tv U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business CSPAN February 1, 2017 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
states that are global energy providers. as this rule only applies to publicly traded companies, this increased burden puts u.s. companies at a disadvantage. over 75% of the extracted minerals are owned by state-owned enterprises, mr. speaker, that are not covered by this rule. that puts our companies at a competitive disadvantage. . it requires companies to reveal confidential information putting companies at a competitive disadvantage. if people want transparency, the best way to handle that is through self-disclosure through global transparency and accountability. there are important public policy goals and 51 countries entered into the transparency institute, which is self-reporting and publishing by country, by company, both public and private. these important issues about mineral extraction.
finally, mr. speaker, if it's about corruption, our friend, senator procks meyer from wisconsin, long ago passed the foreign corrupt practices act. there is no more act feared by global corporate america than complying with the foreign act and ensuring that our share holders are not prone to bribery. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. mr. hensarling: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from michigan, mr. trott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. trott: i rise in support of this resolution. it repeals a rule that puts american manufacturing and energy companies at a global disadvantage. both foreign and american companies sell products and
energy into our economy but only american economies are required to go through additional hoops and regular layings that cost billions of dollars. the people of michigan know what happens when the government tips the scale in favor of foreign companies. jobs are lost overseas and the investment is delayed or canceled. my friends across the aisle have suggested that this resolution is about bribery. it is not. this resolution, in fact, the election on november 8, is about jobs, the loss of american jobs. manufacturers in michigan don't need special treatment. the unparalleled product of hardworking men and women in michigan speaks for itself, but the american government should be their ally. repealing this rule does just that. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. waters: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: i'm happy to yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. budd. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. budd: this bill would overturn a securities and exchange commission's rule that according to the agency is supposed to help combat global corruption and empower citizens of resource-rich countries to hold governments accountable. that is a grand idea but we have a financial regulator to protect the american investor and not empower citizens in other countries. we could send the s.e.c. to fight international problems, authoritarian regimes, malaria. if the financial regulator mandated to combat these things can fulfill its core mission to
provide financial transparency and prevent fraud. given that we had a financial crisis that the s.e.c. didn't foresee and did nothing to prevent, that would suggest it would need less on its plate, not more. what this bill does is put the american investor first and help sending the s.e.c. off on global rabbit trails. i urge a yes vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. waters: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. he gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i'm happy to yield two minutes to the . ntlelady from new york ms. tenney: if you opened up your book and went all the way back to title 15, way back in e back of you would find
corruption. in these provisions lies section 1504 question directs the s.e.c. to adopt a rule requiring resource extraction issuers to report payments to the you as phone foreign governments to the development of natural resources and make them available to the public. while we support transparency and accountability, i believe section 1504 fails to protect investors while at the same time decreases the capital of capital markets and competition in the marketplace. this rule has stifled job growth and sparnings. the s.e.c. estimated that the cost to the new rule would be between $239 million and $700 million in initial startup compliance costs alone. after the first year, the s.e.c.
projects it would be an annual cost arranging from $100 million to $591 million. rather than this rule, companies could re-invest these dollars into creating opportunities for local communities which will result in the creation of more well-paying jobs for americans. my district in central new york and the southern tier have the highest unemployment rates in the nation and a lower median household income than the national average. section 1504 is another example of how bureaucratic government has overreached. and affects all hardworking american workers. however, instead of taking this opportunity to empower our citizens who are eager to get back to work, we are fueling additionally costly government regulations. let me emphasize --
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady is recognized for an additional minute. ms. tenney: we are asking them to revisit this rule. both of these session will ensure a level playing field. it's important to recognize vacating this rule is part of the joint resolution. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: i'm prepared to close. i believe i have the right to close. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. ms. waters: thank you very much, mr. chairman. unanimous consent to enter into the record a number of articles. one article that i would like to enter into the record is a
bloomberg article entitled exxon set for early victory as congress moves to rescind payments rule. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. waters: the other one is xxon -- tillerson -- this is a politico magazine article that says tillerson tried to get this rule killed. now congress is about to do it for him. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. waters: the other article is a "washington post" article, one of the house g.o.p.'s first rollbackthe regulatory is top on wish list. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. waters: and so, mr. chairman and members, i am absolutely surprised at how brazen our friends on the opposite side of the aisle are.
they come here on this floor today with this rule that they would like to overturn. they have not been in committee. we have not had any hearings. they moved very, very quickly to do exactly what all of these articles are discussing. they are concentrating on how to roll back disclosure that the s.e.c. had developed a rule for for this oil industry. and why are they trying to do this? it is so interesting that this is happening on the same day that mr. tillerson has just been voted on to be the secretary of state. -- for the united states government, the former c.e.o. of
exxon. and i'm going to talk about that connection, which should cause a lot of people to be concerned. this is not -- this government is not about disclosure. first of all, the president of the united states refuses to disclose his income tax returns. i didn't expect them to support this -- disclosure of the oil industry to avoid corruption. as a matter of fact, they have the audacity to come here today and say it's too expensive to be honest. t costs too much to these huge billionaire oil companies to disclose. and somehow, that's going to prevent them from creating jobs. that's nonsense. i'd like to show some
connections here. both during his campaign and since his election, donald trump has surrounded himself with people who have extensive ties to putin and the russian government and we are going to see the connection between tillerson and the russian government. first of all, let's look at this circle of people around him and their connection to russia. paul manafort was a paid lobbyist and the pro-russian politician in and was subjected to u.s. sanctions related to russian aggression in ukraine. mana fort has been involved with deals with russian and ukranians, which were the subject of an f.b.i. inquiry. the other person, roger stone,
trump's long time friend is reportedly under investigation for possible links with russia. he has denied ever visiting russia, but admitted he worked in ukraine. stone announced in a speech last summer that he had spoken to wikileaks founder assange and stone present prected there would be leaked documents, a prediction that came true within weeks. go to another person, michael flynn, trump's national security did a paid series of events in moscow, including a speech, an appearance and a party at r.t., a television station, where he was photographed sitting next to putin. trump's nominee for secretary of commerce was a business partner oligarch ar russian
and putin ally involving the bank of cyprus. nally, former exxon mobile tillerson's, trump's nominee and the secretary of state, signed a multibillion agreement with russia in 2011 on behalf of exxonmobil for an oil-drilling project in the arctic. the project was brought to a halt in 2014 as a result of the sanctions that were imposed on russia in response to russia's aggression in ukraine. putin personally awarded tillerson the order of friendship in 2013. don't forget, this president talked about lifting sanctions. oh, you can see the connection here. in addition to that, i just want to point out that it comes as a
little surprise that exxonmobil is one of the leading companies in the fight against the global initiative to enhance the transparency of extracted industry payments made to foreign governments, given its long history of engaging in questionable transactions with governments of oil-rich countries, such as nigeria, pakistan, angola and chad. the move to aadvice rate the rule under section 1504 that we are talking about today makes clear that republicans in congress and the trump administration believe that profits are more important than people and that fighting corruption is less important than enriching oil, gas and mining companies. without the s.e.c.'s extracted industry, transparency rules, citizens around the rule will
lose a critical tool for holding their government and corporations accountable for how natural resource proceeds are used. let's talk about nigeria. just before the securities and exchange commission issued its final rule pursuant to section 1504 of the dodd-frank act, global witness, a highly respected and good governance n.g.o. issued a report detailing how a major oil deal as i referred to earlier, struck by exxonmobil with the nigerian government was being investigated by nigeria's economic and financial crimes commission an agency charged with uncovering high-level corruption. the investigation relates to a widely reported deal and with the nigerian government in 2009 agreed to renew a 40% share of three oil licenses of
mobile-producing nigeria, a wholly owned subsidiary. just follow the dollars and you can see what this is all about. little town america needs to know this is not about them but about the billionaires and they will go to any length to continue -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. . mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i certainly hope that the american people are watching this debate because it will certainly confirm their decision to deny democrats control of the house, to deny them control of the senate and to deny them control of the white house. now, mr. speaker, their words may claim they care about jobs, but their policies don't.
that's what we're here to talk about, mr. speaker, is jobs, and we're talking about a rule promulgated by the securities and exchange commission that an cost $591 million a year, can cost us 10,000 jobs. my friends on the other side of the aisle have been clearly tone deaf to the pleas of the american people. they want to go back to work. they're tired of part-time jobs. they're tired of stagnant paychecks. they're tired of decimated savings, and that's why they have turned to the republican party and that's why we are going to help give them a healthy economy with policies including rolling back this foolish rule from the securities and exchange commission, a rule that in a previous iteration has already been struck down by courts. now, you listen to the other side of the aisle, mr. speaker, and you hear all this talk about corruption. it appears that some of my
friends on the other side of the aisle are ignorant that the foreign corrupt practices act is already in the federal code, and for those that do not know, i've done the home work for you. up .s.c. 78-dd-1, look it yourself. so mr. speaker, this has nothing to do with corruption. rarely has a redder herring come across the house floor. let me tell you what this is about, mr. speaker. it is about a radical, leftist, elitist agenda that promotes narrow special interests and has declared war on carbon-based industry and energy and the industry and jobs that are represented by it. that's what this is really about. and by the way, why is the securities and exchange commission involved in this? why isn't this listening to them part of the homeland security department? maybe part of the department of
defense. what will they have the s.e.c. do next, deliver the mail? will they become our air traffic controllers? meanwhile, there are ponzi schemes taking place in america. meanwhile, we have markets that are not efficient creating the jobs that american people demand -- that the american people demand. let's vote for jobs. let's vote to get america back to work. let's vote down this leftist, elitist agenda declaring war on carbon-based jobs. let's vote for house joint resolution 41, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 71, the previous question is ordered. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the joint resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: joint resolution 71, chapter 8, united states code,
of the rules submitted by the securities and exchange commission relating to disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the joint resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. ms. waters: i request a recorded vote, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on passage of the house joint resolution 41 will be followed by a five-minute vote on passage of house joint resolution 38 and agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
187. the joint resolution is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on passage of house joint resolution 38 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill of the joint resolution. the clerk: house joint resolution 38 disapproving the rules submitted by the department of interior known as the supreme protection rule. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the joint resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the journal stands approved.
ms. mrs. watson coleman: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. watson coleman: i stand in solidarity with our neighbors in canada and honor the victims of the january 29 terrorist attack at the quebec islamic cultural center. a house of worship for many is a place of refuge, peace and reflection, but for the six people killed, the 19 wounded and the entire community, that hallowed ground is now tainted. it shall always remain covered in love. let our presence here serve as a remind we will stand up against bigotry and hatred wherever it takes place. i ask my colleagues to bow their heads and join me in a moment of silence.
mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that representative himes be removed as a co-sponsor of h.r. 611. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order.
he house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute peeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota eek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cramer: madam speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. he house will be in order. he house will be in order.
members, please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from north dakota is recognized. mr. cramer: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, north dakota does not need the stream protection rule, and neither does the nation. by passing this resolution today disapproving the office of surface mining edict, we are responding to the cries of the american people who are tired of nationwide job-killing regulations from washington. madam speaker, the obama administration took nearly an entire term and over 10 million taxpayer dollars developing this job killer designed to prevent billions of dollars of coal preserves from ever being developed with absolutely no environmental benefit. today's action prevents further distraction of jobs and low-cost energy for the
american people, and i urge the senate to swiftly send this resolution to the president's desk. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. he house will be in order. ms. jackson lee: first of all, i'd like to acknowledge the fallen navy seal officer in yemen and offer my concern to is family. i'll rise tomorrow to continue my questioning on that, but today i want to make sure that i prayerfully acknowledged the sacrifice he made for this nation. i rise today because one step further for the nominee for the
attorney general of the united states of america, and i join my colleagues in the senate, the other body, who raised concern of not being able to inquire of mr. sessions what his position would be on what has been determined by five courts, at least, of the ununconstitutionality of the executive order. it's a ban on muslims, it is a violation of the first amendment, equal protection under law and due process. first amendment being freedom of religion. and therefore we now have an attorney general making the first step, mr. sessions, where we do not know whether you will be able to embrace the laws that protect the most vulnerable, women, children, the civil rights of many, the voting rights of many, and frankly, i believe those questions should be answered. i conclude by saying, when you
question deputy attorney general yates she was able to say she would stand as an independent, objective person, attorney general having oversight over the white house. will you be able to do the same, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: as the united states is gearing up for the super bowl in houston, unfortunately, so are many human sex traffickers. just a few days ago a 21-year-old trafficking victim with mental special needs was rescued in houston. the young girl was kidnapped off the streets of ohio by a dastardly trafficer. he put her in his car and told her, now you work for me. she was brought to houston specifically to be trafficked at the houston super bowl.
however, the woman's mental disabilities and seizures became too much for the moralless trafficker so he dropped the victim off downtown in houston where she later was sexually assaulted by a local criminal. a good samaritan rescued the girl and brought her to the hospital. as buyers roam the streets they should know that local law jailcement are prepared to raffickers and rescue victims. we'll prosecute the slave traffic diveants and buyers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> colleagues, the clock is ticking, not that clock but the new clock that i put up on the democratic side of the infrastructure committee which s the cost of congeston clock.
mr. defazio: the president proposed a trillion dollar investment infrastructure he went to the republican conference last week and said fix it first, we want it in the first 100 days. i'm with him on that. we should do that. i have proposals to actually find a way to get there, not to a trillion, but a gd part of the way. so this clock indicates from the day he was sworn in, noon, a week ago friday, to today, the cost of congestion for american commerce, movement of goods and the american people. it's $438 billion per day. so the clock is ticking. let's get america moving again. and let's invest in our infrastructure. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection the gentleman
is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, for the last eight years, americans have felt the burden of excessive and intense regulatory overreach having to comply with time-consuming rules and regulations. but that ends now. for the first time in eight years, the legislative branch and executive branch are on the same page. we must get the government out of the way. mr. allen: last week, i join murder colleagues on the one in, with -- i joined my colleagues on the one in, one out, which requires them to repeal or revise a rule before they can make a new one. the president announced his enversion, the one in, two out executive order. these measures are commonsense at their core. to begin growing our economy and creating jobs, we have got to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and tackle the mountain of red tape surrounding our nation's job creators. americans are ready for growth
and innovation and for the first time in a long time, the resident is on our side. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. this week, house republicans have undertaken the effort to scale back some of the burdensome regulations implemented by the previous administration. the use of so-called midnight rules to slip in regulations at the last minute without congressional approval was a favorite tool of the last president. mr. lamalfa: many of these would negatively impact, and have, the american people by destroying jobs, hamstringing our economy, often for no good reason. that's why at the very start of the 115th congress we passed the midnight rules relief act to allow congress to review multiple midnight rules en bloc.
additionally, we new have the opportunity to use the c.r.a., congressional review act, and express disapproval for smor these harmful, burdensome regulations that hurt jobs and stunt the economy, in order to protect the american people from these harmful effects. the regulatory state has been expanding in recent years for too long an i'm happy to see that congress is taking action to reverse this behavior. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there further one-minute requests? the chair lays before the house us the following personal equests. he clerk: leave of the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. clarke of mast for today and the balance of me -- of massachusetts for today and the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. under the speaker's anouned policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the
minority leader. mr. o'rourke: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. o'rourke: with the president's recent announcement that through an executive action, he would commit resources and national attention and focus on building a wall with our neighbor to the south, mexico, given some of the rhetoric that we have heard over the last year in the presidential campaign, about rapists and criminals coming from the country of mexico, one might be confused, at best, or at worst, believe that we have some kind of crisis on our border with mexico. some kind of crisis in our relationship with our closest neighbor, a country that has done more to benefit the united states than any other country i
can imagine. a country who is the number one trading partner of the state of texas, the third largest trading partier of -- partner of the united states, our third largest partner on security and growth and hemispheric issues. it's important to take this opportunity to ensure that our colleagues in the house have the facts and it is with those facts that we can make better decisions, informed judgments, and the policy that's truly going to benefit not just the u.s.-mexico border, not just border states like texas, new mexico, arizona, and california, but the entire united states. here's some facts that i'd like to start with, then i want to ensure that some of my colleagues who can bring their wisdom and experience and perspective to this are able to do so. the first fact we should know is that we have record low levels of north-bund migration from mexico. in fact, more mexican nationals today are going south into mexico than are coming north
into the united states. we have less than zero migration from mexico. total northbound apprehensions of any people from any country coming across our southern border are also at historic lows. and if there are any surges in people or populations coming across that border, it happens to be young children and families fleeing horrific, historic violence in the northern triangle of central america and those little kids, they're not trying to evade detection, they're not trying to climb fences, they're not trying to escape the border patrol. they are in fact turning themselves in, presenting themselves to boarer patrol agents and custom and border protections officers at our ports of entry. we should also know that we are expending record ams of u.s. taxpayer resources to secure the border. $19 billion a year this year, last year, and the years going forward, only to increase with
these executive orders. we've more than doubled the size of the border patrol in these last 15 years from just a little under 10,000 agents, to over 20,000 agents on the u.s.-mexico border and some on the u.s.-canadian border. there has never been a terrorist, a terrorist organization, a terrorist plot a terrorist act, connected to our border with mexico. there has been with our northern aborter with canada. there has been connected to our international airports. there have been homegrown radical terrorists. there's never been a case of terrorism connected with our border with mexico. but just in case, and we should remain vigilant, just in case, we've got those 20,000 border patrol agents. we've got thousands of customs and border protections officers. we've got 600 miles of fencing and physical obstructions on our border with mexico. we have blimps, drones flying overhead, we have a
concentration of federal law enforcement, deform e.a., f.b.i., among others, including one of the largest military installations anywhere in the world, fort bliss in el paso, texas, with 32,000 act i duty service members. we have the security resources already that we need. i also think it's important to mention that el paso, texas, which is con voin -- conjoined with ciudad juarez in mexico and form what is i think is the largest true binational community in the world, certainly the largest on the u.s.-mexico border el paso is not just the safe education city on the u.s.-mexico border, not just thest city in the state of texas, it's the safest city in the united states. look at other border cities like san diego, california, and you'll find they're amok the safest in the united states. there's a positive correlation with the number of migrant immigrants, documented and otherwise, in a community and that community's relative
safety. the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border is far safer than the average american city deeper into the interior. these are some of the facts that we need to have at our command as we are developing policy, as we are judging the president's recent executive action, as we're thinking about how best to secure this country. here's another fact that we need to keep in mind. if we are committing resources where they are not needed, where, for example, we don't have terrorism, where we don't have a problem with immigration, where we dent have an issue with security, then by definition, we're taking those resources from where they could be best used, where we have known risks and threats, where we have real problems against which we must contend. where we are not keeping americans as safe as they could be because we're directing resources where they don't need to be. this is something that we need to know, i think, as we make policy for this country, as we
fulfill our most important, solemn obligation, which is the safety and security of this country and every american within it. madam speaker, i am very fortunate today to be joined by some outstanding colleagues, one whom i'd like to introduce from the great state of new york, is a new colleague, he himself an immigrant to this country, he represents tens of thousands of immigrants in his congressional district, has already, from tai one, become a leader on this issue, introducing legislation that provides a more rational, humane, smarter approach to some of these issues that have been blown out of proportion, politicized, mythologized and from that, steering the country in the wrong direction. here's somebody who wants to get us back on track. madam speaker, i would now like to yield to representative espaillat of new york.
mr. espaillat: thank you. back in 1988, then-president ronald reagan issued one of his most famous speeches, tear down this wall, as he addressed then-soviet leader gorbachev to insist he open the barrier dividing west and east berlin. it was perhaps one of the most exciting times as we watched to see finally the cold war would end. it was a moment it was a moment of hope and strength and character that propeled our country to a higher standard throughout the global community. today, in stark contrast to that famous speech given by esident ronald reagan,
president trump's orders the construction of a $25 billion wall that divides communities, separates families and perpetuates fear and hate and sets a dangerous president and fails to elevate our country and confidence abroad the way it was back when president reagan gave that famous speech. the economic ramifications will be devastating to the entire going as far north as new york city, because it's $25 billion that will be spent or more that will be spent on building this wall that could otherwise go to ther meritorious projects. this executive action also secures insecures communities, a program that helps law enforcement and commutes throughout the border and throughout that region of our
country. we live in a global society, -- ur connected countries building this wall not only separates our biggest trading partner, mexico, but the wall sensdz a strong message to citizens around the world that they are not welcome here in america. the president's wall and his anti-immigrant agenda is a continuation of the irrational and hateful rhetoric we have witnessed from him before and stands contrary to who we are as americans and to what we believe as a nation. i am proud to introduce one of my first bills in congress called, this is our land, legislation that will prohibit this divisive wall from being erected in public lands. this is a time we should be investigating in our
infrastructure, in roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, housing, and respecting also our public lands. building president trump's wall will trample on our public lands, potentially put precious endangered species at risk and likely disrupt or destroy environmentally important ecosystems and habitats. i would also -- it would also deplete precious resources from our cities. we should be building a wall around trump to stop these irrational executive orders instead of this ludicrous $25 billion wall between our closest ally. i yield back to congressman o'rourke. mr. o'rourke: i thank the gentleman from new york for his comments. again, bringing his experience to bear and right from the beginning introducing legislation, not just criticizing or complaining, but offering an alternative and reminding us if we are to spend
$20 billion, which is the upward cost of what president trump's proposal would take from the american taxpayer, if we really want to spend that on building something in this country, there are roads, there are bridges, there are tunnels, there are legitimate infrastructure needs that would put people to work and would be money much better spent. madam speaker, i would now like to recognize my colleague from california, someone who represents a part of the border that really demonstrates what's beautiful about the united states-mexico relationship in san diego and tijuana, a fierce advocate for our shared economic development and growth, the jobs that are connected to that and everything that's beautiful about the u.s.-mexico border, i yield to the gentleman from california, mr. peters. mr. peters: thank you so much, mr. o'rourke, and thank you so much for putting together this time to talk about what's really an important issue and with all of the things going
on, something that's got a little bit lost. for the region i represent in san diego, the border is an economic engine, it's a job creator. entry, san ports of diego-baja, is the largest border crossing in the world. san diego is an attractive place to start a business and manufacture goods in part because of our proximity to the border crossing and international trade. last month, mr. o'rourke and other members of the congressional border caucus and i held a hearing with local leaders from chambers of commerce from around our districts to discuss real pragmatic and solutions around the border. i was joined by jerry sanders, the former mayor. he's also the former police chief of san diego and now the current president of the san diego regional chamber of commerce. and during that hearing, mayor sanders said that an efficient border is a safe border and he
knows something about safety from his time as a police chief. we also know that 99% of what gets screened at border crossings is safe. there's no need to worry about it coming in the country so what we need is to get more efficient at improving the 99% of safe cargo and travelers and better stopping the 1% we don't want to come in. you know, one of the big challenges we face when i first came to congress was border delays. we saw from the delays at the border crossing were costing us at that point $7.2 billion of economic activity in our county. 35,000 jobs annually. numbers so big it was almost unbelieve, but those numbers came from independent assessments, and one of the great successes i had in congress working with my colleagues in our congressional delegation was to work together to secure more than $500 million to finish the expansion and the improvements of the san jacinto border crossing.
we worked with juan vargas and susan davis and republicans duncan hunter. by investing in infrastructure and innovation in san diego, tijuana and across the border, we're keeping americans safe and supporting the export of goods made in america by american workers. and in san diego and other communities, we're embracing this forward-looking approach. it's the approach of opportunity and job creation. but now president trump wants to put us in reverse by building a wall, which we assessed the $15 billion. i heard $8 billion to $20 billion. by any count it's a waste of money. well, let's say for purposes of argument it's $15 billion, it took congress more than a year to approve $170 million to help flint, michigan, recover from a crisis that has poisoned children and left an entire city without clean water.
$170 million compared to $15 billion for a wall that nobody needs. now, we're talking about spending 100 times that money for flint, build a wall that will do nothing to make us more secure, make our children safer, make us more prosperous. $15 billion is exactly how much the american society of civil engineers says we will need to fill the funding for infrastructure needs at all of our nation's ports for the next decade. if you took the money you are going to spend on the wall, you could cover all the investment we needs in our ports around the country for the next decade. we're going to spend it on a wall. $15 billion is also three times as much money as the federal government spends to help the homeless every year. for the cost of this wall, we could build the nave eat 11th aircraft carrier that it needs. for 60 times less, or 1/60, we could finish the modernization of the border crossing which is port and usiest
supports $70 billion in trade every year. what are we doing here, right? so unlike president trump's wall this investment will support long-term job creation and increase revenues and is a much more responsible way to spend americans' taxpayers dollars. let's be clear. american taxpayers will foot the bill for this wall, not mexico. it's the leader of the senate and speaker ryan who've committed they're going to spend $15 billion on this wall. that's american taxpayers. that's not mexico. instead of trying to turn his rhetoric, his campaign rhetoric into policy, we'd prefer that president trump listen to those who understand what business is like at the border, who understands that border cities are safe like el paso, like san diego, and that the border is an opportunity for america, not a threat. we don't need a wall. we need to hire more customs officers. we need newer screening technologies. we need to modernize and expand
our infrastructure at other border crossings, like we're doing at san jacidro. that's how you keep us safe. i want to thank my friend, beto o'rourke, for his leadership and for hosting this conversation today. i look forward to working with you to divert this money from this silly proposal, this dangerous proposal to the kinds of things in investments our country needs from texas to california. thank you, mr. o'rourke. i yield back. mr. o'rourke: i thank the gentleman from california for his sharing community's perspective and reminding us that when it comes to mexico and our shared connection with mexico, the u.s.-mexico border, we have much more to look forward to than we do to fear. in fact, in the state of california, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on u.s.-mexico trade. in the state of texas, it's just under half a million. in fact, every single state in the union, including alaska, has tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on the flow of u.s.-mexico
trade that happens at our ports of entry and comes through at our border. six million jobs in this country representing hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries and economic growth and add-on effects are dependent on u.s.-mexico trade. when we begin to prioritize our separation, sealing mexico off from the united states, literally, physically, we deprioritize those connections that grow our economy, create nor jobs in the united states. one thing we should know as long as we're talking about sharing facts and confronting some of these unfortunate, untrue myths about the border is that when we export to mexico, of course we win. we're building things in our factories. we're sending them to mexico. the mexican consumer buys them. those dollars are flowing back to the u.s. worker, but it also happens that when we import from mexico we win. 40 cents of every dollar of value that we import from
mexico originate in the united states. so literally factory floor jobs n ohio, in iowa, in michigan are producing things that go to mexico that are part of final assembly that's reimported to the u.s. we make a lot of things in united states and mexico concurrently. our production platform, our future is inextricably connected and to try to break that apart is not simply going to hurt mexico. it's going to the united states. it's going to hurt the u.s. worker. it's going to hurt our economy. it's going to hurt our opportunity at growth. so if we continue to cast mexico as the enemy, if we threaten trade wars or pulling out of free trade agreements, if we construct a wall to try to humiliate that country at a time it opposes no security
threat to the united states, the consequences are not going to be good. you may remember that i reminded you that migration from mexico over the last four years is less than zero. more mexicans going south than are coming north to the united states. if you build a wall, withdraw from our trade agreements, try to delink our economies, where you do not have a security or economic problem today, you will in the future have one. you will give people in mexico a reason to flee that country and seek opportunity and jobs and connections and safety and shelter somewhere else. and that somewhere else in many cases is in fact going to be the united states. so if we want to make this country safer, if we want to make this country more prosperous, if we want to protect the american worker, then the policies that this president has adopted in the first 10 days in office are precisely the wrong way to go about doing it.
it will make us less secure. it will slow down this country's economy. it will jeopardize the six million jobs that depend on u.s.-mexico trade. so if the u.s.-mexico border is as secure as it has ever been -- and look at any metric and you'll see that i'm right -- if we're having levels of apprehensions, if we're spending record amounts, if we're using new technologies like drones to patrol the border if we have 20,000 border patrol agents which is also a record high, why is there so much concern, why is there so much interest, why is there so much anxiety, why is there so much fear built up around the border? i'll tell you, this is a longtime in coming, and when we say that there are -- long time in coming. and when we say there are real issues where these border
measures are coming from, let me give you an example of some of those. one of our colleagues, when describing young mexican immigrants coming to this country said, look at them. they have calves the size of cantaloupes. they're bringing drugs into this country. when you have a presidential candidate dismiss mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, despite the fact that immigrants commit crimes in this country at a much lower level than native-born u.s. citizens, when you have this kind of rhetoric, when you have this kind of mischaracterization, when you have this kind of villification of an entire people and their connection to us at the u.s.-mexico border, then you be the judge of where these priorities are coming from and what they are about and why they are in no way reflect the real concerns and threats and issues that we have in this country today.
my colleagues, the fact of the matter is, mexico presents opportunity for the united states and it always has. whether it's the $90 billion in u.s.-mexico trade that passed through just the ports of entry in el paso, the city i have the honor of serving in congress, in ciudad juarez, the city with which it is connected, whether it's the six million jobs we already have in the united states economy, whether it's our security cooperation to ensure we're disrupting transnational criminal organizations that are trying to move drugs and human chattel into this country, whether it is our work to address the real security issues in the northern triangle countries of central america that border mexico, we will lose a very valuable partner. we will lose those things that we want most, job growth, economic development, security
for the people that we represent. when we begin to humiliate that country and its leadership and the president has already canceled a trip to visit the united states in just one week of this administration, nothing good will follow that. we cannot wall mexico off from the united states. we cannot wish them to disappear. they will always be there and they should always be there and we should be grateful that they will always be there because they have always been a part of our history, our success, those things that are best about the united states, and god willing, they will always be part of our future. but i think it's going to take each and every one of us, every republican, every democrat, every person who doesn't feel affiliation to a party, to stand together behind and with the facts work the truth, with this country's best interests in mind. i am confident that if we do
that, it will simply -- if we'll simply look at what's happening today, what's happened historically with that country, where our interests lie, we will make better policy. we will not be constructing walls between the two countries. we will at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, tear down the 600 miles of fencing that already separates us. we will build more bridges that connect us not just for trade, not just for economic growth, but for the reasons that the people i represent are so grateful for and proud of, the place that they call home. city that, with ciudad juarez forms the largest binational community in the world, where people thousands of times crossed into each other's cities, our families are on both sides of the border, our business partners are on both sides of the borders, students at the university of texas at el so who live in ciudad juarez
who are mexican nationals are granted in state tuition because we want to attract the best and brightest, the very best and very brightest. we're going to find them all every the world, the united states certainly but also in mexico. i want to read to you a comment that a constituent of mine posted on our facebook page this evening when i let my constituents know i'd be on the floor talking about the border asking them to share the truth and the reality, their perspective, versus the smith that we -- the myth that we hear so often here in congress, on national tv, and from those who don't live on or understand the border. lisa espar zha says, the border -- lisa esparza says, the border has been great. i grew up in ciudad juarez, ill i went to school, i love that i'm binational and can think and speak in two languages.
of border llions residents exemplify the best of this country. literally of what makes america great. and el passey, for those of you who do not know -- and el paso, for those of you who do not know, served as the ellis island of the western hemisphere. if you came up from mexico, orel salvador or gautgauth ma la, there's a good chance you came through the ports of entry in el paso, texas that your family may have, before they went on to a december nation farther into the united states, they may have settled in to a community there where they learn our law, our values, where they learned to speak english, went to our schools where they not just participated and believed in the american dream but contributed to it. it's one of the reasons el paso, texas, is the safest city in the united states. it's the safest city not in
spite of the large number of immigrants who live in my community, and by official count, 24% of the people i represent were born in another country. it's not in spite of those people born in another country, it's in large part because of their presence. families who made extraordinarily difficult decision to leave their home country they home city, the family, the language they knew, the customs they loved, to come to a new country and they make sure they follow our laws. they make sure their kids follow our laws. they make sure their kids are doing the right thing by this country so they can get ahead and have an opportunity and a crack at the american dream. not only is there nothing wrong with that, there's something profoundly great about that. it's what has helped make el paso the safest city, a wonderful city in america, a great country. someone else who understands the value of our relationship with mexico, special character of border people and the value of immigration and immigrants is my
colleague, michelle lujan grisham, of the state of new mexico. i yield to the gentlewoman from new mexico. ms. lujan grisham: i thank my colleague for yielding time. madam speaker, the people who in fact know the border issues the best, whether it's companies or lawmakers, republicans and democrats, border communities, trade groups, economists and law enforcement officials, all agree that building a wall is unnecessary, impractical, ineffective and it is a complete waste of time and taxpayer money. this wall in fact damages new mexico's economy and that's without taking into account president trump's idea to now impose a 20% tax on mexican imports to pay for it. when in the end we know that it's american jobs, american consumers, and american companies that will be hurt. given that the united states already maintains approximately 650 miles of border fence, drone cameras, motion detectors,
thermal imaging sensors, ground sensors and 21,370 border patrol agents, the wall is completely unnecessary for the stake holders who are in fact most impacted. the only person it really benefits is president trump by furthering his isolationist, divisive, and anti-immigrant agenda. i agree that this country should be building and i agree with my colleague from el paso that there is a wonderful thing, an incredible thing about building bridge, building his -- highways, building buildings and refocusing our energy on making sure everyone has a fair shot and that we're looking 59 those economic values and those economic indicators, but that's not what we're doing here. we're diverting our attention for an unnecessary, huge, co-loss call mistake that hurts the progress that border community communities and border states have made. madam speaker, i yield back my time.
i yield back to you, mr. o'rourke. mr. o'rourke: i would like to thank the gentlelady from new mexico for bringing her state's experience and perspective on this issue and for being a champion for the best in our traditions and our values. i'd like to build on the gentlelady's remarks and talk about one of the consequences of building walls. i've already made the case that the border is as secure as it's ever been. those who study and understand security issues have come to the conclusion that extra miles of wall don't deter migrants. the lower levels of migration that we see in this country have a lot more to do with the u.s. economy and its struggling performance in the immediate aftermath in the -- of the great recession and throughout that road oto recovery and relatively
speak egg, the performance in other country, including mexico, that's afforded mexican nationals more opportunity to stay there. so the border is as secure as it's ever been, we recently doubled the size of the border patrol, we're using the latest, greatest technology to remain as vigilant as possible, which we should. and it's also important to know the character and quality of the border patrol agents and customs and border protection officers who man the line, who are at our ports, and who have one of the most difficult, dangerous jobs that anyone has in the federal government. the conditions in which they work, the situations which they must anticipate, the constant vigilance they must maintain, and the kind of threats that they have to be aware of. which include drug smuggling. which is critically important to stop. which include human smuggling.
which we must deter and stop and which includes, even though there's never been a terrorist or terrorist act on the u.s.-mexico border includes the possibility that sometime that might happen and those men and women are literally on the front line, protecting this community. i'd like to see some of those $14 billion to $20 billion proposed for the construction of a wall put behind our border patrol agents to improve their salaries, their working conditions. the ability for them to do their job and to keep us safe. i'd like to hire more customs and border protection officers, the men and women in blue at our ports of entry who facilitate legitimate trade and travel at our ports of entry. they're the ones who help keep this economy humming while keeping us safe. madam speaker, one of the consequences, though, of building walls, while it doesn't make us safer, while it uses a lot of resources to -- that
could be better put toward other, more legitimate security challenges, it does do one thing i want all of us to know about. it does ensure that my grants coming to this country will unnecessarily suffer and many will die in the same time where we have gone from 1.6 million apprehensions a year, that was the year 2000, 1.6 million apprehensions on our southern border, to last year, when there were just a little over 400,000. a quarter of the level that we had 15, 16 years ago. in that same time that we've had record low levels of migration, we have maintained record high death, those nt few migrant who do try to cross between our ports of entry are going to more remote sessions -- sections of the border, they're dying of thirst, of exposure. these are otherwise preventable deaths. so i ask you to think about it this way. whether you're looking at the
moral dimension of this, the otherwise preventable death the effort to humiliate our closest partner in the country of mexico, whether you look at the economic dimension of this, if you want to protect those six million jobs that depend on a strong u.s.-mexico connection, whether you look at the security dimension and taking our eye off the ball when it comes to real threats, proven threats that we have in this country, at our international airports, at our northern board we are canada, or increasingly homegrown radicals in the united states, radicalized over the internet, if you want to remove resources from those real threats, then go ahead and build a wall if it makes you feel good but it's going to make us less safe. it's going to make us less economically secure. and it's going to be to our lasting shame. it will haunt us and it will haunt us for generations for anyone who support this is or does not stand up and speak against it. i would like to leave you with
two anecdotes. that i think exemplify the beauty, the strength, and the safety of the border. the first is a story that -- of an event that took place this weekend in el paso, in ciudad juarez, where we are joined by the rio grande river channel. right now, all that water is stored up at the elephant butte reservoir in new mexico, really there's just a little trickle in the river channel, not more than a couple of inches deep. thanks to the border network for human rights, an thanks to the border patrol, who allowed this, they were able to organize 300 families from mexico and el paso who were allowed to meet one family at a time in the middle of that river channel, both sides clearly identified so there would not be any security or immigration issues, and those families got to spend a total of three minutes together, families
who in some cases had not seen each other for decades, a young woman posted on facebook that she drove down from oklahoma city to see her tad who she had not seen in 10 years. you had folks meeting grandchildren they had never een before, sons or dournls in -- daughters-in-law they had never seen before, weep, hugging, kissing for three minutes. that to me is absolutely beautiful that to me is family values. that to me shows you the extent to which people will try to be together, to be with each other, to do things that perhaps you and i as u.s. citizens take for granted. that happened in el paso, texas, thanks to the border network, human rights, thanks to the men and women in the border patrol, didn't compromise our security, didn't add any new immigrants to this country. it was just doing our best under the current conditions. the other anecdote i would like to share with you, which i will close on, involves another outstanding organization in the
community i have the honor to serve, announceuation house, led by reuben garcia, who when we faced unprecedented numbers of young children, young teens, young moms in their teens and 20's, coming from honduras and el salvador, which had become the deadliest countries not just in central america or the western hemisphere but in the world, kids being murdered and raped and sold into slavery, those kids fleing that horrific brutality and violence, coming up the length of mexico, sometimes riding on top of a train, known as the beast, to come and present themselves at our border. not evade detection. not try to escape. not try to do anything against the law, literally as the law prescribes presenting themselves at our ports of entry to a border patrol agent or customs and border protection officer and asking for help and for shelter depending on the best traditions inscribed on the statue of liberty, counting on
the united states in their moment of need. well, the border patrol were outstanding. the agents themselves out of their own pockets often were buying toys and gifts for these young children, taking care of them, having their hearts broken, doing their best to serve them. agents who worked for i.c.e. and immigration were doing their best as well. and as that flow of people became too many temporarily for us to hold and process, they cot in touch with ruben garcia at enunesation house which is a charity in el paso, texas, and ruben took those asylum-seekers, those refugees and housed them, clothed them, fed them, ensured they had showers and medication and a visit with the doctor, the ability to talk to their families deeper in the interior of the united states and most importantly, especially for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, had a full and complete understanding of their legal obligations under u.s.
law, what they were allowed and not allowed to do, what their court expectations were and that they must appear in court and that their issue must be adjudicated and that they may or may not be able to stay in this country. and enunciation house, ruben garcia, and the volunteers that work for them and hundreds of other el pasoans that contributed did this at not a penny's cost to the federal taxpayer or to our government. so $20 billion to build a wall or enunciation house, taking care of refugees, asylum-seekers, little kids who need our help for free, that's the border. that's the best of us. that's the best of this country. that's what we need to think about. those are the folks we need to listen to. those are the facts we need to understand before we even contemplate building a wall, separating ourselves from mexico, giving in to the native
sentiment and instinct that was so proudly on display during this presidential election. i think if we look at the facts, if we take the best from the border, we're going to get the best policy and the best outcome from the united states. and after all, isn't that why we were sent here, isn't that what we are supposed to do when the voters sent us to do the work of the american people? with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. king: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, it's my honor to address you here on the floor of the united states house of representatives, and i came here to the floor with a bit different topic in mind. but as i listened to the gentleman from texas, i thought it would be a good idea while there still was a captive audience on the topic to refresh some things with perhaps a bit different perspective. and that would be that from my
time and experience, i've traveled most every mile of the southern border, that would be 2,000 altogether. i think it would be true i traveled every mile of california and arizona and new mexico and most all the miles in texas. i've flown a lot of it. i've driven a lot of it. i've been on the water on some of it, and i spent some nights down on the border, a number of them, in some of the dangerous crossing like san miguel's crossing on the reservation. it's one of those without any night vision and without what we would call official security . so when i hear that the border is as secure as it's ever been and that there's no security threat to the u.s., which is what we just heard here in this previous hour, madam speaker, i absolutely don't agree with that. and if there's no terrorism that's any factor at all, that there's never been a terrorism attack on the southern border, i'd point to the gentleman, to the five heads that were lined
up on the mexican side of the fence across from the people that were driving to church in new mexico a few years ago. i think those children that looked out the windows of their cars as they were getting a ride to church were victims of the terror that was created by heads stacked along the side of the highway within feet of our u.s. border. as i spent time with the border patrol agents that have made a career out of protecting our border down there, they tell me there are murders on the mexican side of the border that they throw the body over the fence onto the u.s. side. and where they identify bodies on the mexican side of the border, they'll talk to the mexican security people, with whom they have a good relationship, and they'll see the equivalent of an s-10 pickup and drive away with zero forensics and not identify who the perpetrators might be who committed these murders that are so close to the border. i made surprised visits down to the border on a number of occasions and i make it a point
to drop in and see what's going on and talk to the people that are there protecting and guarding our border. and i recall one of those visits down to sasabee, arizona, at a crossing there, a relatively rural crossing, and i drove into that port of entry, port of exit for us, and i got out and decided on the spot, well, i should let them know who i am for reasons of courtesy. and so i introduced myself. i said, madam speaker, i said i'm congressman steve king from iowa. and that agent immediately said, i can't talk to you. and he turned and walked away. and so i went to the next agent and i said -- introduced myself. i'm steve king from iowa and he said, i can't talk to you but talk to mike. mike is the supervisor here tonight, and he's ready to retire and he has terminal cancer. he will talk to you. and i went and i spoke to mike.
the gentleman's name is mike kring. he did have terminal cancer and that was verified and he has since passed away. as we spoke about the difficulties -- the illegal crossings both one east and one west at the crossing he got a phone call. he said, excuse me, and stepped away. he was gone for a couple of minutes outside the circle and he came back in and said there has been a knifing on the mexican side of the border and so there will be an ambulance coming through this border and this crossing in a few minutes and i've called in u.s. ambulances with oxygen on them and i called in a helicopter to fly this victim out to the university hospital. and so we waited there for a few minutes. the mexican ambulance came across the crossing. i did have an e.m.t. with me and i asked him to do what he could to lend a hand to help save this victim's life. so he was in the middle of that
process in the mexican ambulance. there was one glove. just one glove and a roll of gauze and nothing else. no exjen, no medical equipment. it was an ambulance as far as the shell was concerned and the painting on the outside that said ambulance but inside it was just the same thing as an old home bread truck. so they took him out of that mexican ambulance and the u.s. ambulances had arrived fairly close to that period of time and they put him on oxygen and stabilized him and we loaded him off onto the helicopter and flew him on up to tucson university hospital. i went to tucson that night and the next morning i went to tucson university hospital and essentially talked my way in to visit this victim that had been stabbed in the liver with a knife or a shiv. i require it was three inches wide of the hilt. that was the wound in him. i went to the room he was in
and they said, ok, here he is behind this curtain. it was a two-patient room. when i walked behind the curtain the individual there who had been knifed the night before was not the one i had seen and been part of taking care of at sasabee. it was a different victim that had been wounded under the same circumstances. probably a different location in a different fight and brought in to tucson university hospital to be stabilized. and as i was i'll say looking at the situation, the patient whom i knew had been wounded the night before was rolled down the hallway in a wheelchair. he had been stabilized. he looked a lot better. we didn't know if he was going to live. so then i assessed the situation and, madam speaker, i then met with the chief financial officer of the tucson university hospital and other leaders there in the hospital and collected a whole series of narratives about the cost of the medical care that has been assumed by the united states even from people who have
injuries in a foreign country and this cost on this particular incident was $30,000 to bring the wounded mexican into the united states, roll him in the united states, and then send him back to mexico once he was stabilized and they had to post an agent with him to guard him during that period of time. now, i'm not here on the floor tonight taking a position whether that's right or wrong. from a moral standpoint, it's right, but we should be aware of what is going on. this is not a stable border. it's not a safe border. sat on the border at the ono crossing in tahono crossing. i heard vehicles come through the mesquite brush and you could hear the doors open. they'll throw their packs on the ground. you hear them talking and whispering to each other, pick their packs off and walk off through the brush. i sat there and tried to count the shadows.
i won't give you those numbers because none of us are sure what we see when it's pitch black out. but i know what i heard. we counted a good number of people that were delivered down there to that crossing who came through the fence which would e rare for that to hold an old cow with the barbs pushed down. the path down there you can easily see. when the gentleman from el paso tells us we are down to the low crossing level, kind of the modern history crossing, 400,000 people last year compared to not 1.6 million in the year 2000, i would point out we count those that we can count, those that we see and those that we willingly see. and if we're not looking for them, if we're not guarding the portion of the border that they're pouring through, then we say we've counted 400,000 attempts coming into the united states, that doesn't mean that there are only 400,000
attempts. it only means we counted 400,000. same goes with the interdiction of roughly 1.6 million. they were more aggressive then. i will say bill clinton was more successful interdicting border crossing attempts than any other president. i don't know if that was his goal or objective, but i believe that was the statistical extent. to that, madam speaker, i don't disagree with the gentleman from texas. but -- and i agree that the border crossings have slowed down. 10 years ago they were greater than they are today, but it is not lgcal, in fact, it is not -- logical, in fact, it is not rational to say the border is as safe as it's ever been and it's not logical to say it's no security threat. the times i have been on the border i've encountered the incidents of seven different persons of interests from nations of interest. that's our vernacular we use when we see people coming from -- i'll call them terrorist
spawning states. if an iranny or iraqi that are interdicted by the border patrol they are then placed in the hands of the f.b.i. the moment that happens it becomes a classified incident. i doubt the gentleman from el paso encounters this. i come down there for hearing those things, one of the purposes, and i have seven of them i logged in my time that i've been down there and if there have been seven incidents of persons of interests from nations of interests and i'm only going to learn about that in that window between the time they're interdicted and the time they are taken in the custody of the f.b.i., so how many hundreds are there and perhaps more that are terrorists that are crossing into the united states? and we the easiest way to get into the united states easily is to cross our south earn border. to say -- southern border. to say we don't have a security threat is false. the idea that we should just
simply leave the border open, i heard hire more agents, not to secure the border but to facilitate crossings through legal crossings, i think there are things we should be doing to facilitate legal crossings to and from the united states of america. i don't disagree with the full bred of that statement, -- breath of that statement, madam speaker, but the facts are 80% to 90% of the illegal drugs consumed in the united states come from or through mexico. 80% to 90%. it's more than a $60 billion annual business pouring into the united states, and out of that $60 billion worth of drugs, a lot of that is laundered in the united states and brought back into mexico and points south, down -- cocaine, for example, to colombia. we saw a big bust of colombian cocaine that was smuggled into the nose of an airplane that was found by the maintenance crew
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