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tv   Representatives Bill Flores and Mark Walker on Conservatism in the 115th...  CSPAN  December 1, 2016 8:01pm-9:01pm EST

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and yes, the north dakota pillar of the world war ii monument right here in washington, d.c. located at the national maling. whereas the protesters of the north dakota -- or the dakota access pipeline in and around standing rock have desecrated the american flag by floying it upside down, sewing emblems over the flag and displaying emblems in a dominant manner in violation of north dakota code. whereas 95% of the protesters are not north dakota citizens or native americans. many are professional paid protesters unaware of the true understanding of the issues at hand. whereas as former military members we have all taken an oath to defend the constitution of the united states against foreign and domestic enemies, the american flag and our freedom, as veterans we continue to support our military, law
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enforcement and all of our constitutional rights we have fought for. whereas, as veterans of u.s. military we have fought for and maintained the rights of our citizens to peacefully protest. the protests in standing rock have not been peaceful and therefore violate the rights of those living peacefully around the protest site and threatened the sanctity and sustainability of our basic freedom of peaceful protest by crossing the line into unlawful activities. whereas individual veterans and veteran groups from outside of the state of north dakota have reached out to north dakota veterans and veterans service organizations for support in their plan to recruit veterans to assemble in north dakota in support of the standing rock protests against the dakota access pipeline. whereas veterans standing in a nonpeaceful protest against the dakota access pipeline will also be standing against north dakota law enforcement, military,
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private and government entities, reflects poorly upon themselves, our veterans organization, veterans as a whole, the state of north dakota and our country. therefore, let it be the position of the north dakota veterans coordinating council, ade up of the north dakota amvets, american legion, disabled american visits, veterans of foreign wars and the vietnam veterans of america adamantly oppose and condemn any veteran organization or persons representing themselves as u.s. military veterans who associate or involve themselves with the illegal activities have have occurred or take part in any unlawful or unbecoming conduct or assembly in protest to the dakota access pipeline in north dakota, mr. speaker, i could never say it better than the men and women who have fought, have been willing to die for our liberties. they've said it perfectly in
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this position in support of a legally permitted pipeline and in support of our law enforcement officers who have exercised tremendous restraint against violence thrown at them and i for one am tired, as are the vast majority of north dakotans, tired of people from outside of our state with a political agenda who have co-opted the reasonable, reasonable peaceful protest that once began what has become a full fledged riot. mr. speaker, for more than three months, thousands of rioters disguising themselves as prayerful peaceful protesters have illegally camped on federal land owned or at least managed by the u.s. army corps of engineer, own by the taxpayers of this country. they have illegally camped on the shorse of the missouri river. by the way, mr. speaker if you and i decided to go for a walk on that same land and picked up
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a rock and threw it in the river we'd be fined by this government. but oh, no. not anti-fossil fuel rioters, they're enabled, no, encouraged by our federal government, at least this current administration. celebrities. bad actors. celebrities. political activists. and anti-oil extremists are blocking this pipeline's progress and they're doing so based not on good information, not on the law, but rather on a left wing political agenda. oh, by the way, these celebties and these rioters fly in on jets. on jet airplanes that are fueled by jet fuel that is refined from oil but ny cases, this let's ignore the hypocrisy for a moment. north dakotans like these veterans i just read about have respected the rights of peaceful protesters but this has gone way beyond that it's become rioting,
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plain and simple. in fact, i think it's important to note, mr. speaker, that two federal courts right here in the district of columbia have upheld the legality of this pipeline. first, a d.c. circuit district judge appointed by president obama, i might add, denied a request for an injunction to stop this pipeline. based on the fact that not only has the company and the corps of engineers and the north dakota public service commission met every letter of the law but exceeded it, including according to this judge's own opinion, exceeding the requirements for consultation with the sovereign tribes. the project developer and the army core tried desperately to engage the standing rock sioux tribe dozens of time, only to be rejected. for more than two years. mr. speaker, all that remains
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for the pipeline to be finished is an easement to begin the process and to finish the process of connecting this pipeline under the missouri river in north dakota. an easement that has been prepared and finished for months. of course, the obama administration rescinded a permit that had already been issued, a 408 permit, to allow the pipeline to be built under this river. the same administration, by the way who has gone to court to defend it. it's ironic to say the least. it's chaos. to say the best. at the center of this issue is an administration that refuses, not just refusing to follow the rule of law but enables and encourages the breaking of the law beginning with the fact that thousands of illegal protesters are allowed to camp, to trespass, on federally owned land. if you allow somebody to illegally assemble, why would they not think that they should be allowed to burn property?
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why would they not think they should be allowed to trespass on private land? why would they think they shouldn't be allowed to, oh, say, throw molotov cocktails at police officers, why would they not think they could follow a police officer home and harass his family until they had to move out of their home or follow a national forward member to their apartment and then harass them at their apartment and force their family to leave, to spit on them. why wouldn't they think they should be allowed to do that if the president of the united states says go ahead and trespass. never mind that this is a legally permitted pipeline. let's just ignore that. let's withdraw the permit we've already issued, that we're defending in court. why wouldn't they think that? what has happened, mr. speaker, to virtue in this country? when i see these protesters, rioters, criminals, thug, yes, thugs, it's not a racial
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comment, it's just what you call people who are thugs, i look at them and i think, who is their mother? where were they raised? how were they raised? what has happened in this country when we stand here in this chamber , in this assembly, in this town and we hear some people, politicses -- politician, supposed leaders, talk about law enforcement as though they're the problem. what's happened that people have become confuse about the difference between breaking the law and enforcing the law? it's hard for north dakotans to see that because we're not confused about that. we were raised by parents who told us what was right and what was wrong, who taught us to respect, to respect the legal system. to respect law enforcement officers. we have really respectable police officers in north dakota and we do throughout this country because we've seen them come from multiple states, multiple states, the national
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sheriff's association has sent many officers, other states and city police departments and counties have sent law enforce. officers to give us some assistance to our overworked, overtaxed law enforcement officers right in north dakota. we're tired of it. stay home, jane fonda. don't come back and deliver food, pretend that somehow you care and take off again in your private jet, unless you want to try to fly that jet on solar panels, then come on, we'll take you. you can't encourage illegal behavior and then wonder why there's violence, mr. speaker. that's what our president has done. let's give a little background on this. i know a little bit about siting pipelines, i was a regulator for 10 year i sited several of them. his 1,172 mile dakota access pipeline will deliver as many as 570,000 barrels of crude oil
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every day to the markets. this is 570,000 barrels of oil being produced every day, it's being transported new. it will always find its way to market but it's being transported by train and trucks. those aren't as safe or as efficient or even as environmentally friendly ways to move oil as a safe pipeline is. especially one that's going to buried 100 feet below the bottom of the river to make sure hat the water is safe. from the outset of this process, the standing rock sioux lead verse refused to sit down and meet with either the corps of engineers or the pipeline developer. however, 55 other tribes have. the corps consulted with 55 native american tribes at least 389 times, after which they proposed 140 variations of the
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current route to avoid culturally sensitive areas in north dakota alone. that's right, mr. speaker. you're not going to read about that in the "new york times" or the washington pest. you're never going to hear about it on nbc or abc or cbs. you may not even hear about it in north dakota because frankly, even our media are afraid of the ramifications of violent rioters who are willing to commit violent acts if you cross them. yeah, even my home address has been posted on their website, on their facebook pages, so they know where my family and i live. these are the prayerful, peaceful protesters you hear so much about on the nbc news. this project route was examined, reviewed, studied and ultimately supported by the north dakota public service commission, the state historic preservation officer, asorted tribal consultants from around the country and multiple professional independent archaeologists.
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this is a thoroughly vetted pipeline which is why it has over 200 federal permits. all of which have been delivered and have been built except for this one which was rescinded to make a political statement. they say that they object to the pipeline being close to the water intake of the standing rock sioux reservation, however this shouldn't be any concern. this is going to go between 90 and 115 feet below the floor of the river. it's double lined pipe. it's got control valves at both ends and sensors at both ends. it's the safest pipeline in the world. by the way, the intake for standing rock's drinking water, the new one, which will be in service before the end of this year, is 70 miles away. there's a railroad track that carries hundreds of thousands of barrels every day over the top
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of the missouri as close as that. by the way, the other thing you often hear is that this is not the original route, that there's other preferred routes but because they crossed at places that affected different kind of people than the standing rock sioux tribe, that this was discriminatory. let me set that record straight as well. i know, as i said a fair bit about pipelines. i've read the permit, i've read the application, i've read the judge's opinion. it was always plan nrd location for a very good reason, mr. speaker. by the way, there are at least 10 to 12 other petroleum pipelines north of this same location. this is just going to be the latest and greatest of them. but the main reason this route was chosen is because it was the least intrusive on the environment, on water ways, on private property, and on cultural resources. the other locations that were under consideration that were
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not chosen crossed many more bodies of water, much closer to many wells and cultural resources and very important historical resources. there was 48 extra miles of priestly undisturbed field areas. this was the -- this is and was the best route. because it's an existing corridor. in this same corridor there's lfer a natural gas pipeline. there's already a large electric transition line -- transmission line. that's why it was chosen. let me talk a little bit about the impact this is having on my state. recent vandalism of the graves in bismarck, that's right, they vandalized graves in a bismarck cemetery, of course the unconscionable graffiti markings on the north dakota world war ii pillars, examples of how these peaceful protesters' actions don't match
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their claims. the responsibility of protecting property and residence has fallen on the shoulders of state of north dakota. when we asked the obama administration for law enforcement help, for reimbursement at least for our state and our counties, for a situation that they created by their refusal to obey the law themselves, they sent some p.r. people from the department of justice. they sent people to watch our cops, to make sure they don't do something wrong. see, again, they're confused about the difference between breaking the law and enforcing the law. we're not confused about that in north dakota. so attempts to get reimbursement or get u.s. federal help has fallen on deaf ears, so far north dakota has had to borrow $17 million to cover law enforcement costs. i will tell you this, we've heard in the chamber tonight a bunch of -- a lot of bad mouthing of the incoming administration.
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i can't wait. i can't wait to go to attorney general jeff sessions, explain the situation to him and ask him for assistance. i am very encouraged by president-elect trump's favorable comments about the dakota access pipeline earlier today. these protesters, these demonstrators, these rioters, have brought protests into the communities of bismarck and they have blocked roads and traffic, forcing lockdowns at the state capitol and federal buildings, they've forced people to leave their homes. they've forced daycare centers o close. it was forced into -- this daycare center forced into lockdown twice. can you imagine explaining to children who don't know anything about a pipeline and they don't care and they shouldn't have to why they're in a lockdown, why they have to be careful? because some out of state thugs are circling the block,
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harassing the owners. many of our residents are fearful for the safety of their neighborhoods. and volunteers are hesitant to even deliver meals on wheels. we've had people call us, say they can't deliver meals on wheels because people won't answer their doors. because they've seen these rioters walking around their property. law enforcement and their families have been stocked and rioters have repeatedly tried to intimidate them. on thanksgiving day, 300 protesters blocked traffic in north dakota, carrying a large dead pig on a stick while at least as many protesters, again, trespassed and built a bridge to reach a hill top. on private property. law enforcement has shown tremendous constraint, giving verbal warnings, that they stop making the bridge, there would be no arrests. it was ignored.
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the bridge was built. rioters crossed. dismantled the bridge and law enforcement held the line for hours against tremendous numbers. well outnumbered. without a single arrest. the protesters are the clear agitators and the criminals here, not the police officers. there would be no law enforcement presence if these protests were truly peaceful. for example, most media have demonized their law enforcement for use of water, of water as a less than lethal tool. during a protest. during cold temperatures. they used it to hold back protesters, only after they used the water to put out prairie fires that were started by the protesters. and when the protesters got wet, not from a water cannon, by the way, that's a made-up term by the national media to make it sound like some sort of violent act by our police department, it was a water ho sembings brought there to put out -- hose brought there to put out fires. when they used that to push
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back hundreds of protesters when there were only dozens of police officers, now they're lamed for being the agitators. as you can tell, i'm frustrated, mr. speaker. i'm frustrated not just by the actions of these thugs, because we've come to expect that from certain people in this country, unfortunately. i'm frustrated by this administration's refusal to obey the law, to enforce the law, to support the law, but instead enable and actually encourage the breaking of the law. that's not what we elect a president for. i'm so grateful we have a law and order president coming into office shortly. they've been forced to arrest more than 400 people. most of them from out of state. they get bailed out rather quickly, somehow they have a source of lots of money. readily available. to bail people out. and cover their expenses. they've chained themselves to equipment, to prevent work from
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being done. here's what's -- here's an interesting fact. when it was much warmer in north dakota than it is today, they would chain themselves to the equipment and then after hours of being there, they would get thirsty. and police officers, rather than, rather than just letting them stay there, actually helped provide them water and held the water so that the rotesters, the illegal rioters, could get a drink of water. that's the quality of our law enforcement officers. they burned tires and fields, as i said earlier, they damaged cars and bridges, they've harassed residents, tore down fences, they've killed and slaughtered neighbors' cattle and bison and horses. and at least one report where gunshots were fired at the
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police. by the way, this protest is not about climate. we hear about that, which by the way shouldn't have anything to do with climate. the oil is being produced. now shoot is, how do you transport it? do you transport it in the most environmentally and economical and efficient way in a pipeline? or do you transport it in some less safe, less efficient, less nvironmentally friendly way? the simple fact is -- fact is our nation will not continue to produce and consume oil or will continue to and pipelines are the best way to move that oil. legally permitting infrastructure projects have to be allowed to proceed without the threat of improper government meddling and illegal activity and by the way, what of shovel-ready jobs, mr. speaker? what of that? what of building the infrastructure of this country,
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with private sector money? what a great thing. but for the shale and other oil plays in this country in the last eight years, we still would be in a recession. most of the jobs that have been created in the last eight years in this country have been created in the energy sector. the not about water protection, as i -- it's not about water protection, as i said. there's a brand new intake system being built that will be operational, 73 miles from this pipeline. that's not the issue. that's just an excuse. by the way, that new intake is about 1.6 miles downstream of a railroad track, a railroad bridge that will carry crude oil as well. the pipeline's not going to come in contact with water. it employs the latest and greatest in advanced technology. a dozen or more other oil and gas and refined product pipelines already cross the missouri river upstream from the tribes -- tribe's drinking
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water intake. and this pipeline is crossing at a point where there's existing infrastructure. it is an infrastructure corridor. mr. speaker, the rule of law matters. i am so grateful for our law enforcement officers, as i said, not just in morton county, not just around bismarck, not just from north dakota, but from around the country who have come to the assistance of our state. but, mr. speaker, if we think we're going to rebuild the infrastructure of this country and every time we build a railroad track or a highway or a bridge or a pipeline or a transmission line or a wind farm or a factory, we're going to have to put up with this, what kind of investment's going to take place in this country? as i said, we are not confused in north dakota about the difference between breaking the law and enforcing the law.
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the vast majority of north dakotans, and when i say vast, i mean well into the 90%, support law enforcement. we're grateful for what they do. we are sorry that you are going through this. i will fight with everything i have and use every ounce of influence i have over the next administration and my colleagues in this chamber to provide the resources to make sure that you get a day off. to make sure that our state gets reimbursed. that your families are compensated for what you've gone through. thank you, law enforcement officers, for taking and making the tremendous sacrifice you make. to protect legal commerce, peaceful citizens, and, yes, ironically, mr. speaker, i thank the law enforcement officers for protecting the right to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. with that, mr. speaker, i finish my comments and yield
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back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for 30 minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's my honor and privilege to be recognized to address you here on the floor of the united states house of representatives. it was quite interesting to listen to the gentleman from north dakota and stress that they have up there -- and the stress they have up there, in particular with regard to the pipeline being built through there. i would just want to reinforce the statements made by the gentleman from north dakota and point out that the permits are there, the process is there, we have tens of thousands of miles of pipelines in the united states of america and we have very, very few problems with
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leaks or other circumstances that would cause one to think that there's a safer way to transport oil. there is not. the safest way is with the pipeline. i'm one who has spent my life, i actually started out in the construction business building pipelines. we've been in the construction business for 42 years. and we dig in the ground and we're doing underground utility work every day, except for sundays. and we go deep sometimes, we go into hydraulic soil from time to time, water tables are above where we're working, we do well points, we're working with the flow of water in the soil and underground, and we have got as good a look at this as anybody i know. and i would point out to those that are detractors that say, well, we could pluth the underground ac which -- pollute the underground aquifer if the pipeline should leak. i would point out something that they ought to know if they ever saw a movie of a ship wreck, oil floats on water. therefore it cannot penetrate
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down into the aquifer, you're not pumping off of the top-skimmed surface of the aquifer, you're pumping down below. and if you should get a leak, which is extraordinarily rare, the oil pools and floats on top and it can be pumped off and cleaned up. there's no safer way to transport petroleum products and there's no more efficient way to do so. it is by far the best way, which is why we have tens of thousands of miles of pipelines all overy think. moving all kinds of -- all over this country. move all kinds of product across the country. i've built pipelines, i've been down in the trench, i've been tossed into the air and slammed to the ground and climbed on the machine and the wind, the dust, the noise, the heat, the cold has all been around me and what i don't understand is why anybody would take people seriously to think that oil doesn't float on water or that there's a better way to transport oil or that somehow if they just get organized and people fund them we're going to pay attention to them as if they were logical.
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they are not. so that is -- concludes my statement on the oil pipeline and i'm hopeful, though, that in the upcoming trump administration, that the future secretary of state signs that permit that opens up that -- they need one section of pipe to go across the 49th parallel, mr. speaker. in order to facilitate the keystone x.l. pipeline. and we can build that pipeline down to the canadian border from the north, and we can bill bl that pipeline up to the -- and we can build that pipeline up to the canadian boarder from the south. what's always been short of the obama administration is a hillary clinton or john kerry signature on the document that says, we have an agreement with canada to connect these pipelines together at our border. that's one section of pipe that would need to go in there. i believe that happens under the trump administration. and we shouldn't set aside these ridiculous -- should set aside these ridiculous arguments. america looks ridiculous to the world if we're going to argue against that logic that if petroleum needs to move and we're going to use it to move
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product around america and heat our homes, then generate electricity and all the things that we do, then we need to do it as effectively and efficiently as possible or we'll become noncompetitive ith the rest of the country. so, mr. speaker, i emphasize the points made by the gentleman from north dakota and i urge that they -- the corps of engineers accelerate the operation up there and they can commence to finish their work that goes across what is the reservoir and slash river, the missouri river, get that connected and get it done, this demonstration isn't going to be over until you get done. so, bore on through would be my advice. then, i made myself a promise yesterday when i stopped into ileana ros-lehtinen's office, to congratulate her, i went to do that with many people who are
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related to, from, who had to leave cuba and those that are there today and weren't able to leave cuba, we have been looking for the biological solution which would be castro being transferred into the next life. the very definition of buy y logical solution in the vernacular around this time was that the eventual death of fidel castro. it finally happened, mr. speaker. so had a celebratory cup of cuban coffee in the office of ileana ros-lehtinen and now i would make this call that it's time for the cuban people and it's time for the incoming trump administration to put together what amounts to the need for a regime change on the island of cuba for the 11 million people that are free spirited, hard working, happy people given that all the circumstances that they have to fight against in the poor education country in all the western hemisphere as far as their spirit is concerned.
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i would pass the message along there is a -- there's a wond everyful, wonderful nun in my istrict named sister marie hussed, who served under mother theresa for several years, served in cuba for a long time, she's been to all, maybe not all, but most of the worst plays -- places in the world to serve people and serve the lord. she used to sneak into cuba with seeds sewn into the seams of her clothing so she could grow a garden so that garden could help the people who are living off their monthly ration of rice, beans and sugar. she told me of all the places she's been, cuba is the poorest place. $20 a month for income. but the poorest place because of their spirit. the spirit of -- their christian
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faith has been so su pressed by castro, closed so many of the church the cathedrals. i walk intd a cathedral in cuba, you could see where the pews were that there was dust there. there weren't tracks by the pew. but the lines down through the center aisle was all polished from people walking through the center aisle. when you rook at that you realize the reason that there's dust in the pews and the -- there's not a path of people moving back and forth in the pews of the cathedral in cuba is because that church is not functioning any longer as a church. it's functioning as a museum. castro shut down many, many of the religious institutions throughout cuba and did his best to suppress christian faith on that island. occasionally, a little chapel pops up here and there and you can see that if you're looking closely, you'll see a little bit of it but he has been an aggressive opponent to our christian faith which is the
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foundation of the faith in cuba. and so i am not sorry to see the end of the life of fidel castro. and i have -- i made a pact with some of my cuban friends that one day, we will return to cuba and we will swim ashore at the bay of pigs. and that would be the ultimate symbolic act that would -- when the day comes, that it's possible for, say, cuban exiles to come toward the shore. i would say i want to dive out of that boat and swim ashore and wade out onto a free cuba. that's our pact, that's our mission, i'm going to do my best to stay in shape to accomplish that mission. here's some things i saw in my drip to cuba, mr. speaker. i think it's important that the body here pay attention to some of this. i hear a lot of stories about how good the health care system is how good the educational
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system is. we went to visit some of the educational system, mr. speaker. one of them was a country school. and they had, oh, i don't know, 15 or 18 kids sitting at kesks in this -- desks in this little shack out in the country, a teacher up front, looking like a country school from 150 years ago in my home state of iowa. when we walked in, of course, everything stopped and kids all paid attention they didn't get to see americans very often, i suppose we look a little bit difference on balance than they do and their parents do, but we had a pretty good handful of pencils there. that handful of pencils was swept up immediately. they couldn't wait to get their hands on pencils so they could write. that's one of the examples of the shortage of supplies that are there and the educational system also, we took a ride up, up to the top of the mountains about 70 kilometers from santa clara in cuba.
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there's an extension college up there that teaches agriculture. there was a ride up there that took at least 90 minute it is get up the mountain. we were sitting back in the of a russian d d ousenhaf. when we got there, this little campus building in the mountain well, had a -- the equivalent, we had about 40 people on the tour altogether. we're standing there, they brought out the cuban minders brought at the spokesman for the university and they stood there in their gray smocks, the cuban minders began transfering our questions to them. and so i was asking questions of the faculty at the extension college in the mountains there and as i would ask the question, the cuban minder would translate the question from english to spanish and ask in spanish a question of the representatives of the university, they would hear the question, they would answer in spanish, the cuban minder would interpret it back into english and tell us what he
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supposedly said. i'm trying to learn the things i came there to learn and the interpreter standing next to me, he was on the tour. he was not designed to be the interpreter but he was the best interpreter i've ever had, his name was ed sabbatini. his parents owned property in cuba that had been nationalized, they had fled the island and lived in miami. ed, the son of refugees that had gotten out of cuba, he said to me as i'm listening to the responses to the questions that i think are being asked, he said, you realize, don't you, that these castro minders are not asking the questions that you are asking, and when they get the answers back, they're not giving back to you the answers that were given to them by the faculty here at this university? and i said, no. i didn't realize that. of course i didn't understand enough spanish to realize that
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so he began to interpret this for me. he was interpreting not only what was said but he was interpreting what wasn't said, what body language was there, and fill me in on the things he was soaking up in that encounter. after a little white -- lytle will we realized, it doesn't pay for us to stand here and talk to these people, we're not going to get the truth from them. we step aid way from the group, went down and spoke some students on the curb. i asked the faculty, do you have internet services on the mountain. the faculty had answered back, or at least through the minder, yes we have internet services. i began to talk to the students and got straighter answers. they did have internet services, they had a computer class going on right then in a building adjacent to where we were. i asked, if you want to access the internet, how do you get to that internet? the answer was if we have research or a question we want
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to get resolved, we write that question down on a piece of paper. and then we hand that to our instructoring our instructor decides whether to approve our request or not. if he approves it, then that goes into a pact that goes down the mountain, 70 kilometers to santa clara where the internet connection is, that's run by castro's people. they look at the request, they type that request out onto the internet if it's approved that the question can be allowed to be asked and answered and then the question goes out on the internet they down load the response that they're looking for, if they approve it, they will take that response down and redact the things they don't want the student to know, but print the document, put that document back on a russian vehicle and go 70 kilometers back up the mountain. it takes day or weeks to get an answer from the internet and when i asked them, tell me about your internet service and they
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answer is, yes, we have internet service here, good access to internet service, that's what it is. give a piece of paper a ride down the mountain 70 kilometers fwing through the minders and through the sensors and out to the inter-- through the censors, back on the vehicle, back up the mountain. how long would it take you to research anything on the internet if you have to process things through that means? it was amazing to me that anyone could even seriously suggest such a thing, that it was internet access when it had to take two rides in a russian vehicle and go through a censor and a couple of minders. that's what we saw down there at that university. and so i said, i want to go look at this computer class that's going on. and as i headed up that way, the leader of our tour group was gathering people together and i said, i'm going to go look at this computer class up here he
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said we're going to leave, which meant, we're supposed to jump in these vehicles and take our ride back down the mountain. i said, i'm going to go up and see the computers. and he said, well we're going to leave you here. i said, then i'll see you in havana. so i thought they were bluffing, and they were, but ed and i went into that classroom, down in the basement of a school building there, and there sat about 12 computers, all old 386's or maybe even earlier, and they had two or three male students all sitting in front of each computer and there on the screen was the five points of why capitalism is bad and marxism is good. they were teaching the lesson of marxist ideology right there on the screens of those old computers while these students sat there sharing a screen to look at. and when we walked in it kind of took over the room and once they found out that we were from america, the students had questions they wanted to ask. and they began to ask the questions, they were interpreted
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through ed sabbatini, me and i answered them. after a while it became so rapid fire ed answered the questions and he told me what happened as we walked our. think they asked questions like, this is agriculture extension, so they were asking, who sets the price on markets for, say, grain? they're probably thinking rice and sugar, maybe beans. i'm thinking corn and soybeans. who sets the price? we say, the market sets the price. what is the market? well it's it's supply and demand. buyers come in and make an offer if they can buy what they want at that price, then that's the price. if they're getting more than they want this they lower the price if they're getting less than they want they raise the price. you could see the time -- see them trying to figure out what that meant. they asked, when does the price change? thinking there was still some
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government that set our commodities of grain price once a month or twice a year. i said that price can change several times a minute. it's kind of a live, moving mark because it reacts to the bids that are out there. hard to think of what that means. who sets -- they wanted to know what our land value is. i told them. who sets the values on land? well, the buyers and the sellers set the value on land. just didn't have a concept of that. then they would be, why would anyone sell land if they own land? there's a concept of real estate ownership that doesn't exist in any significant way in a marxist economy that controls an owns everything. so we went through that. it was a fascinating time for them and it was fascinating for me to see how they reacted. the inquisstiveness of those young students that had an opportunity to hear what it's like in america you heard from them, i want to go to america. i would say everyone in that room wanted to go to america.
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the sense of the not only the deprivation that's there because they're on rations of rice and beans and sugar, but deprived also of ideas. the opportunity to have access to information. to exchange ideas. that's been crushed by castro. so the potential of the people in cuba, which i think is terrific has been so badly damaged. y the oppression of castro who threw thousands of his political enemies into prison, tortured them, beat them, and executed many, many of them. i remember, mr. speaker, the -- the vision, the images i saw on television back in 1959 and 1960's and beyond when castro d che guevara took over cuba and executed the political enemies. they took them up against the wall, many of them wearing white
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slacks and white cuban shirts that hang outside their belt, and they were put up to the wall, blindfolded, stood there with their hands tied and they were shot. and this -- that was back when television shed -- showed the reality of what was taking place. we hadn't got son sensitive that when there was murder that was picked up on cameras it went on television without being blurred out as if smu we're too -- somehow we're too sensitive to see things like that. there was an awful sight. i recall a man who was about to be executed, one of castro's enemy, he insisted that he not be blindfolded and he insisted that he not be tied, and he insisted that he give the order for them to fire. and so, mr. speaker, he stood in front of that execution wall and in his white cuban shirt and
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white slacks and sandals and raised his hand with no blindfold on him, looked at the firing squad, raised his hand and in a miami of, i'll say, just an amazing display of courage and nerve, dropped his hand and that firing squad fired and executed that probably very innocent cuban there in front of that wall and he became one of thousands who were put into their graves because they were political opponents of the marxist, the communist, the dictator, the tyrant that has turned cuba into a prison island and it's been a prison island since 1959 and finally, finally the biological solution has kicked in and castro, fidel is no more, there is one more to go, that's raul. . the cuban people need to know, when they go to their grave, the grip on island of cuba is
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letting go. it's got to let go. and the free spirit that exists within the hearts of the cuban people needs to be released. and they need to be freed up on that island so that they can control their own destinies, they can live their own lives, they can become prosperous by their brains and the sweat of their own brow. and have the opportunities that we have here in this country. this new administration needs to be about regime change in cuba. not only has the western hemisphere being terrorized by the policies of fidel castro, and his support for the marxists throughout a number of countries in central and south america, and that includes nicaragua and it includes the venezuelan -- with hugo chavez and now his successor. includes a number of other countries. and the trouble that castro has engaged in in granada and also over in africa, that he's foe
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meanted that kind of terror -- fo -- fomented that kind of terror, if we had been absent his influence in this hemisphere, chances are south america itself would be much more free than it is today. that's castro. recall visiting the hotel nationale. in there, when you walk inside, that's the place where the rich and famous from america used to play down in cuba in havana. it looks out across the sea and there's a gun in placement there, a cannon that sits down in a bunker that was used to defend the shores of cuba back during the spanish american war. they say the spanish cuban american war in 1898. but there in that hotel you'll see pictures of the movie stars of the time. marilyn monroe, rocky marciano is there. when you walk through, you see
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the people that were, i'll say, lived in black and white fame in america, their pictures are on the wall in the hotel nationale and also there in the parking lot was a 1959 jaguar station wagon that was the vehicle of the previous dictator, batista's wife, who had that green 1959 jaguar station wagon. but things have stopped, they're frozen in time. the most typical taxi cab in havana was a 1954 chevy and it would have a three-cylinder russian diesel engine under the hood and if you look around the island, you would see russian tractors that were parked and they've been stripped for parts. i didn't see any of them out there running. it's the only place of civilization that i know that once went from animal husbandry, agriculture, where they used beasts of burden, to till the fields, they went to
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russian tractors, when the russians were subsidizing the cubans, and then when the soviet union imploded, mr. speaker, and that ended on christmas day, 1991, when the soviet union went under and was no more, over a period of time their subsidy for the island of cuba dried up. they were subsidizing cubans this way. cubans then were producing sugar. the global market on sugar, the open market on sugar was six cents a pound. the russians were sending them oil for sugar. making a trade. the sugar that was going to russia was costing the russians 51 cents worth of oil. so you have a more than eight times multiplier effect, sugar for oil, and that profit that was in there is what was propping up the economy of cuba. the failed, failed, failed economy of cuba. the soviet union imploded, that subsidy ended, and those russian tractors broke down and finally died, and so you end up
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with objectionen that are out there -- oxen that are out there doing the tilling in the field, they would tie them on a piece of rope and they'd have a pivot grazing system instead of a pivot irrigation system, and plow behind a team of oxen out there, just kind of sfor sport, out in the -- for sport, out in the field working. i asked to tag around. i got to do that and got a picture of that, mr. speaker. that eeled had digressed so much that the tractors were parked and the animals had been put back to work. hugo chavez decided he would prop up the cuban island with a wealth of his oil. of course when chavez himself went to his maker, thankfully, and the prosperity that venezuela enjoyed collapsed around the failed ideology of a marxist-controlled economy, that then shut down the subsidy for cuba, who should come along to save the day, barack obama. who decides he's going to open up trade with cuba, establish
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an embassy there, and let american dollars come down into cuba so that the island could become prosperous again. we needed to let the marxist regime finally be starved out. that was the purpose of the sanctions against cuba. and that's why it's never been wise to open up free trade with cuba. now it's wise for this trump, incoming trump administration, to promote regime change in cuba. raul can't last much longer. freedom must come to the cuban people. and i want to swim ashore at the bay of pigs and walk out onto a free cuba. i've done that at gtmo. i want to do it at the bay of pigs, mr. speaker. also, another way that cuba was propped up would be any foreign currency that came. in tourists could come into cuba. they quoo come into cuba, especially from europe, they'd go to the beaches and so they spent their euros there. americans would sneak in to cuba by going through the
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bahamas and get their passport punched out there and then take a separate flight and fly into cuba. they might also come in from the south or come in through mexico. but american dollars came down. here's the rule. we think we're helping cubans by doing business in cuba with american dollars. here's how it was when i was there. i don't think it's any different today. the exchange rate of cuban peso to the dollar was 21 pesos to the dollar. cubans could earn american dollars, they could hold american dollars, but they can't spend american dollars unless they go to a cuban bank where they have to take their american dollars and lay that down on the counter and get an exchange cuban currency. but the cuban currency doesn't give them 21 pesos which is the exchange rate for their american dollar, it gives them one peso for american dollar and 20 peso goes into castro's bank account -- pesos go into castro's bank account. or they can go into a dollar
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store where their dollar would only get them a peso. that's how that money went back into the hands of castro. he's raking up the foreign currency and using that to prop up his military, keep his prisons open, and suppress and repress the cuban people. mr. speaker, we're on a place in history here where i'm glad to see that the trump administration understands what needs to happen in cuba. i'm hopeful the cuban people have enough of that spirit in them to understand what they need to do. but mourn for fidel is not what they need to do, but replace him with a leader of, by and for the cuban people, and a constitution that protects the individual interests and rights of the cuban people is what needs to happen. and i fully support the effort on the free-minded and free-spirited cuban people to one day also be free, all 11le manufacture -- 11 million of them. mr. speaker, i'll do my best to
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stay in shape so i can swim ashore and wade out onto a free cuba. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. king: mr. speaker, i move the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. >> earlier, the house passed a and lawmakers approved a providing an additional $800,000 in funding for the energy and commerce select panel that is leading the investigation into the alleged sale of fetal tissue. house members also began debate 2017compromise over defense programs and policy. with a final vote expected on that friday after the house
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returns at 9:00 a.m. eastern. we spoke earlier today with the capitol hill reporter for more on that legislation. >> we are joined by the washington examiner defense reporter with that organization. this bill authorizes $619 billion in programs and policies for the pentagon. but have been some of the key issues authorized by the bill? >> one the issues is a pay raise for the troops on the compromise bill that will be on the floor at 2.1% and the presidents request at 1.6%. there is also a major reshuffle of house pentagon acquisition that splits it into two different positions, one focused on innovation and risk taking and the other more focused on the business and not taking
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risk, which was a big priority for senator john mccain in the senate version of the bill. >> the house and senate differing over how to fund the wars in afghanistan, military spending in iraq. $3.2 billion boost in the overall authorization. how did they resolve the differences in particular on that issue on funding for iraq and afghanistan? >> the house increase their funding in the overseas contingency operation but they used a lot of it for base priorities. looking at it, they essentially split the difference, but that $5es into account about billion supplemental request. they took about the midway point between the house and senate bills and when you take into account the president's request, that gives them $3.2 billion
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more than what the president asked for, which could be a contributing factor to democrats not supporting the bill. >> one of the key issues has been the acquisition process for the military. how the military buys things. what did they decide on in this bill? >> there's a major reshuffling of how the acquisition department will be organized and focused on innovation. the conference report says negotiators really believe that acquisition and innovation is the culture of the two different aspects are just totally different. to separate that out will help get things actually out to the war fighter faster, hopefully with fewer cost overruns. >> it's a chance to play out policy priorities. like thet the issues potential drafting of women and discrimination in hiring practices at the pentagon and in
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the military? >> those things are both left out of the final compromise bill. it does not require women to sign up for selective service. capitol hill aide tells me that part of the reason republicans are willing to leave the amendment out of the final bill is because now with donald trump's election, they see new avenues early next year to be able to come back at some of these religious liberty issues. next the authorization of more spending on military projects and programs coming in a time when thousands in are figuring out that the -- continuing resolution, the overall federal spending. i want to ask about how they tie-in, with this tweet of years commenting about joe wilson and mike turner, asking for pentagon spending bill, not a cr. >> the funding level in the cr is different from what is going .o be included in the adaa
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they essentially wrote a letter to speaker paul ryan saying that because it was expected to pass so overwhelmingly, the vast -- it presents any new start and put some behind on the issues and other procurement priorities. >> now that this final measure is coming to the house, they had initially issued veto threats against the house and senate version. what are they saying about the final version? >> they have not spoken definitively yet. a lot of issues they're threatening to veto are no longer in there. it is unclear if they will sign it. buth

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