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	[Congressional Record: October 24, 2000 (House)]
[Page H10803-H10805]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Goodling). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 6, 1999, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Metcalf) 
is recognized for 18 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. METCALF. Mr. Speaker, tonight I address the House and the Nation 
for what is probably the last time. I am proud of the accomplishments 
during my tenure here. Welfare reform instantly comes to mind. 
Effectively dedicating the gas tax fund to transportation was another 
milestone. While, regrettably, government spending continues to 
increase, the rate of that increase slowed by about 50 percent during 
the last 6 years, giving confidence to Wall Street and staving off the 
budgetary meltdown that we were headed for. It is possible that that 
was only delayed, not eliminated, however.
  There is much more to be done in many areas. I frankly am very 
concerned about the future of this Nation and its great people. The 
sovereignty of the United States is at risk. Supernational trade 
agreements, including WTO, NAFTA, and GATT, are removing the ability of 
this Nation to set its own economic policy, giving power to unelected 
foreign bureaucrats to make important decisions about how we live, 
including the power to abrogate laws enacted constitutionally by the 
people's representatives.
  This is being done in the name of free trade, a classroom abstract 
concept which gives the impression that trade takes place between free, 
unfettered individuals on a level playing field who just happen to live 
in different countries. In the real world, there is no such thing as 
free trade. Other nations of the world have had this understanding. 
Look closely at the trade strategy of Japan, who has penetrated and 
come to dominate market after market in the U.S., when my friends in 
Washington State are struggling, even today, just to export a few 
apples to that part of the country.
  It was the constitutionally delegated role of Congress by the 
Founders to make sure that the American people had the opportunity for 
fair trade with peoples in other nations of the world. We have now 
given that role to supernational organizations conceived by individuals 
who have as their long-term objectives the erasure of national borders. 
I cannot understand Republicans who claim to be in the political arena 
to oppose Big Government who are supporting initiatives that are moving 
us step by step to the biggest government of all: world government. We 
must oppose the rise of these world institutions.
  The International Criminal Court poses another danger to our 
sovereignty. We must never allow a body outside of our system of 
representative government to impose rules on us without our 
constitutional protections, to be given the power to tax our citizens 
or the power to subpoena or to summon to court.
  The world is still a very dangerous place. Life, liberty and property 
imperfectly but continually manifested in these United States are 
concepts that are not even understood as we understand them in most 
parts of the world.
  I am encouraged by the spread of democracy around the world, but the 
right to vote does not in and of itself assure freedom for the 
individual, the right to hold property, the right to exist as a 
minority in that state. Most of the world's societies are today ruled 
by tightly held oligarchies that can still override the rule of law. We 
must encourage the citizens of other nations, but we must not put our 
constitutional system of government at risk by experimenting with world 
institutions given police powers.
  I am also concerned about the concentration of power at home, both in 
the growing size of the Federal Government and the number of 
regulations not passed by this body, but by the unelected bureaucrats, 
and by the growing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. We 
have seen great prosperity for the wealthiest Americans and to a lesser 
degree, for about a third or so of what have traditionally been the 
middle class. I truly fear for what we once called the lower middle 
class. I fear for the future and the sovereignty of this Nation as our 
manufacturing base, which once paid the salaries of that portion of the 
middle class, continues to erode. That is why, despite my lifelong 
Republicanism and my conservative political philosophy, I have sought 
to be an advocate for trade unionism in this Congress to truly conserve 
our way of life, to preserve our large middle class which has been the 
economic and moral strength of this Nation. We need to maintain a 
balance of interests in our society.
  In the 1950s, when the labor movement was riding high, I felt they 
had too much power and I opposed many of their initiatives. This has 
not been the case for the last 20 years. While the growth of government 
has increased the power of government unions, a mixed blessing for the 
country, there has been a steady decline in the size and influence of 
the trade unions, and I fear for the working families of this Nation 
because of this fact.

  The rise of the large multinationals and the ideology of world 
institutions has been devastating to our working people who now have to 
compete against workers who can make as little as 8 cents an hour. What 
are we thinking of as a Nation? What happened to the understanding that 
ultimately, as a society, we must be judged by how those at the bottom 
are treated, not those at the top?
  This economic upheaval has affected family relations and has 
increased the divorce rate. Mothers taken out of the home to work has 
increased juvenile delinquency, decreased parental involvement in 
public schools and in their children's education, and torn the fabric 
of hundreds of working-class neighborhoods around our land.
  As a Republican who supported Davis-Bacon, who opposed striker 
replacement, who has fought to maintain the 40-hour work week 
protections, who opposed the Team Act, who stood with labor on every 
direct trade union issue since I have been in this Congress, I would 
say to the union movement, to the labor movement, as true partisanship, 
be wary of your so-called friends in the Democratic Party who continue 
to use the social welfare language of the New Deal, but who have been 
at least as much at fault as Republicans for undermining the wage base 
of our people through these trade agreements.
  I want to talk for a minute about immigration. Most politicians do 
not want to talk about immigration. They would like the subject to go 
away. I do not blame anyone for wanting to come

[[Page H10804]]

to America. I count among my friends and supporters very good people 
from almost every country around the globe who have arrived here in the 
last 20 years or so. But we must get away from the suicidal notion that 
this Nation does not have a right to set an immigration policy that 
favors first and foremost the people who are already here and, 
secondly, must absolutely maintain the sanctity of our borders. A 
nation without borders is no nation at all. Politicians are, in the 
main, quick to condemn illegal immigration. However, the Justice 
Department has been very slow to put a program in place, a meaningful 
program, to stop the literal invasion of our territory. I do not fault 
the line officers of the border patrol. They are some of the finest 
public servants that I have met in public life. I believe there has not 
been a real commitment made by our government to stopping illegal 
immigration, and I believe this must change.
  I am very discouraged that the labor movement, in particular, no 
longer acknowledges the obvious fact that the levels of immigration, 
legal and illegal, that we have experienced in the last few years, 
coupled with our trade policy, has been a downward driver on wage rates 
for working people and that folks in the poorest parts of this Nation 
have seen their housing costs rise or have lost the opportunity for 
housing at all, due to the mass of immigration this country is now 
  I am also discouraged that the leadership of the environmental 
movement is ignoring the obvious fact that the rate of immigration we 
are experiencing now with its accompanying high birth rate, will result 
in a population of about 450 million Americans by the year 2050; 450 
million. I find this totally unacceptable. A cabal of self-serving 
immigration trial lawyers, transnational corporations who crave cheap 
labor and neo-Marxists who seek a new constituency to poison are 
driving our immigration policy, and in this area of political 
correctness, politicians are afraid to speak out against it, even 
though every poll taken in recent times shows the American people of 
all ethnic backgrounds to be opposed to the current immigration level 
of nearly 1 million legal immigrants a year.
  I am sure a majority of the rank and file in labor, a majority in the 
environmental movement, and a majority in the conservative movement 
oppose our current immigration policy. They must find their voice and 
their courage if we are going to maintain our social cohesion and 
quality of life.
  Environmental issues have been on my mind of late. Because I believe 
that many of these issues are better handled at the State and local 
level, my political opponents, including the League of Conservation 
Voters, have labeled me less than a conservationist. As one who 
authorized the recycling plan for Washington State, which is a model 
for this Nation, who passed the shellfish protection act in our State, 
who fought the large corporations for the water quality of Puget Sound, 
who worked with Democrats for tougher pesticide controls, I guess I 
have resented that label. I am very sorry both parties did not take the 
time and opportunity to pass meaningful pipeline safety regulations in 
this Congress.
  The recent debate in some of the press reports seem to point at my 
party's leadership as culprits, but the fact is, the entire Senate 
supported what ended up to be little more than an industry bill and 
only a few Democrats in our body made any real effort to move this 
issue until fairly recently. I do not mean to disparage the Senators 
from Washington State. There would have been no meaningful debate in 
the Senate on this issue without Senator Patty Murray and Senator Slade 
  Our pipeline system is aging. Much of it once rural has now been 
encroached by urban sprawl. In addition, we now have an understanding 
of sensitive environmental areas we did not have 50 years ago when 
these pipelines began operating.

                              {time}  2330

  The three things that the pipeline industry does not want must happen 
to ensure pipeline safety in America. We must restore Federal 
certification of pipeline fieldworkers, we must require government 
monitored periodic testing, and we must allow the States to use their 
resources to bolster the tiny number of Federal inspectors. I regret 
that a bill that I sponsored a year ago, reintroduced with the support 
of the entire Washington State delegation, which contained all of these 
features did not get the hearing it deserved.
  I want to thank Senator Patty Murray for working with me on the 
Northwest Straits Initiative, a model program where Federal dollars 
meet local community groups determined to protect the shoreline 
environment of this national treasure located wholly within Washington 
State. Speaking with a regional voice, it has the potential to awaken 
public officials and local citizens alike to their duty to protect this 
priceless area. I also want to thank Senator Slade Gorton for his work 
behind the scenes to ensure Federal funding for this worthy project.
  I am grieved to have accurately warned the Nation about the impending 
return of commercial whaling as a worldwide practice. We must redouble 
our efforts to prevent this from occurring. Cynical international 
commercial interests have used indigenous groups such as the Makah 
Indian tribe in my State as pawns in this greed-driven step backwards. 
Last year, one whale was killed and at least one other was injured.
  I will speak on the Second Amendment and the constitutional rights to 
keep and bear arms. Let us think back to the beginning of our Nation. 
Why were the British troops marching out of Boston on the road to 
Lexington and Concord in the predawn darkness of April 18, 1775? They 
were there because they had heard correctly that the colonists were 
stockpiling arms and ammunition in that area. The British were on their 
way to capture and destroy these guns.
  The colonies had increasing confrontations with the British King: the 
stamp tax, the closing the port of Boston, the intolerable acts. They 
had a lot of trouble with the British King. But they were still loyal 
British subjects.
  But when they came to take away our guns, we went to war. When we won 
that war and wrote the Constitution, the Second Amendment, the 
amendment was the right to keep and bear arms.
  Finally, I want to return to the fundamental question of great 
significance for all Americans, money. Does anyone believe that it 
would be possible to reduce our national debt by $600 billion and 
reduce our annual interest payments by $30 billion with no harm to 
anyone nor to any program? That sounds too good to be true, does it 
not? But it is true. It is simple, and it is possible.
  Most people have little knowledge about how money systems work and 
are not aware that an honest money system would result in great savings 
to the people. We really can cut our national debt by $600 billion and 
reduce our Federal interest payments by $30 billion a year again with 
no harm to anyone.
  One of the problems is we pay interest on our paper money in 
circulation now. We pay interest on the bonds that are said to back our 
paper currency; that is, the Federal Reserve notes. This unnecessary 
cost is $100 per person per year in our country, an absolutely 
unnecessary cost, because we rent our paper money from the Fed. That is 
what we are paying the rent or interest.
  Why are our citizens paying $100 per person to rent the Federal 
Reserve's money when the United States Treasury could issue the paper 
money exactly like it issues our coins today? The coins are minted by 
the Treasury and essentially sent into circulation at face value.
  The Treasury will make a profit of $880 million this year from the 
issue of the first 1 billion of the new gold-colored dollar coins. If 
we use the same method to issue our paper money as we do for our coins, 
the Treasury could realize a profit on the bill sufficient to reduce 
the national debt by $600 billion and reduce the annual interest 
payments by $30 billion. In other words, Federal Reserve notes are the 
official liabilities of the Federal Reserve. Over $600 billion in U.S. 
bonds is held by the Fed as backing of these notes.
  The Federal Reserve collects the interest on these bonds from the 
U.S. Government and returns most of it to the Treasury. So, in effect, 
there is a tax on our money of about $100 per person.

[[Page H10805]]

  Is there a simple and inexpensive way to convert this costly, 
illogical and convoluted system into a logical system which pays no 
interest directly or indirectly on our money in circulation? Yes, there 
is. Congress must require the U.S. Treasury to issue our cash, our 
paper money.
  The simplest way to solve this problem is for Congress to declare 
that the Federal Reserve notes are, in fact, U.S. Treasury currency. 
This simple act would reduce our national debt by over $600 billion and 
reduce the annual government expenditures by $30 billion each year.