, it's time we exercise our moral 
authority and say everybody else in the Federal Government is

[[Page H6917]]

going to have to have the same kind of 5 percent cut across the board. 
And when we do that 6 percent to our budget next year, it's time to 
demand, after we do it in the House, everybody else in the Federal 
Government has to do it too.
  There's so many other provisions that have nothing to do with 
creating jobs, and you can look at page 134 and see that the President, 
who's talked about all these millionaires and billionaires need to pay 
their fair share, even though we're now approaching 50 percent of the 
country that will not pay income tax.
  If the President believes what he says, Mr. Speaker, it is time to 
call the bluff and say, all right, then let's have a flat tax, 
everybody pays the same amount, it doesn't matter if you're an ultra 
zillionaire, billionaire, if you're one of the poorer workers, 
everybody is going to have an investment, as the President likes to say 
in this government, and that way they'll have more interest in what 
happens. They'll have more interest in seeing we don't waste so much 
money up here, and we can do that.
  This is why I'm sure, also, the President never read the bill that he 
demands we pass, that I explained earlier, why we know now neither the 
President nor Leader Reid had any intention of this bill passing, so 
they didn't bother to meet the constitutional requirements.
  At page 135, the President's bill defines what he's been calling a 
billionaire and a millionaire as a taxpayer whose adjusted gross income 
is above, C, $125,000 in the case of married filing separately; 250,000 
in the case of a joint return. But if you're a gay couple living 
together, then you can be grateful to the President because you can 
claim $200,000 or $225,000 as your exemption amount.
  But even at that rate, I'm from East Texas, and the public schools I 
went to were awfully good, but they taught me that when a number has 
six figures in it, it isn't a million and it isn't a billion. So when 
the President's bill says $125,000 if you're married, that's the 
exemption you've got before they start slapping you with extra tax, and 
I haven't heard anybody else but me talk about this, but down in 
subsection C on page 135, not only does the President not do away with 
the alternative minimum tax, as the title says there's an additional 
AMT amount in the President's bill.
  Now there's a jobs bill. People you're calling millionaires and 
billionaires and define it as somebody that makes $125,000, you slap 
them with extra alternative minimum tax, you take away deductions.
  I'm telling you, Mr. Speaker, it is time that we had a flat tax 
across the board. Everybody would pay their fair share. And the more 
money you make on a flat tax, the more money you're going to pay in.
  I agree with Art Laffer, who was telling me, there is a strong 
justification for two deductions only, the mortgage interest deduction 
and charitable contribution deduction. All the others go away. Now that 
would be a fair tax. Everybody would pay their fair share. And since 
the President's not aware of how oil companies work, and since they've 
spent more and more and more money than ever in the Interior Department 
budget to consider permits to drill for oil or gas, we've gone from 
140-something permits that cost a whole lot less to process to now 
processing double-digit permits, we're losing jobs.
  I hear from people in the Gulf affected by the Deepwater Horizon 
explosion by the President's good friends at British Petroleum, who 
were all set to endorse the President's cap-and-trade bill before the 
blowout, and then they had to postpone that. But when you eliminate 
deductions that only keep independent oil companies alive, then it 
affects the majors in only one way, and that is you drive out all the 
independent producers, the majors will be able to charge more than 
ever, they'll make more profit than ever.
  Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas has 3 minutes 
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
  In the few minutes I have left, with so many wanting to destroy our 
way of life, with so many out of work, such a troubled time here, I 
want to finish my time on the floor tonight by reading the words of a 
man named Abraham Lincoln. In 1851 he wrote to his stepbrother 
encouraging him about the last illness of their father.
  Lincoln said: ``I sincerely hope father may recover his health; but 
at all events tell him to remember to call upon and confide in our 
great and good and merciful Maker, who will not turn away from him in 
any extremity. He notes the fall of a sparrow and numbers the hairs of 
our head, and He will not forget the dying man who puts his trust in 
  In 1858, Abraham Lincoln said: ``Our reliance is in the love of 
liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which 
prized liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. 
Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your 
own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you 
prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the 
rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and 
become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among 
  And then finally this from his speech in 1861, as he left 
Springfield, Illinois, to head for Washington, and I close with this, 
Mr. Speaker:
  ``I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a 
task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without 
the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot 
succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go 
with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us 
confidently hope that all will yet be well.''
  It is with that faith in that same Divine Being that I have hope for 
the future, and with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my