3:47 PM EST

Markwayne Mullin, R-OK 2nd

Mr. MULLIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I believe every life is a gift. Our Nation was built on the right to life. Our Founding Fathers wrote that all men are created equal and that we are endowed by the Creator with certain undeniable rights: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our government was instituted to secure these rights, not take them away.

Mr. Speaker, I stand with hundreds of thousands of people from across the country who have traveled to our Nation's Capital to tell lawmakers that we must protect the innocent and that we must fight for those who cannot defend themselves. I am proud of the many young people who are in Washington, D.C., this week to defend life. You are a voice for the voiceless, and you are the future.

I am proud to join so many of my colleagues in this Chamber today to defend life and spread this message that every life is a gift.

END

3:48 PM EST

Eric Swalwell, D-CA 15th

Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, as the President noted in his State of the Union address last evening, we should be proud of the progress we have made since the Great Recession. But there is too much to do still on growth, especially on the issue of paycheck progress.

For most Americans, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, here is our reality: costs all around us are [Page: H461]

going up, and wages are staying flat. That is a right angle that is taking American families in the wrong direction.

For paycheck progress we must invest in infrastructure, reform our Tax Code so that it is fairer for all Americans, and, finally, ensure equal pay for equal work.

Mr. Speaker, instead of addressing these issues, many House Republicans are calling for giveaways to special interests, rolling back critical women's health protections, and holding Homeland Security funding hostage to win political points. Let's be real. In the nineties it was: It is the economy, stupid. You ask any American family today: It is my paycheck, stupid.

If we focus on one thing this Congress, let's make sure that it is the paycheck of working-class Americans. The American people deserve better than what is being served up. Let's work together on paycheck progress, not partisanship.

END

3:48 PM EST

Eric Swalwell, D-CA 15th

Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, as the President noted in his State of the Union address last evening, we should be proud of the progress we have made since the Great Recession. But there is too much to do still on growth, especially on the issue of paycheck progress.

For most Americans, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, here is our reality: costs all around us are [Page: H461]

going up, and wages are staying flat. That is a right angle that is taking American families in the wrong direction.

For paycheck progress we must invest in infrastructure, reform our Tax Code so that it is fairer for all Americans, and, finally, ensure equal pay for equal work.

Mr. Speaker, instead of addressing these issues, many House Republicans are calling for giveaways to special interests, rolling back critical women's health protections, and holding Homeland Security funding hostage to win political points. Let's be real. In the nineties it was: It is the economy, stupid. You ask any American family today: It is my paycheck, stupid.

If we focus on one thing this Congress, let's make sure that it is the paycheck of working-class Americans. The American people deserve better than what is being served up. Let's work together on paycheck progress, not partisanship.

END

3:50 PM EST

Luke Messer, R-IN 6th

Mr. MESSER. Mr. Speaker, 3,288 per day, 137 per hour, one every 26 seconds--that is how many children are denied their God-given right to life each and every day. As we mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we should remember each of those children and the potential each had.

Mr. Speaker, I am unapologetically pro-life and have been a longtime supporter of efforts to protect the unborn. Because every human life is precious, we must continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

Today I stand on behalf of those children and of future children who may never have a chance. We must stand together and never forget until the battle for life is won.

END

3:51 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, today I introduced the Grand Jury Reform Act, which requires the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation and present the results to a judge in an open courtroom proceeding whenever a police officer kills an individual while on duty.

After police officers killed two unarmed black men in 2014 and secret grand juries failed to indict these officers, I am honoring Dr. King's legacy by offering legislation that restores trust in our justice system while ensuring a fair process for all.

Mr. Speaker, we are the beneficiaries of Dr. King's legacy, and we must face our challenges with the same resolve as he did. I urge my fellow colleagues to support this commonsense bill.

END

3:51 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, today I introduced the Grand Jury Reform Act, which requires the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation and present the results to a judge in an open courtroom proceeding whenever a police officer kills an individual while on duty.

After police officers killed two unarmed black men in 2014 and secret grand juries failed to indict these officers, I am honoring Dr. King's legacy by offering legislation that restores trust in our justice system while ensuring a fair process for all.

Mr. Speaker, we are the beneficiaries of Dr. King's legacy, and we must face our challenges with the same resolve as he did. I urge my fellow colleagues to support this commonsense bill.

END

3:52 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the thousands of students from across the country who are participating in tomorrow's March for Life event. I am praying for safe travels for all the groups from my district, including St. Thomas More High School, St. Louis Parish--the parish I attended Mass at this weekend--Holy Trinity in Stonington, Illinois, and the Illinois Life Caravan as they drive through the night and travel almost 800 miles to come to Washington to

stand up for what they believe in.

Mr. Speaker, I have renewed hope and faith in our Nation's young people as I see students from high school to elementary school age showing their commitment to life. I am proud to be pro-life. I believe it is my duty and part of my faith to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and I will continue to do so as I serve in this great Congress.

In the words of Pope Francis:

All life has inestimable value. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn, and the poor are masterpieces of God's creation, made in His own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of those who are standing here for life with us.

END

3:52 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the thousands of students from across the country who are participating in tomorrow's March for Life event. I am praying for safe travels for all the groups from my district, including St. Thomas More High School, St. Louis Parish--the parish I attended Mass at this weekend--Holy Trinity in Stonington, Illinois, and the Illinois Life Caravan as they drive through the night and travel almost 800 miles to come to Washington to

stand up for what they believe in.

Mr. Speaker, I have renewed hope and faith in our Nation's young people as I see students from high school to elementary school age showing their commitment to life. I am proud to be pro-life. I believe it is my duty and part of my faith to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and I will continue to do so as I serve in this great Congress.

In the words of Pope Francis:

All life has inestimable value. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn, and the poor are masterpieces of God's creation, made in His own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of those who are standing here for life with us.

END

3:54 PM EST

John Yarmuth, D-KY 3rd

Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Speaker, last night President Obama addressed the Nation and reminded us of the crossroads at which we stand: Do we continue on the path we are on where only a select few prosper while so many families struggle? Or will we instead work to rebuild our middle class, grow our economy, and create new opportunities for success?

But here today, Mr. Speaker, listening to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it is clear that the priorities of this body's majority are not in line with the majority of Americans.

The American people don't want more of the same. They want better access to education, better infrastructure, and an honest chance at the American Dream. They want a fair college loan system, and they want the relief of knowing that their retirement and their parents' retirement is safe and sound, not left to the whims of Wall Street. As President Obama made clear, they want a tax system that rewards work, not wealth.

I am proud to support many of the priorities laid out in last night's speech because they put practicality above partisan politics. Let's hope for the sake of the American people that this Congress does the same.

END

3:55 PM EST

Tom Emmer, R-MN 6th

Mr. EMMER. Mr. Speaker, on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I stand with my colleagues in defense of innocent human life. My wife and I were blessed with seven beautiful children, each with their own unique gifts. Since Roe v. Wade, more than 56 million unborn babies have been robbed of the chance to reach their true potential.

Our Nation's role as a defender of the rights to life and liberty erode with each innocent life that is taken. This is not a partisan issue or a judgment of others. But we must never stop defending the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Mr. Speaker, in an era where common ground can be hard to find, I am honored to serve with the men and women dedicated to the protection of these most basic of liberties.

END

3:57 PM EST

Robert Pittenger, R-NC 9th

Mr. PITTENGER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor and respect of the thousands of people who will come to our [Page: H462]

city to rally to give support to the life of the unborn. Twenty-five years ago while in London I saw a video that depicted the life, as they described it, of the baby. It wasn't anything less than a baby.

Mr. Speaker, I am a father, and I am a grandfather. I have got nine grandchildren. Every life is precious. Who is to know, Mr. Speaker, that that unborn baby might be the curer for cancer or might be the curer for Alzheimer's? Only God knows.

I thank the leadership for bringing forth this legislation tomorrow. I respect them for doing it. We need to rally in support to show our commitment to the life of the unborn.

END

4:00 PM EST

Ann Wagner, R-MO 2nd

Ms. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate and thank the gentleman for yielding and for hosting this very important Special Order today and for his lifetime of service in protecting the rights of the unborn, those who have no voice.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the sanctity of life. Sadly, tomorrow is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and hundreds of thousands of people, including pro-life advocates from my own hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, will gather in our Nation's capital in honor of the over 56 million precious angels we have lost since that infamous Supreme Court decision, not to mention the millions of women who have been adversely affected in the aftermath of their abortion, both physically and emotionally.

I first participated in the March for Life 25 years ago this week, in 1990. I was 28 years old with a real bad hairdo, and I was 12 weeks pregnant with my son Stephen. At that point, at 12 weeks in my pregnancy, Stephen was able to suck his thumb. A few weeks later, at 15 weeks, he could make facial expressions and he had taste buds. By 17 weeks, Stephen began to kick. By week 18, his ears had developed and he could hear. By week 20, not only was Stephen able to recognize my voice as his mother,

but he was capable of feeling pain.

While killing an unborn child is unconscionable at anytime, it is especially abhorrent at the 20-week mark when a child is able to feel the pain of an abortion.

Mr. Speaker, the theme of this year's march is ``Every Life is a Gift,'' and I truly believe that life at all stages, from conception to natural death, is, indeed, a gift. I am for the life of the baby. I am also for the life of the mother and oftentimes the victim.

I will continue to work and to pray for the day when abortion is not only illegal, but abortion is unthinkable.

4:03 PM EST

Tim Walberg, R-MI 7th

Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for putting this Special Order together on the 42nd anniversary of an infamous decision, Roe v. Wade, Mr. Speaker, where I believe the Supreme Court stepped out of their role and unconstitutionally set up the course that has gone on to this day, the murder of innocents and, ultimately, murder of innocence of our country as well that in its inception was established on a principle that was well known, well understood, and put into

our Declaration of Independence that said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It all begins with life. I will never forget 8 years ago as I stood in a maternity ward at Northwestern University Hospital and waited for word from the room where my daughter-in-law was giving birth to our first two grandchildren, twins John Timothy and Micah Todd.

Micah Todd is now 8 years old, happy, healthy, moving forward. John Timothy we look forward to seeing him again some day in heaven. For 8 days he lived on this Earth. He fought after being born with his twin brother at 26 weeks. I watched them as they fought for life. I watched them at less than 12 inches long, one pound, 12 ounces, fighting for life, understanding in their own way that this is what they were supposed to do. They were capable of pain. They were capable of doing what nature's

God had enabled them to do.

That changed my life more than ever before, though back in 1982 I ran for the State house on the issue of life itself. That is what brought me out of the pulpit as a pastor and brought me into the arena to try to promote life and go away from that terrible decision that the Supreme Court put upon us.

Now I think 42 years later we have seen gains in this country, as we will see millennials come out of Metro tubes tomorrow, as we will see young people standing in front of us speaking for life, declaring their desire to see abortion ended, and I am hopeful that in our day we will see that take place not because of religion, not even because of politics, but because of people understanding the sanctity of life, understood by the prophet Jeremiah when he said after the words of God himself:

Before I was formed in my mother's womb, you knew me and declared the days of my life.

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from New Jersey, all of my colleagues who will stand in defense of life, I say thank you. Let's not give up, because we are on the right side.

4:06 PM EST

Marlin A. Stutzman, R-IN 3rd

Mr. STUTZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for his tireless work on this, such an important issue for our day and age.

Mr. Speaker, on this 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember the innocent lives who were never given a chance to live the American Dream. Since 1973, tens of millions of innocent unborn children have been denied an opportunity to grow and to be successful.

In America, we are always espousing the belief that anything is possible, [Page: H463]

that anyone can achieve their dreams if they set their minds to it, and yet it is here in this country where we deny those dreams to so many.

Mr. Speaker, I was born in 1976, and I am so thankful that my mother, at the age of 17, chose life and gave me the gift of life, because my Federal Government at the time 3 years earlier said it was okay for her to end it if she so chose.

Most of us have very strong feelings about the value of life. We must continue to seek opportunities to promote a culture of life that protects the innocent.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of people from all across the country will descend on The National Mall to champion the belief that every life is a gift, and Congress will have an opportunity to act and show that we are listening through the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that I urge my colleagues to support.

We may meet some obstacles, but the pro-life movement will not be shaken. We will continue to fight to protect the unborn. We will continue to fight and provide a voice for those who do not have one. We will continue to fight because we believe that America should be a place where everyone is protected by law and welcomed to life. This is our goal, and I pray that together we will achieve it.

4:07 PM EST

Marlin A. Stutzman, R-IN 3rd

Mr. STUTZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for his tireless work on this, such an important issue for our day and age.

Mr. Speaker, on this 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember the innocent lives who were never given a chance to live the American Dream. Since 1973, tens of millions of innocent unborn children have been denied an opportunity to grow and to be successful.

In America, we are always espousing the belief that anything is possible, [Page: H463]

that anyone can achieve their dreams if they set their minds to it, and yet it is here in this country where we deny those dreams to so many.

Mr. Speaker, I was born in 1976, and I am so thankful that my mother, at the age of 17, chose life and gave me the gift of life, because my Federal Government at the time 3 years earlier said it was okay for her to end it if she so chose.

Most of us have very strong feelings about the value of life. We must continue to seek opportunities to promote a culture of life that protects the innocent.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of people from all across the country will descend on The National Mall to champion the belief that every life is a gift, and Congress will have an opportunity to act and show that we are listening through the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that I urge my colleagues to support.

We may meet some obstacles, but the pro-life movement will not be shaken. We will continue to fight to protect the unborn. We will continue to fight and provide a voice for those who do not have one. We will continue to fight because we believe that America should be a place where everyone is protected by law and welcomed to life. This is our goal, and I pray that together we will achieve it.

4:09 PM EST

Chris Stewart, R-UT 2nd

Mr. STEWART. Mr. Speaker, I join with my colleagues in thanking my friend Mr. Smith for giving us this opportunity to address such an important and a deeply

personal issue.

I am the proud father of six children, and nothing in the world means more to me. My life changed forever the first time I held my first son. I look at my sons and daughters, and I am humbled by the responsibility it is to be their parent, and I am touched always by the power and the blessing of life.

Now I am a grandfather, and that fact alone makes my life very good. This week we commemorate the anniversary of one of the most significant Supreme Court cases in the history of the United States, of course, Roe v. Wade.

We also welcome thousands of pro-life activists who came to our Nation's Capital to participate in the March for Life. Think about that title for a moment, the March for Life. It is extremely important as Members of Congress to stand up for those who do not have a voice to stand up for themselves, our precious unborn children.

Tomorrow the House will vote on H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects the lives of unborn by banning abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. With medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks, if not earlier, I will support this bill, and I encourage my colleagues to support it as well. Think of what we would be saying if we were to reject this bill.

Now, I understand that there are exceptions, and I recognize the woman's health is just as important as her child. Thus, we made reasonable medical judgment exceptions, which would be made in the case of rape, incest, or an endangerment of the mother's life.

As I conclude, I would like to reiterate my opening remarks. Each life is sacred. Each life has a right to protection. I urge my colleagues to help to defend the innocent lives of America's unborn children and represent those who cannot represent themselves.

4:09 PM EST

Chris Stewart, R-UT 2nd

Mr. STEWART. Mr. Speaker, I join with my colleagues in thanking my friend Mr. Smith for giving us this opportunity to address such an important and a deeply

personal issue.

I am the proud father of six children, and nothing in the world means more to me. My life changed forever the first time I held my first son. I look at my sons and daughters, and I am humbled by the responsibility it is to be their parent, and I am touched always by the power and the blessing of life.

Now I am a grandfather, and that fact alone makes my life very good. This week we commemorate the anniversary of one of the most significant Supreme Court cases in the history of the United States, of course, Roe v. Wade.

We also welcome thousands of pro-life activists who came to our Nation's Capital to participate in the March for Life. Think about that title for a moment, the March for Life. It is extremely important as Members of Congress to stand up for those who do not have a voice to stand up for themselves, our precious unborn children.

Tomorrow the House will vote on H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects the lives of unborn by banning abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. With medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks, if not earlier, I will support this bill, and I encourage my colleagues to support it as well. Think of what we would be saying if we were to reject this bill.

Now, I understand that there are exceptions, and I recognize the woman's health is just as important as her child. Thus, we made reasonable medical judgment exceptions, which would be made in the case of rape, incest, or an endangerment of the mother's life.

As I conclude, I would like to reiterate my opening remarks. Each life is sacred. Each life has a right to protection. I urge my colleagues to help to defend the innocent lives of America's unborn children and represent those who cannot represent themselves.

4:12 PM EST

Ted Yoho, R-FL 3rd

Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my dear colleague, Mr. Smith, for holding this important pro-life Special Order that gives a life to the unborn.

I stand here today in defense of the thousands of unborn children whose lives were ended through no fault of their own. These children are precious gifts and cannot defend themselves. They do not have the luxury to debate whether or not society should recognize them as living beings.

As a Christian and the proud father also of three children, I strongly believe in the sanctity of life and that it begins at conception. My heart aches for the thousands of unborn children who will never have that chance to experience the wonder of life.

Life is truly a miracle granted through the grace of nature's God, and I am here today to say every life is a gift and every life does matter.

It has been 42 years since the Supreme Court made their ruling in Roe v. Wade. Since that ruling, an estimated--and I want to repeat this, an estimated--55 million lives have been lost. That is more than the total population of the northeast States. That is more than the population of the State of California.

Future generations will look back and judge us. They will judge us on our failure to protect the most innocent among us. They will judge us for allowing infanticide, human genocide of our next generation yet to come.

This week, the defenders of life in the thousands have and will come to Washington, D.C., to support the sanctity of life. This has grown into the largest pro-life event in the world. I want them to know we will keep fighting to defend the silent, unborn child.

How can we as a nation--how can we as a nation--have laws that protect the embryo of a sea turtle or bald eagle but yet refuse to protect the same of our own species? Shouldn't the lives of the unborn children matter as much as these in the eyes of the law?

These lives, these gifts, these human beings deserve to be protected and defended.

4:14 PM EST

Doug LaMalfa, R-CA 1st

Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) for leading this Special Order today, and also for the comments started out by the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner), very heartfelt, that reflect the importance of this.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the sanctity of human life and to recognize those who will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow for the March for Life. I am pleased to join my colleagues and individuals who have traveled from near and far to be in solidarity to protect the rights of the unborn. I applaud those marchers who come here year after year despite snow, rainy conditions, and cold conditions to stand up for such a vital cause. It is their efforts and determination which gives

substance and meaning to this year's theme, ``Every Life is a Gift''--and to march for the truth.

As a parent, I wish all parents would understand what the gift is that the Lord has bestowed with one of these young lives upon you. That is part of our mission, to help them understand, to educate. That is part of the mission of the March for Life, to appreciate that these are gifts, even through the hard times. We have struggles in all matters of our lives, and that is an important one we have to get through as well. To understand these blessings that these lives are.

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you to convey to these marchers that their voice will be heard and will continue to be heard as we fight for the dignity of human life.

4:14 PM EST

Doug LaMalfa, R-CA 1st

Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) for leading this Special Order today, and also for the comments started out by the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner), very heartfelt, that reflect the importance of this.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the sanctity of human life and to recognize those who will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow for the March for Life. I am pleased to join my colleagues and individuals who have traveled from near and far to be in solidarity to protect the rights of the unborn. I applaud those marchers who come here year after year despite snow, rainy conditions, and cold conditions to stand up for such a vital cause. It is their efforts and determination which gives

substance and meaning to this year's theme, ``Every Life is a Gift''--and to march for the truth.

As a parent, I wish all parents would understand what the gift is that the Lord has bestowed with one of these young lives upon you. That is part of our mission, to help them understand, to educate. That is part of the mission of the March for Life, to appreciate that these are gifts, even through the hard times. We have struggles in all matters of our lives, and that is an important one we have to get through as well. To understand these blessings that these lives are.

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you to convey to these marchers that their voice will be heard and will continue to be heard as we fight for the dignity of human life.

4:16 PM EST

Keith J. Rothfus, R-PA 12th

Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey. What a privilege it is to be here with the gentleman from New Jersey, who has been fighting this fight for a very long time. I remember back to my college days in the 1980s seeing you standing for life.

I rise today to commemorate the 2015 March for Life, appropriately themed ``Every Life is a Gift.'' Life begins at conception and must be defended at every stage. Whether for the unborn, the disabled, the elderly, we must promote a culture of life. This can and must be done through our public policy that is made here in Washington, D.C., just as it is being done throughout the country in our communities.

Across the country there are many places, thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers, places like Choices Pregnancy Services in western Pennsylvania, [Page: H464]

which does important work helping families say ``yes'' to life by offering free medical and counseling services and helping women in need.

As we prepare to march tomorrow on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a decision that the late Justice Byron White described as an exercise in raw judicial power, I urge my colleagues to join me in committing to defend the sanctity of life. I also ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

4:16 PM EST

Keith J. Rothfus, R-PA 12th

Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey. What a privilege it is to be here with the gentleman from New Jersey, who has been fighting this fight for a very long time. I remember back to my college days in the 1980s seeing you standing for life.

I rise today to commemorate the 2015 March for Life, appropriately themed ``Every Life is a Gift.'' Life begins at conception and must be defended at every stage. Whether for the unborn, the disabled, the elderly, we must promote a culture of life. This can and must be done through our public policy that is made here in Washington, D.C., just as it is being done throughout the country in our communities.

Across the country there are many places, thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers, places like Choices Pregnancy Services in western Pennsylvania, [Page: H464]

which does important work helping families say ``yes'' to life by offering free medical and counseling services and helping women in need.

As we prepare to march tomorrow on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a decision that the late Justice Byron White described as an exercise in raw judicial power, I urge my colleagues to join me in committing to defend the sanctity of life. I also ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

4:18 PM EST

Phil Roe, R-TN 1st

Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. Before I start, I want to say a few things about my good friend Chris Smith. Of the 435 of us who serve here in the House of Representatives, no one in this body has been a stronger voice for life than Chris. Chris, thank you. Hopefully one day we will see this egregious law overturned. Your perseverance over now four decades is exemplary. Thank you so much.

Mr. Speaker, as an OB-GYN, I have personally delivered over 5,000 babies, and I strongly support the sanctity of life. Using technology like the 3-D ultrasound has given us a window into the womb that shows the unborn child as a living, breathing, feeling human being. I have looked through that window with my own eyes literally thousands of times, and I have seen human development occur from the earliest stages of conception. When you see a heartbeat at 26 days post-conception, already dreams

are being developed by that mother and father about what this baby will be in their lifetime. I have been fortunate enough to experience that three times, and it is a wonderful feeling to know that this little person is going to be your child and grow up to be who knows what. All of the way through birth we see this, which strengthens my conviction in the right to life.

Life is a precious miracle from God that begins at conception. It is our responsibility and privilege as legislators to protect those who do not have a voice. I will always fight for life because it is my conviction that we are all unique creations of a God who knows us and loves us before we are born.

Tonight we mark one of the most tragic, misguided Supreme Court cases in our Nation's history: Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, more than 50 million babies, as has been stated here numerous times, have been denied the most basic right in this country, protected by our Constitution, which is the right to life. We must make our laws consistent with our science now and restore full legal protections to all those who are waiting to be born. If government has any legitimate function at all, it is to protect

those, the most innocent among us.

For over 30 years Congress has prevented taxpayer-funded abortions. Unfortunately, this door has been reopened with the passage of ObamaCare, the largest expansion since the pivotal Roe v. Wade decision was made 42 years ago. Members who stand here before you today pledge themselves to protect those without a voice, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this promise is kept. It is only by making good on this oath that we can expect to restore the trust that the American people

have in their own government, and in doing so, ensure that the door to taxpayer-funded abortions remains closed.

Let me just tell a brief story I was telling Congressman Smith before we came onto the House floor. Over 25 years ago, my partner delivered a baby, and I will just say ``Smith'' for privacy purposes. Baby Smith weighed about 1 pound 6 ounces over 25 years ago. Well, the chances of that baby surviving were minimal. Baby Smith got down to less than one pound. I went by the intensive care nursery and saw this tiny baby that I thought would never make it. Well, Baby Smith did make it, and

I was on a trip to Walmart with my kids one day, and there was this youngster there with a pair of glasses on, just like his doctor had. He was 2 years old, and he was doing like any other 2 year old--he was knocking everything off the shelf at Walmart. Wouldn't it have been a shame--and we are aborting babies much larger than Baby Smith--and Baby Smith is alive and well today, thriving in our country and being a productive citizen in this country.

As a father and a grandfather, I am privileged to be here on the House floor tonight with other legislators fighting for the rights of the unborn.

Chris, thank you, and I thank my colleagues. God bless each and every one of you.

4:23 PM EST

Tim Huelskamp, R-KS 1st

Mr. HUELSKAMP. Thank you, Congressman. I know we probably sound like a broken record--and for the marchers coming in tomorrow, that is something that they used before there were CDs. Isn't that great--we have all of these marchers coming in who don't even know what a record is because they are so young. In the battle for life, we are winning with this generation. They understand the reality of when life begins. I am so thankful for that, and I am so thankful for Chris Smith's leadership.

Like one of my earlier colleagues, I remember being on the other side of the rally watching the Congressman and saying: Gosh darnit, I wish I could be like him. What can I do?

That is what I would like to talk about tonight: What can we do to make a difference? Of course, as we will see tomorrow, a tremendous level of political involvement with tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of folks showing up here from all over the country. Generally you have people from Kansas to lead the march, and it is great to see some kids from Benedictine College and throughout my district as well getting involved, making a difference, both here in Washington and in their State capital,

coming here for the March for Life, which we hashtagged ``Why We March.''

What else can we do? Very quickly, we can help and assist women and families in crisis pregnancies. There are hundreds and hundreds of facilities across the country that offer free help and free care, outreach for those in very difficult situations. We can do that.

The second thing we can do is encourage families, current families, encourage marriage. Marriage is a founding block of our society, of our civilization. The more we can encourage marriage, the more we can encourage families and the more we can help our unborn.

We can also consider adoption. For those who are listening today who are wondering, maybe that should be for me--sometimes it might be one spouse. Sometimes it might be another. I was with a couple of friends this weekend just talking about that, saying, think about it, pray about it, consider it, because there are literally tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of young folks who are looking for homes. So please consider that.

And lastly, I ask, please pray for the unborn, please pray for birth families, and please pray for those who are considering adoption.

Lastly, I want to briefly thank the four birth families who blessed our family with children. Some of them I know, some of them I do not. Two of them are in foreign countries and two of those families are here in this country. But that is a tough decision. I am so thankful for the men and women of this country that chose life and offered up their children for adoption.

4:25 PM EST

Bill Huizenga, R-MI 2nd

Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan. I appreciate my friend from New Jersey yielding me this time, and I rise today to join my colleagues and thousands of Americans who will be marching on Washington, D.C., tomorrow because every life truly is a gift, which is this year's Right to Life march theme. It has been talked about, the millions of young lives that have been tragically cut short. [Page: H465]

But I, like my colleague and our friend from Kansas, who was just talking about his personal experience with adoption, I come from a place in western Michigan that has really embraced the notion of adoption. We have a number of friends and neighbors who have done both domestic and international adoption. In fact, one family is now on their third adoption from Africa, and this time they are coming home with a brother and sister for four kids, adding to their own natural five that they have. And

I must add that, a little jokingly, we are not Catholic typically in western Michigan, we are just passionate Protestants. We are wanting to share that gift of life and opportunity for those children who have that potential that their parents see and go through a difficult decision to put them up, and whether it is domestically or internationally, we are so pleased that they have done that.

It is also why, because life being so precious, why my wife, Natalie, and I have been active through our church and Michigan Right to Life, and my wife particularly through the Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center that she has been on the board of for a number of years that is helping young men and women make those difficult choices in those difficult life circumstances.

I understand, and I know my colleagues know this as well. This is very difficult. It is very emotional. These are issues that have affected so many of us. As we deal with difficult circumstances where these pregnancies have arisen, whether it is through rape or through mistakes that have been made to have these unplanned pregnancies, I think we need to show that love and that mercy that we have been shown at various times in our life.

I do want to encourage my colleagues in the House, though, to take a close look at a loophole, an issue that I became aware of a couple of years ago. Over the previous two Congresses, I introduced something called the Homeland Security Respect For Life Act and worked with my friend and Appropriations member, Representative Aderholt, to attach language to the annual Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

This commonsense bill simply prevents hardworking taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions through the DHS programs that currently would fund abortions for detainees who lack lawful status here in the United States. In fact, this bill codifies pro-life language that is already found in the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, manual on detention standards. But since this manual lacks a basis in law and the weight of law, it can be changed at any time by unelected bureaucrats.

Well, I think it is time for us to put the DHS in line with other departments of the government and codify this and make sure that this is crystal clear. Our current policy prohibits Federal taxpayer funding for abortions for law-abiding citizens on Medicaid, as well as citizens who are in Federal prison, why not the DHS and why not in these detention areas? It only makes sense to apply those same life-affirming standards to immigration detainees as well.

[Time: 16:30]

This is an easy fix, Mr. Chairman, and I am hopeful that this year the Senate and the President will agree to our bill language and follow the precedent as consistent with current administration policy in the other Federal agencies. I, too, want to say thank you for your leadership in this area and appreciate the opportunity to spend some time on the floor.

4:26 PM EST

Bill Huizenga, R-MI 2nd

Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan. I appreciate my friend from New Jersey yielding me this time, and I rise today to join my colleagues and thousands of Americans who will be marching on Washington, D.C., tomorrow because every life truly is a gift, which is this year's Right to Life march theme. It has been talked about, the millions of young lives that have been tragically cut short. [Page: H465]

But I, like my colleague and our friend from Kansas, who was just talking about his personal experience with adoption, I come from a place in western Michigan that has really embraced the notion of adoption. We have a number of friends and neighbors who have done both domestic and international adoption. In fact, one family is now on their third adoption from Africa, and this time they are coming home with a brother and sister for four kids, adding to their own natural five that they have. And

I must add that, a little jokingly, we are not Catholic typically in western Michigan, we are just passionate Protestants. We are wanting to share that gift of life and opportunity for those children who have that potential that their parents see and go through a difficult decision to put them up, and whether it is domestically or internationally, we are so pleased that they have done that.

It is also why, because life being so precious, why my wife, Natalie, and I have been active through our church and Michigan Right to Life, and my wife particularly through the Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center that she has been on the board of for a number of years that is helping young men and women make those difficult choices in those difficult life circumstances.

I understand, and I know my colleagues know this as well. This is very difficult. It is very emotional. These are issues that have affected so many of us. As we deal with difficult circumstances where these pregnancies have arisen, whether it is through rape or through mistakes that have been made to have these unplanned pregnancies, I think we need to show that love and that mercy that we have been shown at various times in our life.

I do want to encourage my colleagues in the House, though, to take a close look at a loophole, an issue that I became aware of a couple of years ago. Over the previous two Congresses, I introduced something called the Homeland Security Respect For Life Act and worked with my friend and Appropriations member, Representative Aderholt, to attach language to the annual Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

This commonsense bill simply prevents hardworking taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions through the DHS programs that currently would fund abortions for detainees who lack lawful status here in the United States. In fact, this bill codifies pro-life language that is already found in the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, manual on detention standards. But since this manual lacks a basis in law and the weight of law, it can be changed at any time by unelected bureaucrats.

Well, I think it is time for us to put the DHS in line with other departments of the government and codify this and make sure that this is crystal clear. Our current policy prohibits Federal taxpayer funding for abortions for law-abiding citizens on Medicaid, as well as citizens who are in Federal prison, why not the DHS and why not in these detention areas? It only makes sense to apply those same life-affirming standards to immigration detainees as well.

[Time: 16:30]

This is an easy fix, Mr. Chairman, and I am hopeful that this year the Senate and the President will agree to our bill language and follow the precedent as consistent with current administration policy in the other Federal agencies. I, too, want to say thank you for your leadership in this area and appreciate the opportunity to spend some time on the floor.

4:30 PM EST

Bob Latta, R-OH 5th

Mr. LATTA. Thank you very much. I appreciate the gentleman for yielding, and also, I want to extend my thanks for all your many, many years of work and leadership to protect the life and lives of the unborn. We really appreciate everything you have done, and I know, across the country, it is appreciated.

Mr. Speaker, I do rise today to voice my support for the right to life of unborn children. During my time in the Ohio General Assembly and, now, as a Member of Congress, I have always been a strong supporter of pro-life legislation. I firmly believe we must be vigilant in protecting the sanctity of human life.

As previously mentioned by other Members, it is heartbreaking to know that, since 1973, there have been more than 55 million abortions in the United States. Fortunately, a report released in February 2014 found abortion rates and ratios are continuing to decline in the United States and the rate of abortion has dropped to its lowest since its legalization; however, there is still more work to be done. That is why I continually support legislation to protect the unborn.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens will be in Washington to participate in the March for Life, and I salute them for their steadfastness in our cause for life. They will be here to let their voices be heard.

I can speak that, in our church, I know that we sponsor a couple of buses that will be coming down from Bowling Green State University, my alma mater. There will be high schoolers from across my district that will be here, and we salute them, again, for making sure that they are here to have their voices heard.

I also want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to those who have tirelessly worked for years to defend the right to life; and, again, I thank the gentleman for his efforts.

4:32 PM EST

John Mica, R-FL 7th

Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for yielding, and thank you also for calling this Special Order, particularly as Congress, tomorrow, will take up an important issue relating to the unborn.

Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, of all the responsibilities given to Congress under our Constitution, none is more important than to protect and preserve life.

Throughout the history of governments, through the entire course of the world as we know it, governments have had the power to decide who dies and who lives. Our Founding Fathers established the United States to ensure the protection of first life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of our citizens.

As the people's Congress, we pass laws that define life. We pass laws that define life for all Americans, including the unborn. No matter that comes before this Congress or our society is more important than the matter of protecting the lives of our citizens; and, my colleagues, no citizen is more vulnerable or helpless than the unborn.

Our Nation, in respect for life and the unborn, must not waver. Protecting human life at every opportunity must be our only option and certainly our moral responsibility.

As thousands of pro-life Americans express their support for the unborn at our Nation's Capital this week, I welcome them, and I also hope and pray that their voice is heard.

4:32 PM EST

John Mica, R-FL 7th

Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for yielding, and thank you also for calling this Special Order, particularly as Congress, tomorrow, will take up an important issue relating to the unborn.

Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, of all the responsibilities given to Congress under our Constitution, none is more important than to protect and preserve life.

Throughout the history of governments, through the entire course of the world as we know it, governments have had the power to decide who dies and who lives. Our Founding Fathers established the United States to ensure the protection of first life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of our citizens.

As the people's Congress, we pass laws that define life. We pass laws that define life for all Americans, including the unborn. No matter that comes before this Congress or our society is more important than the matter of protecting the lives of our citizens; and, my colleagues, no citizen is more vulnerable or helpless than the unborn.

Our Nation, in respect for life and the unborn, must not waver. Protecting human life at every opportunity must be our only option and certainly our moral responsibility.

As thousands of pro-life Americans express their support for the unborn at our Nation's Capital this week, I welcome them, and I also hope and pray that their voice is heard.

4:35 PM EST

Chris Smith, R-NJ 4th

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Thank you, Chairman Mica.

I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Joe Pitts, and just before I do, I note that Mr. Pitts not only chairs the Subcommittee on Health for the Energy and Commerce Committee, but prior to coming to Washington, he was one of the prime authors of a sweeping pro-life law in Pennsylvania that has saved countless lives.

4:35 PM EST

Joe Pitts, R-PA 16th

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank Chris Smith for his leadership over the years. He is one of the people, along with Henry Hyde, that I admired from afar, and when I was elected 18 years ago, I told him I want to come and hold up his arms in this fight for life. He has been a real champion and just a terrific leader here in the Congress. I want to thank him for that.

I heard in a congressional life forum a few years ago a lady by the name of Frederica Mathewes-Green--she was president of the Feminists for Life--and she said something I will never forget. She said:

Abortion is the most violent form of death known to mankind. It is death by dismemberment, decapitation, and poisoning.

[Page: H466]

She said:

Abortion breaks a mother's heart.

She said:

There are always two victims in an abortion. One is the baby, and one is the mother; one is dead, one is wounded.

I never forgot those statements of this great feminist leader. I think her focus is right. We need to keep that focus where it is, where she had it: on the mother, on the baby.

We are talking here about babies who are in their 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th month of pregnancy. For the first 5 months, a woman could have an abortion, but after that, it bans abortion, and I want to say this: I was first elected in 1972, inaugurated 3 weeks before Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, so I have been involved in these battles for the whole time.

This is the first time in my memory that our leadership has moved substantive legislation on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on the day of the march. They should be applauded for that. This is significant.

In 2 years, if things go the way we hope, with a new Republican President and a House and a Senate, 2 years from tomorrow, we could very well see this legislation signed into law. That is how important this is. It moves the bar back on Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, those two infamous decisions that have resulted in 55 million unborn children and women being affected by abortion.

As Chris said, I was involved in authoring the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, but I also was involved in the Medicaid funding cutoff bill that passed in Pennsylvania--I think that was about 1978--and we had a reporting requirement in that bill, so that the abortions that were due to rape and incest had to be reported to the appropriate law enforcement or social service agencies.

The year before our bill was passed into law, there were some 740 abortions, Medicaid-funded abortions, due to so-called rape. The year after our bill was signed into law, there were 38. This shows the importance of that provision into law of reporting to the appropriate authorities.

If you remove that provision from the law--and some people want to do that--that would create a loophole for late-term abortions. As I said, for the first 5 months, a woman could have an abortion, but in the later term, they could not without the appropriate reporting to appropriate authorities. It would, I think, be a mistake, as some would like to do, to remove those requirements.

I just might conclude by saying that we are one of only seven countries that allow abortion at any point of pregnancy. Some countries are appalled that the United States would permit these late-term abortions. We had a famous case in Pennsylvania, the Kermit Gosnell clinic, which was outrageous when people find out what happened in those late-term abortions.

Scientific studies tell us that children feel pain in the womb. These are the children at this age who smile in the womb, who suck their thumb, who hiccup, who have dream patterns on the brainwaves, who react to light if it is intrauterine or a pinprick.

These are very tiny but knowing, learning individuals. They have no one to speak for them. They are voiceless, so we have an obligation to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, who can't run away, who face this horrific type of death, and the mothers who carry them.

I would urge Members, just like as shown in the public polls, the majority of Americans support the legislation. I would like to thank the leadership for moving the legislation and like to say that we are admonished in the scriptures that if we see someone drawn to death and we do not speak up, we do nothing, that we will be held responsible because, really, nothing is doing something, silence is consent.

With the other pro-life people, Members, and our great champion, I urge the Members to support this legislation.

4:42 PM EST

Chris Smith, R-NJ 4th

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Thank you very much, Mr. Pitts. Again, I want to thank you for your leadership both at the State and, now, Federal level, especially as chairman of the committee that deals with health. Thank you so much.

I yield to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn), who has also been an outspoken champion of the right to life.

4:42 PM EST

Doug Lamborn, R-CO 5th

Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the 42nd anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized elective abortion in the U.S.

Elective abortion is an abhorrent practice that tragically remains a common medical procedure performed in the U.S. Every year, over 1 million abortions are performed here.

Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, 57 million babies have been lost to abortion--57 million, Mr. Speaker. To put this in perspective, according to the last census numbers, 57 million is about 18 percent of the U.S. population. This staggering loss of children's lives is unconscionable.

My wife, Jeanie, and I have been blessed with five children and two grandchildren, with one more on the way. I firmly believe that every life is a precious gift from God, and I am wholly committed to protecting the sanctity of life.

One critically important step towards protecting life is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that we will be voting on tomorrow. I am a proud cosponsor of this bill that will prohibit anyone from performing an abortion on an unborn child that is 20 weeks or older.

Medical research has shown that at least by the 20th week of a pregnancy, unborn babies can feel pain. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans support banning abortions after 20 weeks. Abortions after the 20th week are painful, violent, and harmful, even to the mothers. It is time to end this horrible procedure.

This week, we will continue to mourn the lives cut short in the inhuman wake of Roe v. Wade. We pray for God's continued comfort, grace, and mercy to those touched by abortion.

Every life has value, and we have a duty to protect the lives of those who are the most innocent among us. I will continue to be among those fighting to do just that.

[Time: 16:45]

4:44 PM EST

Chris Smith, R-NJ 4th

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Thank you, Doug.

I would like to now close, and I want to thank my distinguished colleagues for their eloquent statements in defense of life.

Mr. Speaker, 42 years ago tomorrow marks the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous, reckless, and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to the abortionists--42 years of victims, dead babies, wounded women, shattered families; 42 years of government-sanctioned violence against women and children. Since 1973, more than 56 million--maybe 57 million--children have been killed by abortion--a staggering loss of children's lives, a death toll that equates to the entire population of England.

The passage of time has not changed the fact that abortion is a serious, lethal violation of fundamental human rights. Rather than gull our consciences to the unmitigated violence of abortion, however, the passage of time has only enabled us to see better and to understand better the innate cruelty of abortion and its horrific legacy--victims--while making us more determined than ever to protect the weakest and most vulnerable.

In his inaugural speech, President Obama said in pertinent part:

Together, we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, that all are created equal, and our journey is not complete until all our children are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

Yes, Mr. President. We must care for the vulnerable, but that also includes unborn children and their mothers. No one gets left out or left behind. All people are created equal, and our journey is not complete until all of our children, including the child in the womb, are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

Last night, right here in this Chamber, the President said to tell every child in every neighborhood, ``Your life matters.'' Again, Mr. Speaker, the President is leaving out a whole class of human beings, who because of the fact they are in utero--the fact that they are yet to be born--they are construed to be excluded from humanity and, therefore, from their basic human rights. It is unconscionable, Mr. Speaker. It is unconscionable.

Let me also say, in talking about victims, a couple of years ago, I met a woman named Linda Shrewsbury--an [Page: H467]

academic, an African American, with a degree from Harvard, who had an abortion. She said:

The lies that brought me to that day and to its sorrowful aftermath are crystal clear in my mind--falsehoods and deceptions that concealed the truth about abortion. Lies planted in my thinking by clever marketing and media campaigns and endless repetition led to a tragic, irreversible decision--the death of my first child.

Ms. Shrewsbury went on to say:

I really didn't understand back then. At age 20, I had no inkling of the mental and emotional darkness I was about to enter. I couldn't have grasped the immense psychological toll it would take for years into the future--unrelenting tears, guilt, shame, and depression. After spending many years in denial, I did eventually find healing.

Linda goes on to say:

When I understood and rejected distortions about fetal development, doublespeak about choice, rights, and planned and wanted children, I understood the reality and victimhood of my aborted child.

She went on and concluded:

I understood the absence of moral basis for choosing to disentitle an innocent human being of life. When I embraced the truth, the truth set me free, and I, finally, gained inner peace.

Some of my colleagues have mentioned the historic vote that we will take tomorrow on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation, Mr. Speaker, as you know, is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old and who are pain capable from having to suffer and die from abortion.

I don't know about you, Mr. Speaker, but I, like, I think, most people, avoid pain at almost all costs. When I have surgeries--when anyone has surgeries--I am put locally or generally under anesthesia so that I do not have to feel the pain. The unborn child, when he or she is getting an intervention to help cure a disability or to deal with disease or illness, gets anesthesia because we now know beyond any reasonable doubt that unborn children who are at least at 20-weeks' gestation feel that

pain.

When the abortionist commits a D&E abortion or one of the other abortions--D&E is literally a way of dismembering the child--they feel this pain--``they'' being the children--and it is excruciating. Children, including children with disabilities, deserve better treatment than pain-filled dismemberment.

I would point out to my colleagues the expert testimony of Dr. Anthony Levatino's before the House Judiciary Committee. He is a former abortionist who has performed hundreds of dismemberment abortions. He described D&E. He said:

The baby can be in any position inside the uterus. Just reach in with a Sopher clamp, and grasp whatever you can.

The former abortionist went on to say:

Pull really hard, and out pops an arm. Reach in again and again, and tear out the spine, intestines, heart, and lungs.

Pull out a severed arm. Tear out the spine, intestines, heart, and lungs. This is child abuse, Mr. Speaker. Not only is this assault on a child inhumane, it is extremely painful as the child experiences that dismemberment. Again, I say that children, including children with disabilities, deserve better treatment than pain-filled dismemberment.

Again, tomorrow is the March for Life, and there will be tens of thousands of people there who are speaking out for the unborn and equally for their mothers. There will be numbers of women there from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign--all women who have had abortions and who now speak out eloquently and with great compassion to say to women who are post-abortive that there is hope, that there is reconciliation. Face the truth, and that is the beginning to that reconciliation.

We will be there tomorrow, praying, working, of course--even fasting--for that day when every life is cherished as a gift, every life loved despite one's disability, race, sex, color, religion, or condition of dependency, when every life is welcomed no matter the inconvenience.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

END

4:52 PM EST

David W. Jolly, R-FL 13th

Mr. JOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to address the House and to address the country this afternoon and to do so with colleagues of mine from Alabama (Mr. Byrne) and from Illinois (Mr. Davis) to draw a contrast between the view of government represented by our side of the aisle and of that which we heard last night from our President, a President who seemingly ignored the will of the people as expressed by the ballot box in November and who, instead, doubled

down on an agenda that we believe on our side of the aisle is the wrong view of government and the wrong direction for our Nation. So I rise with my colleagues today to talk about just a few of the very substantive points and to do so very constructively and to present why we have a different view of government and why we think that is important.

I would start by suggesting this. If we think about what the President said last night, in his words, the President declared from the rostrum that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. Now, I understand the sympathetic position on climate change. I am from a coastal State, and, frankly, I am a member of the Republican Party who believes that, indeed, the climate is changing, but I do not believe that the greatest challenge facing our future generations

is that of climate change.

In fact, you can harken back to the words of Thomas Jefferson. He had a very different opinion than our President had last night. He said that public debt is the greatest of dangers for our Nation to fear. I would suggest that Jefferson was right, that the greatest threat to our future generations is actually economic security and domestic security. I would like to speak for just a couple of moments about that and allow my colleagues to talk about other portions of the President's remarks.

Let's first talk about the long-term threat to our economic security--our national debt--a topic that was completely ignored in the President's address to the Nation last night.

Understand the significance of where we sit historically when it comes to the national debt. When this President took office, our national debt was just over $10 trillion, meaning it had taken 220 years for our Republic--220 years--to accumulate just over $10 trillion in debt, a number already far too high. In the 8 years of this administration, an additional $10 trillion will be added under this President's watch. When he leaves his office, our debt will be over $20 trillion.

Mr. Speaker, that is a threat to our national security. The greatest threat, perhaps, to our national security, arguably, could be unwatched, out-of-control spending and debt that ultimately collapses our economic system and ensures that we are no longer the world's greatest superpower. In fact, George Washington, himself, admonished that we have a moral obligation to pay off our debts during the life of the majority, during our lifetimes.

Rather than hearing from a President who doubled down on a very progressive agenda and who suggested with the rare audacity, as he did, that our Nation is fine in that conflicts and wars are over, in that our economy has returned, in that we have faster job growth than European nations--and yet the President suggested last night that he wants to grow our government in the very same manner that these European nations have today--and rather than tell us how to grow a government we already can't

afford, I would ask the President to present a plan to pay for the government we already have.

The greatest threat to future generations is not climate change. It is our economic security, and it is also our homeland security. Many on this side of the aisle have grave reservations about the President's current plan to combat the war against ISIS, or ISIL--against radical extremists-terrorists who intend to bring harm to the United States. That is a threat. That is a real threat.

The President called for something last night that I strongly agree with. I think this body should have a robust debate about an authorization to use military force. We owe it to the American people, who sent us here, to represent them on this very critical issue [Page: H468]

of what is our national policy to protect our homeland, to protect American lives.

In fact, what is the current plan to arm Syrian rebels, and what is the likelihood that that will actually be successful when we have seen a lack of success in areas like Iraq?

Despite the declarations of last night, I would challenge that we are not as safe as, perhaps, the President suggested. From the Middle East, to Africa, to Paris, to Yemen, to our very own border, what is that plan?

House Republicans passed a border security bill that reflected the will of the people last July, yet we heard nothing last night--not a single comment--about how to secure our border. It is a sharp contrast. We heard about negotiating with Iran. We heard about releasing prisoners from GTMO. We heard nothing about securing our borders and securing our homeland, so we have taken this time today to present a constructive contrast between the President's view of government and our view of government

and what we believe are the right priorities of our government.

I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues today, and I would yield now to my colleague from Illinois (Mr. Rodney Davis).

4:58 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you to my good friend and colleague from Florida, and thank you to my good friend and colleague from Alabama for joining us, Mr. Byrne.

Mr. Speaker, this is a great opportunity to talk about what we heard in this Chamber, just slightly less than 24 hours ago, from this President, who is from my home State of Illinois. We heard a lot of ideas and a lot of talk and a lot of promises, but if it is anything like the State of the Union Addresses that I have had an opportunity to sit on in this Chamber over the last 2 years, we are not going to see a lot of action.

There was a lot of talk about the economy. The economy is getting better. Frankly, it can't have gotten much worse when you compare it to a few years ago. Of course, it is going to get better, but the reality is there are still 8.7 million Americans who are out of work, and 7 million Americans are in part-time jobs but are looking for full-time jobs.

[Time: 17:00]

The President's solution to many of the issues that were brought up was to tax more American families--to tax American families who have been saving for their children's college education to pay for a grandiose idea he has yet to give us the details on.

The President also talked about helping our heroes: our veterans. This one is personal to me because just a few weeks ago, the day we got sworn in for the 114th Congress, Mr. Speaker, we were able to unanimously pass a bill called the Hire More Heroes Act, which I sponsored. This wasn't an idea that came from Washington. It was an idea that came from Illinois. Brad Lavite, the superintendent of the Madison County, Illinois, Veterans Assistance Commission, came to me during the last Congress and

said, Why is it that veterans who are getting their health care through TRICARE and through the Department of Defense count towards the ObamaCare 50-employee limit in the employer mandate?

I came here, took his idea, and garnered hundreds of cosponsors to put this on the floor of the House. It passed in the last Congress, but it got held up in the Senate. It passed unanimously in this Congress on day one, and that bill should go through the Senate and get to the President's desk. If he wants to help veterans get jobs, I hope the President signs that immediately when it hits his desk, hopefully, in no more than a few weeks.

These are the types of solutions that are bipartisan solutions that the President told us he wanted to put forth, but he talked to us in a manner that I didn't think was bipartisan at all. Most of his speech talked about what he was going to do. I would have rather heard the President talk about what we are going to do together because, frankly, that is what my constituents in Illinois want us to do. They want us to come here and govern together.

That is why I am so glad to be here and be a part of this Special Order with my good friend, Mr. Jolly. Hopefully, we can begin a good banter about discussing what our thoughts are on where America needs to go to move forward and work with this President but do it in a way that is a lot less confrontational than what we heard last night.

5:02 PM EST

Bradley Byrne, R-AL 1st

Mr. BYRNE. I thank the gentlemen from Florida and Illinois. Those were eloquent words spoken from the heart, because I know both of these gentleman mean everything they just said.

Last night was an interesting moment for me. One of the President's big plays is this proposal regarding community colleges.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am the first person in my family to go to college. Both of my parents grew up during the Depression. There wasn't any money for college, but I was privileged to go to college. During the time that I went, my parents were not doing well financially. Like very many other people, I was a financial aid student.

We didn't have Pell grants back then. You got Federal student loans and maybe a Federal student work-study job. Lots and lots of people in my generation did that. I don't ever complain about that because that is the best money I ever borrowed and the best work I ever did because it gave me the opportunity to do what I have done in life. But it also taught me how important it is to give people an opportunity for a real education so that they can move up in their lives.

This May, the last of my four children will finish college. We have had somebody in college in my family since 2003. I have been writing those tuition checks, fees, et cetera. So I look at this also from the point of view of someone who has had to be there writing those checks, sending their young people to college. But I am also the former chancellor of post-secondary education for the State of Alabama. It was my job to be the CEO of Alabama's 2-year college system, the community colleges for

the State of Alabama. And so I bring a certain level of experience and expertise to this issue that may be a little different from others in this body.

When the President first proposed this, his office just gave us a heads up. It didn't check and say, Do you think this is a good idea? Given your background, do you think this is something we can do? He said, This is what we're going to do.

Our first question we asked was, How much will it cost? The initial answer we got from the White House was, We don't know how much it's going to cost. Now that should cause us all to ask a question about how serious this proposal is when, in the very first instance that they decide that they are going to propose it, they can't even tell us how much it costs. Even after they decided how much they think it is going to cost--$60 billion--they couldn't tell us how they were going to pay for it.

So it led me to ask this question: Is this a serious idea? Because, you see, over a third of our community college students in America are already on Federal Pell grants, which cover all--or virtually all--of their tuition and fee costs when they go to community college. And for the people that don't have the eligibility to get Pell grants, there are a combination of other things that they can get.

My experience as somebody who ran a community college system was that covering tuition and fees was usually not the real problem most community college students face. Most of them face a more difficult problem, and that is they are not adequately academically prepared or they have other problems in their lives, whether it is from their homes or jobs or whatever. It is hard for them to stay in college and stay up with the work that they have got to do. And so they need a lot of extra help. And

the President doesn't talk about that.

Now here is the worst thing about this proposal. We heard a lot last night from the President of the United States that he was all about the middle class. Let me tell you one of the taxes that he is going to raise that is going to pay for these proposals. He is going to tax 529 plans.

For people that don't know what those are, 529 plans are savings accounts, essentially, that moms and [Page: H469]

dads and grandmoms and granddads put money in over time and they use that money that they saved over time to put their young people through college. And the good thing about that is while they pay taxes on the money that they make before they put it into the plans, if, when they take the money out of those plans, there has been some appreciation--it has

gone from being this much money to that much money--they don't have to pay taxes on it.

It is an incentive for them. It is a way for middle class people to save for college for their young people. It is the only way middle class people in this country have a real savings plan for the young people. And this President, who stood up right behind me last night and talked about being for the middle class, wants to tax those middle class savings plans and take them away from people. Twelve million people use those plans in this country, 12 million people like my parents, like my wife

and me, and like many, many other people in America. They shouldn't have their plans taxed.

So I say to my colleagues from Florida and Illinois, if you look at just that one part of what he proposed, it is hard to say he was serious. Because if he really

cares about higher education in America, he would think about the other needs of these community college students. But most importantly, he would think about those 12 million parents that are saving for their young people, middle class people whom he is trying to take money away from with this proposed tax.

I think that sort of gives you a flavor of my appreciation of that one part of what he said last night.

5:02 PM EST

Bradley Byrne, R-AL 1st

Mr. BYRNE. I thank the gentlemen from Florida and Illinois. Those were eloquent words spoken from the heart, because I know both of these gentleman mean everything they just said.

Last night was an interesting moment for me. One of the President's big plays is this proposal regarding community colleges.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am the first person in my family to go to college. Both of my parents grew up during the Depression. There wasn't any money for college, but I was privileged to go to college. During the time that I went, my parents were not doing well financially. Like very many other people, I was a financial aid student.

We didn't have Pell grants back then. You got Federal student loans and maybe a Federal student work-study job. Lots and lots of people in my generation did that. I don't ever complain about that because that is the best money I ever borrowed and the best work I ever did because it gave me the opportunity to do what I have done in life. But it also taught me how important it is to give people an opportunity for a real education so that they can move up in their lives.

This May, the last of my four children will finish college. We have had somebody in college in my family since 2003. I have been writing those tuition checks, fees, et cetera. So I look at this also from the point of view of someone who has had to be there writing those checks, sending their young people to college. But I am also the former chancellor of post-secondary education for the State of Alabama. It was my job to be the CEO of Alabama's 2-year college system, the community colleges for

the State of Alabama. And so I bring a certain level of experience and expertise to this issue that may be a little different from others in this body.

When the President first proposed this, his office just gave us a heads up. It didn't check and say, Do you think this is a good idea? Given your background, do you think this is something we can do? He said, This is what we're going to do.

Our first question we asked was, How much will it cost? The initial answer we got from the White House was, We don't know how much it's going to cost. Now that should cause us all to ask a question about how serious this proposal is when, in the very first instance that they decide that they are going to propose it, they can't even tell us how much it costs. Even after they decided how much they think it is going to cost--$60 billion--they couldn't tell us how they were going to pay for it.

So it led me to ask this question: Is this a serious idea? Because, you see, over a third of our community college students in America are already on Federal Pell grants, which cover all--or virtually all--of their tuition and fee costs when they go to community college. And for the people that don't have the eligibility to get Pell grants, there are a combination of other things that they can get.

My experience as somebody who ran a community college system was that covering tuition and fees was usually not the real problem most community college students face. Most of them face a more difficult problem, and that is they are not adequately academically prepared or they have other problems in their lives, whether it is from their homes or jobs or whatever. It is hard for them to stay in college and stay up with the work that they have got to do. And so they need a lot of extra help. And

the President doesn't talk about that.

Now here is the worst thing about this proposal. We heard a lot last night from the President of the United States that he was all about the middle class. Let me tell you one of the taxes that he is going to raise that is going to pay for these proposals. He is going to tax 529 plans.

For people that don't know what those are, 529 plans are savings accounts, essentially, that moms and [Page: H469]

dads and grandmoms and granddads put money in over time and they use that money that they saved over time to put their young people through college. And the good thing about that is while they pay taxes on the money that they make before they put it into the plans, if, when they take the money out of those plans, there has been some appreciation--it has

gone from being this much money to that much money--they don't have to pay taxes on it.

It is an incentive for them. It is a way for middle class people to save for college for their young people. It is the only way middle class people in this country have a real savings plan for the young people. And this President, who stood up right behind me last night and talked about being for the middle class, wants to tax those middle class savings plans and take them away from people. Twelve million people use those plans in this country, 12 million people like my parents, like my wife

and me, and like many, many other people in America. They shouldn't have their plans taxed.

So I say to my colleagues from Florida and Illinois, if you look at just that one part of what he proposed, it is hard to say he was serious. Because if he really

cares about higher education in America, he would think about the other needs of these community college students. But most importantly, he would think about those 12 million parents that are saving for their young people, middle class people whom he is trying to take money away from with this proposed tax.

I think that sort of gives you a flavor of my appreciation of that one part of what he said last night.

5:07 PM EST

David W. Jolly, R-FL 13th

Mr. JOLLY. You bring much education experience as a layperson but also somebody with very specific political convictions. The President talked about free community college. And as an example, he used two local areas that now provide it. Well, I think that is the point of departure for our view of government.

If a local community decides that they want to provide education through whatever tax levy that the residents there might support, that is a great opportunity. But to suggest that somehow Washington, which so often fails in orchestrating through the heavy hand of government a new type of education economics, is going to work better than those two communities that he cited last night is exactly where the view of government between our side of the aisle and his begins to depart.

5:11 PM EST

Bradley Byrne, R-AL 1st

Mr. BYRNE. That is an important point because when you look at education, there are different parts of it. Each part serves its own special need. The 4-year colleges are different from the 2-year colleges, and they are different from high schools, et cetera. So there is a role that each of them play, but sometimes we start fuzzing them together and we miss the importance of each one of them.

I think there will be some negative effects on 4-year colleges. I already heard from some 4-year college people about that. They don't want to pick on the 2-year colleges because they don't want to be seen to do that, but they understand there could be some negative effects.

But the point you and the gentleman from Florida were making that is even more important to this, these are mainly local and State decisions. The Federal Government is inserting itself in things that traditionally, under our Federal understanding of government, the Federal Government didn't get involved in.

I talked to our colleagues in this House from the State of Tennessee, Democrat and Republican, and said, What do you think about us taking your Tennessee plan and nationalizing it? They said, We think it's a bad idea. We are proud of our Tennessee plan. We think it's a good plan. We're proud that our State is doing it.

It is one thing to talk about it from a State level--I understand they have one in Chicago at the local level--but it is different when you blow it up to be a national thing.

So the President wants to take this good idea from a single State or a single city and blow it up into a national thing, and we are not really stoked here to do that. We don't really understand how to do that.

Here is what happens now: we send the money out. And what happens after we send the money? Rules and regulations and mandates come flowing down after it, and Washington starts telling Tennessee and Illinois and Florida and Alabama how to run our colleges. And that, my friends, is a very bad idea. I don't think anybody in higher education wants the heavy hand of the Federal Government telling us how to run our institutions of higher education.

Let me end on this one point. America is known as having the best institutions of higher education in the world. And the reason we do is because each one of our institutions is different from one another. They specialize in who they are and they focus on quality. And if we start robbing that from them by trying to stamp some one-size-fits-all concept of higher education, which the President is trying to do right now with this rating system he wants to put on higher education, then we may start

losing in an area in which we are the preeminent leader in the world. And I don't think the people of Alabama sent me here to let the Federal Government do that to the fine institutions of higher education we have in the State of Alabama.

5:14 PM EST

David W. Jolly, R-FL 13th

Mr. JOLLY. In our remaining time, I would like to revisit another topic--it is one on which I think the solutions on our side of the aisle reflect the will of the people that we saw at the ballot box in November--and that is border security.

[Time: 17:15]

We need to reclaim this issue, as conservatives. We need to redefine this national conversation. The President likes to continually say that if Congress would just send him a bill, then all would be okay, and it is usually followed by suggesting that if we send a [Page: H470]

bill that we pass, he will veto it. What he means is we have to send him his bill.

I just want to point out something because we do have solutions on this side of this aisle, and we have acted responsibly on behalf of that. In July, we passed a border security bill that put facilities closer to the border to keep those who enter illegally closer to the border.

We changed the policy to ``last in, first out,'' so if you get in, you don't get to linger for years before you are returned if you don't have a humanitarian claim that merits staying.

We also increased funding for judges, created tele-courtrooms so that we could more expeditiously process those who come here illegally--and rightfully so--and we should do so very responsibly. We are a loving nation made better for immigration, but we should show everybody the rule of law and how you responsibly immigrate here.

Mind you, we also passed a bill that provided for the health care of those who come here and while they are detained here, but I want to point out something very specific. In the coming weeks, this Congress is going to offer another bill--because that one was never accepted by the Senate or went to the President--to require operational control of our border.

That is a great urgency, to have operational control of our border, not to just address the traditional border security issue, but to address what we know is a growing concern about our domestic and homeland security.

We have seen the threats around the globe. Most certainly, that has to be an area where we can reach agreement with the White House, and I hope we can take up the President on his offer to put a bill on his desk and ask him to sign it, just as he has pledged to do so.

5:16 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you to the gentleman for yielding, and you bring up a great point. This isn't just a border security issue because of an immigration issue. This is a border security issue because of a homeland security issue.

We have to make our border secure. We are going to have what our vision for border security is in this institution pass now to the Senate, and the President will get his wish. We will put a bill on his desk. It may not be the bill he wants, but my message to the administration--to the White House--is: come work with us.

In my first 2 years here, I just haven't seen that happen on a wide variety of issues. It seems like every idea that we come up with in this institution, even some that passed by huge bipartisan majorities, they threaten a veto. Well, that is okay, but that is not conducive to working together to find solutions, and that is what I think we are here for.

I think we, on this side, there are many of us who are out here to find solutions to the Nation's problems, not to create more problems, and that is exactly the message I hope to send to the American people tonight, that we are willing to work with the President on border security, on education, on a wide variety of issues, but we also have to have some response back, and that is what I think we are lacking.

5:17 PM EST

Bradley Byrne, R-AL 1st

Mr. BYRNE. I am on the Armed Services Committee, and I look at border security as national security.

Let me give you a story from a trip that several of us on the Armed Services Committee took to the Middle East back in August and September. We visited several countries over there. As you know, it is a very dangerous part of the world, clearly.

One of the countries we went to is Morocco. Morocco, if you think about where it is, should have lots of problems, but you don't really hear much about Morocco having terrorist incidents. When we were over there, we asked a lot of questions. How is that so?

It is because they take their border security very seriously. They use a lot of the military aid that America provides to Morocco for their border security, and they keep the bad guys out, and so you don't hear in this country that is in some of the most troubled parts of the world, you don't hear about the problems there because they control their borders. They understand that their internal and national security is dependent upon that.

We had two brothers, the Tsarnaev brothers, who grew up in Boston. One of them was allowed to go back to where they were from and one of the satellite countries from Russia--obviously was trained by terrorists.

We allowed him to come back into this country, after we were warned by the Russians where he had gone, and he and his brother tragically ignited those bombs at the Boston Marathon, seriously wounding a lot of people and killing some.

Well, what sort of a security situation do we have that we allowed him back into this country? What sort of security situation do we have today?

This is not just about the southern border; it is about the northern border. It is about our security of the entire Nation, and if we will start looking at border security as national security, which is the way we on this side of the aisle understand this issue, then we can protect the American people.

It definitely does take us working with the President because he runs the Department of Homeland Security through his appointee to that Secretary's position, and it is his policies through that Department that determine whether or not we are going to be protected, and protecting our borders is a part of protecting Americans from international terrorism, including international Islamic terrorism.

5:20 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. I am just excited to be able to talk about what happened at the State of the Union last night, our perspective. In closing, it kind of frustrates me that we didn't see real solutions to the exploding cost of higher education.

If the solution is what the President laid out, which is going to actually put more of a burden on middle class families by taxing their savings plans that they have been saving for--for sometimes decades--that is a wrong approach to bringing down the cost of higher education to making Pell grants go further.

The President also mentioned another point last night about equal pay. Well, it would have been nice to have the President and the White House actually do that in the White House, where women make an average of 18 percent less than men, so it is not just enough to talk about it here in this Chamber. Do it when you have control over the opportunity to make things happen.

That is why I hope it is not just rhetoric on many issues, but I want to see action.

5:20 PM EST

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. I am just excited to be able to talk about what happened at the State of the Union last night, our perspective. In closing, it kind of frustrates me that we didn't see real solutions to the exploding cost of higher education.

If the solution is what the President laid out, which is going to actually put more of a burden on middle class families by taxing their savings plans that they have been saving for--for sometimes decades--that is a wrong approach to bringing down the cost of higher education to making Pell grants go further.

The President also mentioned another point last night about equal pay. Well, it would have been nice to have the President and the White House actually do that in the White House, where women make an average of 18 percent less than men, so it is not just enough to talk about it here in this Chamber. Do it when you have control over the opportunity to make things happen.

That is why I hope it is not just rhetoric on many issues, but I want to see action.

5:21 PM EST

David W. Jolly, R-FL 13th

Mr. JOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this time. I hope what the American people have seen and our colleagues have seen is a Congress with solutions.

We will be passing through this House border security solutions, a homeland security solution. Frankly, addressing the constitutional overreach we saw from the President, we will be passing energy independence solutions, education solutions, tax reform solutions. We are committed to doing that on behalf of the American people.

I look forward to working with our colleagues, and frankly, we remain hopeful that we will have the opportunity to work with the President on this as well.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

END

5:23 PM EST

Trent Franks, R-AZ 8th

Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is January 22, 2015. It [Page: H471]

marks exactly 42 years to the day since the tragedy called Roe v. Wade was first handed down from the United States Supreme Court. Since then, every foundation of this Nation has been stained by the blood of more than 55 million of its own unborn children. Incomprehensibly, those who have profited from it most have hailed it as freedom.

We should all remember the words of President Abraham Lincoln when he said:

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.

Mr. Lincoln called upon all of us to remember America's Founding Fathers, and ``their enlightened belief that nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on or degraded and imbruted by its fellows.''

He reminded those he called posterity that when, in the distant future, some man, some factions, some interests should set up a doctrine that some were not entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that ``their posterity''--that is us, Mr. Speaker--that ``their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their Fathers began.''

Mr. Speaker, for the sake of all of those who founded this Nation and dreamed of what America could someday be and for the sake of all of those since then who have died in darkness so America could walk in the light of freedom, it is so very important that those of us who are privileged to be Members of the United States Congress pause from time to time and remind ourselves of why we are really all here.

Thomas Jefferson, whose words marked the beginning of this Nation said, ``The care of human life and its happiness and not its destruction is the chief and only object of good government.''

The phrase in the Fifth Amendment capsulizes our entire Constitution. It says that no person shall be ``deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.''

The 14th Amendment says no State shall deny ``to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.''

Mr. Speaker, protecting the lives of all Americans and their constitutional rights is why we are all here; yet, today, a great shadow looms over America. When authorities entered the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, they found a torture chamber for little babies that defies description within the constraints of the English language.

According to the grand jury report:

Dr. Kermit Gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies. He killed them. He didn't call it that. He called it ``ensuring fetal demise.'' The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors in the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called it ``snipping.'' Over the years, there were hundreds of ``snippings.''

Ashley Baldwin, one of Dr. Gosnell's employees, said she saw babies breathing, and she defined one as 2 feet long that no longer had eyes or a mouth but, in her words, was making like this ``screeching'' noise, and it ``sounded like a little alien.''

For God's sake, Mr. Speaker, is this who we truly are? Kermit Gosnell now rightfully sits in prison for killing a mother and murdering innocent children like the one I just described; yet, if he had killed these babies only 5 minutes earlier and before they had passed through the birth canal, it would have all been perfectly legal in much of the United States of America.

If there is one thing that we must not miss about this unspeakably evil episode, it is that Kermit Gosnell is not an anomaly; he is just the visible face of this lucrative enterprise of murdering pain-capable unborn children in America.

Mr. Speaker, more than 18,000 very late-term abortions are occurring in America every year, placing the mothers at exponentially greater risk and subjecting their pain-capable unborn babies to torture and death without anesthesia. It is the greatest atrocity in the United States.

According to the Bartlett study, a woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester. At 21 weeks or more, she is 91 times more likely to die than she was in the first trimester.

Regardless of how supporters of abortion on demand might try to suppress it, it is undisputed and universally accepted by every credible expert that the risk to a mother's health from abortion increases as gestation increases.

There is no valid debate on that incontrovertible reality; yet supporters of abortion on demand try to suppress that.

[Time: 17:30]

They also have tried for decades, Mr. Speaker, to deny that unborn babies ever feel pain, even those at the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy, as if somehow the ability to feel pain magically develops the very second the child is born.

Mr. Speaker, almost every other major civilized nation on this Earth protects pain-capable unborn babies at this age, and every credible poll of the American people shows that they are overwhelmingly in favor of protecting these children. Yet we have given these little babies less legal protection from unnecessary pain and cruelty than the protection we have given farm animals under the Federal Humane Slaughter Act. Mr. Speaker, it is a tragedy that beggars my ability to articulate.

But I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the winds of change are beginning to blow and that the tide of blindness and blood is finally turning in America. Because tomorrow we will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in this Chamber, and it will be a vote that every one of us will always remember and for which we shall be held accountable.

And no matter how it is shouted down or what distortions, deceptive what-ifs, distractions, diversions, gotchas, twisted words, changing the subject, or blatant falsehoods the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters, it remains a deeply sincere effort, beginning at their sixth month of pregnancy, to protect both mothers and their pain-capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion on demand; and ultimately, Mr. Speaker, it is one all humane Americans can support

if they truly understand it for themselves.

Mr. Speaker, not long ago, I heard Barack Obama speak very noble and poignant words that, whether he realizes it or not, apply so profoundly to this subject. Let me quote, if you will, excerpted portions of his comments. He said: ``This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be judged.''

The President asked: ``Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?''

The President also said: ``Our journey is not complete until all our children are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.''

``That is our generation's task--to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.''

Mr. Speaker, never have I so deeply agreed with any words ever spoken by President Obama as those I have just quoted. How I wish that somehow we could all open our hearts and our ears to these incontrovertible words and ask ourselves in the core of our souls why these words that should apply to all children cannot include the most helpless and vulnerable of all children. How does any child become more vulnerable than these little pain-capable unborn babies?

Mr. Speaker, it seems that we are never quite so eloquent as when we decry the crimes of a past generation, and we are never quite so staggeringly blind as when we assess an atrocity in our own time.

What we are doing to these babies is real, and all of us here know that in our hearts. Medical science regarding the development of unborn babies beginning at the sixth month of pregnancy now demonstrates irrefutably that they do, in fact, feel pain. Many of them cry and scream as they die, but because it is amniotic fluid going over the vocal cords instead of air, we can't hear them. It is, Mr. Speaker, the greatest human rights atrocity in the United States of America today.

I began and I close with the wise counsel from Abraham Lincoln to all of [Page: H472]

us. He said: ``Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the last generation.''

Mr. Speaker, it is time to open our eyes and our souls and recognize that protecting pain-capable unborn children and their mothers is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It is a test of our basic humanity and who we are as a human family. It is time to open our eyes and allow our consciences to catch up with our technology. It is time for Members of the United States Congress to open our eyes and recognize that protecting those who cannot protect themselves is why we are all here. And,

Mr. Speaker, it is time for all Americans to open our eyes and our hearts to the humanity of these little unborn children of God and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

END