The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 92

Congress Should Do More Problem Solving

8 October 1997

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1997 Ron Paul 92:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, frequently I am asked, when I am in my district, if Congress is making any progress in solving the problems that this country faces. I wished I could be more optimistic in my answer, yet I am optimistic about the people in the district and the people in the country, because I think they are beginning to see the problems correctly and they are beginning to sense that we should be doing more to solve the problems.

1997 Ron Paul 92:2
But truthfully, I cannot give them an optimistic answer about the progress we are making here within the House of Representatives and in the Senate. For instance, yesterday we had a piece of legislation come up rather quickly. It was the FDA legislation. There was no announcement the day before. There was no announcement last week. It came up suddenly, under suspension, only minutes to prepare.

1997 Ron Paul 92:3
Actually, I came to the floor hoping that I could at least make a statement, asking for 1 minute, but because it was managed by both majority and minority that supported the bill, there just happened not to be any time available to discuss anything in the FDA legislation.

1997 Ron Paul 92:4
This legislation involved 177 pages. It was not available to me on the Internet. It is a complex piece of legislation, and something that I think is a very important piece of legislation. I had received numerous pieces of correspondence critical of this legislation and urging caution on its passage. The bill was rushed through rather quickly. There was no vote taken on this and, actually, not one single thing said in a negative manner about this particular legislation.

1997 Ron Paul 92:5
Now, on the pretense of the legislation is to speed up the process, to get drugs approved more quickly, to avoid the bureaucracy of the Federal Drug Administration and, quite frankly, there probably is plenty of bureaucracy over there that slows up the process. But if they are not doing a good job, why would speeding up the process necessarily be helpful?

1997 Ron Paul 92:6
If they speeded up the process to get drugs out, like Dexfenfluramine, which is a drug now known to cause heart valve disease, I cannot see the purpose of trying to speed up a process that guarantees very little to the consumer. Quite frankly, the Good Housekeeping seal of approval that the FDA puts on it I question. I favor the original Good Housekeeping seal of approval, something done more privately.

1997 Ron Paul 92:7
But the serious parts of this legislation, which I believe will come back to haunt many in this Congress, and I am predicting they will hear from the constituents and from many groups interested in this issue, in the first way the bill itself internationalized regulations for the first time. The regulations are to conform with all other nations when possible. I do not see this as a positive step in any way.

1997 Ron Paul 92:8
Unfortunately, it diminishes the State’s role in regulation and in food labeling and it allows more Federal regulation rather than less. This, to me, is not going in the right direction. We talk a lot about reducing the Federal control, but here is a piece of legislation that comes up rather quickly, no debate, no chance to really debate the issue at all and, at the same time, it enhances and empowers the Federal Government over the States and, at the same time, it introduces this notion that some of these regulations may well become internationalized.

1997 Ron Paul 92:9
In another area that I think we have done a poor job has to do with the budget. If the American people would go by what is said from here, so much optimism, that we are on the verge of having surpluses and we are running around arguing about how to spend the surpluses, I have to take a different side to that argument. I don’t see the surpluses.

1997 Ron Paul 92:10
For instance, this past year they say the national debt is down to $30 billion, approximately. Well, $30 billion to a lot of people is still a significant amount of money. So a $30 billion deficit should not be ignored and, quite frankly, I think it is lower than was anticipated more by accident than by what we have done, especially if we look at the budget resolution, which actually introduced more welfare programs, not less. So the fact that we have a smaller deficit is not too reassuring to me.

1997 Ron Paul 92:11
If you look at the increase in the national debt, it suggests another story. The national debt has actually gone up nearly $200 billion in this past year. The national debt went from $5.22 trillion to $5.41 trillion. So why the discrepancy? Why is the deficit so small and yet the national debt is increasing rapidly? There is a very specific reason for this. More money is being borrowed from the trust funds, such as Social Security. That is not the solution. That is a problem.

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