tv [untitled] CSPAN June 19, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EDT
which only promises nothing but misery and malaise. now is the time for all responsible nations to stand four square with the people of iran and they seek freedom, as they seek true self-governance at home, as well as to live at peace with the world. we must send a clear signal today to the iranian regime and all of its proxies and affiliates that free nations will not tolerate further efforts to silence the voice of the iranian people through violence and coercion. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the speaker lays before the house the following enrolled bills. the clerk: h.r. 813, an act to designate the federal building and united states courthouse located at 306 east main street
in elizabeth city, north carolina, as the jay herbert w. small federal building and united states courthouse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. berman: mr. speaker, my friend, my ranking member correctly cited a whole series of very important issues that we the united states has with the government of iran. and she is correct. this resolution, the reason i worked to bring this up on this quick notice, is about what she pointed out at the end of her comments. this resolution is not about a recitation of all those issues. it's about an affirmation of something that this house of representatives has done in places all over the world.
whether it is in tibet or in cuba or in eastern europe or in the middle east or any other region, to reaffirm our commitment to stand for certain fundamental principles involving human rights, participatory democracy, and the affirmation of the rights of the people of any country. today it's about the people of iran and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. we have an impressive line-up of speakers on our side. i'd like to start by yielding five minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. pence, the author of the bill, republican conference chair and an esteemed members. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for
five minutes. mr. pence: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pence: i rise with a great sense of humility and a great sense of moment before this body but a great sense of gratitude. to the ranking member for her extraordinary leadership in bringing this resolution to the floor, a resolution which as the chairman of the committee just stated quite eloquently, will give the american people through their elected representatives clear opportunity on this day after a week of violence and tumult in the nation of iran the opportunity to express the support for all iranian citizens who embrace the principles of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. i am especially greatful for the leadership and the spirit
brought to this legislation by chairman howard berman. with whom i don't agree on very much but i am grateful that he demonstrates today public mindedness i think in keeping with the best traditions of this institution. ronald reagan would say in 1964, you and i are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or a right. well, i'd like to suggest there's no such thing as left or right. there's only an up or down. up to man's age-old dream, individual freedom consistent with law and order. or down to totalitarianism. the leadership of howard berman today demonstrates that on the issue of speaking a word of encouragement to those who would stand with extraordinary
valor for their own liberty there is no left or right in this body. it has been stated before an extraordinary week in the life of the nation of iran. on 12, june, just one week ago, from the very moment that the presidential election results were announced, the international community and the international press called the results into question. chief among the reasons for that was that even before the extraordinary demonstrations had begun was that millions of ballots, paper ballots had apparently been tallied and counted within a matter of hours. the official government results of the election were met with public consternation among the people of iran. and while the defeated candidate launched a legal
appeal, as the western media has reported, what has ensued on the streets of tehran has been the biggest demonstration in their history. sadly, following that election day, the actions by the government and militias that support the government have turned to violence. pro-government forces have attacked demonstraters over the past week causing fatalities, resulting in the arrest of dissidents. we have heard of foreign reporters prevented from making their way into the public. we've heard of the jamming of electronic communications. we are for all the world we may be witnessing a tiananmen in tehran. it seems to me in this moment the people of the united states of america long to be heard.
and by dent of house resolution 560 today through their elected representatives the american people will have just that opportunity. this resolution simply states that it has resolved, the house of representatives expresses its support for all iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. it also condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of iran and pro-government militias as well as the ongoing government supression of independent electronic communication through interference with the internet and cell phones. and lastly, it affirms the universalality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections. i have said many times this week and it has been echoed by my colleagues, like the republican whip, eric cantor, that the cause of america is freedom.
and in this cause the american people will not be silent. there is no intention here to pick sides in the iranian election. there is an intention here in a true spirit of bipartisanship to allow the american people to be on the side of liberty, to be on the side of freedom. i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this legislation because the voice of the american people has before and i believe in my heart of hearts will again make the advancements of human liberty in the world. i urge support and i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield to my dear friend and member of the foreign affairs committee, the gentlelady from nevada, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. berkley: i thank the gentleman from california for yielding and for his steady leadership on this and so many other issues, the ranking member, ileana ros-lehtinen, and i thank the gentleman from indiana, mr. pence, for his leadership on this and so many other middle eastern related issues as well. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this resolution and in support of the people of iran whose voices deserve to be heard in a free and open and democratic way. we are not here today to discuss the outcome of this election or involve the united states in the internal politics of iran. the american people, through their elected representatives, are here today to stand with the people of iran and people all over the world who yes or no to express their -- who yearn to express their opinions. it takes an enormous amount of courage to stand up to your government in a repressive society, and the american people applaud those heroes who
face intimidation and oppression for expressing their views. i am personally in awe of the iranian people and hope others will learn by their example. i also support president obama who i believe has steered an excellent course in dealing with this situation. while some have called upon him to condemn the iranian government more forcefully, i believe it is essential that the united states not interfere in this remarkable debate and public demonstration. what the world is watching unfold in iran is condemnation enough of what is happening in that country. we should, however, encourage free speech, free elections and nonviolence for all the parties involved. it's a wise course and i believe it is one we would have benefited from in years past. i thank the gentleman from california, once again. i encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation.
i support it. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm proud to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, eric cantor, a member of the committee on ways and means and a leader on issues related to iran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, the iranian regime's brutality is on full display for the whole world to behold. i rise today in sympathy with the victims of iranian political oppression who have been injured or killed protesting the outcome of their election. and i salute the leadership of the gentlelady from florida, the gentleman from california in bringing this resolution forward as well as the gentleman from indiana in his leadership on this and in so many issues the way that the gentlelady from nevada spoke. it is america's moral
responsibility to speak out on behalf of the protection of human rights wherever they are violated. and regardless, mr. speaker, of the outcome of the iranian election, make no mistake where the power in iran lies. it lies with a clerical regime who conducts its most egregious activities in the dark, hidden from the world's eyes and thus escaping media attention. the iranian revolutionary guard corps funds terrorist groups from iraq to afghanistan, to lebanon to gaza. iranian centrifuges at plants hidden from weapons inspectors. and terrorist groups make voyages to iran to receive training at unspecified locations. this is the regime we are talking about.
and this week the true colors of that regime are on broad display. we must rally the world around the cause of the iranian people, and i urge the administration, i urge president obama to follow the lead of this house to speak out on behalf of the iranian people and their quest for freedom and human rights. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, mr. speaker. i want to yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. berman: the gentleman, for whom i have great respect, the minority whip, spoke about america's moral commitment to speak out on behalf of the people yearning for freedom. we have an even higher moral commitment and that is to the things that help extend and
expand the extent of human freedom around the world, and it is in that context that i know that this house and this administration are pursuing this mission, that higher authority to do the things that produce the greatest likelihood of the expansion of human freedom. i now yield -- i now yield two minutes to a member of the committee, a great member from the state of georgia, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you very much, mr. speaker. and thank you very much, chairman berman, and to mr. pence for this very timely resolution. this is a time of great thought and deliberation and concern of what the united states must do and say. our words have got to be carefully calculated to make
sure that they are seen as not meddling, as not trying to tell it the iranian people what to do because quite honestly, mr. speaker, the iranian people have already spoken. they have decided. and i believe that it's in our responsibility, if we hold true to the principles of our founding fathers, as i was coming over on the floor, i was thinking what i could say, and the words of our -- one of our great founders and patriarches beams very deem in my heart as i think and watch the news reports of what is happening in the streets of tehran. when that great patriot said, give me liberty or give me death. that is why the united states of america cannot be silent.
it is our foundation. i was reminded of the words of thomas jefferson, when he wrote that all men are created equal and are denied -- endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among those, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that's what we stand for. so it is important that we put this resolution forward and it is important that the world understand that america is indeed that shining light of liberty and of freedom that patrick henry and thomas jefferson spoke so eloquently about. we are proud and support the iranian people and we condemn the violence. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired.
the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to mr. rohrabacher, ranking member on the subcommittee on international organizations, human rights and oversight. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rohrabacher: today i rise in support of this resolution which ratchets up to a degree america's willingness to express its heartfelt support for the iranian people and their struggle against the mu la dictator ship that -- mullah dictatorship that oppresses them. america should not intervene in every struggle taking place, but we should be unapologetically on the side of those who are in desperate battle for their own freedom. tempered rhetoric can be interpreted by tyrants as weakness. we need to spend a -- send a
strong message to those tyrants and a strong message to the people willing to risk their lives on the streets of tehran that we are on the side of the salespeople and -- people and the side of democracy and freedom. any other message would be a de-- a betrayal of our fundamental principles, the principles of liberty and democracy that so many americans have sacrificed to give us and give to future generations. yes, we should not intervene, but it's up to us to make sure that those people struggling throughout the world know we're on their side. we must be bold in our words of support. i was honored to be ronald reagan's one of five speech writers serving ronald reagan. he was told, too, to tone down his rhetoric. he was told strong words would be interpreted as belligerence. with his strong words he ended the cold war. without the conflagration that hung over our heads for decades. he made it a better, a more
peaceful, and a freer world with a strong message with no apologies. we should follow the lead of ronald reagan. it will make this a better world if we side with the people in tehran who oppose their mullah dictatorship. the speaker pro tempore: the time of they have -- the time of the gentleman has expire whosmed seeks recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to mr. lincoln diaz-balart, a member of the powerful committee on rules. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. diaz-balart: the ia toe la khomeini, the so-call -- the ia toe la khomeini, the -- the aa toe la khomeini is the leader of iran. khomeini overstepped in this
election. blatantly. the others in the dictatorship who aspired to the public presidency are upset. the iranian people are utilizing this moment of division in the dictatorship to heroically express their opposition to the dictatorship. the issue is not one of who is entitled to be the puppet president in the dictatorship. the issue is that the iranian people are entitled to and -- an end to the dictatorship and to live in freedom and democracy. the president of the united states has been silent and confused. the congress of the united states clearly stands with the iranian people and they will prevail. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to my friend from florida, a member of the house
foreign affairs committee, the -- mr. klein. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. klein: i rise to support h.res. 560, i would like to thank mr. behr hahn and mr. pence for bringing this bipartisan statement forward which supports our american view of the events in iran. the iranian people deserve a democracy that counts every vote and treats its citizens with the utmost dignity. they deserve to trust their own government. however, these are not free and fair elections by any stretch of the imagination. and it's our imperative to speak out whenever and wherever our freedom is oppressed. frankly, we have honest differences with the iranian government no mat whore is elected. any iranian government that speaks nuclear weapons is a threat to the united states and our allies. that's why the united states has not taken either side this in this conflict. it is for the iranians to choose who leads them. indeed this struggle belongs to
them. however, the message we send today is, the world is watching. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. campbell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. campbell: i thank the lady from florida. this country has always stood with those around the world yearning from freedom, a voice, and a better future. whether those people were in nazi germany, communist eastern europe, apartheid south africa, or any number of other places around the world, we have stood with the freedom fighters. it is now time for us to stand with those in iran who seek freedom from one of the world's most oppressive, most
dangerous, and most dictatorial regimes. i hope this resolution is not the end but is just the beginning of the support that this government both in congress and the white house gives to those people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california. mr. berman: could i get an assessment, a call cue lifings the remaining time on both sides. the speaker pro tempore: i can give you that with precision. the gentleman has 9 1/2 minutes remain, the gentlelady has 4 1/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlelady from new york, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. maloney: thank you very much. today i stand with my colleagues in this congress. i stand with president obama and vice president biden in support of the iranian people,
their right to express themselves, their right to have peaceful demonstrations and i stand in support of this resolution. i hope that the ayatollahs understand that these demonstrations are about the future of iran and the right of their people to have a voice in their government. young and old, liberal, conservative, all ages, all economic groups are part of these demonstrations. as president obama has said, the entire world is watching and the world is inspired. we applaud your efforts to move your country toward a more democratic, peaceful country. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time is expired. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i reserve the
balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. jackson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jackson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the nonviolent movement for social change in iran. i've always maintained the middle east is in need of a nonviolent movement for social change. not only in iran but also in the gaza strip, a nonviolent movement in syria, a nonviolent movement for social change. martin luther king jr. once said nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time. the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. mankind must evolve all human conflict, a method which rejects revenge, aggression, reand talluation. today we are not only supporting democracy in iran, we're also supporting the
nonviolent thrust for democracy in iran. so the conflict mace be settled, mr. speaker, without resulting to weapons to violence and conflict, not only within that country but amongst nations system of today, mr. speaker, we rise today to support the proponents of the nonviolent movement. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. who seeks reck snigs in the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: we have one additional speaker, i would like to call on the author of the resolution, a great member of the house foreign affairs committee and our conference chair on the republican side, mr. pence for the remainder of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 4 1/4 minutes. mr. pence: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and reiterate my gratitude for her work in bringing this to the floosh on a timely basis and commend again chairman howard berman for the spirit and
thoughtfulness with which he brought this resolution to the floor. today in the wake of a week of extraordinary public demonstrations, violence, and tu multiacross the -- and due multi-- and tumult across the nation of iran, the people in congress will condemn that violence and the suppression of a free and independent press in iran. and as the american people have done throughout our history, we will proclaim liberty. by supporting all iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rikets, civil liberties and the rule of law. in this measure. i urge my colleagues to support this measure. and join us and if reports are
correct, our colleagues in the senate who may well come together and give voice on the world stage of the character around compassion and commitment to freedom that is at the heart of every american. now, some observers say that america should remain silent in the wake of this violence. and the suppression of free speech and the intimidation and suppression of a free and independent press in iran. let me say from my heart, the american cause is freedom. in that cause, we must never be silent. the iranian regime would do well to note the words of president ronald reagan from his first inaugural address, 20
january, 1981, where he said, quote, no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage as -- of free men and women. today this congress in a true spirit of bipartisanship, will come together on behalf of the moral courage of the men and women of iran. who have tasted freedom and have been willing to risk their liberty and their lives to advance it. it is my hope and it is my prayer that this word of encouragement from the american people to the iranian people will be to good effect for that will be to good effect for that nation and for freedom in the