Ron Paul
2002 Ron Paul Chapter 79

Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 5005, Homeland Security Act Of 2002

25 July 2002

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2002 Ron Paul 79:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I do not oppose this rule because I would like to consider this important issue, but I am very concerned with the process of bringing this legislation before this body.

2002 Ron Paul 79:2
Mr. Speaker, since we began looking at proposals here in the House of Representatives, more questions have arisen than have been answered. We have put this legislation on a “fast track” to passage, primarily for reasons of public relations, and hence have shortcircuited the deliberative process. It has been argued that the reason for haste is the seriousness of the issue, but frankly I have always held that the more serious the issue is, the more deliberative we here ought to be.

2002 Ron Paul 79:3
Instead of a carefully crafted product of meaningful deliberations, I fear we are once again about to pass a hastily drafted bill in order to appear that we are “doing something.” Over the past several months, Congress has passed a number of hastily crafted measures that do little, if anything, to enhance the security of the American people. Instead, these measures grow the size of the Federal Government, erode constitutional liberties, and endanger our economy by increasing the federal deficit and raiding the social security trust fund. The American people would be better served if we gave the question of how to enhance security from international terrorism the serious consideration it deserves rather than blindly expanding the Federal Government. Congress should also consider whether our hyper-interventionist foreign policy really benefits the American people.

2002 Ron Paul 79:4
Serious and substantive questions about this reorganization have been raised. Many of these questions have yet to be resolved. Just because a bill has been reported from the Select Committee does not mean that a consensus exists. Indeed, even a couple of days before consideration, this bill it was impossible to get access to the legislation in the form introduced in the committee, let alone as amended by the committee.

2002 Ron Paul 79:5
In the course of just one week, the President’s original 52-page proposal swelled to 232 pages, with most members, including myself, unable to review the greatly expanded bill. While I know that some of those additions are positive, such as Mr. ARMEY’s amendments to protect the privacy of American citizens, it is impossible to fully explore the implications of this, the largest departmental reorganization in the history of our Federal Government, without sufficient time to review the bill. This is especially the case in light of the fact that a number of the recommendations of the standing committees were not incorporated in the legislation, thus limiting our ability to understand how our constituents will be affected by this legislation.

2002 Ron Paul 79:6
I have attempted to be a constructive part of this very important process. From my seat on the House International Relations Committee I introduced amendments that would do something concrete to better secure our homeland. Unfortunately, my amendments were not adopted in the form I offered them. Why? Was it because they did not deal substantively with the issues at hand? Was it because they addressed concerns other than those this new department should address? No, amazingly I was told that my amendments were too “substantive.” My amendments would have made it impossible for more people similar to those who hijacked those aircraft to get into our country. They would have denied certain visas and identified Saudi Arabia as a key problem in our attempt to deal with terrorism. Those ideas were deemed too controversial, so they are not included in this bill.

2002 Ron Paul 79:7
I also introduced four amendments to the bill itself, including those that would prohibit a national identification card, that would prohibit the secretary of this new department from moving money to other agencies and departments without congressional oversight, that would deny student visas to nationals of Saudi Arabia, and that would deny student and diversity visas to nationals from terrorist-sponsoring countries. All of these amendments, which would have addressed some of the real issues of our security, were rejected. They were not even allowed onto the floor for a debate. This is yet more evidence of the failure of this process.

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