The following is a transcript, as prepared by Mr. Franks, for the November 15th, 2015, Debate on H.R. 1073 the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. Video of the speech can be found here.
Mr. Speaker, I am sincerely grateful to all of those who have supported the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. I am especially grateful to Chairman Pete Sessions for his co-sponsorship and his committed partnership on this bill, as well as to Chairman Mike McCaul and to the Leadership team of this House for allowing this legislation to come to the floor.
Electromagnetic Pulse or “EMP” can be catalyzed by non-nuclear Intentional Electromagnetic Interference, a major solar storm, or a high altitude nuclear blast. EMP is an invisible force of ionized particles with the potential to overwhelm and destroy our present electrical power grids, which are a vital component of nearly every other critical infrastructure we have.
Reducing America’s vulnerability to naturally occurring or weaponized electromagnetic pulse is a timely and critical matter of national security.
During the past several decades America has spent billions of dollars hardening many of our critical defense assets, including our nuclear triad and our missile defense components, against natural or weaponized electromagnetic pulse. However, the Department of Defense relies upon the largely unprotected civilian electric grid for 99% of its electricity needs in the continental United States without which it cannot effect its mission.
12 years ago, in August of 2003, an electromagnetic pulse knocked out a large portion of the electric grid across the eastern United States. Fifty million people were affected after 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Office workers streamed into parking lots and many commuters were stranded inside their trains. In a matter of moments, the things that make up our critical infrastructure - from the electric grid to water pumps to cell phone service to computer systems – were disrupted. Life suddenly changed that day in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and all the way into Canada. In New York City alone, this short blackout was estimated to cost more than half a billion dollars.
There are at least 11 major government reports and studies that have all come to essentially the same conclusion regarding our vulnerabilities to electromagnetic pulse. Some of America’s most enlightened national security experts as well as many of our enemies or potential enemies consider a well-executed weaponized electromagnetic pulse attack against America to be a QUOTE “kill shot” to America. However, our civilian grid remains fundamentally unprotected against severe EMP. And for it to remain so, is an open invitation to our enemies to exploit this dangerous vulnerability.
Indeed, The National Intelligence University recently translated an Iranian military doctrine, titled Passive Defense. This doctrine stresses that electric grids are vital to the national existence of major powers in the world like America. And it includes a formula for calculating the value of electric power plants and for prioritizing the targeting of electric grid components and other critical infrastructures. Mr. Speaker, this Iranian military doctrine referenced the use of nuclear generated EMP as an effective weapon electric grids and components more than 20 times.
Now that the Islamic Republic of Iran begins to enjoy the bounty of their “nuclear negotiations”, it should be a wake-up call to us all that this, the World’s leading State sponsor of terrorism is contemplating the concept of nuclear generated electromagnetic pulse as an asymmetric weapon against America.
Thankfully Mr. Speaker, we are here this day to pass the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which if signed into law, will represent the first time in history that Congress will be specifically addressing this dangerous threat of electromagnetic pulse. This legislation will enhance the DHS threat assessments for EMP through research and reporting requirements. It will help the United States prevent and prepare for such an event by including large-scale blackouts into our existing national planning scenarios; including educational awareness for first responders to protect critical infrastructure. Most importantly, it requires specific plans for protecting and recovering the electric grid and other critical infrastructure from a dangerous Electromagnetic Pulse event.
Mr. Speaker, there is a moment in the life of nearly every problem when it is big enough to be seen by reasonable people and still small enough to be addressed. Those of us in this chamber and across America live in a time when there still may be opportunity for the free world to address and mitigate the vulnerability that naturally occurring or weaponized EMP represents to the mechanisms of our civilization. This is our moment.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.Read More
The following is a transcript, as prepared by Mr. Franks, for the November 16th, 2015 Debate on H.R. 308 The Keep the Promise Act. Video of the speech is available here. Mr. Speaker, let me thank Chairman Bishop and the Leadership of this House for bringing this bill to the floor today. I also want to thank the bipartisan group of cosponsors for their support, and especially want to thank all of the Members of the Arizona delegation who are in support of this bill.
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 308, the Keep the Promise Act, seeks to prevent Las Vegas-style gaming in the Phoenix metropolitan area until the gaming compact, to which the Arizona tribes agreed and the Arizona voters approved, expires in 2027.
One Tucson-area tribe is trying to build a major casino on lands that were deceptively purchased in the Phoenix metropolitan area at the very same time they were in negotiations with other tribes in the State to craft this gaming compact. These actions are contrary to the public commitments that this particular tribe made between 2000 and 2002 to the 16 other Indian tribes in Arizona, the State itself, and the voters of the State of Arizona when they publicly supported the passage of Proposition 202, a State referendum to limit casino gambling in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Mr. Speaker, the bipartisan cosponsors of H.R. 308 are simply trying to hold all the parties to their publicly stated commitment to the people of Arizona not to engage in gaming in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Contrary to the opposition's position, Congress DOES have a role in supervising tribal gaming. Congress has a long established history of regulating, managing and working with tribes relative to tribal trust land.
Most astonishing is the opposition's argument that the courts have “upheld” the tribe's right to operate a casino on that parcel of land. Indeed, the court raised serious questions about the tribe's misconduct, but dismissed the litigation under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. That is not a ruling on the merits in favor or against any side. That simply means the court could not or would not issue a ruling.
This bill passed the House twice before and had a zero CBO score. In CBO's analysis of this exact bill last Congress, they acknowledge the uncertainty of future legal challenges but did not score those. That is the standard practice.
Astonishingly, the CBO recently added a “score” to the exact same bill this Congress of zero dollars to one billion, while admitting it had no basis to issue any conjecture about a possible lawsuit resulting from passage of this bill.
CBO admits it has no basis to score litigation. The CBO has never “scored” potential litigation on other bills, and this score should be ignored as useless and harmful if allowed as precedent.
Mr. Speaker, this bill does not impact any tribe's ability to have lands taken into trust, nor does it impact any water or land claims. Consistent with the intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and Proposition 202, this bill merely restricts the ability of tribes to game on the very lands on which they agreed they would not game.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that my colleagues join me and the Members of Arizona's delegation in supporting this bill.Read More
You are invited to our next town hall event in the district.
Please join us on Tuesday, October 13th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
Location: Glendale Adult Center 5970 W. Brown Street Glendale, AZ 85302
Please call our office at (623) 776-7911 for more information.
We hope to see you there!Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) was on the House Floor today to debate HR 3504 the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. A portion of his speech follows:
"The Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act, Madam Speaker, protects little children who have been born alive. No one in this body can obscure the humanity and the personhood of these little born alive babies. Nor can they take refuge within the schizophrenic paradox Roe vs. Wade has subjected this country to for now more than 40 years.
"The abortion industry labored all these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection.
"But Madam Speaker, those who oppose this bill to protect born alive babies now have the impossible task of trying to join born children and unborn children back together again and then trying to convince all of us to condemn them both as inhuman and not worthy of protection after all.
"To anyone who has not invincibly hardened their heart and soul, Madam Speaker, an honest consideration of this absurd inconsistency is profoundly enlightening. Because you see, this country has faced such paradox and self-imposed blindness before. There was a time that our own house rules banned any discussion or debate in this chamber about the effort to end human slavery in America.
"But, Madam Speaker, that debate did come, and with it, came a time when the humanity of the victims and the inhumanity of what was being done to them, became so glaring, even to the hardest of hearts, that it moved an entire generation of people to find the compassion and the courage in their souls to change their position. And now to this generation, Madam Speaker, that time has come again."Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) issued the following statement on the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the third anniversary of the attacks in Benghazi.
“On this day, 14 years ago, our lives were jolted by evil and horrific attacks committed against the United States of America at the hands of terrorists. Fueled by pure evil and hatred, these attacks killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.
“Just three years ago, another attack was perpetrated on sovereign United States soil at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya where four courageous and noble Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered by terrorists.
“How quickly we, as a country, forget the mindset of Jihadist terrorism. This day should remind us all that the price of freedom truly is eternal vigilance.
“God help this Congress to be vigilant and reject this fatally flawed nuclear deal with Iran. If we fail to reject this deal, or the next president does not intervene, it will ultimately put the finger of Jihad on the nuclear button and our children will be placed on a path that leads through the shadow of nuclear terrorism.
“On this day especially, we should all pause and remember the many priceless lives that were lost to the unspeakable acts aimed at destroying this country and our way of life. We remember and pray for all the families that lost loved ones on this infamous day.
“Let us promise ourselves anew that we, the people of the United States of America, will continue to stand firm and do whatever is necessary to prevent the horrendous tragedy of 14 years ago from ever taking place on American soil again.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Israel Allies Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Trent Franks offered the following statement supporting Governor Huckabee's defense of the Jewish people and critique of the Obama Administration's bad deal with Iran: "Mike Huckabee is the last person on the planet that the media could ever legitimately claim is uncaring for, or unprotective of the State of Israel. Not one other presidential in this race has a stronger, more demonstrated, lifelong commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.
"The Left displays great tolerance toward and silence on behalf of Iranian Mullahs who lead throngs of their followers in screaming chants of "Death to Israel!" - words I am assuming they consider to be insensitive and politically incorrect - however, they do not hesitate for a moment to attack a man many leaders and people of Israel themselves hold as one of their truest and greatest American champions.
"Whatever else can be said, Mr. Huckabee has reminded us it was indeed a feckless, peace in our time deal by weak leadership that allowed one of the most evil events in human history to be perpetrated against the Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As details emerged of Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies in a recently published investigative video, Congressman Franks, Prime Sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act released the following statement:
"The chilling video released today is yet another tragic and heart-breaking reminder of Planned Parenthood’s legendary disregard for the sanctity of innocent human life. The trafficking of the little hearts, livers and heads of these precious unborn children resulted in significant financial benefit for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country.
"Planned Parenthood must be held responsible for the horrifying use of partial-birth abortions to deliberately harvest the intact the body parts of innocent human children. It is an unspeakable disgrace that the Obama Justice Department will likely never launch a criminal investigation to look into these unconscionable acts that were clearly covered up by Planned Parenthood - from the CEO, Cecile Richards, down to the workers at the clinics who performed these gruesome acts. If our government and the American people look the other way from this kind of insidious evil, we do so at our moral peril."Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As news of a nuclear deal with Iran was released, Congressman Trent Franks released the following statement questioning this Administration's resolve in striking a deal with the world’s foremost State sponsor of terrorism:
For years we have watched in utter disbelief at the great lengths to which this Administration has gone in order to secure a deal at any price with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. As predicted, Barack Obama has capitulated to the lunatic leaders of Iran in a “peace in our time” deal with that will strengthen Iran’s ability to foment terrorism throughout the world as it has for the last 40 years.
Mr. Obama has now successfully negotiated away every nonnegotiable and struck a faulty deal that legitimizes Iran on the world stage. Most dangerous of all, Iran will now have a protected protocol to enrich uranium and produce plutonium on its own soil. This is an issue impossible to overstate.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, whose leadership envisions "a world without America," has threatened to "wipe out Israel in a sea of fire." It is to this nation that this administration has now bowed at the negotiating table.
Today the Prime Minister of Israel, our most trusted ally in the region said "obviously we are going to have to continue to prepare to defend ourselves by ourselves." It is an absolute disgrace that this President has sacrificed the security and stability of this important ally and our greatest friend in the world, along with the entire human family on the altar of perceived international civility. This is a betrayal that history will never forget.
President Barack Obama is now the leading apologist in the world for the Islamic Republic of Iran. And it has now fallen upon Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, to be the leading voice for freedom in the world.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following House passage of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, Congressman Franks released the following statement on his YES vote on the bill:
The National Institutes of Health has been operating on an outdated budget and mission since 2009. The 21st Century Cures Act will improve outcomes of research, create jobs, and save lives with focused efforts to increase strategic investments and modernized the approval and regulatory processed for new drugs, biologics, and medical devices at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
There are 10,000 known diseases, but we only have cures and treatments for 500 of them. The 21st Century Cures Act will help patients suffering from those diseases by providing new incentives for the development of drugs for rare diseases, modernizing clinical trials & removing regulatory uncertainty for the development of new medical apps, helping to keep and create jobs here at home and creating a fiscally responsible, fully paid-for, and temporary 5-year Fund for biomedical research. I was frustrated with the funding mechanism but in the long term this bill will cut mandatory spending and eventually reduce the deficit and will help vulnerable Arizonans and the American people who need medical intervention most.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Committee on Homeland Security passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA), important legislation to protect Americans from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a threat experts consider one of the most serious risks to our national security. Rep. Trent Franks along with Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, and Chairman of the Rules Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions, released the following statements:
Congressman Trent Franks: "I sincerely applaud and thank Chairman McCaul and the House Committee on Homeland Security for passing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) out of Committee today. The electric grid is fundamental to our modern way of life and is a vital component of nearly every other critical infrastructure in America. Reducing its vulnerability to naturally occurring or weaponized electromagnetic pulse is a matter of national security. Most notably, CIPA directs and empowers the Department of Homeland Security to harden and protect our critical infrastructure including power production, generation, and distribution systems. I'm encouraged by this movement and expect my colleagues in the House of Representatives to take this decisive step to protect our nation when CIPA comes to the Floor for a vote." | Contact: Destiny Decker (202) 225-4576Chairman Michael McCaul: "Experts have warned us about the threat of EMP events to our critical infrastructure. Such an event could severely disrupt all Americans’ way of life. The impact could cause serious damage to the Nations’ critical infrastructure making this vitally important to our homeland security defenses. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which passed through my Committee, is a huge step forward in our resiliency and preparedness from an EMP event. I appreciate Congressman Franks’ dedication and collaboration with me to address this vital national security matter." | Contact: Susan Phalen (202) 224-8477
Chairman Pete Sessions: “Today’s passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act is an important first step towards protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure. I applaud my friend Congressman Trent Franks’ hard work on this important issue and I wholeheartedly support this bill so that we can secure our electrical grid, educate the public about this potential threat, and implement effective measures to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure.” | Contact: Caroline Boothe (202) 225-2231Read More
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Congressman Trent Franks is a conservative Reagan Republican, and he has spent most of his life working on children’s issues and trying to build a better future for all children.
Trent is someone who still believes that there is such a thing as the truth and that people and principles should be at the center of political discourse in America. He works very hard in the United States Congress for smaller government by cutting government waste, reducing taxes, bureaucracy, and regulation. Trent believes in personal responsibility, free enterprise and that government’s first purpose is to protect its innocent citizens.
Trent is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. While in the House, he served as Vice-Chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Child Protection and Family Preservation.
In January of 1987, Trent was appointed by the Governor to head the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, which is a Cabinet level division of the Governor’s office responsible for overseeing and coordinating state policy and programs for Arizona’s children.
Trent served four and a half years as the Executive Director of the Arizona Family Research Institute, a non-profit organization associated with Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family for the purpose of advocating public policy to protect children and families in Arizona. The Arizona Family Research Institute later became the Center for Arizona Policy.
Trent Franks is past Chairman of the Children’s Hope Scholarship Foundation and a Republican Member of The United States Congress. He currently serves on the Armed services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, and is now Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee.
He is a member of the Republican Study Committee, the House Working Group on Judicial Accountability, House Working Group on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, the Congressional Hispanic Conference, the Liberty Caucus, the DUI Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus, the India Caucus, the Refugee Caucus, and the Education Freedom Caucus.
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