Issues of the Day

Floor Speech

Date: March 30, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GROTHMAN. Madam Speaker, as we wrap up this week in Congress, I would like to address some issues that I feel have not been discussed as much as they should be in the Chamber this week, and I look forward to the issues being highlighted when we return from our break 10 days from now.

First of all, I would like to discuss the very concerning memos coming out of the Richmond office of the FBI. The FBI has kind of embarrassed us over the last year, in that there are areas in which I would consider more political in nature, but the FBI, perhaps like their counterparts in China or Russia, seem to go after people for what they think more than what they do.

We found out in the last month that they have decided to equate traditional Catholics with groups that ought to be monitored so that they don't do anything too untoward.

In their memo, they implied that perhaps traditional Catholics, without evidence that I know, may be opposed to affirmative action, like the majority of Americans. They may not be all on board with the LGBTQ agenda. They may not be thrilled with President Biden's immigration policy. Horror of horrors, they might like to attend a service with Latin Mass.

I am not Catholic personally, but I have friends who I think would consider themselves conservative Catholics. The idea that they would consider conservative Catholics in line with being an enemy of the state is incredibly scary. I know traditional Catholics will not do very well in communist China today, and that is perhaps not surprising. That is one of the reasons why we worry about what goes on in China. It is very scary that this administration would be targeting conservative Catholics for additional monitoring, and it is something that we should be very mindful of and something we should insist on.

They have said that they are revoking the memo, which is nice. But when you just say that we are getting rid of the memo because it doesn't meet our exacting standards, it implies that you are getting rid of the memo because it is true and you feel bad that your true feelings about conservative Catholics have now been made public.

I have not seen any press release from the FBI, and I hope to see it, in which people are removed from the FBI, saying we don't want you there anymore. If you view your job as not one in which we are going to track down people who are counterfeiting or tracking down people who are selling fentanyl in the State but instead are going to spend your resources monitoring conservative Catholics, that is of great concern.

Like I said, I personally am not Catholic, but I will tell you, after seeing that memo from the FBI, if I was a member from an Assembly of God church, a Wisconsin Lutheran Synod church, most Baptist churches, evangelical churches, or Orthodox Jewish, I would be scared of where our country is going.

I insist that the FBI open up their files and tell us exactly who drafted these repugnant memos and whose idea it was out of Washington, out of Richmond, who knows, that the FBI should be involved in targeting conservative Catholics.

I hope the rest of the people in this body, including my leadership team, talks about it every day until we get back or until we get a better explanation from the FBI of exactly what was going on and who, in particular, were the employees of the FBI who thought it was a good idea to monitor conservative Catholics, of which apparently one piece of evidence is attending Latin mass.

Now, I think we should also have a look at a story that began about 2 years ago. We can kind of follow it along and see the degree to which President Biden's administration is following the demands made of them about 2 years ago.

About 2 years ago, when the Senate was 50/50, with a Democrat Vice President, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono said that they were tired of confirming any White men appointed by President Biden. That is kind of a scary thing. Actually, they said it would be okay to confirm White men if they were gay.

After 2 years were up, a legal journal did a study and found out that 2 years into the Biden administration, only 5 out of 97 judges were White men. We were able to determine that 1 of the 5 is gay. We don't know about the others.

I think that is a little bit scary. I think if you are going to take the legal community collectively--remembering that you don't really appoint people to the Federal judiciary when they are 26 years old--so when we look at the community of people age 35 and up and say, we are going to try to find the best judges we can, I would think more than 5 out of 97 judges would be White men who are not gay. But that is what we have. Actually probably less than 5. It is 4 or 3 or whatever.

I think it is something for the media to pick up on and ask some more questions here.

Does the Biden administration really feel that only 5 of 97 judicial openings would be best filled with a White man?

I would be asking questions, since apparently Senator Duckworth and Senator Hirono felt it was important to give preference to gay men over straight men. I would ask how many of the few White men appointed are gay and how many are straight. I think that is something that if the media was on the ball, they would be asking that question.

We do know that there are strong elements on the left that don't like traditional families. We know the close ties between the Democrat Party and Black Lives Matter and how early on Black Lives Matter said they don't like western prescribed traditional families. I always objected to the way Black Lives Matter says that, because I think we have traditional families with a mom and dad at home through all sorts of different backgrounds, not just in Western Europe. But they, themselves, describe it as western prescribed traditional families.

I hope that beyond this rather obscure legal journal, we would have a little more investigation by the press and perhaps investigation by some of the relevant committees.

Are we continuing down the path of apparently actively discriminating against White heterosexual men?

I mean, that is clearly what these two Senators wanted. I think it is very concerning that they are getting exactly what they wanted. It is like the Biden administration is just following their tune.

Hopefully, we will see more articles about this in the paper over the next couple weeks. If I do not get what I want here, hopefully Republican leadership will weigh in and force the Biden administration to comment on this issue and the backgrounds of some of their appointees.

Given the obsession, or their apparent view of the world, the Biden administration does view people as just representative of where their ancestors lived 200 years ago.

I don't view it that way. I think most Americans view people as individuals. If you ask what do you think about John or what do you think about Mary or what do you think about Peter? You talk about their views on things. Maybe you talk about their upbringing or where they grew up, but you don't say the most important thing about that person is whether their ancestors are from Spain or England or India or wherever.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration basically seems to throw away the rest of the resume and focus primarily on ethnic background. That is unfortunate.

One way we can see it is in their proposed budget. They seem to put diversity police in all of their different agencies. It is something that is growing more and more in our universities, as well.

Some of these diversity police are making $200,000 a year, which is something that scares me in its own right. If you are going to be making $200,000 a year, a lot of people will say anything. If your $200,000-a-year job depends on the rather warped idea that we should hire, fire, or promote people based on where their great, great grandparents are from, these people are going to be running around the country telling businesses, telling students, that when you meet somebody, the most important thing is their ethnic background. We have seen the result of having these people running around the university and the obsession with this view of the world.

We did have a hearing this week looking at universities, and we will talk about universities again in a second. But there are a lot of universities, who complain that tuition is too high, who purport to care about the high student loan debt out there, who have no problem hiring people for $150,000 or $200,000 a year to preach to children that they ought to walk around with a chip on their shoulder because of their background, despite the fact that clearly people are coming from all around the world and succeeding in America.

It is kind of a defeatist thing to tell people that they are going to be discriminated against based on ethnic background. I have talked before about people from all around the world showing up at a swearing in ceremony where people become American and looking at all the people who are hitting the ground running from all around the globe.

I always talk about, in my own district we have a huge Hmong population. I look at how successful they are, how hardworking, and how they are living the American Dream. Then you hear about these people making $200,000 at our university campuses to tell people they ought to walk around with a chip on their shoulder and saying what a horrible country America is.

In any event, I hope all alumni around the country pay attention to what is going on in their alma maters and make sure they are not wasting the students' precious tuition dollars on hiring these people.

Now, we have seen the result of these people recently, or this intolerance that they promote, in two separate universities. We are all familiar with what happened at Stanford University. A judge showed up there carrying ideas that if not a majority, close to a majority of Americans hold. They weren't big on transgender people going into the other persons' bathroom and what have you.

They whipped up almost a physical confrontation at Stanford, which, when I get online, is supposed to be the second-best law school in the country, at least according to somebody. These potential lawyers, if they come from Stanford, they are going to wind up becoming Federal judges, very important jobs. They are shouting down people with views on transgender people different than the population as a whole. I don't know how these people are going to get back to home base and become productive lawyers, much less productive judges or productive bureaucrats in the future.

We did have a hearing on this the other day, but I think we should have more hearings, specifically about what is going on with Stanford.

We found similar intolerance of First Amendment free speech at Georgetown, another supposedly good law school. We had a student step forward, William Spruance, and talk about what happened to him when he questioned the guidelines with regard to masks. If you get on the internet, there are all sorts of people who will say different sort of things about masks, different things about vaccines. But apparently, because he stepped outside the orthodoxy at Georgetown Law School, he was threatened and he had to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Doesn't that sound like something from the Soviet Union?

If you disagree with the state, you have to see a psychiatrist because you must be mentally ill if you don't understand what a great guy Joseph Stalin is.

Sounds like that is what we have going on here at Georgetown; send somebody for a psychiatric evaluation if he doesn't agree with the conventional view on how to deal with COVID.

I hope that there is widespread outrage. We like to think people who graduate from college are taught to be open-minded and look at different views on things. But instead, apparently coming out of Georgetown, you are taught everybody must fall in line with the state or fall in line with the leadership of the law school, and if you don't, we will weigh in. Despite the fact that you may have spent 2 or 3 years of money and time going to the law school, we are going to do what we can to make sure you don't become a member of the bar association and you won't be able to use that degree. Because far more important than your grades or what you know is going on in school is that you know that once you become a lawyer, you wind up being obedient to the state.

It should be of great concern to the bar association across the board. I think the American Bar Association ought to look at what is going on both in Stanford and Georgetown, which--I think, maybe because of what they were 20 or 30 years ago--still have a good reputation. I am sure they will still sucker some kids into going there.

But what is going on with the intolerance at both of these law schools is something that should be looked at, and I hope perhaps individual bar associations around the country also want to monitor this, as to what we can make of the intolerance in both of these law schools.

My final comment as far as what is going on this week is something I have talked about in the past and want to talk about one more time. That is what is going on in Ukraine.

My major concern with the Biden administration is I don't think they are trying to end this war. I mean, we are where we are, but the longer the war goes on, the closer the alliance between Russia and China goes. In the relatively recent background, we had a thousand McDonald's in Russia. I know people in my personal life who had jobs in Russia. We had Russians coming here doing jobs on our farms. The college-aged kids from Russia would come here with special visas working in the vacation industry.

Obviously, right now relationships are falling. With regard to China, over time, relationships are getting worse and worse, which is a dangerous thing. We have had peace with China for well over 60 years. I don't know why we can't do another 60 years.

President Biden is not making, I believe, an effort to wrap up this war. It shouldn't be that difficult. Ukraine has the second lowest birth rate of any country in the world. If there is any country that doesn't want to lose some of its young people it ought to be Ukraine.

Nobody can tell me that Vladimir Putin thought that when he entered Ukraine the war would be going on this long. It is another country with a low birth rate. It is a country that is losing people as they immigrate to other countries.

Both Ukraine and Russia should have motive to end this war, and eventually it will end. The sooner it will end, the better. I am afraid the Biden administration seems satisfied to just sit there, let things go on, every day more young Russians and more young Ukrainians die. Not only is that a tragedy in its own right, but every day that this war goes on, it is going to be that much harder to reach peace.

I strongly wish that President Biden would use this interlude before we try to put more billions of dollars on Ukraine that he would--if the United States can't do it, and I can understand why we can't broker peace because we don't look like we are neutral in this fight--beg the Turks or the Israelis or the French or somebody who has more standing to step in and see if we cannot find an end to this war before it becomes much more catastrophic; before maybe the United States becomes involved; before Russia decides to shoot something at Western Europe, or use its submarines off of American shores.

I strongly hope that the press, when they get a chance to interview President Biden, ask him: What are you doing or do you feel it would be good for this war to end, or are you just going to throw up your hands and pretend you are an innocent bystander? If the war goes on another 4 or 5 years, it is all fine by President Biden.

Those were four issues that I don't think we paid enough attention to during the course of the week.

I hope the press corps gives them some attention during the next week when we are back in our districts, and I hope our leadership brings more attention to them when we return from our districts in 11 days from now.

Madam Speaker, we will go for one more topic right now while my good friend returns from his office.

There is an effort made right now in America with regard to school lunches to shift from milk to sugary drinks. This is something else we don't pay a lot of attention to, but a lot of children get a lot of their food from school lunch.

I would be hard-pressed to find anybody who would say that we are better having kids drink sugary, gooey drinks than wholesome milk. Milk has been around since the Bible, right? Israel, the land of milk and honey.

Apparently, there is an anti-milk feeling out there. I do know that gooey, sugary drinks are sold by big corporations that are very active in all segments here in Washington. I hope that this is something else the press will pick up on.

Just because little children can't vote doesn't mean that this ought to be a banner headline, at least once a month, as to whether the next generation of children is raised on gooey, sugary drinks or wholesome 100 percent milk, which has been such a big part of the diet of Americans since our founding.

We hope that our bureaucracy holds the line and does good research into the good and the bad of sugary drinks, as well as the nutritious value of 1 percent whole milk.

Again, if any members of the press or the Chair want to look into this, I think it will be very important. We have spiraling out of control healthcare costs in this country. The health of the next generation is largely going to be determined--or to a large degree be determined--by what is going on with the youngest children.

We are at a precarious time in our country in which the drug companies want to prescribe en masse anti-obesity drugs to little children. I heard this week that parents are being told that sometimes their children, as young as 8 or 9, are going to begin to be prescribed anti-obesity drugs.

I can understand why that is a gold mine for the drug companies. We are such an over-drugged country already, and if they can make our young people a little more pudgy--the idea that they would have to take anti-obesity drugs for the next 70 years of their life--the eyes of some of these pharmaceutical executives must just brighten up at the idea that that has become the norm of America.

I suggest that we step back for a second, analyze what is healthier and what is less likely to make you obese, and encourage healthy foods. I think we are also talking here with regard to the WIC program. I hope we weigh in both on the WIC and the food stamps and the school lunch programs, all with more nutritious foods.

If we get back more of the nutritious foods that the average American was eating 60 years ago, we wouldn't have to worry about giving all the young children anti-obesity drugs because people of my generation lived their whole life without them.

I can understand it might be more profitable for some people, they have a lot of obese kids. We don't need that. It is bad for them. I hope the press really monitors what is going on as we try to step away from whole milk and other, what I will call, natural foods, instead of pushing their way toward sugary, processed food. I think that is one of the reasons why America's children right now are so much heavier than they were when I was a child. We look forward to that situation.

Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.