December 20, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 201 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
STANDING WITH THE PRESIDENT; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 201
(House of Representatives - December 20, 2018)
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[Pages H10506-H10507] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STANDING WITH THE PRESIDENT The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 3, 2017, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Arrington) for the remainder of the hour. Mr. ARRINGTON. Mr. Speaker, I wanted to address this body and commend my Republican colleagues for standing with this President. We are facing a national security crisis on our own homeland, at our borders, and our Commander in Chief has pleaded with us for the resources and tools necessary to secure the border and to protect the American people. The President understands his first job and the first job of the Federal Government, which is to keep its citizens safe. He understands and I believe most Americans understand that the current situation is anything but safe. Mr. Speaker, I am from the great State of Texas. Being a State along the border, I can tell you it is absolutely chaotic. This President has been hamstrung and for too long we have let people pour into this country illegally and we have allowed criminals and gang members and criminal activity and drugs. A lot of bad stuff comes over here and wreaks havoc on our communities on account of us being derelict in our duty to do our first job to provide for the common defense. So, Mr. Speaker, this President has come along at such a time as this--a strong man, a strong leader, who ran on an agenda to put America first and the American people first. That is exactly what he has done. I have never seen a politician more hell-bent, more doggedly committed to delivering on what he promised. At the center of those promises and that agenda that he ran on was securing the border and building the wall. I am one who believes that comprehensive border security is more than a wall. I believe it is technology. I believe it is boots on the ground. It is a number of things. If we are going to truly be effective in the long run, we have got to fight this battle on a number of fronts. I believe that the driver of illegal immigration is supply and demand. As long as we have demand in this world for a better life and for the job opportunity and the services that we provide in this country, and as long as we provide the supply of jobs and services to folks who come here illegally, they will continue to come. I do believe that, no matter how high you build a wall, or how long, you have got to turn off the magnets that are drawing people here. Chief among them are hiring people who are not in this country legally. I welcome the freedom-loving, law-abiding immigrant. This is a Nation of immigrants. But I will only welcome them if and when they respect our laws, our sovereignty, and the safety of our citizens. We have a process. It is not perfect. We should work on it. We should improve it. But we have a process by which you can legally enter this country, and a million people do that every year. Millions more are standing in line to get a piece of this incredible land of opportunity and all the blessings of liberty that this country offers. So, understand this. The American story and the story of the immigrant are indistinguishable, inseparable. I am proud that we are the leading Nation in terms of immigration and welcoming the immigrant and that we continue to circulate the new blood of those who are hungry for freedom and opportunity into the system, into this country's bloodstream. It is part of the greatness of America, no doubt. But we are also a Nation of laws. As the President has said, without borders, you don't have a country. Without security, you don't have freedom. So we must uphold the laws of the land. We must fix the broken pieces of the immigration system. We must close the loopholes. We must turn off the magnets. And, yes, we must build a wall, a fence, and whatever physical barriers make sense. That physical barrier, that wall, that fence is a fundamental component of comprehensive border security. Most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have already voted to [[Page H10507]] provide resources: $1.6 billion in the last budget. The leader of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, has voted for 700 miles of fencing along the border. So he, too, has committed and understands and appreciates the need for physical barriers along the border where they make sense. I think we are long overdue to put some common sense in this United States Congress. I am proud that my colleagues, again, on the House side, my Republican colleagues, have continued to drive the agenda of America first and keeping America safe as the first and foremost responsibility of this Federal Government all the way to the end of this 115th Congress. Today was a proud day for me to come alongside of my colleagues and this President and vote for the funding that he has requested for that fundamental component of border security in the wall. I am proud to have done that. I am grateful that we have a leadership that listened. This morning, we had a wonderful meeting. It was wonderful because the leadership listened. Our majority leader, Kevin McCarthy; our whip, Steve Scalise, our outgoing Speaker, Paul Ryan, listened and allowed the Members to drive the strategy and the decision today to put that funding bill on the floor, to vote for it, and send it over to the Senate. That is our job. I am proud of my colleagues' passionate and very compelling pleas to the leadership and to our team to make that vote happen today. Today is a great day for America's security. It is a great day for border States. It is a great day for the citizens who expect their government to do its first job. Mr. Speaker, again, I am grateful for the opportunity to have served in this 115th Congress with the likes of Jack Bergman, Representative Claudia Tenney, and so many more. I am proud of our freshmen class for restoring civility, the theme of our class with our Democratic colleagues, and I am proud of all the results. In west Texas, leadership, at the end of the day, is about results. If you don't deliver results, you cannot claim to be a leader. Whether it was rebuilding military or unleashing the full potential of this economy through tax reform and regulatory relief or improving services to our veterans or it was defending our fundamental God-given rights, the rule of law, the Constitution, and traditional American values, we have done what we said we would do in this House as Republicans, as conservatives, and as Americans first. I am proud of that. God bless these United States of America, my colleagues, and go west Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Tenney). Ms. TENNEY. Mr. Speaker, I want to say thank you, again, to my colleague, Jodey Arrington, of west Texas, for his terrific remarks. Yes, we did accomplish basically everything we set out to do in the 115th Congress. I would be remiss if I didn't mention one more thing that Mr. Arrington just referenced, the gentleman from Texas, is that every one of us contributed in the freshmen class to perpetuating and finding a new part of our commitment to civility. I just wanted to mention our colleague from Florida, Mr. Charlie Crist, who actually came up with these nice bands that so many of us wear. It says: Practice the Golden Rule. It is emblematic. We wear them because we are endeavoring to meet our pledge for our commitment to civility. I hope that you all and Congressman Crist and everyone continues on this great path next year, including both sides of the aisle. I hope everybody works on their commitment to civility. But I want to say thank you again to my colleagues, also to our Speaker pro tempore, the great president of our class, the amazing General Jack Bergman, who is now a Member of Congress representing Michigan. I am really honored to be among some of the great people that serve here. I want people to rest assured there are good people in Congress. There really are. Mr. ARRINGTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from New York. Again, we salute her service and we are so proud to have served with her, if only for one term. But, again, this is not the last that we have seen of the gentlewoman and her service to this great country. We will certainly carry on our friendship for years and years to come. What a special bond our classmates have, and what a unique privilege our constituents and people back home have given us. And I know the gentlewoman cherishes that. I know she has stewarded that. I wish they could see the gentlewoman every day, because they are already proud, but they don't know the half of it. So God bless Claudia Tenney and all the new ventures that she will undertake in the weeks, months, and years to come. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time. ____________________