(House of Representatives - June 27, 2013)

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[Page H4085]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Shimkus) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SHIMKUS. First of all, I want to say nice job to Chuck 
Fleischmann for his comments on his father.
  Then, before my colleague from Maryland leaves, I want to make sure 
that he understands that we understand the history of this whole budget 
  The Nation is $16 trillion in debt. It was the President's proposal 
to sequester; and it was his vote, along with my vote, that passed the 
Budget Control Act that enacted sequester. So, many of us are not just 
going to come to the floor and get lectured to on this process of how 
do you eventually get control of this national debt.
  Sequester is a tough process. It's a tough pill to take. It's the 
first time we've ever cut real dollars. As I tell my colleagues, in the 
big picture of a $16 trillion debt, it's pocket lint. It's such a small 
percentage of our future obligations, and that's where the debate on 
entitlement programs has to go. It's Medicare, Medicaid, Social 
Security, and the interest payment on our debt that, if we don't get 
control actuarially in the out-years, we will continue to have to cut 
the discretionary budget, which is damaging to all of those things my 
colleague mentioned.
  Yet for him to come down and profess outrage over a proposal that the 
President presented to this body and then to profess outrage when he 
voted for the bill, I think it's just the height of hypocrisy.
  That's not what I came down to the floor to talk about, but this 
gives us an opportunity to respond. I did want to talk about the recent 
occurrences in Egypt which identify persecution.
  The Middle East is a continually changing region. We have had 
citizens protesting their nondemocratic governments numerous times in 
calling for change and freedom across the region. In 2012, the world 
would watch incredible change in Egypt following the election of 
Mohamed Morsi, when he became the President. This country continues to 
struggle in instituting a democratic government. However, the work of 
the Morsi government is not met without opposition, and attacks on 
minority groups are still an ongoing issue.
  In the recent past, Coptic Christians have been persecuted; and on 
Sunday, June 23, Shiite Muslims were attacked by a mob of Sunni Muslims 
in the village of Zawyat Abu Musalam. Four Shiites died in this attack, 
and many others were injured. Shiite Muslims make up roughly 2 percent 
of the Egyptian population of 80 million people.
  While President Morsi has condemned these attacks, further steps need 
to be taken to address the ongoing persecutions of Egypt's religious 
minorities. Persecution will continue if sentiments towards minorities 
are not changed. For Egypt to have a successful, lasting democratic 
government, people of all religions will need to be included.
  The United States was created on the principle that all people should 
have the right to practice their religions freely and openly and 
without fear of persecution. As a Christian and as a Member of the 
House of Representatives, which is composed of a vast array of Members 
with different beliefs, it is my hope that this country will continue 
to be an example that Egypt can look to.
  I urge the Egyptian Government and the people to continue to condemn 
these religious-based attacks and to take positive steps towards 
religious freedom. I will continue to keep the country of Egypt and 
their religious minorities in my prayers, and I ask my colleagues to do 
the same.