I am pleased the Homeland Security Committee and the Congress have adopted a sense of urgency with regard to this important legislation. Comprehensive legislation that addresses the vulnerabilities of our sea ports is long overdue. The SAFE Port Act is that legislation. National port security has become a very hot topic in recent months, but Congresswoman Jane Harman and I have been working on this legislation since last year.
Extending our borders out and strategically focusing our resources, SAFE Port improves the safety of the American people and the security of our global supply chain. Creating multi layered maritime security and dedicating the resources necessary to identify suspect cargo and individuals, this legislation will ensure our shores are our last line of defense, not our first
It is disappointing that neither sky-rocketing gas prices nor obscene oil company profits can break the bond between Bush Republicans and Big Oil. Americans are struggling to pay the rising cost of gas, and they are not interested in hand outs to help oil companies make more money by letting them drill in wildlife refuges. The people want immediate relief and a new energy policy. It's refreshing that Republicans have adopted so many Democratic proposals to lower the price of gas. Now it is finally time the Republican Congress acts to provide relief and to reduce our addiction to oil.
When the Holocaust unfolded, there were no rallies, there were no demonstrations, there was no legislation, there was just silence and indifference. I salute everyone who has stood up during these last few weeks and months to tell the oppressors, "We shall no longer mourn this genocide, we shall stop it."
As the Holocaust taught us, a villainous government that persecutes its own people cannot be counted on to keep its word; it must be compelled to do so.
We need a bunch of things being done, which this administration doesn't want to do. Number one is conservation. We have the worst conservation program in the world. China, a country that doesn't even believe in the environment, has much better oil -- gas mileage standards than we do.
Then we need a Manhattan Project to become independent of fossil fuels and, particularly, imported oil. We have to drop our exports in half in 10 years, and we can do it. But what happens is, because this administration believes what's good for Exxon/Mobil is good for America, they simply do what the oil companies want. The oil companies are happy with high prices and record profits.
I'm talking about sensible exploration and drilling in the coastal plane. We've got an opportunity up there for perhaps the largest find in North America that we have seen. We've got an opportunity up there for a million barrels a day coming into this country. A million barrels a day is what we saw when Katrina and Rita took us offline.
I've seen the Janjaweed outside the refugee camps, walking through the camps. I talked to the women who had been raped while collecting firewood. I've seen the brutal killings, I've been to the camps...I call on the administration to do as much as they can do. We need to deploy the special envoy...We need to put sanctions on the government of Sudan. We need to put a travel ban on the government of Sudan.
Today, we know what is right and we know what is wrong. The slaughter of innocents is wrong. Two million people driven from their homes is wrong. Women, gang-raped while gathering firewood is wrong. Silence, acquiescence, paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong...If you take a poll of senators and representatives, they will tell you that they too are against genocide. (The Bush) administration, unfortunately, has been better than many European nations in acknowledging the facts on the ground, which is a sad testimony to what is happening around the world. But for all that, not enough has been done and the facts on the ground remain the same.