ISSUES OF THE DAY
(House of Representatives - February 14, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 26 (Tuesday, February 14, 2017)]
[Pages H1170-H1173]
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.

[[Page H1171]]

  

  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, we had a resignation now that seems to be 
the big news of the day of a Cabinet member of the Trump 
administration.
  It is interesting to have seen this Indivisible movement arise. The 
Daily Signal points out: `` . . . Ties to George Soros, Sows Division 
Against Trump, GOP Lawmakers.''
  ``Democrats who used to work on Capitol Hill are helping to disrupt 
Republican lawmakers' town hall meetings across the country through a 
nationwide effort to oppose and `resist' President Donald Trump's 
agenda.''
  And it goes on to talk about some of the leftists who are trying to 
do that.
  And another article that says that the Indivisible team is trying to 
mimic strategies of the Tea Party. But it was quite a difference. The 
Taxed Enough Already Party was grabbing hold of American principles, 
constitutional principles, principles that brought about the revolution 
and served the country well for over 200 years; and that we are 
supposed to have a government that works for us, not works us; takes 
away our religious freedom, tries to take away Second Amendment 
freedom, tries to take away freedom of religion; tells us we can't say 
anything negative about anything they care about or they will try to 
destroy us, our business. And there were people that were shocked. And 
then on top of it all, add a lot more tax. And as the President told 
Joe the Plumber, in essence: We need to take your income and spread it 
around the country.
  I had some friends here during the inauguration. I took them to the 
Lincoln Memorial. And, of course, on the south inside wall is the 
Gettysburg Address. On the inside of the north wall is the second 
inaugural that is so profound. Mark Levin's father has a terrific book 
about it. What an amazing speech.
  Lincoln is talking just shortly before his assassination. But the 
second inaugural, the war is winding down, it is about over, and there 
is so much hope abounding. He was not bitter. He was an amazing man, 
our first Republican President. He talked about the Nation and about 
how both the north and south both read the same Bible and both pray to 
the same God. He points out that the prayers of both could not be 
answered, the prayers of neither have been fully answered. But 
he points out that it might seem strange that a group of people would 
invoke God's name to wrench their bread out of the sweat of other 
people's brow.

  But I heard enough from people in the Taxed Enough Already Party, 
this group that arose that--wait a minute--basically are saying when 
the President says, I am going to take your money that you made and 
spread it around, he is basically saying, Look, I am going to be the 
most powerful man in the world, and certainly in this country, and my 
principles dictate; I need to take what you work for and spread it 
around to other people.
  Is that a way of wrenching your bread from the sweat of others?
  It is interesting. But anyway, this group had 17 show up at an 
office. Obviously, they were more interested in publicity than a 
meeting, because all they had to do is call and we make sure they have 
a meeting and somebody is there to meet them, even though I am here in 
Washington when they demand to meet.
  Apparently groups all over the country are following this Soros-
funded effort to try to destroy the country, disrupt the country, and 
create anarchy and mayhem wherever they can. Fortunately, in east 
Texas, people realize we can't quite go as far as some groups do 
because nobody would accept it. I have got some constituents that are 
asking legitimate questions.
  But what we go back to is what really gave strength to this movement, 
objecting to what was being done in the Obama administration, was when 
we had a President and a Speaker who were saying: We know that a 
majority of Americans don't want this ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act. 
It is hard to call it affordable care because it is such a misnomer. 
But we see the polls. A majority of the American people don't want it, 
but we are going to stick you with it anyway because it is part of our 
agenda.
  That is what was really bothering people. The thing is that this so-
called Indivisible and groups like this are terrific at coming up with 
names that are anathema to what they really are. So you have a group 
called Indivisible, and their goal is completely dividing and 
destroying the constitutional principles of America.
  But the thing is, a majority didn't want ObamaCare passed. It was 
shoved down their throats, even though most of the people in this body 
here had not even read it. I read it. It scared me. I am still asking 
for answers.
  Why did President Obama need a commissioned and noncommissioned 
Presidential officer corps that he could call up. Initially, it sounded 
like a medical emergency group, but then it said they would be trained. 
It didn't say with weapons or with what. And it said the President 
would be able to call them up for any international emergency, and it 
didn't mention the word ``health'' or ``medical'' on that.
  So, anyway, there is just so much in there that we didn't need. Most 
of Americans didn't want it and didn't like it. And it took away 
people's health insurance from them.
  I was talking with thousands of people in my district. I love to do 
telephone townhalls with my district. This was one segment. About a 
third of the district last night was represented in this group, and I 
will have others coming up in the future. But it is very helpful to me 
because I can talk to people that you wouldn't see, you wouldn't hear, 
wouldn't see or hear you if you had 40 people come to a townhall, like 
sometimes do.
  And since we know that there are groups out there that have 
instructions to create mayhem, disrupt, accuse them of racism--it is in 
the documents that we are seeing--whatever they bring up, charge 
racism, corruption, and something else, we can have a telephone 
townhall and I can find out what people are thinking that I otherwise 
wouldn't hear from.
  I thought about doing a mailer to mail to as many in my district that 
I could, but the costs were just so dramatic. I could do it, but why 
spend $100,000-plus of taxpayer dollars just to find out what my 
district is thinking?
  I think the best indication of what people in each congressional 
district in the country are thinking is what happened in the November 
election. That is the ultimate poll that anybody could ever take. And I 
have having been talking about for 6 years that ObamaCare needed to be 
repealed, that it takes away choice, that it is costing more money. You 
don't get to keep your doctor, you don't get to keep your insurance 
policy; and so many thousands in my district did not.

                              {time}  1830

  And so it was very helpful to hear from people, for example, how many 
believe the government needs to be more involved in health insurance, 
and I think that was at like 97 percent. There were thousands of people 
that had been called. But anyway, it gives me feedback.
  It was interesting to note that this group, this indivisible group, 
the websites had gotten some information about the messages going back 
and forth, and one of them is, when we demand that they have a townhall 
that we can disrupt and they say we are going to have a telephone 
townhall because we can reach a lot more people, people that are 
invalids or homebound, seniors that couldn't get out to a personal 
townhall meeting can participate in the telephone townhall. They are 
saying how do we respond to that when there are so many more people 
they can reach and hear from and it helps the disabled to do these 
telephone townhalls, how do we respond to that? And they really didn't 
get a good answer, last I saw.
  But it is important for every Representative to know where their 
district stands, where their people stand, and I continue to believe 
that I am the most fortunate Member of this 435-seat body because of 
whom I get to represent.
  I had an opponent last year raising Cain about I was on national 
media so much, and I mean, when I think about it, why would national 
media want me to be on? It is certainly not my looks, certainly not 
because I have such an incredible voice.
  You know, I would love to have a voice like James Earl Jones, or I 
was just so moved at the Senate Chaplain speaking at the National 
Prayer Breakfast a couple of weeks ago. I would love to have a voice 
like I think maybe God's voice may sound like

[[Page H1172]]

some day when I get to hear it, but I don't. I don't have a voice like 
that. This is what I have got. I don't put on any airs.
  Why would any national media want to have me on? And I think it would 
have to have something to do with the fact that I represent 
extraordinary people in Texas where sense is very common, just so much 
common sense, and I think a lot of the country likes hearing about the 
way three-fourths of my district thinks. I think I reflect that 
district, and that is why, basically, three-fourths of the district 
voted for me. It is not because of the way I look or sound.
  Even people that can't stand me in that 25 or 26 percent, they know I 
am going to stand up and do what I told people I am going to do. It is 
just that some people don't like it. Some years back, one guy wrote 
that I was a moron and misspelled ``moron.'' If he is listening, Mr. 
Speaker, he needs to know there is no E in moron.
  But in any event, it is interesting to see how frantic things have 
gotten and how destructive some of the forces in this country have 
gotten in trying to bring down the principles that made us great, and 
it is quite disconcerting.
  That leads me to a point I want to discuss, which we had the news, 
the tragic failing of the dam in California. We will continue, those of 
us who believe in the power of prayer, to pray that there will be no 
loss of life, despite the negligence of the California government in 
refusing for over 12 years--apparently, at least 12 years--to heed the 
warnings that this dam was going to be failing at some point. They 
needed to do something. We just need to pray that the negligence that 
occurred in the New Orleans area in diverting money away from shoring 
up the levee would not end up having the mass cost of loss of life in 
California.
  But as we continue to have people try to disrupt our congressional 
districts, continue to try to make so much noise, create so much 
anarchy that it creates an inability to govern properly--despite the 
fact it isn't going to work--this President, this administration, and 
this Congress is not going to be diverted from what needs to be done.
  This article came out today from the Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo: 
``Former Obama Officials, Loyalists Waged Secret Campaign to Oust 
Flynn.''
  Now, I hadn't known Flynn before. I don't believe I had met him 
before maybe last September. I might have, but I don't believe I have 
before that. But I had a chance to visit with him at that point with, 
at that time, Donald Trump, now our President. He is an interesting 
man. He has served his country well.
  But there are issues that are coming out now about discussions with 
Russians. It would seem to me, if President Trump had an intelligence 
community and had people in the government service around him, the 
career people that were really wanting to help the country--rather than 
the Democrats or President Obama as he went out--that were really 
interested in helping the best interests of the United States of 
America, they would want the President to have all of the information 
that anyone in any of the upper echelons or anywhere in the departments 
that work for President Trump--wouldn't they want their boss to know or 
have the most accurate information?
  Apparently, there was information out there that didn't come to light 
until President Trump had selected his National Security Adviser. He 
had been sworn in as the National Security Adviser, and they were on a 
roll. And of course, one of the things General Flynn was concerned 
about, something that is a deep concern of so many of ours in this 
body, was the outrageous Iran treaty that got treated like it wasn't a 
treaty. It was, indeed, a treaty. It never got ratified by the Senate, 
but it was, indeed, a treaty. It had all of the things in it that 
treaties would have.
  But this article goes on: ``The abrupt resignation Monday evening of 
White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination 
of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration 
confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump's national security 
apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to 
multiple sources both in and out of the White House who described to 
the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these 
officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the 
national media.

  ``The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben 
Rhodes--the architect of a separate White House effort to create what 
he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber--included a small task force of 
Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding 
Flynn's credibility, multiple sources revealed.
  ``The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent 
of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump 
administration's efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal 
with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.''
  Mr. Speaker, I want to insert here, some of us went down to the 
classified area of the SCIF where we can review classified information 
and we reviewed what was available about the Iran deal, but we found 
out there was a lot of secret stuff that the administration would not 
allow us to know: what he had given away, what he had done, potential 
bad judgment in going so far out of the Obama administration's way to 
placate and assist the largest supporters of terrorism in the world.
  Obviously, what this article is talking about, some secret parts of 
the agreement, those are things that we were certainly not allowed to 
read no matter who you were in Congress at the time.
  But this says: ``Insiders familiar with the anti-Flynn campaign told 
the Free Beacon that these Obama loyalists plotted in the months before 
Trump's inauguration to establish a set of roadblocks before Trump's 
national security team, which includes several prominent opponents of 
diplomacy with Iran. The Free Beacon first reported on this effort in 
January.
  ``Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon requested anonymity in order 
to speak freely about the situation and avoid interfering with the 
White House's official narrative about Flynn, which centers on his 
failure to adequately inform the president about a series of phone 
calls with Russian officials.
  ``Flynn took credit for his missteps regarding these phone calls in a 
brief statement released late Monday evening. Trump administration 
officials subsequently stated that Flynn's efforts to mislead the 
president and vice president about his contacts with Russia could not 
be tolerated.
  ``However, multiple sources closely involved in the situation pointed 
to a larger, more secretive campaign aimed at discrediting Flynn and 
undermining the Trump White House.
  ``'It's undeniable that the campaign to discredit Flynn was well 
underway before Inauguration Day, with a very troublesome and 
politicized series of leaks designed to undermine him,' said one 
veteran national security adviser with close ties to the White House 
team. `This pattern reminds me of the lead up to the Iran deal, and 
probably features the same cast of characters.'''
  And we know from news that has come out since the Iran deal was made 
by this administration, we know that some of the same placaters that 
enabled North Korea to develop nuclear weapons in the Clinton 
administration were involved in negotiating this deal with Iran. The 
deal with North Korea was to stop them from getting nuclear weapons, 
and so my interpretation of the deal was basically this:
  They promised them: We will give you everything you need to develop 
nuclear weapons in North Korea if you will just sign a piece of paper 
that says you won't do that.
  The Clinton administration, some of the same people that ran to do a 
deal with Iran, they jumped on that. And so what happens, North Korea 
uses what we provided them to help create nuclear weapons. Big shock.
  So it is a big shock that the Obama administration would send at 
least one of those original people to be the top negotiator with 
Secretary of State John Kerry, who never saw a Genghis Khan that he 
couldn't work with, and they work out a deal. We still haven't found 
out all of the arrangements, all of the things that were done; but we 
know that there is, apparently, something so sinister about what this 
country has done, bent over backwards to provide for Iran or allow Iran 
to do, that the Obama administration could

[[Page H1173]]

not allow right-thinking American people to know what it had done for 
Iran and against Israel and the United States' best interests.
  But if you believe the best interests of the United States are to 
weaken the United States, if you believe that the United States has 
been the biggest problem in the world for the last 100 years, then you 
would think, well, then if we make a deal with Iran that weakens the 
United States, may even lead to our demise, the world is a better 
place. So it is ultimately for the good of the world because the United 
States is certainly weaker than it has been in decades, going back to 
pre-World War II military strength.
  The Chinese economy, it was announced at one point, may have exceeded 
ours. I am not sure that is true.

                              {time}  1845

  Anyway, countries around the world that are threats to world peace 
have gotten stronger. ISIS has gotten stronger during this President's 
term, in fact, came into being under President Obama and got quite 
strong, thousands upon thousands of lives lost.
  In Afghanistan, he took a war that he told people--the voters in 
2008--was the important war. And what should have been just a 
housekeeping operation under his leadership and with his rules of 
engagement, it cost about four times more American military lives than 
were lost in the height of the Afghan war for 7\1/2\ years under 
President Bush. It must be something in the leadership there when one 
President loses four times more military members than the prior 
President in the same length of time and the latter President being 
when the war was supposed to be basically over.
  This article points out that:
  ``Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the 
nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama 
administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, 
these sources said.
  ``Flynn is now `gone before anybody can see what happened' with these 
secret agreements, said the second insider close to Flynn and the White 
House.
  ``Sources in and out of the White House are concerned that the 
campaign against Flynn will be extended to other prominent figures in 
the Trump administration.''
  Well, Mr. Speaker, I can inject here: Whoever these sources are that 
are concerned the campaign against Flynn be extended to other prominent 
figures, I can guarantee them that people in and outside the United 
States Government right now, as I speak, will do everything within 
their power--some of these characters will--to prevent President Trump 
from getting us back on track to making the world a safer place, to 
getting Iran back in the little box that President Carter let them out 
of. They are going to go after lots of people. It is not going to be 
limited. This apparently is a campaign that is going to be ongoing.
  Apparently, General Flynn messed up and wasn't completely honest when 
he should have been. A President has got to be able to trust his 
security adviser. That kind of goes without saying. The President has 
to be able to trust those people.
  It takes me back to September when I was talking--it was right before 
General Flynn walked up, actually ironically. But I was telling: Look, 
I like President George W. Bush. He is a good man. He is a smart guy. 
He is a lot smarter than people give him credit. He is one of the 
wittiest people you can ever have a conversation with, but something 
that hurt him--and I wanted Donald Trump to understand this--something 
that hurt him was that he was such a nice guy. After the election was 
over, he made it known, in essence, that everything that happened in 
the past is bygones. What is happening now, from now on, we are going 
forward.
  The trouble is he had people doing bad acts, even crimes like having 
FBI files at the White House. Chuck Colson went to prison a year and a 
half for having one. The Clinton administration had nearly a thousand; 
nobody did a day.
  I said, you have got to clean out these departments, these agencies 
where Bush didn't clean them out. You have got to or they are going to 
undermine you the whole time you are President. And it looks like we 
are seeing that right now.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I just encourage all my colleagues to let's give the 
Trump administration the chance to help get this country safer, freer, 
and just a better place to live. It is not going to happen while people 
are undermining the President from within his own administration and a 
little cabal that has those ties in this administration. It is time to 
clean house, and General Flynn is not who I am talking about.
  I yield back the balance of my time.

                          ____________________