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2001 Ron Paul Chapter 106
16 December 2001
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Congressional Record (Page H10196) Cached
2001 Ron Paul 106:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3054. At the same time, I rise in great respect for the courage and compassion shown by those who gave their lives attempting to rescue their fellow citizens in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. I also rise in admiration and gratitude to the passengers of Flight 93 who knowingly sacrificed their lives to prevent another terrorist attack. However, I do not believe that an unconstitutional authorization for Congressional Gold Medals is in the true spirit of these American heros. After all, this legislation purports to honor personal sacrifices and acts of heroism by forcing others to pay for these gold medals.
2001 Ron Paul 106:2
Mr. Speaker, money appropriated for gold medals, or any other unconstitutional purpose, is, in the words of Davy Crockett, Not Yours to Give. It is my pleasure to attach a copy of Davy Crocketts Not Yours to Give speech for the record. I hope my colleagues will carefully consider its message before voting to take money from American workers and families to spend on unconstitutional programs and projects.
2001 Ron Paul 106:3
Instead of abusing the taxing and spending power, I urge my colleagues to undertake to raise the money for these medals among ourselves. I would gladly donate to a Congressional Gold Medal fund whose proceeds would be used to purchase and award gold medals to those selected by Congress for this honor. Congress should also reduce the federal tax burdened on the families of those who lost their lives helping their fellow citizens on September 11. Mr. Speaker, reducing the tax burden on these Americans would be a real sacrifice for many in Washington since any reduction in taxes represents a loss of real and potential power for the federal government.
2001 Ron Paul 106:4
H.R. 3054 violates fundamental principles of fiscal responsibility by giving the Secretary of the Treasury almost unquestioned authority to determine who can and cannot receive a gold medal. Official estimates are that implementation of this bill will cost approximately 3.9 million dollars, however the terms of the bill suggest that the costs incurred by the United States taxpayer could be much higher. Furthermore, unlike previous legislation authorizing gold medals, H.R. 3054 does not instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to use profits generated by marketing bronze duplicates of the medal to reimburse the taxpayer for the costs of producing the medal. Unfortunately, because this bill was moved to the suspension calender without hearings or a mark-up there was no opportunity for members of the Financial Services Committee such as myself to examine these questions.
2001 Ron Paul 106:5
Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I must remain consistent in my defense of a limited government whose powers are explicitly delimited under the enumerated powers of the Constitution — a Constitution which each Member of Congress swore to uphold. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I must oppose this legislation and respectfully suggest that perhaps we should begin a debate among us on more appropriate processes by which we spend other peoples money. Honorary medals and commemorative coins, under the current process, come from other peoples money. It is, of course, easier to be generous with other peoples money, but using our own funds to finance these gold medal is true to the sprit of the heros of September 11.