It's good to see all of you, and I want to thank you, Ralph, for that wonderful, warm, lovely introduction. He's exactly right. You ain't seen nothing yet.
I really am thrilled to be able to be here this morning with all of your at the Faith and Freedom Coalition. You are doing exactly what the United States needs and that's to bring our faith to bear in the public marketplace of ideas. We've done this very successfully in the past. We're doing it today.
We're going to continue to do that, and Ralph's told you, I just recently announced that I wouldn't be seeking a fifth term in the United States House of Representatives, but I do have a very important announcement that I would like to make to each one of you today and it's this: I do intend to run for president of the Tim Tebow fan club. Had you going there for a minute, didn't I? But you never know, you never know. So hold onto your hat.
I did have some people suggest that I should try out for American Idol because I had a lot of experience in front of a microphone in a room full of critics. So that could happen, too.
I have no doubt, but I do believe very sincerely though that Congress needs a lot more citizen legislatures rather than career-lifetime politicians. That's not a judgment statement on anyone else, but I do believe that it's very important that we continually have a recirculation of new, fresh blood into the Congress as our founders envisioned originally.
When I entered Congress eight years ago, I came not seeking to make a name for myself or to get rich ... that isn't what I wanted. What I was is a very concerned citizen. I began as a foster mom who saw that there were some very serious problems in our public education system for our foster daughters. So I got involved as an activist at a local level.
Also as a wife, as a mom, but as a small business owner and also as a tax lawyer, I saw how big this gargantuan government of ours was getting. And how it was choking the very lifeblood—not only out of our economy—but how it was diminishing our values as parents and also how it was trampling upon our rights as citizens and as believers in this nation. So I came to fight for a couple of very simple things. I'm a full-spectrum conservative, as I imagine most of you are in this room here.
I do believe that government taxes us and that we are taxed enough already. I do believe that government shouldn't spend more money than what it takes in, and I do believe that government should follow the Constitution of the United States pretty mainstream. So those are some of the issues that we're following as believers.
There's one issue that we're going back and forth on now in this particular conference, but also across the United States. Reasonable people can disagree, and I want to put forth just a couple of ideas for you for your consideration.
Because I'm here to tell you we are fast-tracking—in a breathtaking scale that I haven't seen in eight years on Capitol Hill—a bill through, and it's the bill that's dealing with immigration reform. There are people of goodwill on both sides of this issue.
I just want to throw a couple of facts in the mix to consider because next week the House Judiciary Committee will take up the Immigration Reform Bill. They'll take it up for a two-week period. We just had a vote to begin debate in the United States Senate this week. The Senate has stated that this bill may be done, over, completed in the Senate by July 4, and it's been stated that this bill may actually be done and through the House, through the conference committees and on the president's desk for signature by August 1. That's a breathtaking speed to get a bill of this magnitude through the United States Congress.
Why is it of such great magnitude? Because we are looking at the legalization of over 30 million illegal aliens, and we look at the found impact that that could have on our nation.
This is not an anti-immigrant speech. Do not walk away with that thought at all. I married an immigrant, a first-generation immigrant. My ancestors descended also. I'm a descendent of immigrants. They came to this country with nothing but their hard work ethic and also their innovation. And I imagine that is your story too, from your family as well.
But what I'm asking all of us to consider are the profound implications of what this will mean, because amnesty will cost a fortune. We are looking at a 6-trillion-dollar cost for amnesty. Just the retirement benefits alone for illegal aliens, which would be borne by the American people, will be something like 2.7 trillion dollars. And the bill that we are currently looking at if it survives in existing form would mean that the borders will not be secure.
Despite the promises that we're being given, it is—as we heard this week from one of the members of the Gang of Eight—it will be legalization first, and then maybe we'll deal with border security down the road.
As a matter of fact, the bill that we're looking at takes the whole technology of E-Verify and puts it on the shelf. It mothballs the system to check for legalization status. It prevents the states from even using the concept of E-Verify. This is a serious concern because, you see, we have a history.
In 1986, the American people were promised we would have a one-time deal for amnesty—one-time—and it will be that one million illegal aliens would be given status. We all know that didn't prove to be true. It wasn't 1 million illegal aliens. It turned out to be 3.5 million illegal aliens.
Take a look at the numbers on immigration. In the last 40 years ... If you collect together all of the people that we have given legal status to in the last 40 years, we will give more people legal status in the next 10 years than we have in the last 40.
Now this would be one thing if we had high-skilled workers coming into the United States, but the estimate is that the average illegal alien that comes into the United States, the average age is 34 years old. The average education level is about the 10th grade. That's not to demean anyone who comes into the United States for a lack of education. But it isn't prudent to think that if you are 34 years of age, with a 10th grade education or less, it's tough to believe that a person will be paying more in taxes than they'll be receiving in benefits.
So what I am saying is that we need to be open to recognize what the cost is. We are a people who believe in compassion. That's what we believe because Christ was compassionate to us. He took us in our sinful state, and he gave us salvation and the richness in the kingdom of God if we confess our sins and if we turn toward him. We are a people of compassion.
But I think of this example: For those of us who are believers, for many of us, our conviction is that we give 10 percent of our income to the church and maybe more than that in the form of offerings to ministries and to various charities that we give to.
Is it truly compassionate for us to say to people of faith we're giving 10 percent and then some more, "You're not compassionate because you're not giving more. You should give so much that your family boat sinks out of bankruptcy."? That's what we're looking at in this country. At the worst possible time financially, we're looking at allowing in more than 33 million illegal aliens at a cost, as I said previously, of over 6 trillion dollars. Just in the context.
When I came into Congress in January of 2007, the national debt was 8.67 trillion dollars. Do you know what the debt is today? It's over 17 trillion dollars. We just had a story come out yesterday that the projection in the next decades will be that we are looking at a national debt of 106 trillion dollars.
Now also consider we have an obligation to our parents, to our grandparents for Social Security, Medicare, and for Medicaid and now Obamacare. We have an obligation that we need to meet and to continue to add in more people will be drawing off from the system rather than adding in.
We will find that it is not compassionate to not be able to meet the obligation to our parents, to our grandparents, to our aunts, and to our uncles. It is not compassionate to ask our children to take lower wages or lower benefits or to not have the job opportunities.
And let me end with this: The people who will suffer the most, if we move forward with ... in my mind, what is a very foolish action ... the people who will be hurt the most are Hispanics and African-Americans who already suffer very high levels of unemployment. Rather than competing for jobs now at, say, $10 an hour, they'll have 7 more people with like skills that they'll have to compete for those jobs. If they can't get a job, then out of humanity we will have to supply those services.
What I am saying is let's think carefully, think cautiously, love deeply, have a big heart, but also use our head at the same time we're using our heart. We can solve this this problem with love, with compassion, with humanity, but let's not forget the compassion we need to have with American citizens who are here already.
God bless you. God bless the United States, and enjoy this wonderful weekend. I love you all.
Speech from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0go5GWNt6I