|00:00:00||AND THE TRUNK ATED APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, HE HAS BEEN FAIR AND RESPECTFUL AND HAS BEEN WILLING TO LISTEN TO OUR CONCERNS AND ACCOMMODATE THEM WHERE POSSIBLE AND SO I WANT TO THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR HIS FRIENDSHIP AND HIS ABILITY TO WORK WITH EVERYONE TO WRITE THE BEST POSSIBLE BILL.|
|00:00:25||THIS SUBCOMMITTEE, MADAM SPEAKER, SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1993, HAS A LONG STANDING TRADITION OF BIPARTISANSHIP, A TRADITION THAT STANDS IN STARK CONTRAST, I MIGHT ADD, TO THE EXCLUSIONARY TACTICS OF THE HOUSE'S DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP THAT TRAMPS THE RIGHT OF MINORITY DURING FLOOR CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL.|
|00:00:55||BUT IN SPITE OF SOME OF THAT PARTISAN MISCHIEF I'M TRULY GRATEFUL FOR CHAIRMAN PRICE'S EFFORTS TO MAINTAIN THE LONG STANDING COMITY THAT HAS DEFINED THIS CHAMBER'S APPROPRIATION PROCESS AS WELL AS CHAIRMAN OBEY'S WORK TO MOVE THIS BILL TOWARD COMPLETION.|
|00:01:16||SO I'M THANKFUL THAT WE WERE ABLE TO HAMMER OUT AN AGREEMENT IN CONFERENCE FOR THE MOST PART.|
|00:01:25||AFTER ALL THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF OUR NATION'S CITIZENS SHOULD BE THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF THE CONGRESS.|
|00:01:32||THIS URGENCY IS UNDERSCORED BY THE RECENT TERRORISM CASES BEING INVESTIGATED IN COLORADO, NEW YORK, TEXAS, ILLINOIS AND NORTH CAROLINA AS WELL AS THE PERSISTENT ACTS OF TERRORISM AND VIOLENCE BY RADICAL EXTREMISTS OVERSEAS.|
|00:01:52||WHAT THIS TERRORIST ACTIVITY TELLS ME IS THAT REAL SECURITY DEMANDS PERSISTENT COMMITMENT.|
|00:02:02||EIGHT YEARS AFTER 9/11 AND SIX YEARS AFTER THE DEPARTMENT WAS CREATED WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT IN ADDRESSING EVERY THREAT AND EVERY VULNERABILITY.|
|00:02:17||I'M PLEASED TO SEE THE CONFERENCE REPORT IS WILLING TO HONOR THAT COMMITMENT BY PROPERLY RESOURCING OUR HOMELAND SECURITY NEEDS.|
|00:02:26||WHILE I CAN'T SAY THAT I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT, I THINK IT REPRESENTS A FAIRLY REASONABLE COMPROMISE ON MOST OF OUR HOMELAND SECURITY PRIORITIES.|
|00:02:43||HOWEVER, THERE IS A NOTABLE PROVISION THAT I MUST RESPECTFULLY TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT THE CHAIRMAN HAS REFERRED TO, SECTION 552 OF THIS CONFERENCE REPORT PERMITS THE TERRORISTS DETAINED AT GUANTANAMO BAY TO BE BROUGHT TO THE U.|
|00:03:03||S. FOR PURPOSES OF PROSECUTION.|
|00:03:08||SINCE THE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED THE DECISION TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO SOME NINE MONTHS AGO WE'VE SEEN NOTHING, MADAM SPEAKER, NO PLAN, IN SPITE OF THE REQUESTS OF THIS CONGRESS, THIS SUBCOMMITTEE, THIS COMMITTEE, NO PLAN, NO IDEA OF HOW TO DISPOSE OF THE DETAINEES REMAINING THERE AND NO LEGAL RATIONALE FOR THE PROSECUTION SENTENCING AND -- PROSECUTION, SENTENCING AND INCARCERATION OF THESE TERRORISTS FOREVER.|
|00:03:44||INSTEAD, THOSE DETAINEES WHO POSED A MINIMAL SECURITY THREAT HAVE BEEN SHUTTLED OFF TO OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY WAY OF -- OTHER COUNTRIES LEAVING HUNDREDS OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS POTENTIALLY BOUND FOR AMERICAN SOIL.|
|00:03:59||BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD WILL LET THEM BE BROUGHT TO THEIR SOIL.|
|00:04:05||APPARENTLY WE'VE TRIED TO NO OI-- AVISA I -- AVAIL.|
|00:04:11||SO I FOR ONE SEE NO REASON WHY WE SHOULD AFFORD ENEMY COMBATANTS WHO HAVE BEEN CAUGHT ON THE BATTLEFIELD BATTLING AMERICAN SOLDIERS TO ALLOW THEM THE SAME CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS OR THE SAME DUE PROCESS EVEN AS CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS IN THE CIVILIAN COURTS OF THE U.|
|00:04:35||S. AND I SEE NO REASON WHY THESE TERRORISTS CAN'T BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE IN CUBA BEFORE MILITARY TRIBUNALS.|
|00:04:45||AS WE HAVE IN THE PAST THERE.|
|00:04:49||IN FACT, WE KNOW MILITARY TRIBUNALS WORK.|
|00:04:53||WE'VE COMPLETED THREE TRIBUNALS AND CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TERRORISTS RIGHT THERE IN GITMO.|
|00:05:01||AND IT'S CLEAR THAT THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS IN THIS CHAMBER AND IN THE SENATE AGREE WITH THIS POINT OF VIEW, GIVEN THE CLEAR PASSAGE OF THE MOTION TO INSTRUCT THE OTHER DAY, TWO WEEKS AGO, IN THIS BODY, AND THE SENATE'S NEAR UNANIMOUS ADOPTION OF A TOTAL PROHIBITION OF DETAINEE TRANSFERS TO THIS COUNTRY WITH THE PASSAGE OF THEIR DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL JUST LAST WEEK.|
|00:05:29||BOTH BODIES HAVE SPOKEN BY HUGE MAJORITIES, KEEP THESE DETAINEES OFF SACRED AMERICAN SOIL.|
|00:05:38||THIS IS A CRITICAL ISSUE.|
|00:05:41||THAT I THINK WE MUST GET RIGHT.|
|00:05:43||SO I'M DISAPPOINTED THAT THE CONFEREES DID NOT FOLLOW THE CONVINCING AND BIPARTISAN VOTES THAT BOTH CHAMBERS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS AND DENY THESE TERRORISTS ACCESS TO THE UNITED STATES.|
|00:06:01||NOW, HAVING SAID ALL THAT AND IN SPITE OF MY OPPOSITION TO THE SECTION ON THE GITMO DETAINEES, I BELIEVE THE BASE OF THIS CONFERENCE AGREEMENT WILL GO INDEED ALONG -- A LONG WAY TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY.|
|00:06:18||I ONCE AGAIN THANK CHAIRMAN PRICE FOR HIS CONSIDERATION OF OUR CONCERNS AND ALL OF HIS GOOD WORK THROUGHOUT THE YEAR ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT BILL.|
|00:06:26||I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.|
|00:06:29||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA.|
|00:06:33||MR. PRICE: MADAM SPEAKER, I WOULD LIKE TO YIELD TWO MINUTES TO OUR VALUED COLLEAGUE FROM NEW YORK, AND A MEMBER OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MRS.|
|00:06:40||LOWEY. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLELADY IS RECOGNIZED.|
|00:06:44||SPEAKER, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF CONFERENCE REPORT AND I WANT TO THANK OUR CHAIRMAN, CHAIRMAN PRICE, FOR HIS STRONG LEADERSHIP ON THIS|
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Let me begin by sincerely thanking Chairman PRICE for his partnership during this 2010 appropriations cycle. Through the transition in administrations, the very late submission of the 2010 budget request and the truncated appropriations process, he has been fair and respectful and has been willing to listen to our concerns and accommodate the minority's interests where possible. So I want to thank the chairman for his friendship and his ability to work with everyone to write the best possible bill.
This subcommittee, Madam Speaker, since its inception in 1993, has a longstanding tradition of bipartisanship, a tradition that stands in stark contrast, I might add parenthetically, to the exclusionary tactics of the House's Democrat leadership that trounced the rights of the minority and stifled debate during floor consideration of the House bill.
But in spite of some of that partisan mischief, I am truly grateful for Chairman Price's efforts to maintain the long-standing comity that has defined this Chamber's appropriation process, as well as Chairman Obey's work to move this vital spending bill towards completion.
So I am thankful that we were able to hammer out an agreement in conference, for the most part. After all, the safety and security of our Nation's citizens should be the number one priority of the Congress. This urgency is underscored by the recent terrorism cases being investigated in Colorado, New York, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina, as well as the persistent acts of terrorism and violence by radical extremists overseas.
What this terrorist activity tells me is that real security demands persistent commitment. Eight years after 9/11 and 6 years after the Department was created, we must remain vigilant in addressing every threat and every vulnerability. I am pleased to see the conference report is willing to honor that commitment by properly resourcing our homeland security needs.
While I can't say that I agree with everything in the conference report, I think it represents a fairly reasonable compromise on most of our homeland security priorities. However, there is a notable provision that I must respectfully take issue with that the chairman has referred to.
Section 552 of this conference report permits the terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay to be brought to the U.S. for purposes of prosecution. Since the President announced the decision to close Guantanamo some 9 months ago, we have seen nothing, Madam Speaker, no plan, in spite of the requests of this Congress, this subcommittee, this committee, no plan, no idea of how to dispose of the detainees remaining there, and no legal rationale for the prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of these terrorists wherever.
Instead, those detainees who pose a minimal security threat have been shuttled off to other foreign countries by way of backroom deals, leaving hundreds of suspected terrorists potentially bound for American soil because no one else in the world will let them be brought to their soil. Apparently we have tried, to no avail.
So I for one see no reason why we should afford enemy combatants who have been caught on the battlefield battling American soldiers, to allow them the same constitutional rights as American citizens or the same due process even as criminal defendants in the civilian courts of the U.S., and I see no reason why these terrorists can't be brought to justice right where they are in Cuba before military tribunals, as we have in the past there. In fact, we know military tribunals work. We have completed three tribunals and convicted and sentenced terrorists right there in Gitmo.
It is clear that the majority of Members in this Chamber and in the Senate agree with this point of view, given the clear passage of the motion to instruct two weeks ago in this body, and the Senate's near unanimous adoption of a total prohibition of detainee transfers to this country with the passage of their Defense appropriations bill just last week. Both bodies have spoken by huge majorities: Keep these detainees off sacred American soil.
This is a critical issue that I think we must get right, so I am disappointed that the conferees did not follow the convincing and bipartisan votes that both Chambers have taken over the past few weeks and deny these terrorists access to the United States.
Now, having said all that, and in spite of my opposition to the section on the Gitmo detainees, I believe the base of this conference agreement will go indeed a long way towards the protection of our great country.
I once again thank Chairman PRICE for his consideration of our concerns and all of his good work throughout the year on this very important bill.
I reserve my time.