tv U.S. House of Representatives Rep. Dan Rohrabacher R-CA Farewell Speech CSPAN January 1, 2019 4:12am-4:46am EST
congressional district and thank you for entrusting me to revolutionize our education system, lead the nation in clean energy development, and create an economy that prioritizes hardworking families as your next governor. i look forward to continuing to work for you in your roundhouse next year. mr. speaker, although i yield back for the final time, i have never been more hopeful about our future and the next generation of members who will stand here, address this chamber, and commit to the shared values that form the foundation of progress after i'm gone. thank you. the speaker pro tempore:, for 30 minutes. mr. rohrabacher: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise with a sense of awe and gratitude that god and the voters have permitted me to be a member of this body, the house of representatives for the last
30 years. at least for me, my time here has permitted me the opportunity to earn a living by advocating policies and programs that i believe would improve the well-being of the american people and be consistent with the ideals of our country, the united states of america. i came here after spending seven years as a senior speech writer for president reagan as well as two years of that in the reagan white house as a special assistant to the president. my experiences in the reagan white house gave me valuable understandings of many issues of the day as well as contacts that over the years i put to good use. the longer i have been here in washington, the more appreciative i am for the leadership and policies of president ronald reagan. when he left office 30 years
ago, our economy was strong, the cold war was ending as the soviet union diss integrated and ronald reagan handed over a new generation of americans, a country with an upward trajectory and tremendous potential and restored to america that sense of optimism that is so much part of our character. it was an honor to have served at his side in the white house. and yes i am proud to have served with the men and women in this congress from all over our country who represented both america's diversity and dedication to high values. yes, looking back, i am disappointed that our government, while i have been here, did not achieve all that was possible. but in the same time, i think both republicans and democrats in this house of representatives
can be proud of what has been accomplished. both nationally and yes, what they have accomplished back home in trying to meet the needs of their people, trying to make sure their citizens were served, thus making america a better place, not just from the top-down but from the bottom-up and i know my colleagues care deeply about their own constituents when they could have been with their own families, but helping the families that legitimated them. i cannot think of a life i could have lived, the highs, the lows, the disappointments and the joyous outcomes that i have seen here as part of this living of itution in its 230 years legislative service to the people of the united states. since our country's government
was established back in 1789, fewer than 11,000 individuals have served in the united states house of representatives. davey crockett was one of them. morialized as a fierce ontiersman who died at the alamo. i found his courage under here to be much more inspiring than his accomplishments on the battlefield. yes, we should look at andrew jackson and davey crockett and what happened between those two. davey crockett was elected to congress as a supporter for and drew jackson and ran for president. and as a fierce indian tighter, he was expected to be at andrew jackson's side. and jackson, who won many
military battles and many were fought and his victories were brought on by the fact that he had a large number of american indians as part of his battle group, as part of his army. yes, and he promised those indians who fought with him at the various battles and against other indian tribes and the british at the battle of new orleans, he promised that they would be part of our country. davey crockett was there. and later when davey crockett came here to this congress and andrew jackson betrayed those men and women, those americans who happened to be american indians and betrayed them, crockett would have nothing to do with it. crockett stood firm. and it was memorialized in the
walt disney series, but that did not capture the essence of what happened at that time. crockett elected by the people of his state to come here and support president jackson. he stood against that president and he stood for integrity and honor and courage and truthfulness. and he got up before the congress and opposed the indian exclusion act that was supported by andrew jackson. for that, one would think that a tremendous show of courage, people would say, look, he is standing up against a powerful man even in his own district, and yes, they were powerful interest groups that wanted to steal the lands of the american indians that lived there.
and crockett in his next election, was did he feeted. and then crockett went on, having been defeated in congress and his own people turned against him, went on to texas, where he then, through acts of physical courage, not the ones he said that he laid on the floor of the house, but the physical courage at the battle of the alamo. we should take at least as much pride if not more pride in that stand he took in congress against the indian exclusion act, which was a betrayal of the american indians. i looked for the speech that he gave. i could not find it in the congressional record. apparently andrew jackson had actually found and pushed it
decide so people wouldn't be able to find it. we found a copy in the library of congress. and i had my staff give that to me. and it was a rendition about crocket h that davey gave and i had that put in the congressional record. during that time, in the people's house, i have stood against the tide when it was sweeping in the wrong direction. and yes, when i do stand against the tide and stand against ar direction which people are making a profit and sometimes whose people's egos are at stake, you make enemies. i have always thought, members should not be afraid to make enemies. yes, you may have to suffer some
personal consequences, but if you aren't making some powerful people mad at you, you aren't doing your job. you are not going to change things. you have to stand up and take that punishment because that's what the american people want us to do and stand up for principle. if later we lose, we have done what we thought was right. i would love to hope that someday i do something that would give me the type of recognition of someone who did take several stands while a member of congress that added great difficulty of my life. most recently, i have felt that in that during the time that i was with ronald reagan and before, i had a position, as davey crockett did, as an indian fighter, i was one of the fierce
warriors of the cold war. i was never in the u.s. military but i did things during the vietnam war and the iron curtain as well as other activities that i did to fight against communism. and during my time in the reagan white house, i worked with the president on many of his bold statements and developing the reagan doctrine which enabled our country to defeat the soviet union and bring it down without having a direct conflict between u.s. and soviet troops. i thought that was a tremendous accomplishment that i'm glad to have been part of, the development of that doctrine and i brought that knowledge here with me to congress. after the fall of communism. after the disintegration of the soviet union, i believe that we were working for peace.
ronald reagan talked about peace through strength. the goal was not strength, the goal was peace. and we needed to go and reach out to find ways of working with russia and to try to meet more of our neutrally beneficial goals and goals that would be helpful to the entire world. we needed to do that and russia was in turmoil. well, i might just note that there are some people that didn't share my desire to try to bring russia into the family of nations and wanted to continue a treat russia as a par inch and american policy as being unrelenting hostility towards russia. communism was our enemy but the
people were not. and ronald reagan did have an iron fifth and against those soviet-backed regimes and at the same time reached out to the russian leadership and to the russian people. and over these last few years, there have been very powerful segment here in washington, d.c., who want to re-ignite the cold war. they want war with russia. nd i have tried to stand firm but it has made me a lot of powerful enemies. i am proud i made that stand. i think the american people want us to cooperate with russia where it's mutually beneficial. i have been over and over again labeled putin's favorite congressman. that is absolutely absurd and i will say right now, i believe that everything i have ever done
in this body has been based on my love of my country and thinking of what would be good for the people of the united states, in this case, working with russia in order to defeat radical islamic terrorists that threaten us was the right thing to do. same as maybe working with india and japan and russia and these other countries, but instead, we have had just as i say, an unrelending efforten on the part of some powerful interests to keep america and russia in a hostile situation. we should be able to talk to people and try to work out differences rather than trying to establish something that would lead to armed conflict eventually. soif taken a will the of hits on that. and i consider that to be the right thing to do. or the -- over the years, of course, i am very grateful for other things that i have been able to play a role in and actually succeeded in. for example, when i first came here 30 years week had a
democratic majority, but later when we won a republican majority, i was granted and i was in the science and technology committee, i was granted the chairmanmanship of e -- the chairmanship of the space committee, that was the prime subcommittee in science. and i oversaw america's space program for eight years. i am very proud, very, very proud, and grateful that i had the opportunity in those eight years to make a lasting difference in the way america's space program has been configured. before then, it was always just government employees, bureaucrats, nasa, and military space ventures. there wasn't a commercial space industry. i made sure when i looked -- -- when i look at the challenge of balancing the budget here, knowing that the way to bring more money into our space program was to encourage the
private sector to invest and i worked on and passed legislation designed to help promote commercial space activities here in the united states. i'm very proud of what we've accomplished. spacex,ave blue origin, virgin galactic, 10 or 20 different space programs that are at work today and we have vast plans being made by private companies to develop space, for example, to develop observation of the earth and monitoring satellites that will help us. what we're doing with guidance systems now, g.p.s. systems, etc. i'm very, very honored and pleased and grateful that god gave me and this congress gave me in those eight years the right to be chairman of the committee and be part of this type of change for the better that now is reaping good benefits for our country and the
world. i also have been active while here on science and technology issues for example, the patent issue. and many people don't even look at patents, they yawn when you say it. but the fact is americans have had the benefit of the strongest patent system in the world and thus our inventors from the very constitution were -- when the patent law was written into our constitution, we have had that benefit of our create i have genius of our people being protected in order so that they can be nurture and we have been thus the number one development of new technology in the world, that's come from americans. i have for the last 20 years at least, been a champion, maybe 25 years now, to defeat and champion the cause of the individual and veteran america, the american people weren't interested in something that complicated. it was hard for them to understand that multinational
corporations, many of them headed by americans, were trying to -- have been trying to undercut the patent system in our country. also very proud that during my time here as a -- as recognized as ronald reagan's special assistant when i left the white house , my conservative credentials gai me the authority nd gave me the ability to talk to conservative people throughout the country and yes throughout the house and the senate on the issue of cannabis. the fact is that marijuana was created -- an illusion of isruption and decadence and -- in the american people's minds because of the late 1960's when the use of marijuana was so public and it was identified as something with hippies and people who didn't like american culture. the fact is, cannabis has tremendous, tremendous service
to give to the people of our country who are suffering from various maladies. old every people, senior people now are the greatest, some of the greatest people who are utilizing cannabis, that's marijuana, in order to cure some of the problems they face as seniors. the aches, the pain the welcome of an appetite and things such as that. we have got people now we understand that there's been children who are suffering who before no one were able to think that cannabis might be a cure for the seizures of young people who would have thought the opiate epidemics, think say it started with cannabis, no. what we're finding out is cannabis isn't a gateway door into the use of on yats, it's instead a way out. it's a way that cannabis can be used to break the addiction of
opiates in our country. these are things that were never any research done and i am very proud that with my conservative credentials i could talk a number of my republican colleagues to join with almost all my democratic colleagues and vote to permit the states to decide whether or not cannabis would be legal or illegal in their state for the medical use of marijuana. and that has brought a great change over the last six years since my amendment, the rohrabacher-farr, first rohrabacher-hinchlow, then rohrabacher-farr amendment, now over six years we have had a major -- it's a $6 billion industry now. that's $6 billion not going to he drug cartels in mexico. $6 billion now can be spent helping people rather than trying to put someone in jail for consuming a weed. and then using all the money for
law enforcement on that and jails for that and judges' times on that and police time on that, rather than trying to protect the american people, what a waste. my colleagues joined with me and i think that has been a wonderful, wonderful accomplishment that i'm very, very proud of and very grateful that i had the opportunity to be here and express that in debate and to reach out to my fellow congressmen here from all -- both sides of the aisle and mobilize a majority that got that passed so that the federal government cannot supersede state law now when it comes to medical marijuana. also one of the things they guess is something that's very -- people don't know much about at all but during my time before congress and during my time in the reagan years, i was deeply involved with various insurgency groups that were trying to defeat the soviet union, bring down the soviet union. i went of course and part of
that is i was able to get to know the leadership of the mujahedin that were fighting soviet troops in afghanistan when in fact i went to fghanistan and i fought with troops in the mujahedin and fought against soviet soldiers at the battle of jalal bad. yes i had that -- of jalalabad. i had that type of experience. when our pakistani friends and saudi friends betrayed us and betrayed the people of afghanistan by supporting the creation of the taliban a radical islamic terrorist organization, our saudi friends and our pakistani friends created that, and i continued to go to afghanistan during that time period. while i was here in congress. and meet with the war lords that i had met with during the time we were fighting the soviet union. one of them, commander ma pseudo, who i met on a number of
occasionsing was murdered three days before 9/11. i knew had been tipped off by other contacts i had in afghanistan that there was an attack being planned on the united states. and they said, you will know that it's going to happen when something major happens in afghanistan that will change the political balance. it's a signal that the attack will go forward. i went all over the city when i alized, when commander ma pseudowas murdered three days before 9/11, that was the signal to move forward on this attack on the united states. tried to warn our administration. i tried to warn everyone in the city. no one would listen. and then i had a wonderful thing happen in my life. i actually after 9/11 people did start to listen. ing of they did. they remembered, dana rohrabacher was trying to warn us about this. and all of this is happening
without -- out of the public view, the public never saw any of this. but i was able to talk to various people in our government, various high level position, and outline for them how we should proceed. our own military, our defense department, wanted to send 100,000 american troops or more into a frontal attack, an attack from pakistan in the northwest provinces into afghanistan. i was horrified when i heard this. i knew that territory. it's the most anti-american territory on the planet. and our military would have been slaughtered. or at least holed up in fortress cities like the russians had been. it was a horrible thing. and i -- i thank god that i had this opportunity. because i went to the powers that be and i told them you can't do this. this is wrong. i'll tell you how -- what do we do? i managed to get hold of general dolston and other war lords in
afghanistan to enlist them. the president of the united states, when given the alternative of using the war lords with special forces teams and u.s. air power, versus sending in hundreds of thousands of american troops, our president chose to use afghans in what they called the northern alliance which i helped create with a team of people, charlie santos and paul behrens and other friends who had been working with me in afghanistan over the years, helped us put that together and the president desaied to go in that direction. about recommend a book, that first social forces team and i believe i was able that day by convincing authorities to go in that direction, that we saved thousands and thousands of american lives of soldiers and what a demoralizing it would have been had we in the succeeded in a counterattack after 9/11. let me just mention just a
couple of things in passing. that is those thing us i just discussed give me pride and i remember, what's really also is most heart warming to someone who is a member of congress is what he or she has been able to do for our own constituents. as i said, whether you're republicans or democrats, we know our job is to help our people. nobody else is going to help our people except us. we care about them. they used to say they won't care what you say unless they know that you care about them. unless you can show them you air care, they don't care about what you say. so most members of congress here, i never met a democrat or republican that didn't love his constituents or troying to help them. during that time period and i've been a member of congress, we had a flood control prgt. know that sounds -- not so great, but we had a flood control project in orange county that basically saved millions --
not millions, maybe billions of dollars in flood insurance costs for homeowners in my area, in orange county and the flood threat was gone where people's lives would have been at stake and lost i worked on that. i made sure, when i first got hering i worked with other members of congress, democrat members of congress, it was a democrat congress, to help complete that project. and that's the type of bipartisanship we're capable of. i worked with -- we have a water reclamation project in orange county. it's the most high tech water system in the world. we had a big drought. we had a big drought over the last few years and -- but in orange county it was the one county that stood alone in not being hurt dramatically because we had a system we invested in. i brought people from all over the world to see that technology. and i was able to work with our locals to make that happen.
i was able over my years to help veterans who were being stood up, veterans who were not getting the service they needed. they felt -- they felt helpless. some of them sick, psychologically wounded by the service they provided yet we were not helping them. my office has helped hundreds of these men and women who were in desperate need of someone to care for them. that's a memory now, a good emory and i know my we have changed the rules so now the veterans administration has to be more caring and i'm very proud again, a bipartisan approach on these issues of human caring for our own constituents, making america a better place from the bottom up instead of from the top-down. there are hundreds of people in my district who would have lost their homes when we had a economic upheaval.
things got really bad and people were losing their homes and we established a program and we helped over 500 people in my district to save their homes. families that would have lost everything. and thank god that i was permitted to be a member of this body and i know each and every one of us were helping those in need. i have gone to help as many seniors who had trouble with the bureaucracy, social security and tried to do my best over the years to work with organizations that add to the need, the benefit and add to the strength, the moral strength as well as every other strength of our system. and organizations whether they are the rotary club or boy scouts of america and i have scout pens. le
i have been a member of congress representing orange county. we must be loyal to these local people, these people that have legitimated us. that is our job. our job is to watch out for them, their interests. and one last note, and that is this. we look at the immigration issue. i would hope we do so with respect for each other and understanding that people have good hearts on both sides. but i know that in my heart, i know my main job right now and has been been for every member to watch out what is in the best interest of the american people. and those people who like to come here illegally, we provide for that. we have to make sure that the policies we set for immigration is what is in the interest of the people of the united states. and that, i want to say that i'm grateful that god has given me the opportunity and voters have
will join from virginia's 10th congressional district. she was elected to the virginia senate in 2013. new congress, new leaders. wanted on c-span. -- watch it all on c-span. law school professor allender show nationalirtua shall think your kid -- make your guest: if hillary couldn't and have been elected -- i would've written a book called the case against impeaching him and clinton. the frame errors of the constitution set out criteria for impeachment. you have to be convicted based on evidence