Washington, D.C. – After an almost 17 hour hearing that ended at 2:30 this morning, the House Armed Services Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes all national defense programs. Once again, Democrat members of the committee sought to use the NDAA to take military service opportunities from Americans and lawful immigrants in order to give them to illegal aliens.
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) successfully worked with House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members to defeat two illegal alien amnesty amendments offered during the NDAA markup. The first amendment, submitted by Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), sought to help illegal aliens take military enlistment opportunities from Americans and lawful immigrants. Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced and successfully passed a substitute amendment upholding current law, thereby replacing and nullifying Rep. Gallego’s amendment. Congressman Brooks' remarks in opposition to the Gallego amendment may be accessed here.
The second amendment, offered by Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), sought to use tax dollars to conduct a study Rep. Veasey hoped would help DACA illegal aliens compete for and take West Point, Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine appointments and opportunities from Americans and lawful immigrants. Rep. Veasey's amendment was defeated by voice vote. Congressman Brooks' remarks in opposition to the Veasey amendment may be accessed here.
Congressman Brooks said, "I'm pleased Chairman Thornberry recognized the importance of prioritizing jobs for struggling American families and acknowledged current law as the standard for military recruitment practices, which rightfully places Americans first in the stiff competition for military service. The main issue here is national security and whether Americans and lawful immigrants are meeting America’s national security needs."
Brooks added, "Prior to the NDAA markup, I anticipated a move by pro-amnesty Democrats to take advantage of this process to promote illegal aliens over American citizens and lawful immigrants at the expense of American citizens who foot the bill for America's military and the military academies. It makes no sense to me that, at the same time the Army is downsizing and issuing pink slips, there are Congressmen who seek to help illegal aliens deprive American citizens and lawful immigrants of military service opportunities."
Brooks concluded, "Tonight, I asked my colleagues to consider that in 2015, every branch of the military – the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps – met their recruiting and retention requirements . . . while turning away thousands of highly-qualified Americans and lawful immigrants. As there are a limited number of enlistment opportunities, each time Gallego’s amendment helps an illegal alien enlist, an American or lawful immigrant loses an enlistment opportunity. The ratio is one-to-one. I want to give priority to Americans and lawful immigrants, so long as we have an abundance of qualified candidates who want to serve our country. I’m pleased a majority of the committee chose to stand up for the will of the American people."
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) continued his series of House floor speeches highlighting “bad example” countries who are reaping the consequences of financially irresponsible leadership, and again called on America to balance the budget before it is too late. America must learn from nations like Greece and Venezuela . . . and from Puerto Rico, a territory that has had its credit rating cut to "junk bond status” and is defaulting on its $70 billion debt. As Puerto Rico desperately seeks a bailout, today Brooks asked: “Who will bail out America when America defaults on its debt?”
Brooks stated, “Puerto Rico, like America, suffers from a bloated central government, welfare programs that undermine the work ethic, decades of financial mismanagement by elected leaders, and a resulting anemic economy and shrinking job market that causes roughly 7,000 citizens to flee Puerto Rico each month.” Brooks continued, “Puerto Rico’s debt defaults and resulting economic morass have forced Puerto Rico to delay tax refunds, fire public-sector workers, raise sales taxes to a record 11.5%, and close over 100 schools. Unfortunately, these austerity measures, and more, are inadequate because Puerto Rico’s self-serving and financially irresponsible elected officials waited too long. Puerto Rico still cannot pay its bills or creditors.”
Brooks concluded, “If voters do not elect financially responsible officials to Washington, America will endure the same debilitating bankruptcy and insolvency that wreaks havoc in Greece and Puerto Rico . . . with one major difference . . . unlike Greece, which has been bailed out three times by the European community, and unlike Puerto Rico, which may yet be bailed out by American taxpayers . . . there is no one who can, or will, bail out America!”
Mo Brooks Floor Speech: Puerto Rico & Who Will Bail Out America?
April 20, 2016
U.S. House Floor
Mr. Speaker, America has blown through the $19 TRILLION debt mark and rapidly approaches the $20 TRILLION debt mark.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warns Washington that America faces an unending string of trillion dollar a year deficits beginning a mere six years from now and that America’s debt will blow through the $29 TRILLION debt mark in a decade.
Further, as debt principal and interest rates surge, America’s debt service costs will increase by $600 billion a year within a decade. For perspective, $600 billion is more than America spends on national defense! Which begs the question: where will that $600 billion in additional debt service cost come from?
America must learn from financially reckless nations like Greece and Venezuela . . . and from Puerto Rico, an American territory that has had its credit rating cut to "junk bond status" and is defaulting on its $70 billion debt. For emphasis, Puerto Rico owes roughly 40% of all Puerto Rican tax collections, $4.1 billion, in debt payments this year. That’s tax revenues not building roads, not educating children, and not growing the economy.
Puerto Rico, like America, suffers from a bloated central government, welfare programs that undermine the work ethic, decades of financial mismanagement by elected leaders, and a resulting anemic economy and shrinking job market that causes roughly 7,000 citizens to flee Puerto Rico each month.
Only 40% of Puerto Ricans are employed or looking for work. Why bother to get a job when American taxpayers pay Puerto Ricans to not work by doling out free food, free health care, and other welfare worth $1,743 per month – almost $600 more than minimum wage take-home earnings?
Puerto Rico’s debt defaults and resulting economic morass have forced Puerto Rico to delay tax refunds, fire public-sector workers, raise sales taxes to a record 11.5%, and close over 100 schools. Unfortunately, these austerity measures, and more, are inadequate because Puerto Rico’s self-serving and financially irresponsible elected officials waited too long. Puerto Rico still cannot pay its bills or creditors.
Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Padilla recently stated that, if Congress does not intervene, [quote] “a humanitarian crisis will envelop the 3.5 [million] American citizens on the Island” [end quote]. Puerto Rico asks Congress to let Puerto Rico default on its legal obligations via bankruptcy or force American taxpayers to bail out Puerto Rico’s decades of financial mismanagement . . . never mind that, according to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report, mainland American taxpayers already subsidize Puerto Rico to the tune of $16 Billion per year, or roughly $4,500 per Puerto Rican.
As Puerto Rico desperately seeks an American taxpayer bailout, Americans should ask, “Who will bail out America when America defaults on its debt?”
Mr. Speaker, America must learn from Puerto Rico, a territory that is spiraling into bankruptcy and insolvency because of a $20,000 per capita debt burden . . . a debt burden, I might add, that is three times better than America’s $60,000 per capita debt burden!
If America’s creditors stop loaning America money – if America is forced to go “cold turkey” on its debt addiction - America could be forced to slash military pay or eliminate the volunteer army altogether and go back to a draft, cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, and the like.
Mr. Speaker, America’s spending binge and accompanying debt and deficits are unsustainable. If voters do not elect financially responsible officials to Washington, America will endure the same debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy that wreaks havoc in Greece and Puerto Rico . . . with one major difference . . . unlike Greece, which has been bailed out three times by the European community, and unlike Puerto Rico, which may yet be bailed out by American taxpayers . . . there is no one who can, or will, bail out America!
 http://www.gdbpr.com/documents/PuertoRicoAWayForward.pdf. Puerto Rico minimum wage take-home earnings are $1,159/month.
 Puerto Rico: 3.5 million residents with a $70+ billion debt. America: 319 million residents with a $19+ Trillion debt.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Space Subcommittee Vice-Chair Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) questioned NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr., during a hearing on the Administration’s FY2017 budget proposal for NASA. In his opening remarks, Brooks applauded the selection of Todd May as the new Director of Marshall Space Flight Center, and thanked his predecessor, Patrick Scheuermann, for his many years of service and leadership at NASA, especially at Marshall. During Brooks’ questioning, Administrator Bolden praised Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center, highlighting the Center’s strategic role as a hub for rocket propulsion.
Congressman Brooks questioned Administrator Bolden on NASA’s efforts to integrate rocket propulsion expertise in deep space travel on the Journey to Mars. Administrator Bolden responded, “There is no question . . . whether we are talking to DoD or anybody else outside of NASA, that Marshall is the place that people go when they want to discuss in-space and leaving-the-Earth propulsion issues.”
Brooks requested further specifics: “Earlier this week at an appropriations hearing, you spoke about the need for ‘game changing’ propulsion. Do you support Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, and what role do you see it playing in the Journey to Mars?” Bolden answered, “We are on a Journey to Mars and most people believe that—in the end—Nuclear Thermal Propulsion will probably be the most effective form of propulsion to get there. . . . Again, Marshall is the dominant Center, they have most of the capability there, and they’re working with some of their local contractors who are helping them with developing Nuclear Thermal Propulsion.”
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) continued his series of House floor speeches highlighting “bad example” countries who are reaping the consequences of financially irresponsible leadership, and again called on America to balance the budget before it is too late. In today’s address, Rep. Brooks assessed Venezuela’s “out-of-control spending financed by more borrowing and higher debt – the same temptation Washington politicians have succumbed to for decades,” and their resulting economic collapse.
Brooks stated, “Mr. Speaker, America has led the world culturally, scientifically, militarily, in freedom, and in many other ways. But if America does not stop its overspending and binge borrowing, then we are doomed to follow the footsteps of countries that chose to be financially irresponsible, and are condemned to suffer the same dire consequences. America need not speculate on our fate; rather, America must learn from ‘bad example’ countries such as Venezuela, a socialist country that has already walked the financially irresponsible path America unfortunately is on.”
Brooks continued, “The IMF (International Monetary Fund) reports Venezuela is experiencing ‘widespread shortages of essential goods—including food—exacting a tragic toll.’ Grocery stores have rows and rows of empty shelves. Venezuelans can’t find food to feed their families and form long lines outside of stores, hoping to buy whatever is in stock, from sugar to shampoo . . . . Inflation and food shortages are only the tip of the iceberg. When supplies run out, when jobs can’t be found, violence erupts. In just one month in 2014, violent street riots killed 43 Venezuelans, blocking citizens from accessing food, transportation, and medical services. Occupied buildings were torched, injuring hundreds.”
Brooks concluded, “Mr. Speaker, time is running out. Washington must balance the budget before America’s debt burden spirals out of control. America cannot wait until our financial crisis is lost and it is too late to prevent the debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy that await us.”
Mo Brooks Floor Speech: America Must Learn from Venezuela Insolvency Damage
March 15, 2016
U.S. House Floor
Mr. Speaker, America has led the world culturally, scientifically, militarily, in freedom, and in many other ways. But if America does not stop its overspending and binge borrowing, then we are doomed to follow the footsteps of countries that chose to be financially irresponsible, and are condemned to suffer the same dire consequences. America need not speculate on our fate; rather, America must learn from “bad example” countries such as Venezuela, a socialist country that has already walked the financially irresponsible path America unfortunately is on.
Venezuela suffered the world’s highest inflation rate, at 275%, in 2015. According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela’s 2016 inflation rate will be 720%. Compare that to America, where 3 to 5% inflation causes concern. To put Venezuela’s inflation rate in everyday terms, let’s apply it to things we buy: If a gallon of milk costs you $3 today, it will cost $21 a year from now. If a pound of ground beef costs you $4 today, it will cost you $28 a year from now. A new car that costs you $25,000 today will cost you $175,000 a year from now. But the damage, and danger, does not end with hyperinflation.
The IMF reports Venezuela is experiencing “widespread shortages of essential goods—including food—exacting a tragic toll.”
Grocery stores have rows and rows of empty shelves. Venezuelans can’t find food to feed their families and form long lines outside of stores, hoping to buy whatever is in stock, from sugar to shampoo. In response, socialist President Madura has ordered police to limit consumers to two shopping days per week at government-owned food stores. One frustrated Venezuelan shopper noted, “It’s exasperating, but it’s the only way to get food in Venezuela.”
Inflation and food shortages are only the tip of the iceberg. When supplies run out, when jobs can’t be found, violence erupts. In just one month in 2014, violent street riots killed 43 Venezuelans, blocking citizens from accessing food, transportation, and medical services. Occupied buildings were torched, injuring hundreds.
Venezuela is now one of the most violent countries in the world, with a chilling 82 homicides per 100,000 population (roughly twenty times worse than America’s homicide rate). Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, is the world’s most violent city, with a war zone like 120 murders per 100,000 citizens.
Venezuela’s insolvency has forced it to slash defense spending by 34%, putting Venezuela citizens at even more heightened risk of loss of life. Venezuela’s tragedy is not because it is a resource poor country. To the contrary, Venezuela has more proven oil reserves than any country on earth — even more than the entire oil-rich North American continent.
Venezuela’s collapse is because of two things. First, Venezuela decided to experiment with socialism, an economic model that has failed every country that has tried it. Second, Venezuela’s politicians were seduced by the lure of out-of-control spending financed by more borrowing and higher debt – the same temptation Washington politicians have succumbed to for decades. America must learn from Venezuela and every other country that has been financially irresponsible.
Mr. Speaker, time is running out. Washington must balance the budget before America’s debt burden spirals out of control. America cannot wait until our financial crisis is lost and it is too late to prevent the debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy that await us. I pray the American people will be good stewards of our Republic in 2016 and elect Washington officials who both understand the threat posed by deficits and debt and have the backbone to fix it. America’s future depends on it!
 International Monetary Fund, “Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016: Adjusting to a Harsher Reality,” Alejandro Werner, Jan. 22, 2016. https://blog-imfdirect.imf.org/2016/01/22/latin-america-and-the-caribbean-in-2016-adjusting-to-a-harsher-reality/
 Forbes, “The Impending Collapse Of Venezuela,” Frances Coppola, Jan. 13, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2015/01/13/the-impending-collapse-of-venezuela/#21886f4c1cd7.
 Bloomberg Business, “Venezuela Reduces Lines by Trimming Shoppers, Not Shortages,” Andrew Rosati, Jan. 12, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-12/venezuela-lines-shorten-as-police-reduce-shoppers-not-shortages. Police limit shoppers based on the last digit on the shopper’s national ID card.
 TeleSur, “From Violent Barricades in 2014 to Official Right-Wing: Venezuela's Opposition,” Rachael Boothroyd Rojas, Feb. 11, 2016, http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/From-2014-Violent-Barricades-to-Venezuelan-Official-Right-Wing-20160211-0024.html.
 InSight Crime 2014 Homicide Round-up, http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/insight-crime-2014-homicide-round-up
 Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014 Crime in the United States, Number of Crimes per 100,0000 inhabitants, Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, Total All Agencies, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-16.
 The Telegraph, “Caracas, Venezuela named as the world's most violent city,” Robert Trait, Jan 28, 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/12126593/Caracas-named-as-the-worlds-most-violent-city.html.
 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “US military spending falls, increases in eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia says SIPRI,” April 13, 2015, http://www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/2015/milex-april-2015.
 U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Reserves, 2014, http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=57&aid=6&cid=regions&syid=2010&eyid=2014&unit=BB.
1230 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
On November 6, 2012, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) was re-elected as the Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. He proudly represents the people of North Alabama and serves on three important committees: Armed Services, Science, Space, and Technology, and Foreign Affairs.
As a sophomore member, Congressman Brooks is highly active and engaged in representing the interests of the 5th District. Brooks supports America’s missile defense technologies; he introduced successful legislation in 2011 and 2012 that blocked the White House from sharing classified missile technologies with Russia, and was adapted into the National Defense Authorization Act in FY2012. Rep. Brooks is also a vocal opponent of sequestration, voting against the Budget Control Act and called upon Administration officials to account for the consequences of sequestration in a HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on April 18, 2012.
During his first year on the Hill, Brooks founded and became co-chairman of the Army Aviation Caucus, a forum in which Members of Congress, staff, and Army leadership raise awareness for Army Aviation and seek to affect legislative priorities. The Caucus now includes more than 50 members and is one of the most active caucuses on Capitol Hill.
Growing up in North Alabama, Mo Brooks’ parents taught him early on that study and hard work were expected and required. They also taught him the importance of honesty, and to never be shy about speaking up and fighting for important principles. Brooks was born in 1954 in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved in 1963 to Huntsville, Alabama. Rep. Brooks’ father, Jack Brooks, retired from Redstone Arsenal’s Metrology Center. Brooks’ mother, Betty Brooks, taught economics and government for over 20 years at Lee High School. They still live in Madison County.
Rep. Brooks graduated from Grissom High School in 1972 (where he was all-city in baseball and an active member on two state championship debate teams). He graduated from Duke University in three years with a double major in political science and economics, with highest honors in economics. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Alabama Law School.
After graduation, Rep. Brooks worked as a prosecutor in the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office, where he built a solid “tough-on-crime” reputation. While there, he obtained guilty verdicts in every one of the 20-plus jury trials he prosecuted. He also organized and managed the grand jury.
Rep. Brooks left the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office in 1980 to return to Huntsville as a law clerk for presiding Circuit Court Judge John David Snodgrass. In 1982, Brooks was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives and became one of 11 Republican legislators (out of 140 total) and the only elected Republican legislator north of Birmingham.
Brooks was reelected to the Alabama House in 1983, 1986, and 1990. While in the legislature, he was elected Republican House Caucus Chairman three times and was ranked number one (out of 140 legislators) by the Alabama Taxpayers’ Defense Fund in the fight to protect family incomes from higher taxes. He was also ranked in the top 20 percent by Alabama Alliance of Business & Industry on pro-jobs, tort reform, and free enterprise issues and was recognized as one of the legislature’s most effective legislators by Alabama Magazine.
In 1991, Brooks was appointed Madison County District Attorney. In 1996, he ran for the Madison County Commission and unseated an eight-year incumbent Republican. He was reelected to the Commission in 2000, 2004, and 2008. During every year except when he was serving as a prosecutor or court clerk, Brooks held a second job in private practice. In 1995-1996, he was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for then Attorney General Jeff Sessions and, from 1996-2002, was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for then Attorney General Bill Pryor.
In 1976, Mo Brooks married Martha Jenkins of Toledo; they met at Duke University. Martha graduated from the University of Alabama with an accounting degree. She later retired as a certified public accountant and obtained a math and education major from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2005. She taught math at Whitesburg Middle School. Mo and Martha are the proud parents of four children and grandparents of four grandchildren. Rep. Brooks was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.
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