ISSUES OF THE DAY
(House of Representatives - December 18, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 206 (Monday, December 18, 2017)]
[Pages H10176-H10178]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





                           ISSUES OF THE DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gohmert) for 30 minutes.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed hearing my friend from Illinois 
first talking about the great State of Illinois. It truly is. We 
appreciate all the doctors who have been sent down to Texas after we 
did tort reform and Illinois continues to have significant problems.
  We had had problems keeping doctors in Texas until the great State of 
Illinois ran into greater and greater malpractice lawsuit problems. 
Texas did tort reform, and we started having doctors coming from places 
like Illinois to Texas, and we are doing much better.
  The problem is, with health insurance, I heard my friend talk about 
13 million who won't have insurance, and I think, to be fair there, are 
so many millions right now who are forced to do the unthinkable.

                              {time}  2045

  It is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court simply chose to become 
political in their decisionmaking rather than constitutional. You could 
pick nine people off the street at random and probably six or seven out 
of the nine, after they heard the dispute and read the Constitution, 
would find contrary to the Supreme Court.
  We put so much magic, supposedly, in those black robes. Somehow, they 
are given more credibility than they ought to be. Thomas Jefferson 
thought that the judicial system would be the weakest of the three 
branches, but now it pretty much controls everything.
  Under ObamaCare, people are forced to buy a product. For the first 
time in American history, you can be forced to buy a product. If you 
didn't, you would be fined, punished, taxed. The Court said, on one 
hand, it wasn't a tax. Therefore, the Court had jurisdiction. Forty-
some pages later, it said it is a tax, so it is constitutional.
  In any event, people have been forced to buy a product and they have 
paid for as cheap a policy as they could get away with, but the 
deductibles were so high. I have heard this over and over hundreds of 
times in my own district. They were buying insurance they will never be 
able to use. The deductibles are so high, they don't have that kind of 
money.
  So what the repeal of the individual mandate is going to mean is that 
people can still buy the insurance if they want to. They are not going 
to be penalized if they don't buy it.
  But in order for ObamaCare to work, it is stealing from Peter to pay 
Paul. In other words, young people, for example, were having to buy 
insurance they would never use because they would have the deductible. 
But they did the calculation: Do I pay more if I pay for the insurance 
or do I pay more if I pay the extra income tax? Then they make that 
decision.
  What the repeal of the individual mandate means is that we will help 
the Supreme Court in their ridiculous ruling and the mental gymnastics 
that went into not calling it a tax at page 13 or so, and then 40 pages 
later calling it a tax.
  It is really pretty absurd, but it was a political decision. John 
Roberts was intimidated into believing that, if they struck down this 
unconstitutional bill, he would be deemed to be Chief Justice over the 
most political Court. As a result of what he did, he goes down in 
history as having the most political Court since Dred Scott. It wasn't 
quite as bad as the Dred Scott decision. That has got to be the worst.
  We know from history that sometimes they just get it wrong. We will 
do the right thing by the American people, and we will repeal the 
individual mandate. Unfortunately, it is not going to start for a year.
  I also heard my friend mention--and I have heard others say--that 
this bill will end up putting most of the income in the hands of the 
top 1 percent.
  One of the great things about being in Congress is you get to learn 
so much if you are paying attention.
  My friends can go back and look at YouTube and find President Obama, 
after being in office for a number of years, admitting that, for the 
first time in American history, 95 percent of the Nation's income went 
to the top 1 percent income earners. It never happened before.
  But under the policies that do as President Obama said he was going 
to do before he got elected--and that is spread the wealth around--
every time somebody tries to spread the wealth around--it is a 
socialist idea, a communist. But when you try to spread the wealth 
around, it never seems to fail that the richest, most powerful get 
richer and more powerful.
  You can go to the Soviet Union. There were a handful of people making 
a lot of money, even over there now, under Putin. Of course, Putin gets 
richer. But there were a handful of people who get rich and most of the 
people don't. Most of the people bring in about the same amount of 
income, but they don't have access to the same benefits.
  Anyway, we are going to move in a direction away from what President 
Obama's policies established, and that was, as a fact, 95 percent of 
the Nation's income is going to the top 1 percent. We want to get away 
from that.
  Reforming the Tax Code and getting away from the punishing days of 
President Obama's policies will allow the working class to do better 
for the first time in years. They have been flat-lined or less when 
adjusted for inflation. It is time they did better.
  The tax bill we should take up tomorrow will end up doing that. It 
will get money into the hands of the working poor, the middle class. We 
saw the middle class shrink under President Obama; the poor got poorer, 
the ultrarich got ultraricher, and the middle class shrunk.
  More people--over 50 million, as I recall--signed up for food stamps. 
That has already dropped significantly under the policies of the 
current President. We are hoping that the policies that we will push 
through together with the President will continue to have that effect. 
People will do better. There will be more jobs.
  With all of the ridicule of lowering the corporate tax, if people 
will just be realistic and honest about it, corporations don't pay 
corporate taxes. They have to pass that on as a cost of doing business 
to their customers, their clients, those who purchase their goods or 
services. They pass that 35 percent tax on.
  I know that before the President got elected, the current President, 
he had talked about maybe putting a tariff on Chinese goods. The fact 
is we have been putting on a 35 percent tariff, the highest tariff 
anybody puts on its own goods and services of all the industrialized 
nations. It is the biggest.
  If we knock that 35 percent down, then it means our goods will be 
more competitive around the world. It means more jobs. It is going to 
be a great thing for America. It really is. As much as some people 
despise the President, like it or not, it is going to help make America 
great again.
  Lower the corporate tax. I wish we could have kept it at 15 percent. 
Apparently, the powers of the leaders of the House and Senate, by a 
margin of two-to-one against the President wanting it at 15 percent, 
but at least we are getting it lowered. That is going to mean more 
goods can be competitive abroad. It means more jobs here. It means more 
manufacturing back here.

  For those who have got their nose in the air and think we shouldn't 
have manufacturing in America, you go around the world and see 
manufacturing in other places and you see it here. It is about as clean 
a manufacturing company as you can have. This is the best place for 
those jobs because we do have to breathe the air that China and India 
pollutes, which we are cleaning up, but not near fast enough because 
they are polluting it so much.
  Fortunately, the President withdrew from the so-called climate 
accord. The reason all these other countries wanted the United States 
in is because we were the ones that were going to send checks to all 
the other countries. We were going to pay guilt money. We have no guilt 
to pay for.
  In fact, this is the country that is helping clean up the air and 
water, unlike other large nations in the world. They owe us a check, if 
somebody is going to be owing checks for the amount of pollution. It 
should mean a better economy.
  There is one other thing that severely hurt our country under the 
past administration.
  I am not normally a big fan of Politico's articles, but this is a 
fascinating one that calls itself: ``The Secret Backstory of How Obama 
Let Hezbollah Off the Hook.''

[[Page H10177]]

  Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist organization. This is 
entitled: ``The Secret Backstory of How Obama Let Hezbollah Off the 
Hook.''
  Part one starts with a ``Global Threat Emerges. How Hezbollah turned 
to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to 
finance its expansion.
  ``In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama 
administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting 
drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even 
as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a 
Politico investigation.
  ``The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after 
the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had 
transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political 
organization into an international crime syndicate that some 
investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and 
weapons trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activities.''
  So, that was 2008, during the Bush administration, with Robert 
Mueller as head of the FBI.
  This points out: ``Over the next 8 years''--that would be as we went 
into the Obama administration, 2009--agents working out of a top-secret 
DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover 
operations, and informants to map Hezbollah's illicit networks, with 
the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
  ``They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West 
Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through 
Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of 
dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American 
used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key 
cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, 
to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.''
  It is rather ironic. I got in the car a moment ago and heard my good 
friend, Mark Levin. Apparently, he had read part of this story on the 
air and had a call from a person they didn't fully identify who was one 
of these agents who was helping track what Hezbollah was doing.
  The article says: ``But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the 
hierarchy of conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an 
increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way.''
  Parenthetically here, so the Obama administration had found that 
Hezbollah was massively producing and getting into the United States 
drugs that were addicting American young people--well, of all ages, but 
especially our young, our future--making a billion dollars or so, and 
they were dying as they got hooked on worse and worse drugs. The answer 
of the Obama administration, according to this article, was throwing an 
increasingly unsurmountable series of roadblocks in the way of those 
investigating Hezbollah and the evil infliction of harm they were doing 
to America.

                              {time}  2100

  The article goes on:
  `` . . . according to interviews with dozens of participants, who, in 
many cases, spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, 
and a review of government documents and court records. When Project 
Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, 
prosecutions, arrests, and financial sanctions, officials at the 
Justice and Treasury Departments delayed, hindered, or rejected their 
requests.''
  That would be Bob Mueller at the FBI. He had already purged the FBI 
training materials so that FBI agents, as they came in, would not know 
what questions to ask. So when they went out to interview Tsarnaev, 
after we got a heads up that he was a terrorist--he had been 
radicalized--those FBI agents didn't know what to ask.
  Why?
  Because Bob Mueller purged the training material. So they didn't know 
what to ask. They didn't know what to look for in a radical Islamist. 
They went and asked his mother, and she said: No, he is a good boy. He 
is not a terrorist.
  There were people who died because of Bob Mueller purging the FBI 
training materials; so they didn't even know what they were looking 
for.
  And when I was cross-examining him before our committee, I said: 
``You didn't even go out to the mosque where they attended to 
investigate them.'' He indicated that they did go out to the mosque in 
their outreach program, where they sit down and play ``Pat-a-Cake,'' 
share a meal, and the last thing they do would be to inquire about one 
of the mosque attendees being radicalized. They didn't bother to do 
that. They were too busy making merry in their outreach program.
  He also testified on one occasion that the Islamic community is like 
every other religious community in America; and they had this wonderful 
outreach program with them, and it is working so well.
  So I asked a question: ``Well, you said the Islamic community is like 
every other community in America, and you have this wonderful outreach 
program with them, so let me ask you: How is your outreach program 
going with the Buddhists, and the Jewish, and the Baptists, and all of 
these other communities?''
  Well, they don't have an outreach program to any except the Islamic 
community. So that told me then: this isn't just like every other 
community. They don't have outreach communities through every other 
religious community in America because they are not worried about them 
blowing up innocent people, to the extent they apparently were before 
Mueller came along.
  In any event, back to this article:
  ``The Justice Department declined requests by Project Cassandra and 
other authorities to file criminal charges against major players such 
as Hezbollah's high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that 
allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central 
player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds Force. And 
the State Department rejected requests to lure high-value targets to 
countries where they could be arrested.''
  So the Justice Department--during that period, of course--would have 
been Eric Holder. I believe I saw him in the news recently. He had 
forgotten how he was in contempt of Congress, how he covered up--
obfuscated--crimes that appeared to be occurring under his watch. And 
now we find out, just days after his high-profile blasting of what was 
going on here, trying to get to the truth, it turns out he was 
obfuscating, just like we found he was doing, hindering and obstructing 
justice.
  We really needed a special counsel to investigate him. But, of 
course, he was not going to have a special counsel investigate himself, 
nor was Loretta Lynch going to allow a special counsel to investigate 
Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. We still need one to investigate both of 
them. And the more we find out, the more it points to this desperate 
need.
  It has this in the article from December 15, 2011:
  ``Hezbollah is linked to a $483,142,568 laundering scheme. The money, 
allegedly laundered through the Lebanese Canadian Bank and two exchange 
houses, involved approximately 30 U.S. car buyers.''
  Then it goes on and shows in the article, from the Southern District 
of New York, U.S. Attorney's Office:
  ``Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files Civil Money Laundering and Forfeiture 
Suit Seeking More Than $480 Million From Entities Including Lebanese 
Financial Institutions That Facilitated a Hezbollah-Related Money 
Laundering Scheme''
  `` `This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,' said 
David Asher, who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a 
Defense Department illicit finance analyst. `They serially ripped apart 
this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it 
was done from the top down.' ''
  That would be from President Obama, it would be from Eric Holder, and 
it would be from Bob Mueller.
  Bob Mueller should have been honest and sincere enough when he was 
asked to be special counsel, and should have said: I am probably going 
to be investigated myself. I am not in a position to be the 
investigator.
  Because he certainly should be investigated. And this is one more 
story.

[[Page H10178]]

  ``The untold story of Project Cassandra illustrates the immense 
difficulty in mapping and countering illicit networks in an age where 
global terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime have merged, 
but also the extent to which competing agendas among government 
agencies--and shifting priorities at the highest levels--can set back 
years of progress.''
  And that is exactly what happened under Bob Mueller and President 
Obama's administration.
  And this 56-page article appears very well documented, and it 
actually appears well done. It has John Brennan in here creating 
problems for the investigation into the drugging and laundering of 
money to help finance terrorist operations.
  And one part of this is they killed this investigation. They were 
afraid it would prevent the Iran agreement from going forward. Well, it 
didn't go forward. It was never constitutionally ratified. The Corker 
bill was just that: it was a bill. It could not turn the Constitution 
upside down, as it attempted to do.

  The Constitution makes clear that it takes two-thirds of the Senate 
to ratify a treaty. It doesn't matter what the bill says; it will only 
take one-third to ratify a treaty. It doesn't work that way. If you 
want that to be the law, it takes a constitutional amendment to do 
that. We didn't have one. Therefore, it took two-thirds to ratify, and 
the Iranian agreement is still not ratified.
  But, nonetheless, though it wasn't ratified, it didn't keep the 
President from sending $100 billion or so in dollars over to Iran. We 
know Iran is the largest producer of IEDs in Iraq.
  As I sat at the funeral of this precious, young 20-year-old 
gentleman, who went to my daughter's high school, Alex Missildine, 
killed by an IED, I just sat there going: I wonder if the money 
President Obama sent paid for the production of the IED that killed our 
precious Alex?
  It has been paid. It is paying for something. We know that Iran is 
using it--Certainly part of their military operations are continuing to 
kill Americans in other places.
  Yet you had Project Cassandra that was closing in on Hezbollah, 
closing in on the drug production, drug sales, the laundering of money 
through the used car, shipping used cars around. And then, lo and 
behold, a reminder of what has happened right here on Capitol Hill that 
Luke Rosiak has been pursuing.
  Here is an article from February 20, 2017, from the Daily Caller, 
entitled: ``House Dem IT Guys In Security Probe Secretly Took $100,000 
in Iraqi Money,'' from a Hezbollah tie.
  The article says:
  ``Rogue congressional staffers took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician 
while they had administrator-level access to the House of 
Representatives' computer network, according to court documents 
examined by The Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group.
  ``The money was a loan from Dr. Ali al-Attar, an Iraqi political 
figure, and was funneled through a company with `impossible'-to-
decipher financial transactions that the congressional information 
technology, IT, staffers controlled.
  ``Imran Awan, ringleader of the group that includes his brothers Abid 
and Jamal, has provided IT services since 2005 for Florida Democrat 
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National 
Committee, DNC, chairwoman. The brothers are from Pakistan.
  ``The trio also worked for dozens of other House Democrats, including 
members of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Homeland Security 
Committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional 
emails and other sensitive documents.
  ``The brothers, whose access to House IT networks has been 
terminated, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Capitol 
Police.''
  ``Investigators found that congressional information was being copied 
to an off-site server and they suspect the brothers of improperly 
accessing information and stealing congressional property. Chiefs of 
staff for the employing Democrats were notified February 2.
  ``Soon after Imran began working for Members of Congress, Imran's and 
Abid's wives--Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova--also began receiving 
congressional paychecks, the DCNF found. Imran's employers included two 
members of the Intelligence Committee. . . .
  ``By 2009, the family was simultaneously managing a full-time car 
dealership in Virginia, with Abid running day-to-day operations after 
contributing $250,000 in startup cash. It was called Cars International 
A, LLC, referred to as ``CIA'' in court documents.''
  Cars International A, referred to as CIA. Isn't it clever.
  ``Imran boasted unusual clout among House Democrats, and was even 
pictured conversing with former President Bill Clinton. After Rao 
Abbas, who was owed money by the dealership, threatened to sue amid 
allegations of deception and theft, Abbas appeared on the congressional 
payroll and received $250,000 in taxpayer payments.''
  Incredible. You owe somebody for an illicit car dealership, and you 
can't pay. Just put them on the House employee system; and they will be 
on the congressional payroll, and you can pay off $250,000. That must 
have been a heck of a percentage, though. They borrowed $100,000 from 
this guy with Hezbollah contact, and they have to pay him back 
$250,000. Of course, in their case, they were very fortunate, because 
they did it with the House payroll. There is no evidence that Mr. Abbas 
ever lifted a finger to do any work, and for good reason. We wouldn't 
want him involved in all of the inner workings of our computer systems 
on the Hill. Who knows. Maybe he did. Maybe that was part of the payoff 
as well.
  ``Abid had `100 percent' of the dealership, a one-time business 
partner said in court documents, in addition to his $165,000-a-year job 
working full-time for multiple representatives. . . .''
  Mr. Speaker, this story Politico has run seems to have a lot of 
parallels to what was going on right here in the House that needs 
further investigation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                          ____________________