(House of Representatives - May 23, 2013)

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[Pages H2948-H2951]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. 
King) for 30 minutes.
  Mr. KING. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the privilege to be 
recognized to address you here on the floor of the House of 
Representatives to raise the issues of our time and have this 
opportunity for this dialogue that I know that you turn a focused ear 
to, as well as do the other Members, their staff, and the American 
  Mr. Speaker, I came to the floor here, one thing is to support the 
statement made by the gentleman from Texas across the spectrum of the 
topics that he addressed. He does see the world through a clear set of 
eyes and isn't afraid to say so, and we need more Members like 
Congressman Gohmert, who is fearless and courageous and a 
constitutionalist and a rule of law Member, and he understands the 
Constitution and the law, being an attorney and a judge and a member in 
good standing of the Judiciary Committee for a number of years now, 
where one can learn a few things about those topics, as well as bring 
their own expertise in.
  But, Mr. Speaker, that's the committee, the Judiciary Committee, 
where the immigration issue is likely to process through--or up to and, 
perhaps, not through.

                              {time}  1410

  There is a tremendous amount of, I will say, a hurry up, urgency 
momentum that has been created on the immigration issue over in the 
United States Senate. We can count it in hours the time that it has 
been since the Senate passed, I call it, an amnesty bill, a 
comprehensive immigration reform bill, which is the more modern 
vernacular for ``amnesty.'' That's phraseology that was manufactured by 
people who couldn't quite bring themselves to say the truth on this, 
and that was the case back in 2006 and 2007 when it was George W. Bush 
and his people who were pushing this comprehensive immigration reform-
  What happened, Mr. Speaker, was that we had an election last 
November, on November 6 to be precise, a Tuesday we would all know. 
There was a great expectation that Republicans would win the majority 
in the United States Senate and a great expectation that our Republican 
nominee, Mitt Romney, would be elected as President because, after all, 
who could imagine a second term for a man who refused to carry out his 
oath of office in his first term.
  So the voters went to the polls, and there was a bit of a lack of 
enthusiasm on the part of the people on my side of the aisle, and a 
good number of them stayed home, a number that is calculated to be 
about 8 million voters; and about a million voters who normally would 
have voted for Barack Obama stayed home, but that's more than the 
difference between the election in the popular vote, and it may well 
have translated into a difference in the election in the electoral 
  However, we know what happened in the election. The President was 
reelected. There were some seats that were lost by Republicans, a net 
seat lost by Republicans in the Senate. Republicans lost some seats 
here in the House, but maintained still a strong majority in the House 
and would expect to do so at least into the foreseeable future.
  But the results of that election were overreacted to by many people 
on my side of the aisle. They looked around and asked, How did we lose? 
Of course, the people who were the architects of these kinds of 
campaigns wouldn't want to take on the blame themselves, so they looked 
around to see where they could cast the blame elsewhere. They settled 
upon this theory in the middle of the night, so I would say it was in 
the morning, which started at 12:01 a.m. on the morning of November 7, 
  That theory that they settled on was that Mitt Romney would be 
President-elect that morning and President today if he just had not 
been so strident on immigration, if he just had not said those two 
words: self-deport. Their theory was that that was the reason that Mitt 
Romney is not the President today.
  I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I think that's a manufactured 
theory, that it's a flawed theory, that it's not based on fact, in 
polling, in logic. If it's likely true that the Hispanic votes were the 
decision-maker on this election and then if the Hispanic vote went 71 
percent for Barack Obama, I would ask those folks who think that you'd 
turn that vote around the other way by passing amnesty, Can you tell us 
how it is that Republicans can capture a majority of the African 
American vote when typically African Americans in this country will 
vote 92 percent for the Democrat or 95 or 96 percent for the Democrat 
if it's Barack Obama on the ballot?
  So, if they can't tell me how one should reach out to the African 
American vote when we are the party of the abolition of slavery--and I 
can stand here and tell you my great grandfather five times great--and 
for the record, because people get things intentionally confused, 
that's great, great, great, great, great grandfather--was killed in the 
Civil War. He was killed in the Civil War, fighting to put an end to 
slavery. They were an abolitionist family, and 600,000 Americans gave 
their lives in that struggle to put an end to slavery, roughly half on 
each side, roughly 300,000 on each side--more on the Union side than 
actually on the Confederate side by the data that I'm looking at.
  Mr. Speaker, the emancipation of the slaves and an end to slavery and 
the blood that was spilled by the sword that was to be compensated for 
the blood that was spilled by the lash seems to be forgotten in the 
political parties of today. When you look to see what it took to pass 
the Civil Rights Act in the sixties, it took Republicans in greater 
numbers in the House and Senate to pass the Civil Rights Act than it 
did Democrats. There were a lot of Southern Democrats who were 
segregationist Democrats, I would remind people.
  Nonetheless, the promise of what's coming out of the U.S. Treasury--
and some of it's borrowed money from the Chinese and the Saudis and 
others--seems to have eroded the support for Republican fiscal 
conservatives among the certain minority groups in this country and 
others who are struggling to make a go of it. It's hard for them to see 
down the line a little ways as to how much more opportunity there is in 
America if we recreate the opportunity society that is being replaced 
by the cradle-to-grave welfare state that we have in America today. Not 
only is it a cradle-to-grave welfare state, but it is a cradle-to-grave 
welfare state that promises a middle class standard of living.

  I look at some of the numbers that have been rolled out by, for 
example, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, who is the most 
accomplished, senior, respected, and definitive researcher on these 
topics that I know, and I deal with many, many of them. I have in my 
hand, Mr. Speaker, the executive summary of about a 102-page report 
that was issued by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. It's a 
special report dated May 6, 2013, and the title of it is ``The Fiscal 
Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer.'' The 
data that's in here should cause anyone in this Congress to pause 
before they would begin to look in any positive way on the Senate bill 
that is their 844-page comprehensive amnesty bill. Some of this data 
that's in here, Mr. Speaker, is shocking to people who haven't at least 
been numbed by the reality of it for some time.
  The average illegal household in the interim phase of this bill would 
be a net cost to the taxpayer. They'd pay taxes and draw down welfare. 
Some will say that folks who are in this country illegally don't 
qualify for welfare. No, the truth of that is there are

[[Page H2949]]

at least 80 different means-tested welfare programs, and those who are 
in this country illegally just qualify for some of those 80, not for 
all of those 80. That is the truth, and it has been often distorted. So 
the net cost to the taxpayer per household in the interim phase for 
people who are unlawfully here now and who would be granted the amnesty 
status by the Senate version of the bill would be $11,455. That's 
borrowed against our children's labor, I might add, Mr. Speaker.
  After that interim, when they qualify for a larger number of those 80 
different means-tested Federal welfare programs--``post-interim'' is 
how it's defined by the researcher Robert Rector--then the net cost per 
household is $28,000. The taxpayers will be subsidizing these 
households in the interim for $11,455, and when they qualify then for 
more of the welfare benefits, that net cost goes to $28,000. The 
average retirement, because they are going to retire just like anyone 
else, is going to be a net cost to the taxpayers per household of 
  Robert Rector in his report--and I'm going to quote from it because I 
think the language is very powerful--says:

       Regrettably, many policymakers also believe that because 
     unlawful immigrants are comparatively young they will help 
     relieve the fiscal strains on an aging society.

  Regrettably, this is not true. Now here is where I focused on this, 
Mr. Speaker:

       At every stage of the life cycle, unlawful immigrants on 
     average generate fiscal deficits, and that's benefits 
     exceeding taxes. Unlawful immigrants, on average, are always 
     tax consumers. They never once generate a fiscal surplus that 
     can be used to pay for government benefits elsewhere in 
     society. This situation obviously will get much worse after 

  That is an irrefutable fact. There are others who will argue that 
there is a dynamic economy, and you can calculate this growth and 
dynamic economy. Well, they're not calculating the cost to society. 
They accept that we are a cradle-to-grave welfare state.
  I've had this debate with Art Laffer, who I have great respect for. 
He is the author of Ronald Reagan's, I'll call it, ``Laffer curve.'' I 
agree with that theory to cut taxes and stimulate the economy. That 
worked when Ronald Reagan came in in the early part of the eighties and 
was sworn in January of 1981. Art Laffer was there, and I'm glad he 
was. The economy grew and we recovered, and the Reagan years are looked 
back on as the transformative years when America was pulled from the 
abyss of the malaise.

                              {time}  1420

  So I give him great credit. Not only that, he's intelligent and he 
has a fantastic sense of humor. But here's where I disagree with Art 
Laffer and why I disagree with some people in Cato and why I disagree 
with the purist of Libertarians is this:
  Many of them believe that labor should flow back and forth across the 
border as if it were any other commodity like corn, beans, gold, or 
oil, and that the marketplace will determine where labor will go just 
like it will determine where you send these other commodities that I've 
  The flaw in that rationale, Mr. Speaker, was spoken to by Milton 
Friedman, whom I'm confident Art Laffer knew well and probably had this 
debate with him. But Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago 
economist, famed internationally, said a welfare state and open borders 
cannot coexist. You might actually turn that around the other way, but 
the principle is the same. Yet we have a cradle-to-grave welfare state 
that guarantees a middle class income. If you don't work at all, you 
can draw down enough benefits to live as if you were working at a 
modest wage.
  Milton Friedman understood that, that the welfare magnet will draw 
people in and they won't have the necessity to work in order to 
maintain that standard of living because it's being bought down, bid 
against by the welfare system.
  And my debate with Art Laffer came out to be essentially this:
  When I make that point to him that open borders and a welfare state 
cannot coexist, his answer is, Then end the welfare state.
  Well, that would be nice if we could do that, Mr. Speaker. If we 
could at least rachet it down and take that hammock that used to be a 
safety net--it was as safety net to keep people from falling through. 
That was the original welfare system that we had. Now we have people in 
this Congress that continually rachet in another program here, another 
program there, manufacture this one here and that one there. There was 
only one welfare program out of an entire 80 different means-tested 
Federal welfare programs that required work.
  Some of us will remember the intense welfare reform debates in the 
nineties when this Congress so aggressively and eagerly required the 
Welfare-to-Work program. Most of us in America have forgotten that the 
Welfare-to-Work program really was only one program, the TANF program, 
the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. All the rest of 
them, none of them require that there be work, only TANF. And the 
President of the United States, even though the law is specific and he 
doesn't have the constitutional authority to do so, the President of 
the United States simply waived the work requirements in TANF. So this 
country now has no requirement of Welfare-to-Work, not even in one of 
the 80 different means-tested programs that we have.
  We're seeing wealth transfer in this country. We're seeing class 
leveling in this country. We're seeing work and production and wealth 
punished and extracted from the sweat of someone's brow to pass it into 
the bank account, or, should I say, the EBT card, of someone else. When 
that happens--John Smith saw that that didn't work. He said, No work, 
no eat. Jesus said essentially the same thing, that you've got to work 
and earn your way. It's in numerous places in the Bible. It's in 
numerous places in our history.
  Think about it in your family. If you have one family member that 
won't do anything, they want to sit on the couch and they want somebody 
to bring them food and bring them entertainment and they don't want to 
go out and mow the lawn or carry out the garbage or scrub the floors or 
do the things that you do around the home, let alone go punch a time 
clock and earn a living, how long does it take before that family says, 
I'm tired of that? I'm going to send you out into the world to earn 
your own way because you're digressing here; you're not developing your 
  That is the way of the family. It's the way of the tribe. It should 
be the way of the Nation. Gently and compassionately take care of the 
people that can't take care of themselves, and nurture those that have 
an ability to contribute to our GDP out to go contribute to the GDP.
  But we've lost that because there's a class-envy wedge that's being 
driven from the White House on down. It existed before Barack Obama 
became President. It was driven hard in here when we had the previous 
Speaker of the House, these class-envy wedges driven in and the effort, 
because somebody has something more than you have, to take from them 
and give it to somebody that has less.
  Perhaps I can find this while I talk, Mr. Speaker, but that was well-
articulated by Adrian Rogers, who has since passed away. But the 
principle of why people work and why they won't is an important 
principle to make, Mr. Speaker. Dr. Adrian Rogers was talking about 
wealth and work and stated:

       You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating 
     the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without 
     working for, another person must work for without receiving. 
     The government cannot give to anybody anything that the 
     government does not first take from somebody else. When half 
     of the people get the idea that they do not have to work 
     because the other half is going to take care of them, and 
     when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to 
     work because somebody else is going to get what they work 
     for, that, my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. 
     You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

  That was the late Adrian Rogers, from 1931 to 2005. I never met him, 
but with clarity, he spoke to this issue, and more articulately than I 
am able to, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate his contribution to the 
discussion in our society, but there are people here that see this; 
they see that there is a political gain to be made by expanding the 
dependency class in America. So they decide that they're going to 
punish the rich, tax the rich.
  Remember, the tax rates had to go up on the upper-income bracket. 
That was

[[Page H2950]]

a demand of the President of the United States. He could have gotten 
just as much revenue by cleaning up the loopholes and it would have 
given a more balanced tax plan than we have, but he had to raise the 
taxes on the highest bracket because that was a notch in his belt, a 
feather in his cap to punish the rich.
  There's been a political gain to do that. That's been the motive 
because it gathers votes and it expands the dependency class. When you 
do that, that keeps people dependent upon one party with one-party 
rule. And this country and this society has one place where we block 
bad ideas. That's here in the House of Representatives where there is a 
Republican majority, where there's still a majority of us, I believe, 
that support and will defend free enterprise capitalism.
  Anybody that's going to take the naturalization test to become a 
citizen of the United States can go look at the flashcards that CIS--
Citizen Immigration Services--hand out. They're a glossy flashcard like 
that on a red backing, and you can pick them up. On one side it will 
say, Who's the father of our country? Flip it over, George Washington. 
Who emancipated the slaves? Abraham Lincoln. What's the economic system 
of the United States of America? Flip that over, and it says, Free 
enterprise capitalism.
  Newly arriving immigrants, to-be-naturalized citizens study that and 
know that, but I suspect there are a whole lot of people over on this 
side of the aisle that, if they know that, they don't believe it. They 
don't understand how supply and demand is answered by the marketplace, 
how people need to be rewarded for the work that they do.
  I take you back, Mr. Speaker, to 1976 when Jimmy Carter, one of the 
least successful Presidents in our history, said something that I'm 
happy to quote. He said this in Iowa, as he traveled all over Iowa and 
made the first-in-the-Nation caucus an effective venue for Presidential 
candidates. He said:

       I believe the people that work should live better than 
     those that don't.

  That's probably going to be labeled ``offensive'' in today's 
Congress. But it was Jimmy Carter's statement back then in 1976, and I 
believe it.
  And we have people in this party, my party, that looked at that 
theory that popped up in the early morning hours of November 7 and 
concluded, We're never going to win another Presidential election, 
another national election if we don't first pass comprehensive 
immigration reform. That's based on Barack Obama getting 71 percent of 
the Hispanic vote because that number has--it's gone up and down, but 
it's crept up for Democrats over time.
  What they have forgotten is that tens of millions of dollars and very 
much organizational effort has been put into it by the Democrats to 
call Republicans racists; and my colleagues on my side of the aisle, 
they seem to disregard all of that money spent, all of those 
dishonesties perpetrated. They think that if it exists at all, it 
didn't have any effect. It all was just those two words that Mitt 
Romney said, ``self-deport.''

                              {time}  1430

  We need to look at the actual facts. The actual facts are Bob Dole 
had the lowest percentage of Hispanic vote when he ran for President in 
'96. It was 21 percent. It is also true that Ronald Reagan, who signed 
an amnesty act in 1986, didn't get George H.W. Bush, Bush 41, a higher 
percentage of the Hispanic vote. It got him a lower percentage of the 
Hispanic vote.
  If they're going to correlate this thing, I tell you, here's how you 
correlate it, Mr. Speaker, and it's this:
  There were about 800,000 people that originally were to qualify for 
the amnesty in 1986 that Ronald Reagan signed. That number crept up to 
about a million. That's kind of the settled historical number. There 
were about a million that were here that fit the qualifications to 
receive amnesty from the '86 act that Reagan was honest enough to call 
the Amnesty Act.
  And then once he signed that bill, then there was document fraud and 
people who came across the border. The magnet of amnesty drew more 
people in, and that number now, the lowest number that I see of those 
who received amnesty in 1986, or from the 1986 Amnesty Act, is about 
2.7 million people. A lot of times you see 3 million as the quote. 
It'll go up to 3.5. Well, let's just settle on 3 million people.
  If 3 million people received amnesty under Ronald Reagan's 1986 
Amnesty Act, and then on average each of them--and this is data that 
can be chased down, and bigger numbers than I'm about to quote are 
available out there in certain studies, but on average a low number for 
family members brought in because of those that received amnesty is 
about a factor of five, or a little bit more. So let's just hold it 
down on the low end.
  Three million received amnesty. They averaged bringing in five people 
by the family reunification plans that are there. Now, that's 15 
million people. Some of them have died, and some perhaps have gone back 
to their home country, but there are a large block of voters there that 
have shifted over to vote for whom, Mr. Speaker? Barack Obama. Barack 
  I will make this statement. If the theory of those who believe that 
they can reverse the trend of Hispanic vote, if their theory is 
correct, then I would suggest to them, if they can provide amnesty and 
somebody is going to benefit from that, if their theory is correct, 
they have to admit that Ronald Reagan's signature on the 1986 Amnesty 
Act brought about Barack Obama's election. If you take those numbers of 
people out of the polls and you calculate that percentage of 71 
percent--so let's just say we take 15 million people out of the rolls 
and say they wouldn't have been here without the 1986 Amnesty Act, or 
at least they wouldn't be voting, and if 71 percent of them voted for 
Barack Obama, then it's clear to anybody that can do any kind of 
statistical analysis that Barack Obama wouldn't be President of the 
United States without Ronald Reagan's 1986 Amnesty Act.
  And if that's the case, then how do the people on my side of the 
aisle think they're going to fix that problem? If it was created by 
amnesty, you create a bigger problem by amnesty by a factor of, let's 
say, four. And I'm just rounding 3 million times up to about 12 
million, or 2.7 times 4 gets you in that 11.5 million range.
  That's the facts of what we're dealing with here, Mr. Speaker. 
They've suspended their logic. They've suspended their reason. They've 
suspended their ability to look at data, surveys, polls. They've 
suspended their respect for the intelligence of the American people who 
honestly want to see the rule of law.
  And all of us have compassion for all humanity, and I believe in the 
dignity of every human person. It's commanded by my faith. But also, 
when those who use religion to advocate for amnesty say, ``For I was a 
stranger, and you let me in,'' Matthew 25:35, when you look at the 
interpretation, you have to go back to the Greek. ``Stranger'' in 
English, in Greek is ``xenos.'' Xenos in Greek means invited friend, 
invited guest. It doesn't mean intruder. There's no religious 
commandment that says when someone comes into your house that you have 
to welcome them in. You're not commanded by God to do so. That's why we 
have a man's home is his castle. That's why we have nation-states with 
  In fact, it says in Act 17:

       And God created all nations on Earth, and he decided when 
     and where each nation would be.

  That's his commandment. And I'd suggest to those people that say to 
us, ``For I was a stranger, and you let me in,'' they should understand 
also what Jesus said when they tried to trick him on that question 
about whether to pay taxes or not. And they showed him the coin and he 

       Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and render 
     unto God the things that are God's.

  Civil mercy is not something that can be delivered by religion, and 
mercy is not something to be delivered by government. We have civil 
law. Civil laws are set up by the judgment of the people. That's why we 
have penalties that are written into these laws, and that needs to be 
applied evenly. And, yes, people can have their dignity and still 
respect our laws; but somehow, some of the religious movement in the 
country believes that mercy should be delivered by civil law, that we 
can grant amnesty in the name of mercy to give a legal status to people 
here that

[[Page H2951]]

are unlawfully here in the United States.
  And so I'd ask them to go back and peruse through their Bible, Old 
and New Testament, and show me where the word ``mercy'' is used. And 
wherever mercy is advocated in the Bible, next to it you will see the 
word ``repentance.'' Mercy is never delivered biblically without 
repentance as a prerequisite, a requirement.
  I don't see repentance out here in the people advocating for U.S. 
citizenship and the reward for that, but I can tell you, they and their 
descendants will remember who offered it, as they did in 1986.
  And when the President of the United States came to the Republican 
Conference and he said to us, You must pass comprehensive immigration 
reform as Republicans or you will never win another national election; 
I'm trying to help you--that's the President of the United States. He's 
not trying to help Republicans.
  We have some people who will take the bait on that, and the hook has 
already been set and they're trying to reel that amnesty bill over from 
the Senate and line it up here in the House of Representatives. It will 
split this party in half. It will pit Republicans against Republicans. 
The Democrats know that. That is a clear tactic in politics to divide 
the other party down an issue if you can. Republicans are falling for 
that. We should not take up anything until the President keeps his oath 
of office and enforces the laws that we have.
  And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.