tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 12, 2018 3:59pm-6:00pm EST
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 369, the nays are 47. without objection, the conference report is adopted. the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and concurring in the snamente amendment to h.r. 2454. the clerk: h.r. 2454, an act to
direct the secretary of homeland security to establish a data framework to provide access for appropriate personnel to law enforcement and other information of the department and for other purposes, senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment. many as are in favor, say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the senate amendments are agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committees on education and the workforce and energy and commerce be discharged from further consideration of house resolution 35 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 35, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives relating to automated external defib rib lator -- defibrillator in the nation's schools. the speaker pro tempore: is
there objection to consideration of the resolution? for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment to the text at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment to house resolution 35 offered by mr. lewis of minnesota. page 2, line 4, strike training and insert education. page 2, line 6, strike training and insert professional development. page 2, line 10, strike training and insert education. page 2, line 21, strike training and insert education. mr. lewis remember mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent -- mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. without objection, the amendment is agreed to and without objection the resolution is agreed to. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i have an amendment to the preamble at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. i have an amendment to the preamble at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the amendment
to the preamble. the clerk: amendment to house resolution 35 offered by mr. lewis of minnesota. in the first whereas clause of the preamble strike training and insert education. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the amendment to the preamble is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. members, please take your onversations off of the floor.
for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 887 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 878, a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act to extend honorary citizenship to otherwise qualified noncitizens who enlisted in the philippines and died while with the armed forces during certain times of hostilities and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the
committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration -- judiciary be discharged from further consideration of s. 3170 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 3170, an act to amend title 18, united states code, to make certain changes to the reporting requirement of certain service providers regarding child sexual exploitation visual depictions and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous
consent that the committee on financial services be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 2315 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2315, a bill to posthumously award the congressional gold medal to each of glen daughertyy, tyron woods, sean smith in recognition of their contributions to the nation. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the bill? the clerk -- for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment to 2315 offered by mr. barr of kentucky. trike all after the strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following -- section 1. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. without objection, the amendment is agreed to and the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed and the motion to
reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. barr: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on financial services and house administration be discharged from further consideration of s. 1050, an ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the clerk: the clerk will report the title of the bill. -- the clerk will report the title of the of the bill. a bill to s. 1050, give congressional gold medal to those from world war ii. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. barr: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on financial services be discharged from s. 2101 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of
the. the clerk: senate 2101, an act to submit a congressional gold medal to the u.s.s. indianapolis in recognize rigs of their -- recognition of their perseverance to the united states. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. barr: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to mention a few words in honor of my dear friend and colleague, ileana ros-lehtinen, the first hispanic woman elected to the florida house of representatives in 1982. mr. diaz-balart: the florida designate in 1986 and to this body in 1989. it has been a privilege working with her on issues that are important to our south florida community and to our country. on foreign policy issues, mr. speaker, where she fought on behalf of those struggling with democracies around the planet. places such as communist china and north korea, iran, venezuela, and in cuba. she worked to combat anti-semitism and to protect the rights of the holocaust
victims while ensuring while those complicit were held accountable. while yes i will miss her exuberance presence in this chamber, there will never be a member to serve with her joyful dedication, wit, and contagious enthusiasm. chairwoman emeritus ileana ros-lehtinen and her husband dexter lehtinen have served our community and our country with honor and distinction and so while we will miss her here in congress, i am blessed to know that i will still always be able to rely on her counsel, her support, her love and her friendship. [speaking spanish] yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will provide a translation of his speech, both in english and in spanish. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek recognition? ms. tenney: i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the lady is recognized for one minute. ms. tenney: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize my longtime and dear friend, rudy dimico, who will be retiring next year as the president and c.e.o. of the central association for the blind and visually impaired, also known as cabvi. they have touched the lives of so many. their resources and services have improved the quality of life for so many in our region, including my father, who spent the last seven years of his life legally blind and confined to a wheelchair. cabvi and their compassionate help and staff enabled him to continue to serve as a full-time member of the new york state supreme court despite his disabilities. rudy, a veteran of the new york army national guard, began his
tenure with cabvi in 2003 as vice president of operations before moving up to president and c.e.o. in may, 2008. rudy has overseen expansion and growth at cabvi including expanded employee services, the addition of over 100 and opening four base supply centers in northern states. along with his work at cabvi, rudy has remained deeply involved in our community. he served on board of directors for the national association of the employment for people who are blind, new york vision rehabilitation association. to my dear friend, rudy, thank you for your many years of service, from a grateful community, we wish you the best of luck in retirement and please, sharpen up your golf game. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back? are there any other requests for one-minutes? under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from california, mr. calvert, is recognized for 60
minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. calvert: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield whatever time he may consume to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mchenry: well, i thank my colleague for yielding. mr. speaker, this is the first time as a member i've given a speech like this but i have to say in this body, members understand that an essential ingredient for a successful member of congress and for this institution to function, the essential ingredient is our staff and with good, talented staff, members can be successful, the legislative process can work, and we can serve our country, and we got many faithful public servants here in the house of representatives. . and i rise today to recognize one of them. mr. speaker, the house is not in
order. mr. speaker, the house is not in order. today i rise to recognize my chief of staff of 12 years, parker. she has served this house of representatives in many different capacities. but for the last 12 years, she's been my personal office chief nd my leadership office chief. she sits behind me today and she is easily embarrassed. parker, though, if you look at the gallery, todd, and your two beautiful daughters, your husband and your two beautiful daughters, barrett and eliza, are here to recognize your service and the hard work you've put in for your country. and, mr. speaker, i rise today because my chief of staff, parker, has been an essential ingredient to my success as a member of congress. to serving the people of north
carolina's 10th district, as a member of congress. to be a successful member of the house financial services committee. but she's been an essential ingredient for house republicans on getting the key votes over the last 4 1/2 years for our agenda. and she's worked tirelessly to count the votes on the house floor to get our agenda passed. she's worked tirelessly to build relationships with other chiefs of staff and members, as well as other staff, to further this operation in the house of representatives. eight years ago she got a group of female chiefs of staff, republican chiefs of staff, that were mothers and said we need to actually have an organization so we help each other and coach each other along the way. through mentoring, she has developed that into a very solid group that exchanges information
and helps each other. but what i want to say here on the house floor and publicly is that my success in the last 12 years is as a direct result of parker's work. i met her 22 years ago through an organization called college republicans and that organization, we both cut our teeth in the tough -- rough and tumble of that political operation. and i met this student, i was a student at n.c. state, and she was a student at brown university. and she grew up in upstate new this sort of different backgrounds and perspective and i realized her ingenuity, her creativity, her strength and her passion for the cause, and i learned so much from her. and then 10 years after that, as a member of congress, i invited
her in between her law school classes. she thought i was trying to ask for free legal advice. she had, with coaching from her husband, a really set answer on how she could not, because she had not passed the bar yet, give me legal advice. much less free legal advice. and when she came in, sat down, she put her book bag down, wearing a pair of jeans, i said, well, i'd like to hire you as my chief staff. and she says, i didn't interview for it and i'm not sure i want it. and after she had a conversation with her husband, and some, you know, negotiation, she became my chief of staff and my world as a member of congress changed much for the better. but i'm not the only one that parker has had an impact on as a member of congress. i want to recognize kevin mccarthy from the great state of california, our republican leader, our majority leader, for
as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank my friend for yielding. i want to agree with my friend. that all the success that he has is because of parker. i say that kind of jokingly, but it's serious as well. i am pleased to be here to take a moment to recognize parker, the chief of staff to my dear friend, patrick mchenry. patrick is the deputy whip. many of you know, being a part of congress, you have to make tough decisions, you have to get the votes to pass any bills, and you have to make things happen. and really, the staff that's around you says a lot about yourself. i could think of no finer staff than in all this service parker. what i admire most about parker, the times when patrick and i would be together and steve and we'd come up with a really good idea, we thought it was brilliant. we'd go back to our offices and
soon i'd get a text or a call from patrick who says, it's a dumb idea. i say, why do you think it's a dumb idea? because parker told me so. but that was what parker would do. she understood the members, she understood the policy, but she understood really what we had to have happen. and you know what, history's going to be very kind to this congress, of what we've been able to achieve. the lowest unemployment in more than 50 years. being able to pass the tax bill. when people on the other side, even though they come to us personally and say they wanted to vote for it but the leadership would not let them. so that meant it was resting wound side. and the -- on one side. and the person who put the work together, the majority of that, was parker. yes, she had to explain the bill, but she was tough at the same time. there were many times she told me no. and i understood why. but there's more to parker than just all that knowledge and legal.
one of the things of why i'm not sad is because she's not going far. she has a new job. and i want her to be as successful in the new job as she was in this job. but parker is more than just a great mind. she's also a wife to todd and a mother to barrett and eliza. i think they're with us today, are they not? we thank you for sharing your wife and mother with us. it's meant a great deal. and to a very grateful nation, we want to say thank you. and to parker, we want to wish her well on her new work. we want her to be successful. because her success means our success. and if i go on her past behavior, i'm looking forward to a very bright future. i yield back. mr. hern: thank you, thank you, -- mr. mchenry: thank you, thank you, mr. leader. now i yield to my colleague and friend, richard hudson, from the
state of north carolina. oliver hudson thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. hudson: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a pleasure to be here today and recognize my good friend, parker. as she leaves patrick mchenry's leadership office, to take over as executive director of the national republican congressional committee. parker's been a friend and a mentor and a counselor to me in count -- and countless others over the years, none more significantly than patrick mchenry. it's been a real pleasure to watch him evolve and develop as a legislator under her very good tutelage. we met when we were both chiefs of staff. me coming to washington out of north carolina and parker starting out as chief of staff for one of my best friends, patrick mchenry. parker is intelligent, she's poised, she's wise beyond her years, and a heck of a great person. just a pleasure to spend time with. and she's helped me more times than i can count over the years, including when i decided to run for congress myself.
she's as well respected as anyone on capitol hill and i couldn't be more proud of her as she moves on to her new role. i do feel bad for my friend as i cross the aisle, though, because parker will -- across -- friends across the aisle now, though, because parker will be steering republicans for the next two years. so you better watch out. mr. speaker, please join me in thanking parker for her years of service to the house of representatives and the people of this country and wishing her and todd and barrett and eliza well in their future endeavors. thank you and god bless you. mr. mchenry: reclaiming my time. i thank my friend. i thank my friends for their comments. now, mr. speaker, i'm honored to recognize parker's favorite member of congress. notwithstanding, that list includes the majority leader and my friend, mr. hudson, and i on
that list. we may be friends with parker and she may like and respect us, but her favorite member of congress is bruce poliquin from maine. bruce, i yield to my colleague and friend, for as much time as he may consume. mr. poliquin: thank you, mr. mchenry. i must tell everyone who is listening today that there is a reason that i am parker's favorite member of congress. because i have earned that respect and that right, mr. mchenry. but with that, i am delighted to speak up about parker. and i notice that her two wonderful daughters, eliza and barrett, are up here in the gallery, along with her hand some husband, todd -- handsome husband, todd. this is a very special day for parker and her family and for this chamber. there were a number of us, mr. speaker, who come to the house from different backgrounds. and we come here to do what is
right and to help our country. in my case, to help my great state of maine and my constituents. but i'll tell you, this is a big place and washington's a confusing place. many people call washington a mess. at times i would agree with that. most of the time i would agree with that. but when you have an opportunity to find someone who's smart and tough and fair and gracious and patient and listens to new members, you gravitate towards that person. that is parker. i met parker, actually before i was elected to congress in 2014. and immediately took to her. like so many folks have before. and over the years, when there were tough decisions to be made, and the parliamentary process here, which is very foreign to business people like myself, there's only one person i would go to, and mr. mchenry, god bless you, but it was not you.
it was parker. parker's the person i always called. and i will continue to call her as time goes forward. because i know i would get very sound advice from someone who is incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly compassionate. parker is a strong american woman. i am sure she's a tremendous role model, not only to her two wonderful young ladies, young children, young girls, but also to countless other american women across this land. we have more freedom in this country, we have more opportunities, we have a stronger economy, we have a better education system that is closer to home because of good counsel that parker has given to many of us. we are blessed to have parker with us. i am blessed to have known parker and will continue to
enjoy our time that we spend together on behalf of the american people. mr. speaker, i yield to you but i hate to do so because i could talk about parker all evening. god bless. mr. mchenry: reclaiming my time. if i may close, i want to thank congressman poliquin and hudson and majority leader mccarthy for their kind comments. i just want to close with this. parker grew up in upstate new york, but has done a fantastic job for the last 12 years working for the people of north carolina's 10th district. she's a new yorker, but gets the south. she's a republican who has friends across the aisle. she's a republican through and through and committed to our party, our ideology and the work that we're trying to achieve. and while she can be a partisan in her role here in counting votes for republicans, she never lost sight of those relations
across the aisle that can make this place work. and while i will miss her counsel on a daily basis, while i'll miss her words of encouragement and also the tough words when you need them, when members need them, and i have certainly needed them over the last decade, i am grateful for her service, i'm grateful for what she's done for this institution, for me, and for the countless staff that she has mentored along the way. i wish her well. and i say to her two daughters watching, that you have a fantastic example in your mother. while she may be tough with us at work, i know she cares about you and loves you dearly. and the life that parker and todd have built together is a great example of a loving family. while also being both
professionals, who have quite challenging careers. so, with that, mr. speaker, i thank the indulgence of my colleagues, i thank the kind comments for parker, and i encourage folks to wish her well in her new endeavors. with that, i yield back to mr. calvert. mr. calvert: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i yield myself whatever time i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman would suspend for just a second, please. the chair will receive a message. the messager: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has assed s. 2161, an act to subtitle the bill in which the concurrence the house is requested -- of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded not to recognize people in the gallery, unless they are family and friends of ery capable staff members.
mr. calvert: i thank the speaker. i rise tonight along with my california republican delegation colleagues to express our thanks and appreciation for those members who are departing the house at the end of the session. collectively these californians have served for decades here in the house of representatives, during that time they've made many contributions, have benefited their districts, our state and certainly this country. . i am proud to join them on the house floor this evening and pay tribute to their dedication to this institution. with that, i yield whatever time he may consume to the majority leader, mr. mccarthy. mr. mccarthy: i thank my colleague for yielding. i'm proud to be here tonight with my colleagues from california and recognize our friends who this congress for
some may be their last, others may be coming back. i want to recognize congressman jeff denham, congressman darrell issa, congressman steve knight, congressman dana rohrabacher, congressman ed royce, congressman david valadao, congresswoman mimi walters. what makes this delegation unique is our bond with each other. in a state with 53 members, a class of 14 gets pretty tight pretty quick. but it isn't simply a matter of proximity that strengthens our ties. you see, it's our bond and belief in our nation. to be a more perfect union, to strive to continue to improve, being from california does not mean it's easy to get to washington. t i will tell you, every single week, i would see the same faces getting on that
plane going home. because they understood who they represented. they understood who they had to listen to. they also understood who they fought for. but they would get on that plane again and fly back the eight or nine hours, to be the voice of those that they listened to. it is amazing of the accomplishments. you know, for people who walk around this building, at times they'll see these paintings of members of the past. and i will admit, portraits lasts a long time, but a legacy of change lasts much longer. it's like compound interest. or a snowball rolling down a hill. and when i think about the legacy of change of my colleagues, it is tremendous. when i think about from transportation to veterans, what a better way of life they have today because jeff denham
served in this body. when i think of oversight and the battles and the fearlessness of darrell issa. when i think of the new programs sitting in a -- for veterans, getting service after hours, it wasn't because a bill passed, it's because a man fought, steve knight, because he was a veteran and the work he has done that will continue to live. or the decades that dana has served. from every aspect. from space to beyond. and his voice transferred and made a difference. ed royce, when it comes to foreign policy, and what has been accomplished in this congress, his name was on the title of many of those bills even when he allowed someone else to run it. when i look to california and the statement out there is, whiskey is for drinking and
water's for fighting. it's one of the most difficult issues. this entire body got together strong to make a difference that hadn't been done in a quarter century and the person really behind it was david valadao. he's kind of that quiet leader that made a major difference. that he would continue to make things happen. it's unique. everybody serves a little different. my friend, jeff denham, has a voice as strong as his passion, that he can be heard without a mic because what he wanted to fight for. but when i look to someone who i consider like my sister, mimi walters, she was the one female in our group but i think we would all admit, she was tougher than any one of us. to serve on energy and commerce, when you think of california and the forefront of the world, technology what we have in our state, it continues to lead because of mimi's voice.
but they all had something very unique and we have been friends for a long time. they put this country first, and they were willing to sacrifice. some of us know more of the sacrifice they made than others. i want to say thank you. i want to say thank you for your service. i also want to say thank you for the fight. you were willing to go beyond. yes, your family missed you some days, but you're doing it for a bigger cause. you're putting people before yourself. i know history's going to be kind, but history's going to be kind because the nation is better off that you were willing to take that risk. i want to thank you for your friendship. one thing about family, you might not be here every day but we'll always be together and friends. from a very sincere heart, thank you. i yield back. mr. calvert: i thank the majority leader.
mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield five minutes to the gentleman from california, the dean of the california delegation, mr. rohrabacher. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. very hrabacher: thank you much. i join my colleagues in singing the praise of our staff, but let me just note -- and of course i had you great staff as well. rick and kathleen who have been with me the entire 30 years that i've been a member of this body. but staff as well as the members, we quite often take for granted what does really enable us to conduct ourselves in this way. it's very easy to overlook. the american people overlook it. we all overlook this and that is we take for granted the safety and security that we operate in. no matter how good our staff is, no matter how great we are, if we weren't safe we couldn't be conducting this business of our democratic country.
let us note that officers jacob chestnut and detective john gibson were two law enforcement officers who gave their lives while i've been here in order to secure the safety we need to do the public business. so as i leave this body, i'd like to make sure they know -- i'm sure they're listening from above and their families will hear, there are members that are grateful to the sacrifice they made. they gave their lives to keep a terrorist out of this building that would have done damage or murdered members. so with that said, i have been here 30 years. i am overwhelmed with gratitude toward the voters who sent me here and to god that gave me the opportunity to live life that permitted the voters to elect me as their representative in washington. i spent 7 1/2 years in the reagan white house with president reagan and after hat, from 1981 to 1988, i came
directly into the combat, political combat of running for the house and was elected in 1988 and have served here since 1989. it has been one of the most wonderful, glorious times -- best life i could ever, ever have imagined. and i know a lot of people gripe about the hours and sometimes some of the friction that happens among debates over important issues, but i am so grateful to have this chance and, again, there are so many people who are serving their country who are not anywhere near have the wondrous life that we have. my father was a lieutenant colonel in the marine corps. he joined up after pearl harbor. to protect our country. again, a lot of people when they see this happening they don't quite understand, this is what was given to us, there is
sacrifice behind us, there is sacrifice in the air of all these people who sacrifice over our country's history and especially my father's generation, the great generation that gave us this freedom that's all around us, that you can feel it. thank god that i had a personal chance to participate in this wondrous, wondrous gift that, yes, god, our founding fathers, and, yes, our parents, in the greatest generation, gave us and the other people who now are overseas to this very day defending our right to conduct ourselves this way. so what a wonderful life i have had in these 30 years. i had a chance to participate and help shape america's space program and i helped bring in commercial space so that we had private investment to keep our space program operating at the high levels it should be, the actual leading mankind into space. i was also able to work with the democrats -- and don't let
people think there is no cooperation here because there is. working on the space program i worked with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. on the issue of cannabis -- which i consider to be an important issue today because people are finally beginning to realize that the idea of expending enormous resources and our time with our jails and our own security in terms of police locally and nationally and at the state level, what a waste of those resources aimed at trying to prevent an adult from consuming a weed. and at least i have been able to work then and also we now find that there are medical reasons that cannabis should be legal. and i have worked with members of the other side of the aisle to achieve a certain degree of progress in that area. so with that said, let me just note that as people talk about the lack of civility that we have now, there's always been fighting in a free society. people have different ideas,
and they're struggling, but whenever it would get tough in this body, whenever things would get tense and people would be fighting on an issue and coming to grips with these differences that free people can have, i would always look up and i would say, the answer is looking up. and if you look up in this wonderful room that we do our business in here, what do you see? you see an american eagle and you see the slogan of our country. e pluribus unum which means all of us, we may be different, different races, different religions, different backgrounds, but we are one people and that freedom of the one people comes together here on this floor and i have so been so proud to be part of that great debate to direct the future of this country. thank you very much and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. calvert: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. enham.
mr. denham: i thank the gentleman for yielding and scheduling this time for all of us to address each other as well as address our country. i rise to express my gratitude to the men and women of california's 10th congressional district for allowing me the honor of serving them and representing them here in our nation's capital for the last eight years. together we were able to accomplish incredible things for the central valley. the recent passage of the farm bill ensures greater prioritization of the central valley and will help our farmers, our farmland, to keep the valley productive for future generations. the bill includes my vets to farrm act, crop insurance, dairy, specialty crop protections and several key animal welfare provisions. we also advanced the debate on immigration reform.
i'm proud to stand with my friend, pete aguilar, as we fought to protect our nation's dreamers and borders in a bipartisan manner. my veterans skills to jobs act, which passed in 2012, has helped many veterans find employment, using the skills that they learned while they were serving their country. no greater way to show respect to our men and women in uniform than allowing them to use the credentials and the service and the expertise that they had on active duty to gain gainful employment once they depart service. we passed the civilian property realignment act, which allows us to sell off the properties we don't need so we can reduce our debt, including the first property which was the trump otel, the old post office. the passage of the passenger railroad bill. having pets on trains for the first time which allows them to create a new profit center. the sandy recovery act, which will allows not only serve in
fema reform but actually allowed us to build smart policies across the entire country so we are building stronger communities resistant to some of these natural disasters. additionally i'm prud of have secured money for the veterans facility in my district which will start construction next year. we made progress on human trafficking as well. we have fought to make sure that we were working with all levels of law enforcement, utilizing the best techniques to stop the human trafficking which has much larger impacts even in california. but to have uber as a partner, to now for the first time in the 10th congressional district, having the technology available to align our law enforcement with the victims that could be
stuck in harm's way in an uber or some other type of transportation. through my work with the transportation infrastructure committee, we secured big wins for the 10th district, two different highway, $29 million in tiger grants and build grants for local roadways to improve safety and ease congestion. and last but certainly not least, for years now, for decades, we've talked about water. it is the lifeblood of the central valley. if you shut off our water you shut off our farm, you shut off our economy. we make big strides securing funding, making sure that with the win act we also passed the new water act, allowing for the first time to have an infrastructure bank so we can borrow money with a guaranteed payback to build new water storage and new reservoirs. you want green energy, hide row is the greenest energy, most
renewable, that we have. this is our opportunity to build with $20 million up front. the new grant, $50 million for sikes reservoir. with eneed four to five million new acre-feet of water and we have the ability to move that forward. some great progress as we move temp d on los vaqueros, ran flats and many irrigation districts looking to ex-tand -- expand, new energy, new recreation, new water and the future of the valley as well. it's been my greatest honor to bring these acheements home for the valley, thank you again to my constituents and to all of my colleagues, especially in the california delegation. we have come together on many different issues to fight for our state. it has been a big honor.
let me end with saying this. i started my public service career wearing the cloth of this great nation. and i have been blessed once again to serve this country in a new capacity. there's no greater honor than being able to serve this body and fight for and represent the american dreams that we have in you are communities and it is with great respect and honor that i move into the next chapter of my life. thank you. >> thank you. thank the gentleman. i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. valadao. mr. valadao: mr. speaker, thank you for this opportunity, mr. chairman, my friend from california, again, thank you for the opportunity to have this time. representing the central valley in congress has been an honor of a lifetime. there are truly no words to to ess how express how grateful i am to my supporters, neighbors, and all those who make the central valley such an i a-- such an
amazing place. if you'd told me or my paraphernalias 10 years ago that i would be here standing on the house floor, none of us would have believed you. i have is many people to thank. first off, most importantly, my wife cara. she's been an amazing supporter and from the day i met her, she's always just found ways to make my life better and make me a better person. my children. connor, who is 16, madeleine who is 12, lucas who is 8, have weathered this storm and been part of this life for the last eight years. two years in state legislature and six years here, traveling back and forth, many times away from home, not able to attend soccer games. it's been tough on them. i think they're welcoming forward to things being better with me having the opportunity to be there more for them than i've had the opportunity in the past. i'm grateful for that. i'm also grateful for my team, the staff in my office and back home in hanniford, bakersfield,
and especially here in washington, d.c. i've had an amazing team around me that's helped me be successful here in washington and at home and so i'm very proud to have had them as part of my team. interns throughout the years, that's something a lot of folk don't pay attention to, those are folks that even today i see them walking around the halls of congress, sometimes around the valley, working in different industries and taking their careers to new levels an new heights and to know that i played a small role in their lives is something i take a lot of pride in my fellow members, california delegation and others outside of the delegation, made a lot of friends here. people i didn't know before, i'd only seen on tv in the past have now become good friends and dusted -- and trusted just good friends and people that i trust with so much in my life today. proud to have had that opportunity. while i'm sad to be leaving, we can take pride in knowing that we brought about real tangible change. we have reduced taxes for middle class, made huge strides in our battle for water, reformed the dairy industry for thousands of
california farmers. improved access for health care to families throughout the valley and given our troops the support they deserve. i'm proud of all the work they've done. i wouldn't change a second of it. just had a great opportunity. so central valley has always been and will always be my home and i am beyond grateful for the opportunity to assert -- to have served in this place representing them. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. i'm now happy to yield five minutes to the gentlelady from california, mrs. walters. mrs. walters: mr. speaker, i rise tonight for the final time as a member of congress to say thank you. thank you to california's 45th congressional district for the faith and trust you have placed in me to represent you and your families in the people's house. i first intrds this chamber three decades ago as a young
intern for representative bill thomas. i remember well the sense of wonder i felt and the goose bumps on my arms. you would think that those youthful emotions would fade once i became a member myself, but they did not. when i exit for the final time, i will still be in awe of the wonders of those hallowed halls and i will still have goose bumps. it has been the honor of a lifetime to represent my home of orange county and the communities of tustin, north tustin, orange, irvine, mission viejo, laguna woods, laguna hills, like forest, anaheim hills, villa park and others. every step on the way, i have been flanked by my husband david and my four children, kate, caroline, e.j. and tristan. they have been my rock.
my reality check. my most clever social media commenters. and the loves of my life. i thank god each day and every day that he has blessed me with them. to my staff both in washington and orange county. thank you for making me and every member of congress better at our job. you are the unsung heroes of government and together we have accomplished a lot. the historic sexual assault survivors bill of rights, major regulatory reform, landmark opioid legislation, and helped advance the conversation on paid family leave. my staff helped me stay true to the promises i made to my constituents and i can't thank them enough for that. i am blessed to have grown up and lived in orange county.
and those of us privileged to serve our community in congress can only hope to have left it in better shape than we found it. one small bit of advice i will impart to all those who succeed me in this office, and that is, bring your brain to washington but leave your heart in orange county. the people of the 45th district will teach you a lot. and i am wiser for -- from their tutelage. the house of representatives can be a loud and hectic place sometimes but that is why we love it. keep your eye on the ball and remain faithful to the institution. as then-congressman abraham lincoln of illinois told this very house when it was facing turbulent times, determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find a way. my home state of california and
our nation are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of citizen legislators working to make both a better place. i thank them for their guidance and support over the years. while we didn't always agree, i seldom have come across a colleague who i didn't think had his or her constituents' best interests at heart or cared deeply about our country. now as aclose this chapter of my life and leave the people's house for the final time, i remain as confident as ever in the future of the house and the union. i remain forever in debt to the people of orange county and the 45th district for bestowing upon me the honor to serve. may god bless america and the golden state of california. i'll see you all at home soon. i yield back. >> thank the gentlelady.
i now am happy to yield four minutes to the gentleman from alifornia, mr. mcclintock. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker, for those of us who have had the honor and privilege of working with our the parting colleagues in the california republican delegation, this is a very sad day. for us, yes, we're losing friends an colleagues whose good judgment we have often relied upon and whose friendship we'll always treasure. but far more importantly it's a sad day for our state and our nation for they are losing the service of experienced leaders dedicated to restoring freedom as the cornerstone of our public policy. david valadao and jeff denham, abley represented communs in the central valley of california in highly competitive districts where republican voters have always been a distinct minority. and yet their sincere engagement with their constituencies and pragmatic approach to their
local challenges and problems saw them elected and re-elected in the house. when we served together in the state senate, jeff denham refused to vote for an irresponsible state budget. public employee unions tried to recall him for it but the voters stood by him. no one doubts that but for the hyper partisan tone of these unique times, they would have both been handily re-elect. i first met ed royce 35 years ago when we served together in the state legislature. when he was already a recognized leader in the state senate, one sard i found him to my stunned surprise wearing an apron, working behind the couldn'ter of a coffee house he had just acquired. that work ethic along with his quiet and unassuming nature and keen ability to cut through rhetoric to reach bedrock reality has made him one of the most effective members of the house. i met dana rohrabacher a few
years later when he first ran for congress in 1988. it's said if you look up orange county in the dictionary you'll find his picture. he's been representing the conservative ideals, libertarian lifestyle d casual that represent an era that now closes with his leaving. that same driving belief in freedom and free markets had already made him a titan of industry and would soon make him an effective and tireless advocate for these principles in congress. more recently, i've had the honor to serve with mimi walters and steve knight. i can tell you that when mimi sets her mind on something, she is terrifying. she pursues her objectives with all of the sublety and nuance of
a heat-seeking missile. her constituents had an advocate who pulled out all the stops on their behalf, something i think they'll come to appreciate in retrospect. i served with steve knight's dad in the state senate and at that time, representative -- represented the adjoining district. i sat with steve every day on this floor in votes and i can say with some authority he's the full measure of his father and then some. never have i known a colleague to agonize more in order to weigh his votes for the betterment of his community and his country. he's a man of quiet and firm principle, a voice that i predict his constituents will also come to sorely miss. churchill once observed that politics are just as interesting as war and much more exciting for in war you can be shot dead only once. in politics, many times. i found that to be true over my political career. and it's from that fact springs my hope that we will see all of these heroes back in new and
more influential roles in the years ahead. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman for his remarks. i'm now happy to yield four minutes to the gentleman from alifornia, mr. lamalfa. mr. lamalfa: i thank to my colleague, mr. calvert, for organizing this tonight. indeed, it isn't pleasant because we're losing some great colleagues here. the people's spoken. it's their will in the election. we all know this is a fleeting time and opportunity to be here. it's a reality check that when you have plans and you are going along, an election happens, and all of a sudden that plan changes for some of your colleagues or for yourself. who knows? indeed, it's been a great pleasure for me to serve several of my years overlapping with david valadao and ed
royce, dana rohrabacher, darrell issa, steve knight, jeff denham, mimi walters. it's a fleeting moment but also one you will always remember. the friendships are the most important things. i am not going to list bills we passed or this or that because away the ill take friendships. having come up in the legislature with mimi, jeff, steve, and david, we came in together. we came in -- we formed our early competitive political lives together in that crews bell -- crews balance in sacramento. -- crucible in sacramento. i won't remember a lot about the bills. i don't think anybody will. it's the friendships. it's the relationships. i count mimi, jeff, and david my closest friends in this place. and so when you go around the
hallways here and you see that the bronze plaques have been ripped off the offices there, it's like having part of it ripped off your heart, you know? but we soldier on because the people have spoken. it's their will of the voters. i know i have been proud to always stand with them, whether fighting for water, for agriculture, for fiscal responsibility, for the right direction of our nation, i've always counted on these friends to help keep all of us moving on the right track, thinking about the right things. so indeed in these relationships, the fun that comes along with it is like with my friend, jeffrey, who we always refer to each other as ur full formal first names and m-i-m-i. we've had a lot of fun in this and i think we all fought hard in the trenches to advance not
only our state at that level but our country as well. we're all better off for it. i'm better off having known them. s not going to be as fun. it's not going -- it's not going to be as fun. it's not going to be fulfilling without friends like this. again, it's the will of the voters. it's how things go. and we will see each other in many other capacities as we move through this life together. yield back. mr. calvert: mr. speaker, i'll yield myself whatever time i may consume. i rise today to recognize the invaluable contributions made by california republican delegation colleagues who are departing at the conclusion of this term. i consider these individuals more than colleagues. i consider them my friends and i am deeply disappointed they will not be joining us in the next session of congress.
every one of them have served in the house with distinction, making this institution better for having them apart of it. they've represented their constituents, our state well by understanding the unique challenges they faced and effectively fighting for solutions. the booming voice from jeff enham is unmistakable as it is affecting great advocation for the central valley. he knows it's pretty difficult to farm without a reliable water supply, so he helped lead the charge for many sensible water policies that help our nation's fruit and vegetable farmers. darrell issa made a name for himself in the carl arm industry before he came to congress. he sounded the alarm on the executive branch misconduct. as a leader on the government reform committee, darrell held
our federal agencies to account for their actions and was a staunch defender of american taxpayers. steve knight comes from a family well-known for public service. steve proudly carried on that tradition by serving in the army for eight years. then the los angeles police department for 18 years. steve then came to congress bringing his tremendous experience to the house armed services committee where he's made a big impact. the dean of the california republican delegation, dana rohrabacher, always brings a unique perspective to any conversation. since his days in the reagan white house, dana has been a constant voice for the defense of liberty, freedom. e's also been a gnarly champion for the california legendary surfing community. ed royce and i were part of the freshman class of 1993. as a longtime member and now chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, ed has served as an effective advocate
for american interest and allies around the globe. i've seen firsts-hand how especially tireless he is in bringing -- i've seen firsthand how especially tireless he is capping it -- and off, bono sang his praises. david valadao truly understands what it means to be a champion for his district. david has never been interested in partisan politics. he just wants to deliver results for the central -- central valley of california. working with david to solve california's water challenges and serving with him on the appropriations committee has been an absolute pleasure and honor. anyone who spends any time with mimi walters knows that she's the toughest member of the california republican delegation. i think you heard that a number of times. when our delegation needs to get something done, you can
always count on mimi to be front and center in the fight. her tenacity in advancing worthwhile policies will be sorely missed by our delegation, our conference, and the house. time and time again our california republican delegation has come together to respond to the needs of our state, whether it was a serious drought, a disease threatening to wipe out our citrus farmers, horrific wildfires, and the flooding and mudslides that follow them, there's no group of representatives i'd rather lock arms with to fight for those solutions than our -- and our constituents' needs. mr. speaker, teddy roosevelt so brilliantly said, "it's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
it belongs to the man actually in the arena." the departing members of the california delegation all leave with proud knowing they served in the arena and spent themselves in a worthy cause. again, i'm grateful for their service and especially for their friendship and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for 30 minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd also like to thank the leadership on both sides of the aisle for according this time. it's an honor to have the privilege of standing here in the house of representatives to present a resolution tonight. and i'm grateful that the time
as been allowed. mr. speaker, i present this resolution, h.res. 1166, honoring and praising the american jewish community, known as a.j.c., on the occasion of its 112th anniversary. i'm honored to say that this resolution has other persons ho are sponsors. s. clarke of new york, ms. wasserman schultz, ms. meng, mr. gonzalez of texas, mr. cohen, ms. moore, mr. brady of pennsylvania, and mr. rothfus. i'm honored that these members have co-signed, if you will, in
that they are co-sponsors of this resolution. i'm honored to say to you, mr. this , that organization, the american jewish committee, has been around for over 112 years in the business of protecting jews and other minorities from anti-semitism, racism, bigotry, hatred and human rights violations. when these things occur, you can count on the american jewish committee standing up, speaking out, and making their position known. the american jewish committee is currently fighting against the rising tide of hate and bigotry.
and there is antidotal evidence to support the fact that there is a rising tide. r the f.b.i., there was 6, 121 hate crimes in 2016. crimes. 7,125 hate a rising tide. three of five hate crimes target ethnicity or race. one of five will target religion. hate crimes in this country are being addressed by the american ewish committee. 2,013 hate crimes against african-americans in 2017. 938 hate crimes against jewish americans in 2013. the american jewish committee
is confronting hate and making a difference in the lives of people. this organization was founded november 11, 1906, in new york city, by a group of jews who wanted to raise awareness about the persecution and targeting of jews in russia. i might also add that this was around the time that the naacp was founded. it was founded just some years later in 1909, and a good many persons f the founding of the naacp were jewish people. the naacp and the a.j.c. have had a partnership, a friendship, a relationship for many, many years in this battle against hate and bigotry.
the a.j.c. supported the civil rights act of 1964, supported the voting rights act of 1965, supported the historic decision in the supreme court case of brown vs. board of education of topeka. i would add not only did the a.j.c. support it by filing various briefs and doing research, but also with money. members supported this lawsuit with money. thurgood marshall was the lead counsel for the naacp in brown vs. board of education, but there were other persons who were not of african ancestry associated with this litigation who helped to fund it. it was a costly piece of litigation, and i'm proud to
say that a.j.c. was supportive of naacp and brown vs. board of education of topeka. the a.j.c. has been at the forefront of strengthening ties between jews and latinos. the a.j.c. concerns itself with the human rights and human dignity of all people, regardless of ethnicity. -jewish .'s muslim advisory council is a group of some 50 persons, muslims and jews who have, as their aim, protecting and expanding the rights of religious minorities in the united states of america. those who would divide us along religious lines are confronted by the a.j.c., the american
jewish committee. it has launched a global campaign, encouraging people of conscious around the world to attend jewish services and especially this was made known after the attack at the tree of ife congregation in pittsburgh where 11 persons, worshipers were killed. i was fortunate enough to shabat service in houston, texas, where the honorable mayor spoke, and where we, persons of goodwill, had the opportunity to express that ire and our belief we should combine our efforts, to make sure that we developed
a simbyotic relationship as we move forward with this global campaign to encourage people of conscious to get to know persons of different religions so that we could have together what we could never accomplish apart. the a.j.c. launched in 2015 the mayors united against anti-semitism campaign, to build a nationwide coalition of elected officials committed to fighting anti-semitism. a nationwide coalition. i'm proud to say that that continues to this day and that elected officials are responding to the clarion call to unite ainst big tri, hatred, ti-semitism, homophobea, xenophobea, islamaphobia,
sexism, nativism, the a.j.c. is there to fight for the right of people to live in dignity with peace and harmony. a.j.c. is international in scope, it has 11 international offices. 22 in the united states. 36 international jewish community partnerships. in truth, it is international in scope. it is also an organization that has been there for the state of israel. it is a steadfast supporter of israel. becoming the first american jewish organization to open an office in israel. and an effective advocate for israel's security. a.j.c. has and continued to be a
strong partner for the state of israel. i proud to tell you that have a friend who at one time was the head of a.j.c., at the time i was head of the naacp. i share this brief vignette because i think it's important to explain how things really work and how people can work together. my friend, david minceberg, as i indicated, was head of a.j.c., i had the good fortune to be the leader of the naacp in houston, texas. we have a -- we had a city councilperson whose name i need not mention who made a racial slur. said a very ugly thing. david and i had the opportunity to bring our organizations together.
and upon doing so we concluded that we should talk to other persons of good will in the city. to s to build a coalition confront the councilperson who made the racial slur. with a strong coalition, the naacp and the a.j.c. were able to call for the resignation of this councilperson. these two organizations, taking the lead, were able to do something that in my opinion could not have been done but for the unity exhibited and the coalition that was constructed, could not have done it and that was to have this city councilperson leave city council. this is the kind of strength that the a.j.c. brings to issues
associated with hate and big tri. e a.j.c. does not tolerate hatred and big tri. much of what i expressed with reference to hatred and bigotry i acquired from associating with persons who are part of the a.j.c. i have understood as a result of working with my friends at the a.j.c. that we can never, ever tl rate hatred and bigotry regardless as to where it comes from, regardless as to what the source. is we've got to be bold. we have to show courage. we have to stand up together against hatred and big bigotry. these are some of the things that the a.j.c. has exhibited over the years in my presence. my friends at a.j.c.
and i call people friends who are persons that i do more than have dinner with. persons that i do more than associate with. persons that i have more than a relationship with. i call friends persons that i candice agree with and still maintain a relationship with them. over the years, these friends and i have stood together and we continue to stand together. so tonight, mr. speaker, i call to the attention of this august body h.res. 1166, an i call to the attention of those who are within the sound of my voice, those who may be viewing at home. i call to your attention h.res. 1166, a resolution that honors and praises the american jewish committee on the occasion of its
112th anniversary and i suggest that it be resolved by the house of representatives that the house of representatives itself recognizes the 112th anniversary of the historic founding of the american jewish committee. and that the house of representatives should honor and praise the american jewish committee on the occasion of this anniversary. for its efforts regarding human rights worldwide. for its interfaith dialogue. and for the promotion of israel's security and its place in the world. mr. speaker, it is my honor to have presented this resolution and i would have the world know and all of my friends know that
i look forward to returning to houston, texas, and meeting with my friends who are associated with the a.j.c., the american jewish committee, as we continue our struggle to end hatred and bigotry. not to manage it, not to make it less tolerable, but to eliminate it in its entirety wherever it exists. with this said, mr. speaker, i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell, for 0 minutes. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker.
we are told it's the most wonderful time of the year. christmas. as a nation, we have celebrated it with family work breaks from work, and with a bit of pomp in our nation's capital. but why? it has not always been the case. when americans began to settle in the colonies they came with varied religious backgrounds. to the pilgrims and puritans the idea of celebrating a holy day associated with the churches that had persecuted them in europe was repulsive. but to those high churches long established such as anglican, episcopal and catholic, christmas was observed widespread. in the fabric of our nation, the low church settlers dwelt more in new england where christmas was not observed and the high church settlers were more in the south, where it was.
1837 whenas not until louisiana made christmas a state holiday that christmas was officially recognized. in time, more states began official recognition. in 1870, christmas became a national holiday. it's lack of recognition was not for a lack of understanding for the importance of the birth of christ. rather, it was out of respect to the various christian beliefs making up our national fabric. it was not until 1889 that a christmas tree adorned the white house and the first official christmas tree lighting ceremony did not occur until 1923. under president calvin coolidge. the first white house christmas 1953, d not appear until under president dwight eisenhower. still, our nation and our leaders have always made great
effort to express the importance of the birth of christ. here is what a few of nearly all our presidents have said about the birth of christ. calvin cool lidge, quote, for many generations, christmas has been joyously observed because on that day was born one who grew to be the only perfect man and became the savior of the world. no other influence in human experience has compared with the birth and life of christ? end quote -- of christ. end quote. franklin roosevelt, quote. here at home we will celebrate this christmas day in our traditional american way, because of its deep spiritual meaning to us. because the teachings of christ are fundamental in our lives. and because we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this tradition and the story of the coming of the immortal prince of
peace and good will. but in perhaps every home in the united states, sad and anxious thoughts will be continually with the millions of our loved ones who are suffering hardship and misery and who are risking their very lives to preserve for us and for all mankind the frutes of his teachings the foundations of civilization. -- civilization itself. end quote. harry truman. quote. in love which is the very essence of the message of the prince of peace, the world would find a solution for all its ills. i d not believe there's one problem in this country or in the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the servant -- sermon on the mount. in the stillness of the eve of the nativity when hopes and mankind hang on the peace that was offered to the world 19 centuries ago, it is but natural while we survey our destiny that
we give thought also to our past, to some of the things which have gone into the making of our nation. this day, whether it be far or near the kingdoms of this world shall become indeed the kingdoms of god and we he will reign forever and ever, lord of lords and king of kings. and truman continued, since returning home, i have been reading again in our family bible some of the passages which foretold this night. we miss the spirit of crim if -- christmas if we consider the incarnation as an indistinct, doubtful, far-off event unrelated to our present problems. we miss the purport of christ's birth if we do not accept it as a hiing link which joins us together in the spirit as children of-living and true god. the las vegas of god and the love of man will be found the solution of all ills which afflict the world today. end quote. lyndon johnson.
quote, we were taught by him whose birth we commemorate that after the death, after death, there is life. and these last 200 years we have guided the building of oyou are nation and our society by those principles and precepts brought to earth nearly 2,000 years ago on that first christmas. in a few day well, shall all celebrate the birth of his holiness on earth. we shall acknowledge the kingdom of a child in a world of man. that child we should remember grew into manhood himself, preached and moved men in many walks of life and died in agony. but his death so the christian faith tells us, was not the end. for him and for millions of men and women ever since, it marked a time of triumph when the spirit of life triumphed over death, end quote. gerald ford, quote.
in our 200 years, we americans have always honored the spiritual testament of ,000 years ago. we embrace the spirit of the prince of peace so we might find peace in our own hearts and on our own land and hopefully in the world as well. end quote. onald reagan. the nativity story and -- of nearly 20 centuries ago is known by all faiths as a hymn to the brotherhood of man. for christians, it's the fulfillment of age-old prophecies and the reaffirmation of god's love for all of us. through a generous heavenly father's gift to his son, hope and compassion enter a world weary and despair and changed it for all-time. reagan continues, i have always believed that the message of jesus is one of hope and joy. i know that there are those who
recognize christmas day as the birthday of a great and good man, a wise teacher who gave us principles to live by, and then there are others of us who believed that he was the son of god, that he was divine. if we live our lives for truth, for love, and for god, we need never be afraid. end quote. george h.w. bush put it this way. quote, as christmas, we, too, rejoice in the mystery of god's love for us. love revealed through the gift of christ's birth, born onto a family of a young carpenter and to wife and our savior came live among ordinary men. yet, in time the miraculous nature of this simple event became clear. christ's birth changed the course of history, bringing the light of hope to a world dwelling in the darkness of sin
and death. today, nearly 2,000 years later, the shining promise of that first christmas continues to give our lives a sense of peace and purpose. our words and deeds, when guided by the example of christ's life, can help others share in the joy of man's redemption, end quote. bill clinton, quote, the christmas story is dear and familiar to us all. shepherds and angels, wise men, and king harrod, mary and joseph, and at the hard of it all a child -- heart of it all a child. this child was born into poverty in a city too crowded to offer him shelter. he was sent to a region whose people had endured suffering, tyranny, and exile. and yet this child brought with him riches so great that they continue to sustain human spirit 2,000 years later, the assurance of god's love and
presence in our lives and the promise of salvation. end quote. barack obama, quote, more than 2,000 years ago a child was born of two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable among the cattle and the sheep. but this was not just any child. christ's birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. he was a manifestation of god's love for us. end quote. even with all their flaws, the political and party tensions, times of national prosperity and crisis, our presidents have been consistent in expressing publicly their belief on why christ's birth matters. bold presidential statements. the only perfect man, savior of the world, immortal prince of
peace, lord of lords who will reign forever, his holiness, son of god, the light of hope, god's love and presence in our lives, a manifestation of god's love for us? no other human being has ever been accorded such accolade by our presidents. indeed, even in our national congress, well over 90% of elected officials associate themselves with the christian faith and give similar words as to why christ is important. but even all the words of presidents and national leaders are not as important as the words of the man himself whose birth created all the fuss. what did christ claim about himself? we have bold statements by jesus. here are some pretty astounding
ones. john 6:35. i am the bread of life. he who comes to me shall never hunger. john 8:12. i am the light of the world. he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life. john 10, 9-11. i am the door. if anyone enters by me he will be saved and go in and out and find pasture. the thief does not come except to steal and kill and to destroy. i have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. i am the good shepherd. the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. john 10: 14-17. i am the good shepherd and i know my sheep and i am known by my own as the father knows me even so i know the father. and i lay down my life for the
sheep. other sheep i have which are not of this fold them also i must bring. and they will hear my voice and they will be one flock and one shepherd. therefore, my father loves me because i lay down my life that i may take it up again. john 11:25. i am the resurrection and the life. he that believes in me though . may die he shall live john 14:6. i am the way, the truth, and the life. no man comes to the father except by me. john 15:5-13. i am the vine. you are the graverages. he who a-- you are the branches. he who abides me bears such fruit.
for without me you can't do nothing. if anybody that does not abide in me he's cast out as a branch and is withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned. if you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire and it shall be done for you. by this my father is glorified bare such fruits so you will be my disciples. abide in my love. if you keep inside commandments you will abide in my love. just as i have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love. these things have i spoken to you that by my joy you may remain -- that my joy remain in you and that your joy may be full. this is my commandment -- that you love one another as i have loved you. greater love has no one than this than to lay down one's
life for his friends. ponder this. these are bold claims. the bread of life. the light of the world. the door. the good shepherd. the resurrection. the way. the truth. the life. the vine. only god could make such claims. john 3:16 explains it this way. for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. as human beings, we understand life because it's real to us. we live. we also understand complexity and ordinary. we arrange our days, our
clothes, our homes, our diet. god has created us with a sense of order. created. one only has to look at the complexity of the human eye to see a design. one cannot fathom the circulatory system and organs and all the things that make up life and not see the hand of a master designer. one cannot look at the miracle of a birth and not see a clear designed creation. a junkyard full of car parts does not self-produce a new car in any amount of time any more than a jumble of proteins make life by accident. we have been fearfully and wonderfully made. when one considers all the world how it works together, how it is perfectly placed in our solar system, we can see
god's hand. with slight deviation of the earth's axis, we would be dead. with just a few more miles closer proximity to the sun, we would be burned to death. with just a few more miles away from the sun, we would freeze to death. we are not some accident, some purposeless blob of proteins that has no meaning. nature speaks to god's hand. we see the grandeur of a designer all around us. the giver of life. god himself. but what of his son, jesus christ? the gospel of john explains. quote, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with god and the word was god. he was in the beginning with god.
all things were made through him and without him, nothing was made that was made. in him was life, and the life was the light of man. and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. that was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. he was in the world and the world was made through him and the world did not know him. he came to his own and his own did not receive him. but as many has received him to them he gave the right to become children of god. to those who believe in his name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man but of god, and the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory the glory as the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth, end
quote. but why? why did god's son have to come into the world? when god created man and woman, he created us with choices. he gave simple instruction but the choice was still adam's to make. god did not create a robot. he created a human soul. adam, the first man, chose to sobey god in that simple but uneasy choice. that choice gave us sin, the knowledge of good and evil. paul tells us in romans 5:12 that because of this choice, quote, through one man's sin entered the world and death through sin and thus death spread to all man because all sinned, end quote. sin perpetuated that moment onto all mankind. we see it ourselves if we take
the time to consider it. we do not have to teach a child how to do wrong. it comes naturally with the arching of the back and the shouting of the word "no" as one of those first uttered. as they mature we labor to teach them to do what is right. guided by the conscious that god has placed into us. why do we feel guilty when we do things wrong? romans tells us that god wrote that moral law into our heart it's -- hearts, a conscience. we were created with it. we are unique among living creatures in this way. we have a soul. we get a basic sense of god's moral right and wrong. yet, we fail that standard because of our sinful nature. we fall short. we don't want to but we do.
we want to do what is right, but often we make a different choice because of our sinful nature. because of this failing to meet god's standard as he created us, we are unable by ourselves to fix it. for a time god communicated through his word and his prophets the need to make an atonement for our shortcomings, to cleanse our sins by sacrifices. christ came to be the final and total sacrifice, erasing the sin in our lives if we would receive it. christ's birth was the fix. but how? god was the master programmer and we became corrupted that we voluntarily