The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 75

Foreign Operations, Export Financing, And Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1998

30 July 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H6371)   Cached

1997 Ron Paul 75:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

1997 Ron Paul 75:2
Ms. PELOSI. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.

1997 Ron Paul 75:3
Mr. PAUL. Could the gentlewoman cite the constitutional authority for programs like this? Where did we get this authority? When did we get involved in doing this? I am confused on that constitutional issue.

1997 Ron Paul 75:4
Ms. PELOSI. I would not be able to cite the constitutional authority. I know the gentleman is well known for his opposition to any spending bills, but I think the question that he asks is an appropriate one to ask every Member who speaks on the floor, because these agencies of government create jobs and return revenue to our Treasury.

1997 Ron Paul 75:5
I would like to address one of the points the gentleman made in his remarks. He said if they are so self-sustaining, why are they not privatized, or words to that effect.

1997 Ron Paul 75:6
I think it is very important that this is part of our national export program, that we be able to participate in the program level and have a control on the operating expenses so that all of the funds that are put to this end are well spent and that they promote the most exports, create the most jobs and increase the vitality and dynamism of our own economy.

1997 Ron Paul 75:7
Mr. PAUL. If the gentlewoman will continue to yield, I think that is a noble gesture to mix business and government, but some people are hesitant to do that, to supervise what businesses are doing.

1997 Ron Paul 75:8
Ms. PELOSI. Reclaiming my time, the point was not to mix business and government. The point was to promote U.S. exports abroad and to recognize the realities of the global economy, where all of the countries, the developed countries of the world and the developing countries, are very competitive for the market share out there. It is very important for us in those particular instances where, for example, OPIC would be necessary, assessing the risk very carefully so as not to put the U.S. taxpayers’ dollars at an extraordinary risk, but where the calibration is such that we need OPIC’s participation, or Eximbank’s participation or TDA’s promotion, that we give some opportunity to U.S. business to make the playing field more level. As I have said in my remarks, we do not come close to what many countries do to help promote exports, but at least we can participate in promoting exports.

1997 Ron Paul 75:9
Mr. PAUL. If the gentlewoman will yield further, I think earlier she said that it would be an appropriate question to ask for constitutional authority and suggested that this is a good idea, and I would like to emphasize that we do it more often.

1997 Ron Paul 75:10
Mr. FOGLIETTA. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

1997 Ron Paul 75:11
Ms. PELOSI. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

1997 Ron Paul 75:12
Mr. FOGLIETTA. I think if the gentleman reads the question, he will find that the Constitution calls upon the Congress to promote the general welfare of this Nation. I think by increasing trade and creating jobs, we are promoting the general welfare of our Nation.

1997 Ron Paul 75:13
Mr. PAUL. If the gentlewoman will yield further, this is frequently cited as a constitutional authority to do almost anything. But let me be specific to point out to the gentleman that we are not dealing with the general welfare. We are dealing with the very specific welfare of General Electric and other big companies at the expense of the general welfare of the taxpayers who are paying the money.

1997 Ron Paul 75:14
Ms. PELOSI. Reclaiming my time, I would like to say to the gentleman, I keep a very close eye on these agencies. To the extent that I believe that they are not promoting the general welfare and that special interest is served rather than the public interest, I would be certain to join with the gentleman in criticism of those aspects.

1997 Ron Paul 75:15
But that is not what the point is here tonight.

1997 Ron Paul 75:16
I urge my colleagues to oppose the Paul amendment.


1997 Ron Paul 75:12

The Hon. Thomas Michael Foglietta of Pennsylvania cites the General Welfare clause, an argument which Ron Paul debunks in 1998 Ron Paul 24:4 and 2000 Ron Paul 2:54.

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