Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Texas for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, the legislation before us is a necessary and timely piece of legislation introduced with the leadership from my colleague from Texas (Mr. Doggett), my other colleagues, the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter), the gentleman from North Dakota (Mr. Pomeroy), the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays), and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan) to correct some of the duplicate reporting requirements that many State and local candidate
committees and State and local political action committees face under the current section 527 disclosure requirements.
In short, as my colleague has stated, this legislation eliminates most of the duplicative reporting burdens that State and local candidate committees now face. That allows us to focus on the true intent of the legislation, those stealth Federal PACS, and for those organizations that monitor campaign activity, the bill requires the Internal Revenue Service to help upgrade their Web site to improve the searchability of the public data provided to the IRS.
This legislation was negotiated on a bipartisan, bicameral basis. It has support from groups such as Common Cause and Public Citizen, Campaign Finance Institute, the National Council of State Legislatures, the American Society of Association Executives, as well as our Senate leaders, the Senator from Connecticut, Mr. Lieberman, the Senator from Texas, Mrs. HUTCHISON. It addresses most of the concerns the parties have.
Is it a perfect bill? No. There are areas I personally would like to see changed but I think it is an excellent compromise. It is a solid, solid improvement over the current law for everyone, and I think the broad range of support demonstrates it is a fair bill.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Texas (Mr. Doggett) for his passion and dedication and leadership on campaign finance issues.
Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, hoping that the gentleman from Texas is correct about all aspects of the bill and appreciative of his comments, I remove my reservation.
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill just passed.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor several organizations and individuals in my congressional district who have done an extraordinary job of serving their communities.
It is my pleasure to recognize the American Cancer Society Hispanic Advisory Board, the Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services, Rabbi Katsof with Words Can Heal, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and last but not least, Matthew Krawcheck, all wonderful examples of the organizations and people who display true selflessness and dedication to our community.
Evidence of such altruistic acts is demonstrated by Armando Rodriguez, Harold Robaina, Remedios Diaz-Oliver, and Liliam Sanchez-Martinez who have worked hard for the American Cancer Society Hispanic Advisory Board to successfully launch the Mi Vida Cancer Awareness Campaign for the Hispanic community for my area in Miami-Dade. The Mi Vida campaign promotes early detection by informing the Hispanic community of the various Spanish-speaking educational materials and a 24-hour Spanish toll-free
phone numbers. The American Cancer Society's continued commitment to the cure for cancer in the Hispanic area serves as an inspiration to us all.
I am also happy to recognize these efforts, just as I am pleased to also honor the compassionate efforts of the Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services and my good friend Judy Reinach. This great organization has provided emergency shelter for the south Florida youth for the past 27 years. By keeping its doors open 24 hours per day, Miami Bridge provides safe haven for over 1,000 at-risk adolescents each year. Its tireless efforts provide a continuum of nonresidential and residential services
that are designed to empower teenagers and turn their lives around.
Another exceptional group that demonstrates true commitment to the improvement of our lives is the Words Can Heal organization. Rabbi Katsof and Words Can Heal have dedicated their efforts in reducing verbal violence and gossip. At a time when dialogue is so needed in our communities, Words Can Heal and Rabbi Katsof have been the motivational and organizational force behind educating the public.
In its short history, Words Can Heal has effectively mobilized its efforts to reach an influential and growing audience such as the clergy, actors, musicians and elected officials who have all become actively involved in the organization's efforts.
As a former educator, it is also my pleasure to honor another very important contributor to the cause of education, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Through the efforts of John Doyle, Lilian Citarella-Polit, Charles Murray, Sharon Shelley and Maria Elena Keenan, the Miami-Dade Public Schools plans to hold a fantastic competition this upcoming December 6.
The We, the People, The Citizen and the Constitution competition is a national contest that encourages civic competence and responsibility among our Nation's students. This extraordinary competition, now in its 15th year, teaches our community's youth the philosophical and historical foundations of our great Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
I cannot conclude my statement without also congratulating Matthew Krawcheck, a constituent from my congressional district and a grand prize winner of the Expressing Freedom arts competition. Matthew's awesome painting ``Three Self-Portraits'' was displayed at the awards ceremony in the Rayburn foyer recently.
Expressing Freedom is a contest for young artists with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 25 that is supported by VSA Arts and Volkswagen of America. I would like to send special thanks to Soula Antoniou from VSA Arts and Joseph Kennebeck from Volkswagen of America for their commitment to America's disabled people.
I wish to give my sincerest congratulations to Matthew and all of the young people who participated in this competition.
Mr. Speaker, it is such a pleasure tonight for me to commend these individuals for they are shining examples of what this country is all about, and they are an inspiration to us all.
Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to talk about Social Security, a program that will affect or is affecting [Page: H8015]
every single American, the premier program initiated in the last century by the Democratic Party which has helped to raise a generation of our seniors out of poverty and keeps the current generation out of poverty.
Most seniors in America receive upwards of around $580 per month. For them Social Security is a lifeline. Without Social Security and Medicare, they simply could not survive.
Because the Bush administration and its allies inside this Chamber cannot afford to pay for the extravagant tax giveaways, especially to the superrich in this country like Kenneth Lay from Enron, who will get $245 million in a rebate this year, and because our country is moving into deficit, the Republicans in this Chamber are raiding Social Security every day, the Social Security trust fund, to try to make up that shortfall.
Back in June when I started clocking the Republican raid on Social Security, at that point they had raided over $207 billion out of the Social Security trust fund after us having taken seven votes here that said we would protect the lockbox and not permit that kind of borrowing against the Social Security and Medicare trust fund; but to date, they have now, as of this week, October 16, they have now raided $318,369,863,013 from the Social Security trust fund. That averages out per American over
$1,100 out of their pocket. To be exact, $1,104.36 out of the funds that are deserved by every single American who has paid into this fund.
As long as Republicans continue to raid the Social Security trust fund in violation of the promises we have made and passed here in this Congress, it is my intention to be here on this floor, clocking their raid with this debt clock. I also will be reviewing the history of those who created Social Security for our country and who historically opposed it, the Republican Party.
In fact, in 1935 in the deliberations in the Committee on Ways and Means right outside this room here, the Republican Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to kill the original bill that created the Social Security program that our parents, our grandparents, and great-grandparents had benefited from since the mid-1930s.
When that bill moved to the floor, it was the Democratic Party that passed that bill, and I think it is very important that history be recorded for the present generation because if we look at what has been happening with the accumulation of additional debt in our country, and I would like to just put up an additional chart here, as we look back during more modern times to the early chart here focuses on the Johnson administration and the Nixon and Ford administration and the Carter administration.
And we begin to look at when did this Social Security trust fund really start going into the red. It was during the Reagan-Bush administration and now during the George W. Bush administration, billions and billions and billions of dollars. It was only during the administration of Bill Clinton and Al Gore that we began to move the Social Security trust fund back into surplus again.
We have over $6 trillion of debt that we are financing in this country, much of it due to the giveaways that this administration has promoted. As an example, with the inheritance tax, Gary Winnick of Global Crossing, with assets of over three quarters of a billion dollars, will get $366 million in a tax windfall. And where do my colleagues think that money is going to come from? It comes right out of here, the Social Security trust fund. Or Dennis Kozlowski from Tyco Corporation, the one that
is in all that trouble, he is going to get $149 million. And where do my colleagues think that money is going to come from?
This administration and House Republicans should put seniors first. They have earned it. They have earned it, and reverse this raid. We should continue to commit the savings in the Social Security trust fund as we have promised. It is important for us to tell the truth to the American people using these red numbers and this debt clock to demonstrate and remind ourselves what is really going on.
The Democratic Party historically has been the party that believed in and supported Social Security as an insurance and disability fund for every single American. It is a condition of living in this country. It is not a privilege. It is a right.
Mr. Speaker, we do not need to be borrowing from the trust fund in order to give benefits to the superrich. I hope as the elections approach, the public will remember and vote for the Democratic Party which has always supported Social Security.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, October 6, I participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Museum in what in Chicago is fondly called Chinatown. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is known to many as the Father of the Chinese Revolution and the Father of the Republic of China because it was he who masterminded the plan to restore China to the common people which led to what is called the Republic of China today.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was born on November 12, 1866, in Hsiangshan County near the city of Canton in southern China where he had local schooling in traditional Chinese texts until he was 13 years old, when he then went to join his brother in Hawaii. In Hawaii, he studied at the missionary school and graduated from Oahu College. He then returned to China and began his medical studies at the College of Medicine for Chinese in Hong Kong and received his medical degree in 1892.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen practiced medicine briefly in Hong Kong in 1893, after which he became strongly involved in the political scene of China. It was in the midst of the war between the Boxer Rebellion and Europeans that Dr. Sun Yat-Sen started plans for his own revolution. In 1894, when he went to Beijing and discovered that the government had done little for the good of the people, he returned to Hawaii where he organized the Review China Society for his revolutionary purpose. A branch was established
in Hong Kong as an agricultural study society; when plans were made to seize control of the government.
Unfortunately, the plans failed, which led to Dr. Sun's flight to Japan and later to London in 1896, where he was arrested and imprisoned for 12 days by the Chinese and later released. Dr. Sun did not let this stop him. He used his educational knowledge by spending time at the British Museum Library where he invented the ``Three People's Principles,'' his most important work, which later became the fundamental basis for the government in China.
He also advocated a ``five power constitution,'' which included the examination of unsorial branches in addition to the executive, legislative and judicial branches for purposes of control. When he returned to Japan from Europe in 1905, he formed another revolutionary society called the Tong Meng Hui, the ``Chinese Revolutionary League,'' which consisted of his former revolutionaries in Japan and young Chinese intellectuals studying in China at that time.
Dr. Sun's league's uprising of rebels and encouraging of people to speak out in Hunan Province led to political unrest in the Ching Dynasty under the control of the Emperor Pu Yi. Also, in the fall of 1911, his Tong Meng Hui League was involved in the important uprising in the Wuchang, where rebels seized control of the government, which led to that day being called the ``Double Ten Day,'' and led to the name change of China to the Republic of China.
In January of 1912, Dr. Sun returned to China where he was elected provisional President of the New Republic. It was during his reign that he transformed his revolutionary organization into a political party called the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang. In early 1913, his party won more seats than any rivals since China's first-ever national elections. Later that year he was forced into exile and married his second wife Soong Ching-Ling in 1914 in Japan.
Nevertheless, Dr. Sun never gave up hope for China because he assembled a government made up of his old party when he settled in Canton. He later allied with the Communist International of Moscow due to the need for military supplies and advisers to strengthen his political organization, so that he would be able to break the hold of individual military leaders in south China and create a new unified government with forces in north China.
It was on his way to meet with the northern militarists that he fell ill and died in Beijing in March of 1925 due to an inoperable liver cancer. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's corpse became a complex political symbol, with his body being preserved and kept at a temple on the outskirts of Beijing, where people from all walks of life, including generals and political figures, came to pay homage to him.
His Kuomintang Party, after their victory about 20 years later, honored him by building a gigantic mausoleum near the capital of Nanjig, where they buried him, which made his burial an event of political enshrinement.
Mr. Speaker, I commend the community of Chinese-Americans in Chicago for establishing the Sun Yat-Sen Museum at 2245 South Wentworth Avenue.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I only plan to take about 10 minutes of the hour this evening, and I rise to discuss matters in two foreign countries. The matters are unrelated but are of a great deal of concern to me. First, I would like to turn to Cuba and then, later, to Northern Ireland.
Mr. Speaker, I wanted to draw attention once again to the continued denial of peaceable efforts to bring Democratic reforms on the Island of Cuba. Early this year, over 11,000 citizens of Cuba took a courageous stand and petitioned the Cuban National Assembly to hold a nationwide referendum vote on guarantees of human rights and civil liberties. Named for the 19th century priest and Cuban independence hero, Padre Felix Varela, the Varela Project was the first ever peaceful challenge to Castro's
four-decade-long control of the island.
During his visit to the island, former President and now Nobel Peace prize winner Jimmy Carter spoke about the Project on Cuban television. Because Varela received no attention from the Castro government press, this marked the first time many on the island heard of the Project.
Shortly after Carter's speech, Castro organized mass island-wide demonstrations as a sign of ``so-called'' support for the Cuban socialist system of government. Castro then started his own ``petition,'' forcing almost all of Cuba's voting population to sign in support of an amendment to the Cuban constitution mandating the current government structure as ``untouchable.'' [Page: H8019]
And yet Cuban officials, in the very few times they have responded to questions about Varela, called Oswaldo Paya and other organizers insignificant and have ignored their constitutional duty to respond to the petition.
In a recent article in the New York Times, Paya responded by saying, ``This may not be of statistical importance, and it may not be understood well outside Cuba, but as a sign it had great value and the government understood that well. The key to the Varela Project is the personal and spiritual liberation of people. No more masks. The regime did not respond, it fled.''
Mr. Speaker, despite receiving extensive international attention for his efforts, life in Cuba has not been easy for Paya. Paya has received numerous obscene phone calls and has been subject to government surveillance. He was denied permission to travel to the United States to receive an award from the National Democratic Institute in Washington. And during the week he would have traveled, someone defaced his front door with red paint.
Other human rights leaders in Cuba connected to the Project have fared even worse. The president of the Human Rights Foundation, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leyva, is in jail and faces a possible 6-year sentence for official disrespect and resisting arrest, among other charges, after protesting the arrest of an independent journalist in March. His group had been active in collecting signatures for the Varela Project petition.
Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, a psychologist in Santa Clara, said this week he expected he might face criminal charges for his endorsing the Varela Project at a local meeting last month where officials discussed scheduled National Assembly elections.
Paya has said the government's referendum, as well as the harassment of the Project's supporters, only further reflect the need for change in Cuba. To that end, Paya and other opposition figures continue to collect signatures and have formed a civic committee to direct the drive, stating that they wanted it to be a nonpartisan project to demand fundamental rights like freedom of expression, the right to own private businesses, electoral reform, and amnesty for political prisoners.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to conclude talking about Cuba tonight and the Varela Project with one final note from the New York Times article I mentioned earlier. In response to foreign visitors that have suggested that things in Cuba were not as bad as in other Latin American countries that are plagued by poverty, corruption, and violence, Paya said only this, and I quote: ``They ask if we are ready for change. What people are never ready for is oppression.''
Once again I commend all those involved in the Varela Project, and I will continue to speak out in favor of the Project until the Cuban government responds in some way.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I would also like to turn briefly to Northern Ireland this evening because of my great concern about events over the last 2 weeks. I would like to initially urge British Prime Minister Tony Blair to take serious steps in preserving the peace in Northern
Ireland. Mr. Blair must take immediate actions to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement does not fall apart.
Mr. Speaker, as you may know, on Monday, October 14, Prime Minister Blair suspended the power-sharing government of Northern Ireland. It is important that the agreement and the devolved institutions are reinstituted as soon as possible. The Good Friday Accords, and more specifically the participation of all parties in the Belfast assembly power-sharing government, are the only real solution to lasting peace in Northern Ireland.
The only way for the agreements and power-sharing institutions to succeed, however, is for the Unionists to immediately accept equality amongst all citizens and parties in the north. The Protestant ruling parties must cease their stall tactics and work within the confines of the agreement to create a government that will be representative of all residents of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland must also immediately implement all the Patten Commission's recommendations. The north must provide its citizens with a full, fair, and just reform of their police service. The PSNI, Police Service of Northern Ireland, must be representative of all ethnic, religious, and political groups in Northern Ireland. Prime Minister Blair should immediately demand the full implementation of the Patten police recommendations and ensure that Northern Ireland has a police service that is
representative of all parties involved.
Mr. Speaker, I am quite worried that the Good Friday Agreement is hanging by a thread. These historic accords, which have shown the world that two parties which have battled for centuries can come up with an agreed-upon solution, are the only real way to preserve peace in Northern Ireland. And I once again urge Prime Minister Blair to reinstitute the Belfast Assembly and take immediate action on the Patten Commission's recommendations on policing.
It is my hope these historic accords can be salvaged and a real and lasting peace will be preserved.