3:03 PM EST

Mike Conaway, R-TX 11th

Mr. CONAWAY. I thank the gentleman from Maryland, the Democratic whip, for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the House is not in session. On Tuesday, the House will meet at noon for morning-hour and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-hour and noon for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business tomorrow.

Today, in a strong bipartisan vote, the House passed a bill to provide the administration with the authority to extend loan guarantees to the government in Ukraine, and I want to thank the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer) for his support, along with Chairman Hal Rogers and Ranking Member Nita Lowey. I urge the Senate to act promptly on this bill and send it to the President for his signature.

Building upon this support, I expect the House to consider a resolution under suspension next week to express our support for the people of Ukraine and their territorial integrity.

In addition, the House will consider a number of bills to address the executive overreach of the Obama administration. Mr. Speaker, these bills are designed to restore the balance of power created by our Founders and require that this President faithfully execute our Nation's laws. The House will consider the following bills to reestablish the rule of law:

H.R. 3973, the Faithful Execution of Law Act, authored by Representative Ron DeSantis, to require Federal officials to report to Congress when the administration fails to faithfully enforce current law;

H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE Act, sponsored by Representative Trey Gowdy, to establish procedures under which the House, or the Senate, may authorize a lawsuit against the executive branch for failure to faithfully execute laws; and

H.R. 3189, the Water Rights Protection Act, authored by Representative Scott Tipton, to ensure privately held water rights.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, as you know, the patch for the Medicare sustainable growth rate expires at the end of the month. For this reason, I expect the House to consider H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, sponsored by Representative Michael Burgess, next week. This completely paid-for bill will replace the flawed SGR formula.

3:06 PM EST

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for the information he has given to us.

Let me say that on Ukraine, I think the House acted properly. It acted in a timely fashion to express the views of this House with respect to the Russian violation of international law and the agreements that they have with Ukraine, and I am pleased we were able to join together to pass that through the House. Hopefully the Senate will pass it quickly.

I just make the observation that the Senate I know believes that the reform of IMF will be important to work with that extension. We will see what happens on that. I thank the gentleman and his side of the aisle for acting promptly. We were pleased to join in that action.

Let me ask the gentleman, the gentleman mentioned as we know that by March 31 the authorization for the sustainable growth rate payment will expire and the payment to physicians for Medicare services will be substantially reduced under present law. There is, I think, a strong feeling by many of us that this needs to be fixed. It needs to be fixed permanently, and it needs to be paid for.

It is my understanding that the bill H.R. 4015, a bipartisan agreement on the SGR payment policy, as the gentleman knows, does not have a pay-for in it. Is it my understanding that that will be amended before it is brought to the floor, or will there be an amendment on the floor to add the pay-for?

I yield to the gentleman

3:07 PM EST

Mike Conaway, R-TX 11th

Mr. CONAWAY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

We all are concerned about the SGR fix. We have seen this movie more than four, five, six times. Physicians were in town this week explaining to us exactly the impact of not getting this done on time, so that their billing systems and their cash flows are not interrupted. We have a keen interest in small businesses, which are most physician offices, so there is a keen interest to do that. That will be amended on the floor to include the pay-for that will offset the SGR.

3:08 PM EST

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. So before it comes to the floor, it will be paid for.

I ask the gentleman, it is my understanding that the pay-for, I don't know if I am accurate on this, but my understanding is that the pay-for is the repeal of the individual mandate. If so, can the gentleman tell me whether he has any indication that the Senate would be in agreement on that, and I say that because obviously there hasn't been agreement in the past, and if we use that as a pay-for, it seems to me it puts at risk meeting the March 31 deadline.

3:08 PM EST

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. So before it comes to the floor, it will be paid for.

I ask the gentleman, it is my understanding that the pay-for, I don't know if I am accurate on this, but my understanding is that the pay-for is the repeal of the individual mandate. If so, can the gentleman tell me whether he has any indication that the Senate would be in agreement on that, and I say that because obviously there hasn't been agreement in the past, and if we use that as a pay-for, it seems to me it puts at risk meeting the March 31 deadline.

3:09 PM EST

Mike Conaway, R-TX 11th

Mr. CONAWAY. The specifics of the pay-for have not yet been finalized. There are lots of things under consideration. We, too, want this done in advance of the March 31 date so, like I said earlier, physician offices can continue their billing as is without the interruption that a failure to extend or fix the doc fix would cause. We are keen on making that work, and the specifics of what the pay-for will be are currently under discussion.

3:09 PM EST

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman, and I would say I am hopeful in light of the fact that the bill itself is a bipartisan, or at least the two committees have agreed on it, and I think there is general agreement on the fix for the SGR, but the pay-fors have been contentious. I would hope that, as the bill has been a product of agreement, that the pay-for, which is essential, would also be a product of that. I would hope we would see a bill come to the floor that does have agreement of both sides

of the aisle so we can, as the gentleman points out and we fully agree, ensure that the SGR is fixed and put on a sustainable path for our Medicare and for the provider community prior to March 31. I would hope that could happen.

Next, I don't know whether the gentleman has watched colloquies in the past, but the majority leader and I have had an ongoing discussion about immigration reform. Both of us believe [Page: H2245]

the immigration system is broken. Both of us believe it needs to be fixed. Can the gentleman tell me whether there is any likelihood of an immigration bill coming to the floor anytime soon? Again, we have a relatively short period of time left to go, and we believe this

legislation is one of the most important pieces that are pending on the agenda, and I would be, as I told the majority leader, very inclined to try to work with the majority on behalf of the minority, and I know the minority would like to get an immigration reform bill that we can both agree on passed as soon as possible.

I yield to my friend.

3:12 PM EST

Mike Conaway, R-TX 11th

Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 10, 2014, and that the order of the House of January 7, 2014, regarding morning-hour debate not apply on that date.

3:13 PM EST

Scott Perry, R-PA 4th

Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, recently recorded in political dialogue was a statement about one of my colleagues somehow feeling that his military service ``entitled him to a seat in Congress.''

Mr. Speaker, no one in the military feels that their service entitles them to anything. I am deeply disappointed in the implication that because I served my country, I feel entitled to serve in this esteemed body--or, for that matter, to anything. My colleague didn't pledge an oath of service to God and country because he felt he would get something in return.

Mr. Speaker, this type of statement not only is regrettable, reprehensible, and offensive, but it diminishes the sanctity of military service and those who tirelessly and selflessly dedicate themselves to it.

END

3:13 PM EST

Scott Perry, R-PA 4th

Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, recently recorded in political dialogue was a statement about one of my colleagues somehow feeling that his military service ``entitled him to a seat in Congress.''

Mr. Speaker, no one in the military feels that their service entitles them to anything. I am deeply disappointed in the implication that because I served my country, I feel entitled to serve in this esteemed body--or, for that matter, to anything. My colleague didn't pledge an oath of service to God and country because he felt he would get something in return.

Mr. Speaker, this type of statement not only is regrettable, reprehensible, and offensive, but it diminishes the sanctity of military service and those who tirelessly and selflessly dedicate themselves to it.

END

3:14 PM EST

Tammy Duckworth, D-IL 8th

Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate for veterans is more than 10 percent. 900,000 veterans receive food stamps each month. Nearly $104 million in food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries in fiscal year 2013, yet the majority has repeatedly failed to bring the extension of unemployment insurance to a vote.

Since it expired last year, more than 2 million individuals, including 200,000 veterans, have been cut off from this vital lifeline.

I know firsthand how important this program is for hardworking veterans. After I completed flight school and returned home to Illinois, I relied on unemployment insurance to help me transition back to civilian life.

The unemployment rate for veterans recently separated from the military is now sitting at 10 percent. 246,000 veterans who served since 9/11 are now out of work.

For those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, this transition has been especially challenging. They have enough to worry about without suffering from cuts to unemployment insurance.

Taking an up-or-down vote on extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do, Mr. Speaker. We need to renew this for those searching for jobs and those who are getting back on their feet.

Our veterans and unemployed have not given up on finding work, and we cannot give up on them.

END

3:14 PM EST

Tammy Duckworth, D-IL 8th

Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate for veterans is more than 10 percent. 900,000 veterans receive food stamps each month. Nearly $104 million in food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries in fiscal year 2013, yet the majority has repeatedly failed to bring the extension of unemployment insurance to a vote.

Since it expired last year, more than 2 million individuals, including 200,000 veterans, have been cut off from this vital lifeline.

I know firsthand how important this program is for hardworking veterans. After I completed flight school and returned home to Illinois, I relied on unemployment insurance to help me transition back to civilian life.

The unemployment rate for veterans recently separated from the military is now sitting at 10 percent. 246,000 veterans who served since 9/11 are now out of work.

For those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, this transition has been especially challenging. They have enough to worry about without suffering from cuts to unemployment insurance.

Taking an up-or-down vote on extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do, Mr. Speaker. We need to renew this for those searching for jobs and those who are getting back on their feet.

Our veterans and unemployed have not given up on finding work, and we cannot give up on them.

END

3:14 PM EST

Tammy Duckworth, D-IL 8th

Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate for veterans is more than 10 percent. 900,000 veterans receive food stamps each month. Nearly $104 million in food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries in fiscal year 2013, yet the majority has repeatedly failed to bring the extension of unemployment insurance to a vote.

Since it expired last year, more than 2 million individuals, including 200,000 veterans, have been cut off from this vital lifeline.

I know firsthand how important this program is for hardworking veterans. After I completed flight school and returned home to Illinois, I relied on unemployment insurance to help me transition back to civilian life.

The unemployment rate for veterans recently separated from the military is now sitting at 10 percent. 246,000 veterans who served since 9/11 are now out of work.

For those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, this transition has been especially challenging. They have enough to worry about without suffering from cuts to unemployment insurance.

Taking an up-or-down vote on extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do, Mr. Speaker. We need to renew this for those searching for jobs and those who are getting back on their feet.

Our veterans and unemployed have not given up on finding work, and we cannot give up on them.

END

3:15 PM EST

Jim McGovern, D-MA 2nd

Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, criticize our Nation's antipoverty programs. Some want to drastically change them, and others want to eliminate them altogether. Over the past 6 months, we have seen $19 billion in cuts to SNAP alone, our Nation's premier antihunger program.

Participation in SNAP reached an all-time high a few years ago because of the Great Recession, the worst economic period since the Great Depression. That is because people were either unemployed or underpaid.

If you want to reduce SNAP participation, it is simple: put more people back to work and better paying jobs. Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report showing how easy one step is. They found that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would move about 3.5 million people off of SNAP, simply because they wouldn't need it.

We shouldn't arbitrarily cut antipoverty programs like SNAP. We must make commonsense changes like increasing the minimum wage if we are truly going to end hunger in this country.

END

3:16 PM EST

Jim McGovern, D-MA 2nd

Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, criticize our Nation's antipoverty programs. Some want to drastically change them, and others want to eliminate them altogether. Over the past 6 months, we have seen $19 billion in cuts to SNAP alone, our Nation's premier antihunger program.

Participation in SNAP reached an all-time high a few years ago because of the Great Recession, the worst economic period since the Great Depression. That is because people were either unemployed or underpaid.

If you want to reduce SNAP participation, it is simple: put more people back to work and better paying jobs. Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report showing how easy one step is. They found that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would move about 3.5 million people off of SNAP, simply because they wouldn't need it.

We shouldn't arbitrarily cut antipoverty programs like SNAP. We must make commonsense changes like increasing the minimum wage if we are truly going to end hunger in this country.

END

3:19 PM EST

John Barrow, D-GA 12th

Mr. BARROW of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Department of Energy's recent loan guarantee for Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia. Plant Vogtle is the first nuclear power plant built in the United [Page: H2246]

States in almost 3 decades, and I am proud to represent the district where our Nation's nuclear renaissance has begun.

Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported the expanded use of nuclear power as part of a comprehensive energy policy. Plant Vogtle will not only provide safe, reliable energy for Georgians, but it will also create the kind of good-paying jobs that we need.

The expansion of Plant Vogtle will create 5,000 jobs at the height of construction and 800 permanent jobs after construction is complete.

The Federal Government's guarantee is expected to save Georgia electric customers nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in interest expense--a direct dollar-for-dollar savings for Georgia customers, Georgia workers, and Georgia businesses.

This is exactly the sort of investment the Federal Government should be making. At virtually no risk to the Federal taxpayer, we save money for Georgia taxpayers as they pay for the infrastructure that will create good-paying jobs that support the lifestyles of virtually everyone else in the Georgia economy.

I commend all of the stakeholders for coming to this agreement, and I look forward to all of the good things that it will lead to.

END

3:21 PM EST

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, with great sympathy and sadness, I rise to pay tribute to the late Dr. Lafayette Fernandez Chaney, Sr., the extraordinary leader who touched the lives of many through his education and religious endeavors.

Under his leadership, Damascus Missionary Baptist Church in Houston experienced tremendous growth, both spiritually and financially. The beloved Rev. Dr. Chaney was requested to join our Lord on Friday, February 28, 2014; and he was 96 years old.

He gained his bachelor of arts and his bachelor of divinity from Paul Quinn, got a master of arts degree from Texas Southern University, studied for his doctorate at Baylor, and received his doctorate from Texas Southern University.

He was a teacher. He taught mathematics and science at Moore High School. He taught it in Waco at the Oakwood Elementary School. He taught at Waltrip Senior High School. He loved children.

He was someone who was a builder. He had professional memberships in a lot of educational associations. He was pastor at a number of churches, but his greatest gift and his greatest cherished memory was the pastorship for 50 years at Damascus Missionary Baptist Church.

Even when the church was without a home and he had to hold the congregation together to help build the beautiful church that we have, he was there to support and grow that church.

He, as well, was someone who enjoyed leadership in a variety of organizations and was courageous enough to appoint the first female minister at the Damascus Missionary Baptist Church, Evangelist LaSandra Easter.

I enjoyed, Mr. Speaker, my time with Pastor Chaney and visiting him at his last church commemoration--his anniversary and the church anniversary. It was my pleasure to be with him to share in the glory of the celebration of his wonderful life. He has run a great race. He has finished the course. He has gone on to receive his great reward.

I ask this body to have a moment of silence in his honor.

Thank you, Reverend Chaney, for being a great Houstonian and a great Texan and, yes, a great American.

3:21 PM EST

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, with great sympathy and sadness, I rise to pay tribute to the late Dr. Lafayette Fernandez Chaney, Sr., the extraordinary leader who touched the lives of many through his education and religious endeavors.

Under his leadership, Damascus Missionary Baptist Church in Houston experienced tremendous growth, both spiritually and financially. The beloved Rev. Dr. Chaney was requested to join our Lord on Friday, February 28, 2014; and he was 96 years old.

He gained his bachelor of arts and his bachelor of divinity from Paul Quinn, got a master of arts degree from Texas Southern University, studied for his doctorate at Baylor, and received his doctorate from Texas Southern University.

He was a teacher. He taught mathematics and science at Moore High School. He taught it in Waco at the Oakwood Elementary School. He taught at Waltrip Senior High School. He loved children.

He was someone who was a builder. He had professional memberships in a lot of educational associations. He was pastor at a number of churches, but his greatest gift and his greatest cherished memory was the pastorship for 50 years at Damascus Missionary Baptist Church.

Even when the church was without a home and he had to hold the congregation together to help build the beautiful church that we have, he was there to support and grow that church.

He, as well, was someone who enjoyed leadership in a variety of organizations and was courageous enough to appoint the first female minister at the Damascus Missionary Baptist Church, Evangelist LaSandra Easter.

I enjoyed, Mr. Speaker, my time with Pastor Chaney and visiting him at his last church commemoration--his anniversary and the church anniversary. It was my pleasure to be with him to share in the glory of the celebration of his wonderful life. He has run a great race. He has finished the course. He has gone on to receive his great reward.

I ask this body to have a moment of silence in his honor.

Thank you, Reverend Chaney, for being a great Houstonian and a great Texan and, yes, a great American.

3:25 PM EST

John P. Sarbanes, D-MD 3rd

Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the issue of money [Page: H2247]

and politics. I address it knowing that many of my constituents and many Americans across the country are in a pretty bad mood about Washington, about politics as usual, about Congress.

They are angry because they feel like their voice can't be heard. They are frustrated because they feel like somebody else writes the rules, somebody else makes the policy, and their opinions on issues don't matter.

A big part of the reason for that frustration and that anger is they look out and they see these super-PACs and other Big Money campaign donors and PACs and special interests pouring money into Washington, pouring money into our political system.

They feel like those are the folks that call the shots here in Washington, that when it comes time for us to make public policy, too often the institution of Congress leans in the direction of the Big Money and the special interests and away from the priorities and the needs and the concerns and the demands of everyday citizens.

People are pretty smart. Americans are pretty smart. If they are feeling this way, there is probably a good reason for it. When you do the research, when you track the numbers, when you look at the amount of money that is pouring in here, it is no wonder that Americans have become cynical and angry and fed up and disillusioned. It is no wonder that the favorability rating--the approval rating of this institution is as low as it is.

Let's look at some of those numbers. In the 2012 election cycle, Big Energy--the big energy industry poured $140 million into Congressional campaigns. That is in one election cycle. They spent another $380 million on lobbying expenditures here in the city of Washington, here on Capitol Hill.

Wall Street, they were at the top of the list. Again, in one election cycle, in the 2012 election cycle, the financial industry contributed $660 million to Congressional campaigns and spent another $490 million--almost a half a billion dollars--on lobbying up here on Capitol Hill.

Sometimes, we ask ourselves--and I know my constituents ask me, and I know Americans raise this from time to time--how is it the case that an industry like the oil and gas industry in 2011 posted profits--the top five oil and gas companies posted profits of $132 billion?

How is it that an industry like that continues to get taxpayer subsidies every year to the tune of $5 billion? How are they able to preserve that loophole when they are making all those profits and they don't need that taxpayer subsidy? How does that come to pass?

Well, I just read you the numbers. If you are pouring $140 million into campaigns and you are spending another $380 million on lobbying, you can keep those loopholes in place.

Why can't we close some of these loopholes that Wall Street and the financial industry enjoys? The same answer applies. Look at how much influence is coming from the money that pours in from those industries.

When Americans feel in their gut that somehow their voice isn't being heard and it is the interests of Big Money that rules the roost around here, there is a factual basis for that, and it is something that we need to address.

[Time: 15:30]

Whatever the priority is that Americans care about--whether it is jobs and the budget, whether it is health care and education, whether it is protecting our environment, whether it is reining in the influence of Wall Street and making sure that important regulations are in place--whatever the priority is that Americans want to see, the fact of the matter is that Big Money gets in the way of those priorities. It pours into campaigns; it pours into lobbying shops; and it stops often coming out

of the gate these priorities that everyday Americans put at the top of their lists. It is no wonder that so many Americans are fed up. In fact, when you talk to them, when you get them to start talking about how they really feel, the fact of the matter is that many are downright disgusted by the influence that Big Money has on our politics and on our government.

We have got figure out what to do about this. If we want to reclaim some of the trust of the American people, if we want Americans to have confidence that their government is actually working for them, we have got to address this problem. The first step to any recovery is to recognize the problem, and the fact of the matter is that the institution of Congress is too dependent upon Big Money and special interests. As a result, when it comes time to make public policy, it leans away from the public's

interest and in the direction of the special interests.

So what can we do?

A month ago, joined by 128 original cosponsors, I introduced the Government by the People Act. This is a first step. This will not cure all of the ills that bedevil Congress and Washington, and it is not waving a magic wand, but it is an important first step in Americans' being able to say: We want to take our government back from the special interests and Big Money. We want our government to work for us.

The Government by the People Act is premised on the idea that we have to put ordinary Americans--everyday citizens--at the center of the funding of campaigns and take that away from the PACs and the special interests and the Big Money campaign donors. The fact that we had so many cosponsors on this bill at the point of introduction, I think, shows that Members of this institution are hearing from their constituents and understand the anger and frustration that is out there and recognize that

they need to do something about it. Let me tell you about the Government by the People Act because it is really designed to make sure that the voices of everyday citizens are as powerful as the voices of the Big Money campaign donors.

The first thing it does is to provide a $25 tax credit, what we are calling the My Voice Tax Credit--a $25 refundable tax credit--to any American who makes a contribution to a congressional campaign in both of the 2 years of the election cycle.

Now, why did we do that?

If you look at the numbers right now, you will see that a very small percentage of Americans actually participates in the funding of campaigns. The funding is dominated by a small group that tends to be of the more wealthy citizens in society, and ordinary Americans out there are not getting into the role of helping to power campaigns on the funding side. We want to encourage them to do that. We want to say to those citizens who want to support a good candidate who is turning to them and listening

to their concerns: If you are willing to put $15 or $20 or $25 behind that candidate who stands for the right thing, we will help you do that. We will provide this tax credit to make it a little bit easier for you to step up and be a part of the solution.

So the My Voice Tax Credit does exactly that. It gives a voice back to everyday citizens who feel right now like their voices can't be heard, like they are not empowered to participate in the system, to participate in the solution. That is why we created the My Voice Tax Credit, and that is the first important element of the Government by the People Act.

The second is that we want to make sure that the voice of the everyday citizen can be loud enough to compete with the big money out there, so we created something called the Freedom From Influence Matching Fund. This would provide matching dollars that would come in behind those grassroots donations and boost them up--amplify the voice of the grassroots--so that now those everyday citizens can get the attention of candidates or of Members of Congress who might otherwise be inclined to go spend

their time on K Street or on raising money from Big Money campaign donors. Now they have an incentive to go do a house party back in their districts and raise small donations, knowing that those matching funds will come in behind it, and they will be able to raise sufficient dollars to run competitive campaigns.

So we combine those two elements to try to change the way campaigns are funded--the My Voice Tax Credit to promote those small donations, those grassroots donations, and the Freedom From Influence Matching Funds to come in behind it and amplify it so the voices of everyday people can actually be heard, can actually compete with the megaphone that Big Money has and special interests have. That is what the Government by the People Act is designed to do--to empower everyday [Page:

H2248]

citizens to really have a voice again in their own democracy.

The third piece is just as critical. Over the last two election cycles, Americans have seen the spending by super-PACs and by outside groups go through the roof, and they have been turned off by it. They know that there are good candidates who run for office who make a strong case on issues that matter to the public but that they get into those last 60 days--the home stretch of a campaign--and suddenly a super-PAC comes in and pours money into negative advertising, and before you know it that

candidate's voice is wiped off the playing field. So we said that, in that home stretch--in those 60 days--we wanted to make sure, of a candidate who chooses to participate in this system, who chooses to reach out to everyday citizens and lift their voices up, that that candidate's own voice would be able to stay in the mix, because that

candidate's voice represents the voices of thousands of small donors and other supporters who have stepped up behind him. So, in the last 60 days, candidates who choose to participate in this system would get the benefit of some additional dollars to help them stay in the game, to help keep their voices in the mix, up to Election Day.

There is evidence, Mr. Speaker, to show that, of candidates who work hard to reach out and build relationships with their constituents, if they can get enough dollars in that final stage to stay in the game--to keep their voices there, to keep representing the interests of everyday citizens--then even if a super-PAC or some outside group comes in and throws a lot of money at them, they can still prevail. That is the way it ought to be. Candidates who are doing the right thing--Members of Congress

who are trying to serve their constituents and lift up the voices of their constituents--ought to be able to survive the process where some outside group is coming in and trying to wipe them off the face of the map.

So those are the three pieces of the Government by the People Act--the My Voice Tax Credit to encourage and help everyday citizens participate on the funding

side of campaigns, a Freedom From Influence Matching Fund that will come in behind that and provide matching dollars to amplify the voices of the grassroots and everyday citizens, and then some extra dollars in that final stretch for participating candidates who suddenly face an attack from a super-PAC or from some other outside group so that their voices and the voices of the people they represent, who have invested in them, can still be heard.

I have talked about why this is so important in terms of changing the perception that Americans have of Washington and Congress, the notion that if everyday citizens feel that Members of Congress can continue to represent them because they are the ones who powered their campaigns instead of the special interests and Big Money being the ones to underwrite their campaigns that that can begin to restore some confidence. It won't change it overnight--it won't cure all the ills of this place--but

it will begin to restore some confidence on the part of everyday citizens that their voices can actually be heard here, that when the campaign is over and governing begins, this institution will continue to listen to them because they are the ones who helped to lift that candidate up on his shoulders.

I want to come at it from another angle for a moment. If you have a system like this that allows a good, strong candidate who knows how to reach out and network in his district to be competitive, you will see a different kind of person coming to Washington. Right now, more than half of the people who serve in Congress are millionaires. That is not surprising because, to run for office, you need a lot of money, and you need to know a lot of people who have a lot of money--that is the reality--but

if you have a system where small donors and matching funds can lift up a candidate and power his campaign, you will get people running for Congress and being competitive who in the past would never have had a chance.

I was recently in Maine or in New Hampshire, and I sat on a panel with a legislator from Maine. In Maine, they have a system that helps candidates who reach out to the grassroots be able to assemble the funds to be competitive. This legislator said, but for that system, she would not be a member of the Maine State Legislature because she wouldn't have been able to raise the dollars she needed to run for office and represent the people in her district, but because a system like that existed, she

is now in the Maine State Legislature.

I believe that we would see people competing for Congress and succeeding and being elected who right now have no way to access this place, and those are the kinds of people who represent the broad American constituency. Another way to begin restoring people's faith in this institution is if they look here and they say: Do you know what? There is somebody who is a community activist in my district. There is somebody who volunteered at my church who decided to get into politics, who decided to

put his name in the ring. Because there is a system for funding campaigns now that combines small donations with matching funds, that person was able to run and compete and be elected. I think that that will lift up many Americans and make them believe that their voices actually make a difference here, that their voices can be heard.

I want to put this in another context as well. There are many things that we can do to try to address the influence of Big Money in our politics. We need more disclosure and transparency in terms of where these independent expenditures are coming from. I support the DISCLOSE Act, which is sponsored by my colleague, Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, because Americans deserve to know where this big money comes from and who is spending it so they can make a judgment about whether

that is fair and whether the people to whom that money is going ought to be representing them here in Washington. We need that transparency and we need that disclosure. That is an important reform.

It is important also, I believe, to try to address the decisions of this Supreme Court, in particular the Citizens United decision, which basically took the lid off of outside campaign spending and expenditures by these super-PACs and other independent groups, and has resulted in this flood of negative campaign commercials and advertising to come in in the final weeks and months of the campaign cycle.

[Time: 15:45]

So we need to address that.

There are proposals that have been introduced in this body for a constitutional amendment that would rein in the spending of these outside groups. I think we need to address that, too. Those are important measures that we need to undertake. I also think it is critically important that there be something that is part of the reform agenda that has to do with empowering everyday citizens.

If you think about it, disclosure and putting limits on the spending of these outside groups and super PACs is about reining in the conduct and the behavior of the bad actors out there--the people who have kind of gone too far, but we also have to do something to empower and lift up the good actors--everyday citizens who just want to see their government do the right thing and who have commonsense solutions and want the people they elect to Congress to reflect that commonsense perspective.

That is why we need the Government by the People Act. It would create a system that would empower everyday citizens. It would allow them to feel that their voice is being heard and that they are not just standing back as observers watching the titans, the Big Money players, the super PACs sort of duking it out in the ring like two professional wrestlers, but that they can participate.

Everyday citizens could step in the ring and say, You know what? My voice is just as important as the voice of that big donor, and I demand to be heard. That is what that everyday citizen is saying. They want their voice to be heard, but we have got to give them a system that will allow for that.

We called this bill the Government by the People Act because when I, and others, listen to Americans across the country, we hear them saying, We are tired of a government that appears to be of, by, and for the special interests [Page: H2249]

and the Big Money. Put very simply, we want our government back. We want it back.

The Government by the People Act is an attempt to begin to change business as usual and to create a system that will give government back to the people that it is supposed to represent. That is our only path back to relevancy, in the eyes of the general public. That is our only path back to restoring a trust and confidence that we need as an institution in order to get things done, and let me tell you something: when it comes to relevancy and trust and confidence, we are hanging on by a thread

right now.

When you look at the polls and the surveys in terms of what people think about Washington, and they feel that the priorities of this place have become Big Money and special interests, in the minds of most Americans, our relevancy is hanging by a thread.

We need to do something. The Government by the People Act is a reform that can begin to reclaim government and democracy and the political system back for everyday citizens out there that are so frustrated with what is going on.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am optimistic. I am optimistic by nature. I think we can get this reform. When we introduced the bill, we had 128 cosponsors at the point of introduction. We have 140 as of today.

I think Members of this body themselves are at a point where they want to see something different. A lot of Members of Congress are exhausted by the current system. They wish they could raise money a different way. They wish they could run their campaigns and fund their campaigns by turning to the people they represent instead of having to chase the PAC money and the Big Money and the special interests all the time.

There is something wrong with an equation where people go into the voting booth, they pull the lever for you and send you to Washington to represent them, and the day you get to Washington, you have to start representing the Big Money and the special interests because that is the only way you can raise money to fund your campaign.

Let's think about it in those terms. What happens to the franchise when somebody gets here and they have to turn their back on the people who elected them because they have got to go raise the money from someplace else?

What if the place you went to power your campaigns was back to your constituents--everyday citizens--because you had a system that would match their small donations and be able to lift a candidate up and power them forward? That would change the way things operate around here.

I invite people listening to this to go back through the Congressional Record and read the statements of Members of the House and the Senate who announce their retirement and--sometimes within 24 hours--go to the floor of the Senate or the House and talk about the problem of money and politics and how corrosive it has become. Liberated finally from the current system by the fact that they have decided to move on, they are able to stand back and in a clear-eyed and candid way talk about

this problem of influence that comes from Big Money and special interests and what it is doing to this place.

I want to read you a quote because I think this really goes right to the heart of the matter. People are fed up with the gridlock and dysfunction here. We can connect a lot of that to this issue of money and politics.

Let me read you a quote from 1982:

When political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government. It is making it much more difficult to legislate. We may reach a point where if everybody is buying something with PAC money, we can't get anything done.

Do you know who said that in 1982? Robert Dole, the minority leader at that time and a Republican Member of the U.S. Senate. That was in 1982.

The influence of Big Money on our politics and on our governing has metastasized since then, but even then, on the front edge of this trend, Bob Dole could see what it would do to the institution, and he was lamenting it.

So a public that is upset about gridlock and dysfunction of this place needs a solution that will address the influence Big Money has here. Because that will help, I think, change the whole way in which we operate. Other Members have made similar comments, as I mentioned a moment ago.

So, Mr. Speaker, as I said, I am optimistic. I think we have a good piece of legislation. I think it goes to the heart and tries to address a lot of the cynicism that so many Americans have out there that their voice can't be heard.

I want to mention that we have at this stage over 40 national organizations who have gotten behind this legislation. This is a new development. We have had reform bills in the past--good ones--but they didn't have that kind of broad support from grassroots organizations across the country--civil rights groups like the NAACP; environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Green Peace; labor groups who have been out there trying to address the issues of working families, like CWA and others.

Why are they coming to this? Because they figured out what the American people have figured out. The good things they want to see when it comes to the environment or to creating jobs or to making sure people are treated fairly in this society, all those good things are being thwarted by the influence that Big Money has over the way this institution operates.

So they are coming to this fight now, saying, If we care about the environment, if we care about jobs, if we care about economic justice, we have to adopt reforming the way campaigns are funded as part of our own efforts.

Already, within the first 3 or 4 weeks since we introduced the bill, over 400,000 citizen cosponsors from across the country have signed petitions supporting the Government by the People Act because they understand that this reform is meaningful and will make a difference.

So I am optimistic that we can get this done. We are not going to get it done tomorrow. We are not going to get it done next week. But with the opportunity to channel in a constructive way some of this anger and cynicism and frustration that the American people are feeling right now that their voice is not heard, if we have a vehicle to channel that and organize it into a strong momentum, then when the opportunity presents itself to actually achieve this reform, I think we can do it.

I think that if we don't do it, Americans will finally turn away completely from this place and say, You can't help us any more.

That is what is at stake here: the relevancy of this institution and the relevancy of this, the people's House, to the people, and until we address the problem of the influence of Big Money over our system, we are not going to be able to reclaim the confidence and the trust of the American people.

So, Mr. Speaker, as I close, I wanted to tell the story of a person in my district. A couple of years ago, he came to one of my house parties. He is a longtime supporter of mine. He came up to me after the House party was over and said, Look, I would like to contribute $25 to your campaign.

He said, I can't do more than that. I can't afford more than that, but I would like to do it. I would be proud to do it. I just don't know if it will make a difference. Will it matter?

He was, I think, saying what many Americans are saying, which is, Do our voices count? Can we really compete with the Big Money out there? Is anybody listening to us?

That is what he was saying to me.

If we can pass legislation like the Government by the People Act and create a new way of funding our campaign that puts everyday citizens in the middle of the equation, make them the ones to sort of solve this problem for us, and empower them, then I will be able to say to constituents like that person who came up to me and was feeling marginalized by the current system, Not only are you relevant, not only is your voice important, your voice is the most important part of the way we power campaigns

in this country.

That is the message we need to send. That is the outreach we need to do.

So we can move with this legislation from a system of politics, a democracy that is too often of, by, and for the Big [Page: H2250]

Money campaign donors and the special interests, to a government that truly is of, by, and for the people.

I yield back the balance of my time.

END

4:02 PM EST

Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, this is March 6, and I want to talk about March 6 in a historical perspective, history that is very important that Americans know about.

Yesterday, on the House floor, I talked about the things that are going on in the Ukraine and compared Mr. Putin's aggressive actions toward Europe, similar to the actions of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Before I do that today, I would like to yield some time to two of our Members who have discussions on other issues. First, I would like to yield as much time as he wishes to consume on a different issue to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).

STUTTERING FOUNDATION

4:02 PM EST

Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, this is March 6, and I want to talk about March 6 in a historical perspective, history that is very important that Americans know about.

Yesterday, on the House floor, I talked about the things that are going on in the Ukraine and compared Mr. Putin's aggressive actions toward Europe, similar to the actions of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Before I do that today, I would like to yield some time to two of our Members who have discussions on other issues. First, I would like to yield as much time as he wishes to consume on a different issue to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).

STUTTERING FOUNDATION

4:03 PM EST

Frank R. Wolf, R-VA 10th

Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Texas for his courtesy.

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to discuss something very close to me. I want to talk about stuttering. I have been a lifelong stutterer, and when I was young I experienced some very difficult times, but that is a story really for another day.

More than 70 million people stutter. One in every 100 people in the world stutter. In the U.S., more than 3 million Americans stutter. You probably have a friend, a neighbor, a classmate, a coworker, or a family member who stutters. Most people do.

About 5 percent of all children go through a stuttering phase that lasts 6 months or more. Some will recover by late childhood, but one out of every 100 children will be left with long-term stuttering.

I would like to take this time to tell you a little bit more about stuttering, what it is and how family members and friends can help.

Stuttering is a disorder where the flow of speech is broken by repetition, prolongations, or abnormal stoppages of sounds and syllables. For some people, unusual facial and body movements may happen when they try to speak.

Stuttering is most likely caused by four factors:

One, Genetics;

Two, child development. For example, children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter;

Three, the makeup of the brain. An ongoing research study by Dr. Anne Smith with the Purdue University Stuttering Project shows that people who stutter seem to process speech and language differently than those who don't;

And four, lastly, family dynamics have an impact. High expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can also contribute to stuttering.

People who stutter are no different from those who do not stutter. In fact, studies by Dr. Ehud Yairi at the University of Illinois show that people who stutter are as intelligent and as well-adjusted as those who don't.

Contrary to what many people believe, stuttering can be treated. I want to let anyone know out there who stutters or who has a child who stutters, much can be done.

Speech-language pathologists, therapists trained to help deal with speech issues like stuttering often work in schools, clinics, at universities, and in private practice to help treat stuttering.

The most important thing, and many experts agree: early intervention is key. The earlier we can identify stuttering in our children and get them the help they need, the better chances we have at helping them to speak more fluently.

If you stutter, or if a child or loved one stutters, or if you even think they might be stuttering, get help immediately.

One of the best ways to help is by visiting the Stuttering Foundation. The foundation was started by Malcolm Fraser more than 70 years ago. His book, called ``Self-Therapy for the Stutterer,'' was originally published in 1978, and still is one of the best books on stuttering available.

You can visit the foundation's Web site at www.stutteringhelp.org. They have lots of well-trusted, expert information available for free, including Malcolm Fraser's book, as well as countless brochures and videos and other materials for parents and teachers.

Unfortunately, there is no instant miracle cure for stuttering, no surgery, no pills, no intensive weekend retreats. Stuttering takes time and effort and commitment to work through.

Some people outgrow it. Some people respond well to years of therapy and learn to speak fluently, with almost no trace of difficulty. For many others, stuttering becomes a lifelong struggle, as it has for me. [Page: H2251]

For those of us who stutter, and for the millions of parents with children who stutter, we all know stuttering becomes more challenging for teenagers. Kids can be tough on classmates who stutter and, for some, the teasing and the mocking can be too much.

We must help people who stutter understand that there are many people who know firsthand how difficult it is for someone who stutters, and that help is available.

We need to be patient, kind, understanding, and attentive. We need to know and show that we care.

If you stutter, let me just tell you something: Don't give up. So much can be done.

I thank the gentleman for giving me the time.

4:07 PM EST

Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, I believe history is something that we should remember and talk about.

Today, is March 6. It probably doesn't mean much to a lot of folks in the United States, but to those of us from the State of Texas, March 6 is an important day.

I want to put it in context. There are 3 important, very important days for those of us from Texas, March 2, March 6, and April 21, and I will get to the significance in just a moment.

Many, many years ago, parts of Texas, Mexico, Central America, and even South America, were controlled by the European country of Spain. It controlled all of that area.

The people of Mexico decided that they wanted to have their own independent country. It sounds familiar, does it not?

They rebelled against the Spanish, and they formed the Republic of Mexico. They established a Constitution. It was called the Constitution of 1824.

As sometimes happens with new democracies, the President takes over. His name was Santa Anna. Santa Anna, when he took power legally, constitutionally, under a democratic regime, did what some dictators, unfortunately, still do. He abolished the government. He abolished the Constitution of 1824. He created a centralist, authoritarian government.

But several areas, states, if you will, in Mexico dissented, objected, vocally objected, even rebelled. Those areas of Mexico were Coahuila y Tejas, the state of Coahuila and Texas; Durango; Jalisco; Nuevo Leon; Queretaro; San Luis Potosi; Tamaulipas; Yucatan; Zacatecas; and a couple of others.

Most of those areas, those states did nothing more than just object, dissent, and quickly Santa Anna moved

in to quell any disruption or disturbances.

But there were three of those areas that actually formed their own republics, if you will. There was the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of the Yucatan, and the Republic of Texas.

Santa Anna quickly, of course, moved to stop these new countries, if you will, areas, that were seeking independence from this totalitarian dictator named Santa Anna. As history has shown, they all failed--except the Republic of Texas.

That is what I would like to talk about this evening, Mr. Speaker. What happened in Texas was that the people objected, people of all races, both Tejanos--and Tejano is a uniquely Texan name; a Tejano is someone of Mexican or Spanish descent that is, or was, born in what is now Texas--and the Anglos as well dissented, objected to Santa Anna's imperialistic dictatorship.

It started over a cannon. In October of 1835, the Mexican government sent some military over to the little town of Gonzalez, Texas, and demanded that the colonists, the people there, give up their cannon, their arms, and they objected. They refused to do it, and so there was a skirmish between the Mexican regulars and the colonists who lived in Gonzalez.

Shots were fired on both sides. I don't know that anybody was really hurt too bad. A couple of folks were wounded. More importantly, the Mexican military left, and they did not get the cannon, and thus started the Texas War of Independence.

You may have heard of the flag, the Come and Take It flag. The Texians, as they called themselves, painted a cannon on a white background and wrote underneath it, ``Come and Take It,'' being defiant.

In any event, that started the battle. That started the Texas War of Independence against a dictator, a person who had abolished, remember, the Constitution of the Republic of Mexico.

Santa Anna then decided he would put down this rebellion, all of these rebellions that I talked about, and he successfully did so in other parts of Mexico, in those areas that I had mentioned. Then he moves across the Rio Grande River with three different armies coming into Texas to put down this so-called rebellion against his dictatorship.

So the first battles of Texas independence were successful, in 1835, October of 1835, and that brought us into 1836.

Success was not the norm in 1836. On March 2, 1836, 54 Texans, including Lorenzo De Zavala, Thomas Rusk, Antonio Navarro, and that famous person, Sam Houston, gathered not too far from San Antonio in a place called Washington-on-the-Brazos, declared their independence from Mexico, wrote a constitution, declaration of independence, rather, very similar to the American Declaration of Independence. It was signed by all of them on March 2, 1836.

Turned out March 2 also happens to be the birthday of Sam Houston. Imagine that. That is the first important date.

Meanwhile, assembled down the road from Texas, declaring independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos, were a group of volunteers. They were all together in this old, beat-up Spanish church that was 150 years old at the time. It was a town called Bear. We know it now as San Antonio.

The place that they assembled themselves to fight off the invasion of the dictator was the Alamo.

This is an artist sketch of the way the Alamo looked at the time that the 187 volunteers defended the place.

[Time: 16:15]

You will notice, Mr. Speaker, the flag that is flying over the Alamo was not what a lot of people think, the Lone Star flag, which was the flag of the Republic of Texas, the flag of Texas now. It is the flag of 1824. It is very similar to the Mexican flag.

But what the defenders had done was remove the Mexican eagle and put the number 1824. Why did they do that? Because when they went into the Alamo, what they were wanting--what they were trying to do was reestablish a constitutional government in Mexico, and they wanted the constitution of 1824. That is why that flag flew over the Alamo.

The people who entered the Alamo did so on February 23, 1826. They did so before March 2, before the declaration of independence, because they knew that the invaders were coming under the direction of the president, the dictator, and the general, Santa Anna.

It is interesting, these people who were in the Alamo, they were all volunteers, Mr. Speaker. They came from almost every State in the United States and 13 foreign countries, including Mexico; and I will just mention some of the States that they came from.

They came from Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, several from Massachusetts. They came from the State of Mississippi, Missouri, as far away as New Hampshire, New Jersey, several folks from New York, North Carolina, Ohio.

A great number came from Pennsylvania and, of course, South Carolina, even one from Rhode Island; and many, many came from the State of Tennessee. There were also native Texans in the Alamo, if you would refer to them as that; and they were the nine--at least nine Tejanos that fell in the Alamo. There may have been more. We don't know. There was also one from Vermont and several from Virginia.

They were also from foreign countries, Denmark, several from England, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, Wales, France, and some other countries as well.

Mr. Speaker, I will now place into the Record a list of the defenders who fell at the Alamo and the States or countries that they were from.

THE DEFENDERS OF THE ALAMO

1) Buchanan, James, Alabama; 2) Fishbaugh, William, Alabama; 3) Fuqua, Galba, Alabama; 4) White, Isaac, Alabama; 5) Baker, Isaac G., Arkansas; 6) Thompson, Jesse G., Arkansas; 7) Warnell, Henry, Arkansas; 8) Jennings, Gordon C., Connecticut; 9) Grimes, Albert (Alfred) Calvin, Georgia; 10) Melton, Eliel, Georgia; 11) Shied, Manson, [Page: H2252]

Georgia; 12) Wells, William, Georgia; 13) Wills, William, Georgia; 14) Lindley, Jonathan L., Illinois; 15) Bailey, Peter

James III, Kentucky; 16) Bowie, James, Kentucky; 17) Cloud, Daniel William, Kentucky; 18) Darst, Jacob C., Kentucky; 19) Davis John, Kentucky; 20) Fauntleroy, William H., Kentucky.

21) Gaston, John E., Kentucky; 22) Harris, John, Kentucky; 23) Jackson, William Daniel, Kentucky; 24) Jameson, Green B., Kentucky; 25) Kellogg, John Benjamin, Kentucky; 26) Kent, Andrew, Kentucky; 27) Rutherford, Joseph, Kentucky; 28) Thomas, B. Archer M., Kentucky; 29) Washington, Joseph G., Kentucky; 30) Despallier, Charles, Louisiana; 31) Kerr, Joseph, Louisiana; 32) Ryan, Isaac, Louisiana; 33) Garrand, James W., Louisiana; 34) Smith, Charles S., Maryland; 35) Flanders, John, Mass.; 36) Howell,

William D., Mass.; 37) Linn, William, Mass.; 38) Pollard, Amos. Mass.

39) Clark, M.B., Mississippi; 40) Millsaps, Isaac, Mississippi; 41) Moore, Willis A., Mississippi; 42) Pagan, George, Mississippi; 43) Parker, Christopher Adams, Mississippi; 44) Baker, William Charles M., Missouri;

45) Butler, George D., Missouri; 46) Clark, Charles Henry, Missouri; 47) Cottle, George Washington, Missouri; 48) Day, Jerry C., Missouri; 49) Tumlinson, George W., Missouri; 50) Cochran, Robert E., New Hampshire; 51) Stockton, Richard Lucius, New Jersey; 52) Cunningham, Robert W., New York; 53) Dewall, Lewis, New York; 54) Evans, Samuel B., New York; 55) Forsyth, John Hubbard, New York; 56) Jones, John, New York; 57) Tylee, James, New York.

58) Autry, Micajah, North Carolina; 59) Floyd, Dolphin Ward, North Carolina; 60) Parks, William, North Carolina; 61) Scurlock, Mial, North Carolina; 62) Smith, Joshua G., North Carolina; 63) Thomson, John W., North Carolina; 64) Wright, Claiborne, North Carolina; 65) Harrison, William B., Ohio; 66) Holland, Tapely, Ohio; 67) Musselman, Robert, Ohio; 68) Rose, James M., Ohio; 69) Ballentine, John J., Pennsylvania; 70) Brown, James Murry, Pennsylvania; 71) Cain (Cane), John, Pennsylvania; 72) Crossman,

Robert, Pennsylvania; 73) Cummings, David P., Pennsylvania; 74) Hannum, James, Pennsylvania; 75) Holloway, Samuel, Pennsylvania; 76) Johnson, William, Pennsylvania; 77) Kimble (Kimbell), George C., Pennsylvania; 78) McDowell, William, Pennsylvania; 79) Reynolds, John Purdy, Pennsylvania; 80) Thurston, John M., Pennsylvania; 81) Williamson, Hiram James, Pennsylvania; 82) Wilson, John, Pennsylvania.

83) Martin, Albert, Rhode Island; 84) Bonham, James Butler, South Carolina; 85) Crawford, Lemuel, South Carolina; 86) Neggan, George, South Carolina; 87) Nelson, Edward, South Carolina; 88) Nelson, George, South Carolina; 89) Simmons, Cleveland Kinloch, South Carolina;

90) Travis, William Barret, South Carolina; 91) Bayliss, Joseph, Tennessee; 92) Blair, John, Tennessee; 93) Blair, Samuel C., Tennessee; 94) Bowman, Jesse B., Tennessee; 95) Campbell, James (Robert), Tennessee; 96) Crockett, David, Tennessee; 97) Daymon, Squire, Tennessee; 98) Dearduff, William, Tennessee; 99) Dickinson, Almeron, Tennessee; 100) Dillard, John Henry, Tennessee; 101) Ewing, James L., Tennessee; 102) Garrett, James Girard, Tennessee.

103) Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Tennessee; 104) Haskell, Charles, M., Tennessee; 105) Hays, John M., Tennessee; 106) Marshall, William, Tennessee; 107) McCoy, Jesse, Tennessee; 108) McKinney, Robert, Tennessee; 109) Miller, Thomas R., Tennessee; 110) Mills, William, Tennessee; 111) Nelson, Andrew M., Tennessee; 112) Robertson, James Waters, Tennessee; 113) Smith, Andrew H., Tennessee; 114) Summerlin, A. Spain, Tennessee; 115) Summers, William E., Tennessee; 116) Taylor, Edward, Tennessee; 117)

Taylor, George, Tennessee; 118) Taylor, James, Tennessee; 119) Taylor, William, Tennessee; 120) Walker, Asa, Tennessee; 121) Walker, Jacob, Tennessee.

122) Abamillo, Juan, Texas; 123) Badillo, Juan Antonio, Texas; 124) Espalier, Carlos, Texas; 125) Esparza, Gregorio (Jose Maria), Texas; 126) Fuentes, Antonio, Texas; 127) Jimenez, Damacio, Texas; 128) King, William Phillip, Texas; 129) Lewis, William Irvine, Texas; 130) Lightfoot, William J., Texas; 131) Losoya, Jose Toribio, Texas; 132) Nava, Andres, Texas; 133) Perry, Richardson, Texas; 134) Andross, Miles Deforest, Vermont;

135) Allen, Robert, Virginia; 136) Baugh, John J., Virginia; 137) Carey, William R., Virginia; 138) Garnett, William, Virginia; 139) Goodrich, John Camp, Virginia; 140) Herndon, Patrick Henry, Virginia; 141) Kenny, James, Virginia; 142) Main, George Washington, Virginia; 143) Malone, William T., Virginia; 144) Mitchasson, Edward F., Virginia; 145) Moore, Robert B., Virginia; 146) Northcross, James, Virginia.

147) Zanco, Charles, Denmark; 148) Blazeby, William, England; 149) Bourne, Daniel, England; 150) Brown, George, England; 151) Dennison, Stephen (or Ireland), England; 152) Dimpkins, James R., England; 153) Gwynne, James C., England; 154) Hersee William Daniel, England; 155) Nowlan, James, England; 156) Sewell, Marcus L., England; 157) Starr, Richard, England; 158) Stewart, James E., England; 159) Waters, Thomas, England; 160) Wolfe, Anthony (Avram), England; 161) Wolfe, son age 12, England; 162)

Wolfe, son age 11, England.

163) Burns, Samuel E., Ireland; 164) Duvalt, Andrew, Ireland; 165) Evans, Robert, Ireland; 166) Hawkins, Joseph M., Ireland; 167) Jackson, Thomas, Ireland; 168) McGee, James, Ireland; 169) Rusk, Jackson J., Ireland; 170) Rusk, Jackson J., Ireland; 171) Ward, William B., Ireland; 172) Courtman, Henry, Germany; 173) Thomas, Henry, Germany; 174) Ballentine, Richard W., Scotland; 175) McGregor, John, Scotland; Robinson, Isaac, Scotland; 177) Wilson, David L., Scotland; 178) Johnson, Lewis, Wales;

179) Brown, Robert, France.

180) Day, Freeman H.K.; 181) Garvin, John E.; 182) George, James; 183) McCafferty, Edward; 184) Mitchell, William T.; 185) Mitchell, Napoleon B.; 186) Roberts, Thomas H.; 187) Smith, William H.; 188) Sutherland, William Depriest; 189) White, Robert; 190) John (last name unknown).

As I mentioned, they were all volunteers. They did not look like an army. They were everything from lawyers, doctors, shopkeepers, frontiersmen, adventurers, people who had served in other armies. They were all, though, freedom fighters who volunteered to go into the Alamo on February 23.

Commanding the Alamo was my favorite person in all of history, William Barret Travis. William Barret Travis was a lawyer. That is one reason I like him. I am a lawyer. But he was a 27-year-old individual, first born in South Carolina, raised in Alabama, and found his way to Texas; and he was a revolutionary. He wanted independence for the State of Texas--or the Republic of Texas.

He took command of the Alamo, and he sent out ``scouts''--would be the term--asking that people who lived in the area come to the Alamo and help defend the Alamo, fight against this imperialistic dictator, and get Texas independence.

He sent his best friend, who also came from South Carolina, Jim Bonham, out as a scout, along with others--Juan Seguin was one--trying to get folks to come to help out at the Alamo.

Unfortunately, only one small town responded in the affirmative, and that was Gonzales, Texas, where it all began. There were 32 volunteers from Gonzalez, all men--young men--primarily the entire population of Gonzales, Texas, marched from Gonzalez to the Alamo. They were the only reinforcements that were there.

Now, if you would, Mr. Speaker, think about frontier life, the harsh frontier where the male population--basically the entire male population of a small town leaves. They headed to the Alamo where they figured that they were not going to be able to return.

The ones that were left were those strong-willed frontier women and their children, who later had to forge their own history, absent their spouses--remarkable women, remarkable men who went to the Alamo.

It is said, in history, that when these 32 defenders showed up at the Alamo, Travis looked down and said to his friend: They came here to die.

Now, William Barret Travis, in his plea for help to go and fight for liberty, independence--as I told you, most of the folks did not go. They were there already, the ones that were going to fight. He sent out many dispatches, and he sent a letter asking the people to go to the Alamo.

I have a copy of that letter, and I have another copy on my wall in my office. I have had that since the days I was a prosecutor and a judge in Texas, and many other Members from Texas have what I think is the most passionate plea for liberty written by anybody anywhere in the world.

So you see the surroundings, 186 men surrounded by thousands of other enemies, military. Here is what he said in that letter, Mr. Speaker. It is dated February 24, 1836, at the Alamo.

To all the people of Texas, fellow citizens, and compatriots, I am besieged with 1,000 or more of the enemy under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continuous bombardment and cannon fire for over 24 hours, but I have not lost a man.

The enemy has demanded surrender at its discretion. Otherwise, the fort will be put to the sword. I have answered that demand with a cannon shot, and the flag still waves proudly over the wall. I shall never surrender. I shall never retreat. I call upon you in the name of liberty, patriotism, and everything dear to our character to come to my aid with all dispatch.

If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself for as long as possible and die like a soldier that never forgets what is due his honor and that of his country.

Victory or death, William Barret Travis, commander of the Alamo.

We all know what happened later. He and his fellow freedom fighters were killed. Some historians say that before [Page: H2253]

it was impossible to leave the Alamo, William Barret Travis brought the whole group--garrison, 186 volunteers, drew a line in the sand and said: if you are with me, cross the line.

Everybody crossed. They had the opportunity to leave, but they did not.

After 13 days of glory, if you will, at the Alamo, Travis and his men sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom. March 6, 1836, that is why I mention March 6, because today is March 6. It is an anniversary of those people who gave up their lives willingly to fight for freedom, similar to the history of the United States.

You know, America took 7 years to gain independence from the British. They lost a lot of lives, men and women, during that. It seems as though freedom always has a cost. Good things always do. Important things always do.

You see, some people in history have down in their soul, Mr. Speaker, that living free is more important than anything, including their own lives; and if they can't live as free people, they will fight and give up their lives in exchange for that belief. Those are remarkable people who have done that throughout history all over the world.

But today, we remember those 186 defenders of the Alamo, people like William Barret Travis, Davy Crockett from Tennessee, Jim Bowie from Louisiana, the 11 Tejanos that I have mentioned, because they were willing to do that.

Travis said, in the last letter that he sent from the Alamo, that victory will be worse for Santa Anna than defeat because of the losses. It turns out that was true. He was able to delay Santa Anna's march into Texas while a Texas Army was being built, surrounded by their commander, General Sam Houston, which I will get to in a minute.

Jim Bonham is another person of interest, I think. He was the scout, along with Juan Seguin, who went out to send the word: come to the Alamo for help.

As legend says, when he got to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where the Texas Republic was being formed, on March 2, 1836, drafting the declaration of independence, he asked for those men there to come to

their Alamo.

They refused to do it. They said forming a government was more important than going to the Alamo. Bottom line, they didn't go.

So he gets on his horse, and he starts to ride back to the Alamo. The men there at Washington-on-the-Brazos tried to stop him: What are you doing? You will be killed.

And he said: My friends have the right to know that no one is coming.

I don't know if that happened or not. Some historians say it did. It just shows you the type of people that they were at the Alamo.

So after 13 days, Santa Anna did what he said he was going to do. He flew the red flag, blew the bugles. It was said that they would not offer any quarter to anyone unless they surrendered at a certain time.

They did not surrender. None of the men in the Alamo were given any quarter. They were all killed. Santa Anna then continued his march through Texas.

Remember, if you will, Mr. Speaker, he had already established his domain militarily over other peoples in Mexico that had the desire to object to his dictatorship and suppressed them militarily.

Now, he had moved that experienced army into Texas, one at the Alamo, and was moving towards Sam Houston, who was moving his army toward the eastern part of Texas, toward the United States. That time in history is called the ``Runaway Scrape.''

The colonists, everybody between San Antonio and the American/Texas border, was moving east. They were leaving their property. It was being burned. They left in what is called the Runaway Scrape, not only the volunteer army, but the families as well.

So Sam Houston kept moving toward the east. He did not pitch a battle right away. He formed the army, as I said, all volunteers. Juan Seguin and his band of scouts, cavalry, if you will, had ended up joining Sam Houston.

And then, in April 1836, on the plains of San Jacinto--most Americans don't even know where that is--but it is down there near Houston, Texas. You probably have heard of that place.

In the marsh, in the swamp, these same type of individuals who were at the Alamo were in Sam Houston's army. It was a little larger, almost 600, and these were individuals of all races.

They were people from the United States, foreign countries, from Mexico, Tejanos; and they finally decided, on April 20, that they were going to stop where they were on the plains of San Jacinto in the marsh and pitch a battle.

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Now, the plan was to have the battle held April 22. What had happened was Santa Anna had already caught up with them. He had pitched his tents, he had his thousand or so soldiers. He had two other armies still in Texas moving in to reinforce him, and everyone expected this battle to take place on April 22.

But history and war determines when battles are to take place. Sam Houston talked to his commanders. They decided it was time on April 21 to do battle. Now, history has always shown that battles take place at dawn. They still do. Well, these Texans they didn't get around to it until the afternoon on April 21. And they decided that they would just attack the Mexican Army, Santa Anna, who was not prepared for an attack. And sure enough, in the middle of the afternoon, this outnumbered Texas Army

attacked Santa Anna's army.

The battle lasted 18 minutes. Something that I thought was quite unique and clever, once again, as I have mentioned, his Tejanos, of course, were fighting for Texas' independence. They were pushing for Texas' independence against the dictator Santa Anna. But they weren't wearing uniforms, not like the Mexican Army. They wore whatever they had. They looked pretty rough and pretty tough.

So Sam Houston, to make sure that the Tejanos weren't mistaken for Santa Anna's army, he had all of them put a playing card in their hatband. In those days, playing cards weren't little like we have today; they were big. So they would stick a playing card in their hatbands so they could be recognized.

His cavalry protected the flanks. The Texas Army marched in one long column. They didn't have enough for two columns. They marched down and in 18 minutes defeated Santa Anna's army, caught them by surprise, and captured almost all of them. In fact, they captured more than were in Sam Houston's army. Casualties on the part of the Texans were minor. Sam Houston was wounded in the leg. And the rest, they say, was Texas history. It was American.

Texas quickly declared and set up its own government and claimed a lot of Texas. Things have changed. When Texas became a country in 1836, here is a map of what they claimed was Texas. I won't make any editorial comments about whether we think that still should be Texas or not, Mr. Speaker, but, anyway, you see what is now modern-day Texas over here. But Texas claimed part of New Mexico, part of Arizona, all of Oklahoma, Colorado, and up to Wyoming. And you may ask: Well, how did you lose that

land? Well, when Texas became part of the Union, Texas sold that to the Federal Government to pay off its debts for the war.

So, anyway, that is the way Texas used to look. It doesn't look like that anymore. We have no plans to retake this territory, Mr. Speaker. I just thought I would mention it. Anyway, that was the Republic of Texas. And Texas was an independent country for 9 years. Some say we should have stayed an independent country. I don't know about that.

Texas wanted to join the Union. Finally, after several votes, Texas got into the Union. After one Louisiana Senator switched his vote, Texas joined the Union and became part of the United States. Because of the fact that Texas was a republic, Texas can divide into five States. I don't see that happening, not like California, who is thinking about it. I don't think that is going to happen in Texas. Texas flies the Texas flag even with the American flag because Texas was a republic.

I think Texans still have that independent spirit that our ancestors had. Things are different in Texas. It is a whole different country, and the reason is because our history is different. The reason, Mr. Speaker, is because the people of Texas of all races, backgrounds, and religions still have that [Page: H2254]

independent spirit about freedom, remembering our ancestors who gave their lives and gave their property so that we could have freedom and independence,

and Texas could be an independent country even for 9 years.

That is why historically I think that we appreciate those people who want independence. We appreciate people who want liberty. Right now, it is those folks in Ukraine trying to keep out some dictator--I call him a dictator--President Putin of Russia.

So, Mr. Speaker, we celebrate today and honor today, March 6, because it is one of those three important days: March 2, Texas' independence; March 6, 1836, the Alamo failed, we remember those people; and then April 21, 1836, is when Texas actually got independent and started its quest into being an independent entity.

In closing, I would like to read the lyrics of a song that Marty Robbins wrote a long time ago. Mr. Speaker, you are old enough to maybe even have heard of this song, but Marty Robbins wrote it in honor of the people at the Alamo. It goes like this. It says:

In the southern part of Texas in the town of San Antone,

There's a fortress all in ruin and the weeds have overgrown.

You may look in vain for crosses and you'll never see a one,

But sometime between the setting and the rising of the sun,

You can hear a ghostly bugle as men go marching by;

You can hear them as they answer to that roll call in the sky:

Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett, and 180 more;

Captain Dickinson, Jim Bowie, stand present and accounted for.

Back in 1836, Sam Houston said to Travis: ``Get some volunteers and go fortify the Alamo.''

Well, the men came from Texas and from old Tennessee and a lot of other places.

They joined up with Travis just to fight for the right to be free.

Indian scouts with squirrel guns, men with muzzle loaders,

Stood together heel and toe to defend the Alamo.

``You may never see your loved ones,'' Travis told them that day.

``Those who want to can leave now, those who fight to the death, let 'em stay.''

So in the sand he drew a line with his army sabre,

Out of 185, not a soldier crossed the line.

With his banners a-dancin' in the dawn's golden light,

Santa Anna came prancin' on a horse that was black as the night.

He sent an officer to tell Travis to surrender.

Travis answered with a shell and a rousin' yell.

Santa Anna turned scarlet: play Deguello, he roared.

``I will show them no quarter, every one will be put to our sword.''

185 holding back 5,000.

Five days, 6 days, 8 days, 10; Travis kept holding again and again.

Then Travis sent for replacements for his wounded and lame,

But the troops that were comin', never came, never came, never came.

So twice Santa Anna charged and then blew recall.

But on that fatal third time, Santa Anna breached the wall and he killed them one and all.

Now the bugles are silent and there is rust on each sword,

And the small band of soldiers lie asleep in the arms of the Lord.

In the southern part of Texas, near the town of San Antone,

Like a statue on his pinto rides a cowboy all alone.

He sees the cattle grazin' where a century before,

Santa Anna's guns were blazin' and the cannons used to roar.

His eyes turn a little misty, and his heart begins to glow,

And he takes his hat off slowly to those men of the Alamo,

To the 13 days of glory at the siege of Alamo.

And, Mr. Speaker, that's just the way it is.

I yield back.

END