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1999 Ron Paul Chapter 43

Supporting Istook Amendment

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6 May 1999


1999 Ron Paul 43:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1999 Ron Paul 43:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Istook amendment. I think that this would send a strong message that we do not endorse this war. It was said that this is the same vote that we had last week, but last week’s vote is sitting on the table and it is going to sit there.

1999 Ron Paul 43:3
This one may well go someplace and have an effect. So this is a much more important vote that we had last week. It is very important that we vote the same way as we did last week.

1999 Ron Paul 43:4
I think it is interesting, I think we have an interesting constitutional question here, because I agree with the chairman of the committee and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY) that it is not the prerogative of the Congress to micromanage a war. That is correct. It is the job of the Congress to declare the war. But here we have a Congress involved in diplomacy and micromanaging a war that has not been declared. That is the issue. The issue is not the micromanaging.

1999 Ron Paul 43:5
I can support this amendment because the war has not been declared. The issue is how do we permit the President to wage a war without us declaring the war. Once we declare the war, it is true, we should not be talking about whether or not we use airplanes or foot soldiers or whatever. We do not micromanage. We do not get involved in diplomacy maneuvers.

1999 Ron Paul 43:6
But today we have things turned upside down. We have the President declaring where and we say nothing and the Congress micromanaging the war that should not exist. We need to consider that. And we can straighten this mess out by rejecting these funds.

1999 Ron Paul 43:7
It is suggested that this amendment would go a long way to doing it. I am not all that optimistic. For us to say to the President “thou shalt not use these funds for the ground war,” well, he has not had the authority to wage his air war. Why would he listen to us now?

1999 Ron Paul 43:8
Can we trust him and say that he is going to listen to what we tell him? Of course not. He is already fighting his air war and he will continue to. And he has set the standard, and not he alone, all our Presidents from World War II have set the standard that they will do what they darn well please.

1999 Ron Paul 43:9
This is why I have been encouraged in the last couple weeks that this debate has been going on, because it is an important debate. I have finally seen this Congress at least addressing the subject on whether or not they should take back the prerogatives of war and not allow it to remain in the hands of the President.

1999 Ron Paul 43:10
This is very, very good. I have come to the House floor on numerous occasions since February, taking this position that we should not be involved. As a matter of fact, we had a couple dozen, maybe three dozen Members in this Congress who signed on a bill in February, a month or so before we even saw the bombs dropping in Yugoslavia, that would have prevented this whole mess if we would have stood up and assumed our responsibilities.

1999 Ron Paul 43:11
It is said that we must move in now to help the refugees. Have we looked at the statistics? How many refugees did we have before the bombing started? Others say, well, we must move in because Milosevic is so strong. Prior to the bombing, Milosevic was weak.

1999 Ron Paul 43:12
Talk about unintended consequences. They are so numerous. What about the unintended consequence of supporting the KLA who are supported by Osama Bin Laden? How absurd can it get? Osama Bin Laden was our good friend because he was a freedom fighter in Afghanistan and we gave him our weapons and supported him. But then we found out he was not quite so friendly, so we captured a few of his men and he retaliated by bombing our embassies. Of course, we retaliated by bombing innocent chemical plants as well as people in Afghanistan that had nothing to do with it.

1999 Ron Paul 43:13
So where are we now? We are back to supporting and working hard and just deliberating over whether we should give weapons to the KLA. I mean, the whole thing is absurd.

1999 Ron Paul 43:14
There is only one thing that we should do, and that is stop this funding and stop the war. My colleagues say, oh, no, we are already too far in that we cannot. It is not supporting the troops. Well, who wants to get down here and challenge me and say that I do not support our troops? I support our troops. I served in the military for 5 years. That is not a worthwhile challenge. We all support our troops.

1999 Ron Paul 43:15
They say, well, no, they are in a quagmire and we have to help them and this is the only way we can do it. So the President comes and asks us for $6 billion and then, in Congress’s infinite wisdom, we give him $13 billion. And yet, we do not declare war.

1999 Ron Paul 43:16
This appropriation should be defeated.
Notes:

1999 Ron Paul 43:3 So this is a much more important vote that we had last week. probably should be So this is a much more important vote than we had last week.

1999 Ron Paul 43:4 the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY) Here, Ron Paul refers to The Honorable David R. Obey.

1999 Ron Paul 43:6 upside down probably should be hyphenated: upside-down.

1999 Ron Paul 43:12 Osama Bin Laden probably should not be capitalized: Osama bin Laden.

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