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2001 Ron Paul 12:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, today I reluctantly rise in opposition to H. Res. 34. This resolution is unclear and, hence, leaves the ability for much mischief. As the resolutions introductory sentence makes clear, this legislation is considered for other purposes, which is to say, unspecified purposes.
2001 Ron Paul 12:2
Certainly Israel has been a longstanding friend to the United States, sharing many of our interests including peace, open trade, and free movement across international borders. It is equally clear that the people of Israel and the Middle East have long been torn by violence and, as such, share our desire to seek peace. We should, in fact, call for an end to the violence and hope all parties will see why this must be achieved. We are also right to congratulate Mr. Sharon, as is customary to be done with the victor of any election. We have all fought those battles ourselves and rightly understand the commitment needed to succeed in that arena.
2001 Ron Paul 12:3
What then is the problem with this resolution? In fact, there are two problems and they are closely related. The substantive problem here is summed up in that last clause which restates the commitment of the United States to a secure peace for Israel. Certainly we wish peace upon all the people of the world, and in this sense, we are committed to peace. However, we must ask what other sorts of commitments are implied here. The vagary of this resolution leaves open the possibility that those who support it are endorsing unwise and constitutionally-suspect financial and military commitments abroad. Moreover, peace will not best be secured for Israel by the further injection of the United States into regional affairs; rather, it will come when Israel has the unfettered sovereignty necessary to protect its own security.
2001 Ron Paul 12:4
As written, this resolution can be interpreted as an endorsement of unconstitutional acts of aggression upon Israels sovereignty. In this I cannot engage. Thus, it is the less-than-clear nature of the resolution upon which we are voting that makes it necessary for me to object.
2001 Ron Paul 12:5
This brings me to the second problem, the procedural laxity involved here. This resolution was submitted by a number of distinguished members and referred to the Committee on International Relations. The highly-regarded chairman of that committee is the primary sponsor of this legislation and a number of other committee members are among its original cosponsors. Nonetheless, a number of other members of the committee and I were not included in the process. Perhaps, had this bill traveled through the commonly established processes of this institution we would have had the ability to clarify the commitments and other purposes to which this bill refers. In short, had the committee held a hearing and mark-up, the vagaries couldve been removed in the markup process. In such an instance it would be likely that we could achieve the kind of unanimous support for these resolutions, for which I often hear personal appeals. In the future, those who are interested in gaining such unanimous support might consider these procedural concerns if they seek unanimity on this floor. In the instant case, however I must vote no for the reasons I have here expressed.
2001 Ron Paul 12:6
Hopefully these reasons will be considered so that in future instances the opportunity to make clarifications will be offered to those duly-elected members of the committees of this House.