Providing for Further Consideration of H.R. National Defense

Floor Speech

Date: July 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PERRY. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

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Mr. PERRY. Madam Speaker, there are a lot of issues with this amendment, not the least of which is that my colleague is the subcommittee chairman on the committee of jurisdiction for this amendment, yet we are not taking it up in that committee because I suppose we don't want the debate.

While we are talking about national security in the National Defense Authorization Act, this amendment adds to the already excessive bureaucracy at the State Department, not at the Pentagon.

It has nothing to do with national security. This is about political ideology and using the National Defense Authorization Act for more bureaucracy, a climate change officer at embassies, consulates, diplomatic missions, et cetera.

It is alleged to provide expertise on climate change in the State Department, and it stipulates that this must be done in an equitable, inclusive, and just manner.

Do you know what is not equitable or just? Sending State Department officials around the globe to tell other countries trying to emerge in their world, in their economies, by adopting ineffective, destabilizing green energy just so that John Kerry can fly around in his private jet and rub elbows with billionaires in Davos.

It is certainly not equitable or just to tell other countries they must transition to electrical systems built on the horrific, forced slave labor and child labor facilitated by the Communist Party of China. That doesn't seem equitable, doesn't seem just, doesn't seem fair.

This amendment also contains the sense of Congress that would affirm climate change as one of the core tenets of foreign policy priorities.

Madam Speaker, we are talking about the National Defense Authorization Act. This is not the State and Foreign Ops reauthorization. This doesn't belong here. This has nothing to do with this.

Everybody here knows, or should know, that we face enormous challenges around the globe for a national security policy. But if we want to talk about State and Foreign Ops, we can talk about Sri Lanka.

They have an ESG score of like 99 or something like that. They just overthrew their government because they can't eat because of these policies, these policies imposed on them by the United States of America in the accolades of this Green New Deal garbage.

Ghana is the same thing, moving up in the world, electrifying their country so everybody could afford electricity in a Third World country. Now it is dark at night in their homes because there is no electricity because of this kind of stuff.

This doesn't belong here, Madam Speaker. Actually, it doesn't belong anywhere, but it certainly doesn't belong as an amendment to this bill.

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Mr. PERRY. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I would just offer this to my colleague, my friend. I have served in uniform, and I know what the existential threats are.

Madam Speaker, I know, having served long in both the enlisted ranks and the officer ranks, the troubles that national security pose to this Nation.

While you might find woke officers and enlisted members infiltrate the Pentagon to destroy the military with this tripe, I am not one of them. I am not going to fall for it. Neither should anybody here.

We need to focus. Our military, our national defense, needs to focus on real enemies, enemies like China, Iran, terrorism, and potentially Russia, but not in a proxy war in Ukraine. These are real enemies.

Climate change can be handled by other agencies and should be handled by other agencies. DOD and men and women in uniform need to focus on defending our country from our enemies, not this, Mr. Speaker.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, this amendment, as has been stated, establishes an office of climate resilience in the White House and a climate resilience equity advisory board, including outside stakeholders, to develop a national climate resilience action plan.

What does ``outside stakeholders'' mean? I mean, to me, what I hear is people who do what a lot of people do in Washington. They grift. They are making money. They are making policy that makes their friends money. That is what that means. The stakeholders should be the American people, outside stakeholders developing a national climate resilience action plan.

Now, quite honestly, this is, again, the National Defense Authorization Act. How this amendment made it to the floor under this bill is, quite honestly, beyond comprehension. It is just another level of Federal bureaucracy in the name of climate that does nothing to improve the readiness of our military or support the warfighter.

That is what we should be discussing this evening. That is what the underlying bill is about, the National Defense Authorization Act. This has nothing to do, again, with supporting the warfighter, nothing to do with increasing readiness.

I remember filling out officer evaluation reports with all kinds of requirements. I had a paragraph I had to fill out on every officer, all kinds of requirements that I had to put a statement in about this or that. It left me about one sentence to talk about their warfighting capability, each officer, about one sentence left in all the space of the requirements that I had to complete that had absolutely nothing to do with the servicemember's ability to do their job in combat. So, here we are going to add some more because we don't have enough of that.

The folks responsible for developing a nationwide resiliency plan would be those with emergency management experience if they were going to do it, but that is not required. Again, we have outside stakeholders.

I mean, it doesn't even belong in this bill, but even if it did, it doesn't get anything right here because we are not going to protect anybody. This is just another bureaucracy for activists on the left to impose these things on United States citizens.

I mean, we have real problems. It would be great if we had a task force in the White House, since apparently the President can't handle it, to deal with the record inflation that we have.

It would be great if we had somebody in the White House, maybe a task force, to deal with fuel prices. I mean, we have our national leaders traveling all around the globe, thousands of miles away, to try to get other countries to pump more oil, refine more oil. We won't do it in the United States of America.

It would be great to have that task force. Maybe that would help national security so we wouldn't have to go fight these foreign wars. But I guess we are going to do this social justice climate fearmongering.

It just creates another activist entity within the Federal Government and fails to protect folks from disasters or actually protect the taxpayers. It will actually undermine resiliency efforts by focusing on socialist ideas that are failing. They are failing in this country right now.

What we are seeing happening in our economy is the result of these types of things. We don't let the market work. We don't want the market. We are going to impose our will on the American people and say, ``You are not going to drive that kind of car, you are not going to use that kind of fuel, you are not going to buy that kind of electricity. We know better than you do. We are Washington, D.C.''

Most of us have no experience in these industries that we are forcing on the American people. It undermines America's prosperity and promotes technologies that enrich our enemies, like China, rather than supporting the military, which is what this bill is supposed to be about.

I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, this amendment reauthorizes the Delaware River Basin Conservation Program for 10 years and increases the Federal cost-share for the projects.

Now, it is the same kind of theme here at the end of the evening. I guess it is late. Looks like it is about quarter after 2. Nobody is supposed to notice that we are talking about the National Defense Authorization Act, but this is about the Delaware River Basin Conservation Program.

I am sure it is important to my good friend and colleague. We served together in the statehouse. But he knows and I know the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee shares jurisdiction over this legislation with our colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee, not on the House Armed Services Committee. This doesn't belong here.

As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I can tell you that this bill has not been considered. This amendment hasn't been considered in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Neither side has taken a look at it, so we don't know the pros and cons.

But we know this: This has nothing to do with protecting the residents of Pennsylvania or the Delaware Bay or the Delaware River from invasion from the Chinese or from the Russians or some kind of amphibious force.

My good friend even talked about the trails, the environment, and the conservation around the area, which is all a great discussion. But we are here to talk about the National Defense Authorization Act. This is not to pass nondefense-related amendments, and it is completely inappropriate, completely unrelated to national defense. It actually undermines our national security by providing resources to the Delaware River Basin Commission that should go to the Pentagon.

As long as we are talking about it, let's be clear here. Unelected bureaucrats at the DRBC have usurped the authority of the Pennsylvania legislature, which my colleague on the other side of the aisle and I served in, and have deprived Pennsylvanians of their property rights by instituting a ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Maybe there is a national security nexus because preventing the responsible development of Pennsylvania's wealth of natural gas has enriched the Putin regime. It has funded its aggression in Ukraine and continued European dependence on Russian gas. That is what it has done.

This bill absolutely has no place in the National Defense Authorization Act. While most of America might be sleeping at 2:15 in the morning, I am not. I am here in opposition to this because it doesn't belong here. It belongs in another committee, in another discussion where we can get into the details of what this would do, what this reauthorization would do.

We are not going to be duped by adding this to the National Defense Authorization Act and continuing the egregious overreach of the unelected activists at the DRBC.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, I sure appreciate my good friend and colleague. It is always about people, to my good colleague.

But on this particular evening, and on this bill, it is about national defense. It is about national security. It is not about this. This does not belong here.

We could have a conversation, and we should have a conversation about this, but not here, not now, not tonight, and not on this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

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