Using the Power of the Purse

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 29, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Texas for being here and making this plain to all of us.

We are going to talk about the CR some more. It continues the highly inflated funding levels.

We just saw the Fed--I have issues with the Fed; that is a whole separate issue--raise interest rates to try to cool down, like pouring water on the fire, this economy because prices are out of control.

People can't afford their daily lives. They can't afford their electricity, their food, their rent, or their mortgage. They can't afford to send their kids to school.

So, the Fed does its part. What do we do over here? Well, the Fed is trying to pour water on the fire. They want to cool it off. Let's throw some gas on it. $1.5 trillion for this fiscal year continues to fund the things that we have been talking about, another $12.3 billion in Ukraine funding.

We all want to help. What Russia did is bullying, right? A country can bully just like an individual can bully. They are bullying their neighbors. Nobody agrees with that. We all want to help. But this is American taxpayers' money.

While Russia is invading the border of Ukraine, we have an invasion on our southern border. How much are we spending on that?

Look, we are spending a pile of money. But do you know what we are not doing? We are not stopping the invasion. Here, let's spend a bunch of money down where Chip lives, and we put a welcome mat out.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for making the contrast.

Here is what else it is more than: It is actually almost more than Russia's annual military spending. The United States alone, the United States taxpayer alone, is spending more in Ukraine to fight the Russians than Russia's total military budget--not just in Ukraine, their entire military budget.

Yet, the budget that we are spending money on, on our border isn't meant to keep our country safe, our national security interest--it is not just national security. My good friend, the gentleman from Texas, lives right down there. He can tell you horror story after horror story about the unsafe conditions that his constituents, his bosses, have to live under every day because this little book, the Constitution of the United States, says that immigration and the border is the job of the Federal Government.

But what do you do? What do you do when they don't do the job? What do you do when 53 humans are cooked in a truck in your town? I will tell you. I had lunch at a little diner on my way to Washington, D.C., this week. Good people, hardworking people--you can see the same people probably every day in that diner. I sat down. They are talking about the world's problems, talking about their own problems. They looked at me, complaining, and said: What does it matter? We can't do anything about it.

I said: What do you mean you can't do anything about it? What are you asking me for?

They said: You are in Congress, and you can't do anything about it.

We stand here in this body today knowing all of these problems exist, every single one of them. We can all outline the problems. We all know the challenges our country faces.

Yet, in this body, and in the body across the other side of the building, we just want to keep the clocks wound. We just want the trains to run on time. We don't care about all of this other stuff that is happening out there, as long as everything works here in Washington, D.C.

Some of the richest counties in the country are right here. Everything is fine in Washington, D.C., but go 100 miles or 3,000 miles away and see how it feels.


Mr. PERRY. The gentleman is absolutely right. I am looking at what else is in the CR: $3 billion for Operation Allies Welcome.

You know what that is? That is Afghan settlement.

For 20 years, for 20 years this country has bled its treasure of humanity, sending our best and brightest to the front, and, of course, your tax dollars.

What did we do at the end?

We just walked away and gave all that away. We dishonored those who lost their lives, those who came home irreparably damaged, and gave that country $85 billion of premier military hardware, we gave it to hardened terrorists and we gave them a country to operate out of.

You know what you get for that? You know what thanks you get?

Here is what you get: You get $3 billion for Operation Allies Welcome because we still have to bring people from Afghanistan because the people that we brought initially weren't vetted. We don't know who they were. They just got on the airplane, and now they are living in your community.

We pray to God that you are going to be safe. We pray to God that not one of them is a terrorist.

But we already know the answer to that, right?

We are living on borrowed time. We already know because we have seen it.

This is what my friend is talking about with Article I. The Founders gave us the power.

You know what they didn't give us in the body?

It comes from within. A little bit of courage. A little bit of courage.

Right now, we all go out and say we should stop spending money on this and this and this: 87,000 IRS agents, a Department of Justice that is reigning tyranny over our citizens.

You know what we did today?

We just continued to fund them, hundreds of millions of dollars.

To my good friend from Texas, and we are here joined by the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Higgins), another great friend, when I walk around my district, I see people that agree with me, that support me, and I see people that don't like me and would never support me. I have conversations with each one of them.

You know what?

Not one of them has said, I can't afford my groceries. My electric bill is sitting on the table because I don't have the money to pay for it yet this month.

Here is what we need, here is how you fix that, Mr. Perry. Hire 87,000 more IRS agents. Give $250 million to the Department of Justice. That is going to fix my problems. Not one of my constituents has said that to me.

How about you, Mr. Roy?


Mr. PERRY. That is exactly right.

I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Higgins), my good friend.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Louisiana.

One of the other things that is in this continuing resolution: $1 billion for increased home heating and cooling cost subsidies. Think about that, for subsidies.

At the very same moment, the administration, through its policies, is driving your energy costs--electricity, gasoline, diesel--through the roof. They are making you pay more and then they are taking more of your tax dollars to give it out to people who can't afford to pay for it.

And people in this body support this? Somehow with a straight face.

You think that this is right?

I will give you a statistic: The U.S. imports about 20\1/2\ million barrels a day. A tanker ship takes about 190,000 barrels. That is about 50 ships a day. The trip from Saudi to New York is about 6,500 miles.

Looking at the burn rate, we are burning about 1 million gallons one way--1 million gallons one way. And this administration would rather do that, tankers from Saudi Arabia, tankers from Venezuela, my goodness, probably tankers from Iran. But heaven forbid, heaven forbid we open the pipeline, any pipeline. They will close as many as they can because somehow they feel good about that.


Mr. PERRY. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Roy is absolutely right. Before I turn it over to the gentleman from Texas, I want to prime the pump here a little bit.

The Department of Energy was created for one sole purpose, one purpose and one purpose only: To make the United States energy independent.

My good friend from the State of Texas just went through the list. We were energy independent about 1\3/4\ years ago. It took that long to not only make us energy dependent, but your bills are going through the roof.

Look, I know that people will say, well, gas prices are actually coming down now.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the President has been unloading that. It was created, set aside for natural disasters.

What is happening right now today?

What has been happening over the last 48 hours in our country with our friends from Florida, right?

They might be able to use some of that, but, of course, it is at the lowest level it has been in the history of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

It wasn't meant for political disasters. It was meant for national security and natural disasters. But yet, this is what is happening.

If you don't like the look of your electricity bill now--now, when the weather is pretty temperate in the United States--just give it about 3 months and see how you are going to like it. You can blame it on one thing, one thing and one thing alone: The left, the Democratic left, the Democratic Party, and those in it that are forcing and imposing this on you.

I yield to the good gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert), my other friend.


Mr. PERRY. They absolutely are. And like I said, if you are worried about the climate, if you are worried about fossil fuel use, the most important thing to do, the most responsible thing to do is to do it efficiently.

America does it more cleanly and more efficiently than everybody else. And we have pipelines, but we can't use them.

Like I said: One trip. One way, from one tanker. Fifty a day come into the United States. One million gallons burned one way for each tanker. So that is 50 million a day.

Everybody is worried about their cars. Nobody gives a hoot about this; and none of it is necessary. Absolutely zero of it is necessary.

Mr. Speaker, in this CR, in this continuing resolution that we are going to vote on in this House tomorrow--I think--even though we say we want to save our country and our citizens, our bosses from this tyranny, people are going to vote for it anyhow: $2 billion for unaccompanied minors flooding the border while doing nothing to solve the border crisis.

As the good gentleman from Texas said, how much did we spend from the Department of Homeland Security to secure our border annually?


Mr. PERRY. Close to 60; but yet we need another 2 for unaccompanied minors. We don't need the extra 2. You just stop the unaccompanied minors, and you don't need the extra 2.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time I have remaining?

Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding, I think that in the last year and three-quarters, the Biden administration has racked up more debt than the entire 8 years of the Obama administration.

We found that unacceptable, but yet here we are. And yet, in this body, on this week, at this time, we are going to vote to just continue like nothing is happening, like that is not happening, like we don't care. We are going to go home and say, if you elect us, all this stuff is going to end. Yet, we have an opportunity in this body to stop it.

All the things that the gentleman from Texas outlined, the things that I outlined:

The Ukraine funding.

The $3 billion for operation allies welcome.

The COVID funding.

Oh, by the way, the President of the United States said the pandemic is over, but we are going to add more COVID funding in here, right? Can't do without that crisis.

Mr. Speaker, all that included, but hardly a whimper out of this town, because it is more important that this town keeps going than the American people get what they asked for, what they elected us for.

Mr. Speaker, this is completely unacceptable. I would agree with my colleague from Texas, if Republicans aren't going to fight now-- understand, not one of us is a Democrat. We don't have any authority or majority in this House of Representatives; no majority by Republicans in the Senate. That is the complete legislature. There is no majority of Republicans in the executive branch. That is President Biden. Those are Democrats.

How, for the love of the Lord, can Republicans be blamed for voting ``no'' on this tyranny?

If Democrats want to continue tyranny, God bless them. They can go explain that to their constituents, to their bosses. But why would Republicans help them? And more importantly, why would Republicans help them when reinforcements are coming right over the horizon. We have an election in 40 days.

As Mr. Higgins said, to pass a continuing resolution, to pass a bill that continues this tyranny into December after there is no accountability, people have lost their elections. There is no accountability to offer them yet another opportunity to continue the tyranny.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, how do you explain that to your constituents? How do you explain, Well, I voted for that because it is important that Washington, D.C., and all these programs needed your money, needed the money that you wake up every day and go to work for. They needed it, and you didn't.

Mr. Roy, people in my district pack their lunch at night. They get up early while it is still dark. They kiss their little children that are in their beds asleep while it is still dark, and they leave for work.

They count on us here to make sure that we are faithfully, adequately, appropriately, responsibly spending their hard-earned dollars.

Mr. Higgins, you talked about this the other day in conference. Your paycheck. People work hard for it, and they depend on us. And what do we do with it?

Mr. Roy, give us an example. You got like a thousand of them there. How do we blow it?


Mr. PERRY. Go ahead.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Roy), the other gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert), and my good friend, the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Higgins).