IN REMEMBRANCE OF DWAYNE ALONS
(House of Representatives - December 04, 2014)

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[Pages H8663-H8667]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     IN REMEMBRANCE OF DWAYNE ALONS

  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 of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to address you here 
on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, and I 
always appreciate that opportunity to come here and voice some of the 
things that are expressions often of the voices of my district and also 
the voices of Iowans, the voices of the American people.
  I happen to live in a place that is the best place in the world to 
live and raise a family. The anchor of the values that are there and 
the culture in the neighborhood are reflected in the people.
  I rise today, and I come to the floor to express my sadness at the 
passing of a very, very good friend and a great man, Dwayne Alons. 
Dwayne Alons passed away Saturday night after a short but brutal 
illness with cancer.
  His life meant so much to so many of us. He lived in Sioux County. 
Sioux County is that place where I would think, if I would go to sleep 
and wake up in the park in Sioux County, I would think I might have 
died and gone to heaven.

[[Page H8664]]

  It has got the best balance of faith and churches and economics and 
education and families and culture and work ethic and neighborliness. 
It has got the best balance of anyplace I know, and Dwayne Alons 
contributed so much to that.
  In almost all of my years that I was in the State legislature, I 
served in the senate while he served in the house of representatives. 
When I needed a partner on a cause over in the house, it was 
Representative Dwayne Alons that I called upon, and it was he that came 
over to talk to me when I needed some help on my side or if he needed 
help on the senate side where I served. We stood in the same 
philosophical and ideological square year after year after year.
  The 6-year endeavor that I had embarked upon in 1996 and early 1997 
to establish English as the official language of the State of Iowa, 
that effort came up short in the first general assembly. That was 1997 
and 1998; then, in 1999 and 2000, that effort came up short again.
  In the next general assembly, I talked to Dwayne Alons, and he agreed 
that he would be the individual carrying the bill in the house of 
representatives, and there, in that general assembly, after 6 years of 
trying, we were able to pass English as the official language over from 
the senate to the house, and there, Representative Dwayne Alons floor-
managed the bill, and we were able to put that bill on then-Governor 
Tom Vilsack, a Democrat's desk, where he signed the bill that 
established English as the official language of the State of Iowa. That 
was a crowning achievement of much of the work that we had done 
together.

  We also opposed the Iowa State Supreme Court's decision called Varnum 
v. Brien, when the supreme court, magically, unanimously decided that, 
somehow, in the ratification of our State constitution and their 
equivalent of the 14th Amendment of the Equal Protection Clause that 
they had magically written in there, that marriage didn't necessarily 
have to be between a man and a woman.
  We were able to pass legislation earlier in 1998 that established 
that a marriage in Iowa would be between one male and one female. 
Representative Alons definitely supported that. When the judges 
unanimously decided that they could rewrite Iowa law without a 
legitimate legal and logical constitutional basis, it was Dwayne Alons 
that stepped up to defend marriage between a man and a woman.
  He did so without apology. He did so without reservation. He did so 
because he always acted on his convictions. He carried deep 
convictions.
  He had a style not at all similar to mine, Mr. Speaker, a quiet, 
understated, respectful style, a strong, faithful man who was also a 
prayer warrior. Whenever there was a Bible study group, you could look 
around and Dwayne Alons and his wife, Clarice, would be there.
  I would like to just chronicle some of the milestones along in his 
life that he represented the Fourth and then I think, later on, the 
Fifth District in the State of Iowa.
  He also joined the Air Force and became a fighter pilot, an F-16 
pilot, and rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Iowa Air 
National Guard, the 185th--the beloved 185th. He raised a pilot, his 
son Kevin.
  That example that was before his four children was one that they 
acted on. He had such an influence on their lives, on the lives of 
their four children and their 14 grandchildren--a quiet, respectful, 
staid, resolute voice that lived by example. When he spoke, you knew 
you wanted to hear what Dwayne Alons had to say.
  He was stricken by cancer in September and taken just right after 
Thanksgiving, but his wife, Clarice, they had 47-plus years and the 
four children that they raised and the 14 grandchildren, and their 
daughters-in-law and sons-in-law and a host of family and friends 
remember Dwayne, remember him as I did, grateful to God that we had him 
as a gift to us and had an opportunity to get to know him, an 
opportunity to call him a friend, to work with him, to pray with him.
  On his last days, I had the privilege to stop and see him in the 
hospital where I think we all knew that he was in his last days, and I 
was able to go to his bedside and hold his hand and offer a deep prayer 
with and for him, and the strength that he had left after I said, 
``Amen,'' he said, ``Now I am going to say a short prayer of my own,'' 
which I could hear--I could barely hear--but in that, there was a 
message to me, ``Don't let up, don't give up, keep up the fight, keep 
up the fight,'' as Dwayne did for his whole lifetime in a quiet and a 
polite and a respectful way, but as a leader.
  He led by example, he led by conviction, he led with the moral 
authority of a man who knew who he was, a man who understood his faith, 
a man who understood the Constitution and the rule of law, the 
structure of government and his role in society as a father, as a 
grandfather, as a husband, as a friend, as a State representative, as a 
brigadier general in the Air Guard, and as a father of another officer 
in the Guard.
  As I think about Dwayne Alons and think about having to say goodbye 
to such a good friend, I look at the back of the announcement here for 
the funeral, and it couldn't be more fitting. It is something that, of 
course, I think the language has been embedded into the hearts and the 
minds of the American people, and it is the poem ``High Flight.''
  As an F-16 pilot, as a general, he always saw the clear blue skies, 
and ``High Flight'' says this:

     Oh. I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
     And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
     Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
     Of Sun-split clouds--and done a hundred things
     You have not dreamed of--wheeled and soared and swung
     High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
     I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
     My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .
     Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
     I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
     Where never lark, or even eagle flew--
     And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod.
     The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
     Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

  That was the life of Dwayne Alons, my pheasant-hunting friend, my 
legislating friend, my Bible-studying friend, my air warrior friend, 
and my prayer warrior friend, General Representative Dwayne Alons, may 
he rest in peace, Mr. Speaker.
  I appreciate your attention to his life and the opportunity to place 
some of these memories into the Congressional Record here. His last ask 
of me and his last prayer, which was not for him but for me, tells you 
something about the sacrifice and the will of the man that we have lost 
as a servant to our country, but his inspiration lives beyond, keep it 
up, don't let up--understood the Constitution.
  Here we sit today, Mr. Speaker, with a President who lectured on the 
Constitution for 10 years as an adjunct professor at the University of 
Chicago and many times lectured about the separation of powers.
  Article I is the legislative body of the government, this Congress, 
comprised of a House and a Senate. Article II is the executive branch, 
the President and the people that he gets to command. Article III are 
the courts.

  The separation of powers that was defined by our Founding Fathers, 
this was not three equal or coequal branches of government--not 
designed to be, Mr. Speaker; instead, the legislative branch was 
designed to be a preeminent branch of this government, article I, the 
branch closest to the people, most responsive to the people, and most 
accountable to the people.
  Of the legislative branch, of the article I, the two bodies of the 
Senate and the House, it is the House of Representatives that is 
established to be the quick reaction force. Up for election every 2 
years, so that if the people are dissatisfied with their 
Representatives in the United States Congress and the policies that we 
bring forth, then the people have an opportunity to change out those 
seats in this House of Representatives, all 435 of them, within each 2 
years, we are all up for election or reelection.
  If the people decided they wanted to throw out all 435 of us, they 
had their chance just about a month ago today, and if they decide 2 
years from now, short a month, that they want to throw out everybody in 
the House of Representatives, that is what they do. Our Founding 
Fathers wanted that restraint on this House.

[[Page H8665]]

  They wanted this House to have the most control. They wanted the 
House of Representatives to be where most ideas originated--not all of 
them, most of them. They wanted us to be the place where we fought out 
these ideas, and the genius of it is this: each of us represents 
750,000 or so people here; each of us in the House of Representatives 
represents about that many people.
  Out there in America, 316 or so million Americans, all of the good 
ideas that this government needs to consider are out there in the 
hearts and minds of our people.

                              {time}  1715

  And our job in this constitutional Republic is, go home, listen to 
the people whom you have the honor and the privilege to represent, 
listen to them, exchange ideas with them because we are not charged to 
be devoid of ideas and simply carrying their ideas here. We are charged 
in this Republic with having a responsibility to get informed, be 
informed, stay informed, do this full time, so that we are giving all 
of our heads, all of our hearts and all that we can to this job that we 
have.
  We owe our constituents our best effort and our best judgment, and 
that includes go home and listen to them. Gather the best ideas that 
can come out of our districts. Bring them here. Each one of these seats 
in this place should have within it, within the mind and within the 
records and within the staff of each one of us and our staff, we should 
have the best ideas that come from our district. They should be 
incorporated with the best ideas that we can generate.
  We should bring those ideas into this idea marketplace and test them; 
and while we are doing that, we are evaluating the best ideas that come 
from the other 434 Members of Congress that come here with the best 
ideas that they can gather. And throughout that all, with that 
competition of ideas, the competition of debate, the regular order that 
we ought to structure here and keep, to the extent that it is possible, 
then those ideas get written into bills and those bills need to go 
before subcommittees for hearings, and then they need to go before the 
subcommittee and the full committee for markup so that the people in 
the committee that presumably have the most expertise on the topic have 
an opportunity to perfect that legislation.
  Then out of committee it needs to come to the floor where the Rules 
Committee should be allowing the maximum amount of input from the 
Members. There is not one single Member of this House of 
Representatives that has the market cornered on all the good ideas; and 
there is not one single Member here that represents enough more people 
within their district that they ought to have more leverage than 
anybody else.
  There has to be a leadership structure, that is true, but that 
doesn't mean that there is only one or two or three places where the 
ideas can be approved. It needs to be the best ideas that can come from 
the people of the United States of America.
  That is the structure in our constitutional Republic, and we should 
have the closest thing to regular order that we can maintain. If it 
means we work longer, if it means we work harder, we should do that. 
And we should send our best ideas over across the rotunda to the 
Senate. There in the Senate, they can generate some ideas, too, and 
bring those ideas from the States. But they are only up for election 
once every 6 years, which means, Mr. Speaker, that they have a little 
bit different attitude about what they can vote for, what they are 
willing to support, and where the leverage might be over there.
  But in the end, this is about bringing the best ideas that exist in 
America, process them through this competition of ideas in this great 
debate forum that we have, and let those best ideas emerge to the top.
  Mr. Speaker, sitting here in this place, we have a President that 
thinks that he does all of that. We have a President who thinks that, 
even though he lectured on the Constitution and the separation of 
powers and understands that all legislative power and authority exists 
in the Congress, not in the President of the United States. It exists 
in the Congress of the United States.
  When you look at our Founding Fathers, they had a habit of putting 
things down in priority order. One of those examples that I would place 
into the Record here, Mr. Speaker, is in the Declaration of 
Independence. That is not an independent document from the 
Constitution. The Declaration is the promise; the Constitution is the 
fulfillment of the promise that is in the Declaration: life, liberty, 
pursuit of happiness, in that order. They didn't say, pursuit of 
happiness, liberty, then life. They didn't say, liberty, pursuit of 
happiness, then life. It is life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. That 
is because they are prioritized rights.
  Life is the paramount right. It takes precedence over any other 
right. The second that was established in the Declaration was liberty, 
God-given liberty. Our Founding Fathers are the ones that articulated 
that, put it on the parchment, and pledged their lives, their fortune, 
and their sacred honor to that cause.
  Pursuit of happiness, by the way, is not just envisioned by our 
Founding Fathers to be what I think some people think it is, like this 
endless tailgate party in this pursuit of happiness. Pursuit of 
happiness is the development of the whole human being. Some pronounce 
the Greek term for that is ``eudemonia.'' That means the development of 
the whole human being--physically, mentally, spiritually, 
intellectually, knowledge-based, all of those things put together--as 
someone who, enjoying the rights of life and liberty, is contributing 
back to that society and civilization and to the government of, by, and 
for the people. That is what pursuit of happiness is.
  But it still is trumped by liberty, and liberty is trumped by life. 
No one in the exercise of their liberty can take someone else's life, 
and no one in the exercise of their pursuit of happiness can take away 
someone else's liberty or life. That is the order; that is the 
priority.
  So, with that in mind, Mr. Speaker, I would point out that our 
Founding Fathers envisioned--and they wrote it in the Constitution, to 
put it bluntly--article I. They didn't start out with article II or 
article III. If they declared article I to be the executive branch of 
government, one might be able to read into this that the President has 
a little more power than he does. They wanted to make sure the people 
had the power.
  So they wrote in article I, the very first sentence, article I, 
section 1:

       All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a 
     Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a 
     Senate and a House of Representatives.

  That is an irrefutable first truth in the Constitution of the United 
States. That is what Barack Obama taught at the University of Chicago. 
That is the foundation of article I.
  The President of the United States, he is the embodiment at the top 
of the executive branch of government. And it says in the beginning of 
article II:

       The executive power shall be vested in a President of the 
     United States of America. He shall hold his office during the 
     term of 4 years, and, together with the vice president, 
     chosen for that same term, be elected, as follows.

  It doesn't actually say that the President, in the first sentence, 
has this massive power. In fact, nowhere in article II does it say that 
the President has this massive power to legislate because it is 
exclusively reserved for the Congress of the United States in the very 
first sentence, article I, section 1.
  So this little lecture that I have provided here, Mr. Speaker--and I 
know you know all of this to be fact--it is pretty similar to the 
lectures I imagine the President delivered at the University of 
Chicago, and it reflects the expressions that he has made of his 
constitutional understanding at least 22 times into the public record 
when he said: I don't have the authority to grant amnesty.
  Now, I am summarizing this, of course. He wouldn't use that word 
himself.
  He said he didn't have the authority on March 28, 2011, at the high 
school here in Washington, D.C. He said: I know you want me to pass the 
DREAM Act and establish it, but you are studying. You are smart 
students. You are studying the Constitution. You know that I don't have 
the authority to do that. The Congress writes the laws. The legislature 
writes the laws. I am head of the executive branch as President. My job 
is to enforce the laws, and the

[[Page H8666]]

judicial branch of government's job is to interpret the laws.
  That is a pretty concise description of what this Constitution does, 
that statement, and at least 21 other statements by the President of 
the United States, in his declaration--his declaration--that he didn't 
have the authority to legislate.
  Then, lo and behold, the President of the United States had a change 
of heart. He stopped saying he didn't have the authority for several 
months, didn't seem so curious because he was floating trial balloons 
about advancing an executive amnesty. Those trial balloons floated out 
June, July, August, September, October. He announced at some point--or 
leaked it out--that he wouldn't commit his executive amnesty until 
after the election for fear there would be consequences for such a 
thing, and so he held back.
  Then a couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday night, he gave an address 
at 8 on a Thursday night to a national audience that more or less laid 
out his executive amnesty, which as many times has been characterized 
as ``unconstitutional.''
  The President then decided he could write immigration law and he 
could waive the application of the law and the enforcement of the law 
for vast classes and groups of people that he defined in his executive 
edict. That number of people may be 5 million. We know historically 
whenever there has been an amnesty, there has been a massive amount of 
fraud and a significant amount of underestimation of the real numbers, 
whether it is 5 million or it is a multiplier of 5 million. I don't 
think anybody thinks it is going to end up being less than 5 million 
people.
  Now we have a bunch of people that came into America that many of 
whom committed the crime of illegal border crossing. There are some who 
overstayed their visas, and they are not technically criminals. They 
have committed a serious misdemeanor overstaying their visa. In both 
cases, the law removes them from the United States. That is what the 
law is.
  But the President has decided that he can create these classes of 
people, exempt them from the law, reward them with a permission slip to 
stay in the United States and a work permit. Some of it is going to 
turn into green cards.
  So this has been a massive effort to usurp the authority of the 
United States Congress to pass laws. And for the President to give his 
oath of office and take that oath of office to take care that the laws 
be faithfully executed--preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution 
of the United States, so help him God--he is obligated to take care 
that the laws are faithfully executed. Instead, he has taken the 
Constitution--figuratively speaking--separated out article I of the 
Constitution, torn it out, and said: I do the law, too. Folded it, put 
it in his shirt pocket, and walked away from the podium in the East 
Room that night.
  Now here we are. We are a Nation thrown into a constitutional crisis, 
a Nation that was struggling to restore the respect for the rule of law 
as far back as Ronald Reagan's 1986 Amnesty Act. I remember what that 
was like. I remember what I thought. I am not Monday morning 
quarterbacking that. I believe Ronald Reagan would stand the principle 
and veto the '86 Amnesty Act, because anything less meant that there 
was an implicit promise that there would be another amnesty, another 
amnesty, and another amnesty; and when you reward lawbreakers, you get 
more lawbreakers.
  I have been working since '86 to restore the respect for the rule of 
law, and I have watched it be eroded since, one might say by each 
succeeding President, Mr. Speaker, but no one has eroded the respect 
for the rule of law from the White House nearly to the extent as this 
President.
  So as I see what is happening in America, I have been wanting to, 
working here in this Congress, to restore the pillars of American 
exceptionalism, those pillars, many of which you find in the Bill of 
Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, but just in the 
first one: freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to peaceably 
assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. The 
Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms. It goes on and on.
  The Bill of Rights is replete of pillars of American exceptionalism, 
any one of which, if you pulled it out, this giant shining city on a 
hill that is built upon those beautiful marble pillars of American 
exceptionalism, that are drilled down to bedrock, that seek this 
country and its greatness and the greatness of people that are here, 
you pull any one of them out, we don't become the great country that we 
are today.
  But the rule of law, Mr. Speaker, the rule of law, the essential 
pillar of American exceptionalism, that idea that no man--meaning also 
in this world, no woman either--is above the law. We get equal 
protection under the law, and we are all treated equally before the 
law. That rule of law is an essential pillar of American exceptionalism 
without which we could not have become this great Nation, neither can 
we sustain ourselves as a great Nation.
  But I am watching as it is torn asunder by a willful act of an 
individual that knows better. We know he knows better because he 
lectured for 10 years better. And he gave us 22 speeches across the 
country that told us that he knew better, and then flipped and did this 
to throw this America into a constitutional crisis.
  Then what are our alternatives here in the House of Representatives 
and in the United States Senate? We have a majority in the Republicans 
coming into the United States Senate. It will soon be nine freshman 
Republicans that will arrive on the floor of the United States Senate 
to take their oath of office in January of 2015, not that long from 
now.

                              {time}  1730

  Here in the House, we are going to end up with 247 Republicans, which 
is a pretty good-sized majority here in the House of Representatives--
the largest majority we have had since sometime back in the Roaring 
Twenties. That is 15 new Republicans seated in the House of 
Representatives.
  Some say: Well, why don't we just wait and we'll pick up better 
ground to fight on. We can fight better maybe in January. So let's do a 
continuing resolution. Maybe we'll just kick the whole omnibus can all 
the way down the road until September 30.
  But we surely can't do this. We surely can't let the President shut 
the government down. So we'll say there won't be a government shutdown, 
which is a promise that we're not going to defund the President's 
lawless act.
  Now, if we announce that we are not willing to use the tools that are 
here in this Constitution in my jacket pocket, carefully given to the 
House of Representatives especially, but also the Senate, that gives 
the power of the purse to the Congress, in the Federalist Papers it is 
very clear that our Founding Fathers intended for this Congress to have 
the power of the purse because with the power of the purse comes the 
authority to control everything the executive branch does, if we so 
choose.
  We can write language that is limiting language. We can write 
language that says: Here's all the money you want, Mr. President. 
You've already soared through $17 trillion in national debt--and now, 
$18 trillion in national debt. We'll scoop you up a few hundred more 
billion dollars. In fact, we'll scoop you trillions of dollars over 
there. And you can spend whatever it is that we have agreed in the 
discussions with Senator Reid and the President of the United States. 
We are going to provide for money because we don't want to fight. We 
don't want to fight.
  Yes, we do. We have an obligation. And we have to. Money can be 
compromised if money is not a principle. The Constitution of the United 
States cannot be compromised; it is a principle. And we take an oath to 
uphold the Constitution here, 435 of us standing in this same place 
next January, again. It doesn't mean you get this caveat that says I 
don't like the politics of defending the Constitution. It doesn't mean 
that this is too painful for me so I am not going to do it. It doesn't 
even mean I disagree with the policy so I am not going to defend the 
Constitution.
  What it means is you take an oath to uphold the Constitution, come 
what may, without regard to political consequences, without regard to 
policy implications, with complete regard to the oath to preserve, 
protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is our 
oath. And if the President doesn't keep his, we are ever more obligated 
to keep ours. That is what we

[[Page H8667]]

must do. And the most reasonable tool that we have is the tool that 
defunds the President's lawless executive edicts.
  That is what must be done, and it must be done on appropriation bills 
that are must-pass, that the President wants, which means now, given an 
understanding that they continued to issue permits throughout the 
government shutdown 14 months ago. That is under USCIS. They functioned 
during a government shutdown, issuing DACA permits--the Deferred Action 
for Childhood Arrivals--and they continued to exercise these 
nonprosecutorial discretion Morton memos. They were doing those things, 
Mr. Speaker, during a government shutdown. So they declared it, 
apparently, to be an essential service, or they went off on the loop of 
it being fee-based.
  We can write language into the next appropriation bill--and it should 
be a very short CR that gets us into next year--and that language must 
shut off the funding to the President's lawless act that he committed 
and knew what he was doing.
  We need to do it now. It is a matter of principle. When you are 
called upon to keep your oath of office, you don't get to decide that 
there is going to be another time, a better time. If we vote to fund 
the President's lawlessness, Mr. Speaker, we don't get our virtue back 
in January, February, and March of next year. We must uphold the 
Constitution now.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.

                          ____________________