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May 3, 2011

George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building

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Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 362) to redesignate the Federal building and United States Courthouse located at 200 East Wall Street in Midland, Texas, as the ``George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building''.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 362

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. REDESIGNATION.

The Federal building and United States Courthouse located at 200 East Wall Street in Midland, Texas, known as the George Mahon Federal Building, shall be known and designated as the ``George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building''.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES.

Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the Federal building and United States Courthouse referred to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the ``George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building''.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hultgren) and the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.

GENERAL LEAVE

Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 362.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Illinois?

There was no objection.

Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

H.R. 362 would redesignate the Federal Building and Courthouse at 200 East Wall Street in Midland, Texas, as the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Conaway) for introducing this legislation. I also want to thank the bill's 25 cosponsors, who all represent various districts throughout the State of Texas.

The former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have honorably served this Nation for many decades.

President George H.W. Bush dedicated his life to public service. His public service began when he was just 18 and enlisted in the Armed Forces. He became the youngest pilot in the Navy when he earned his wings and flew 58 combat missions, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action after getting shot down by antiaircraft fire.

Later, he was elected to Congress as a representative from the State of Texas and served in this Chamber for two terms. Subsequently, he served in various other public service positions critical to our Nation, including as ambassador to the United Nations, as chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to China, and as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was elected Vice President in 1980 and stood by President Ronald Reagan's side for 8 years, contributing to the policies that brought the Cold War to an end, and in 1988 was elected as the 41st President of the United States.

During his term in office, he skillfully navigated the diplomacy with new nations created following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and helped to overthrow and bring to justice the corrupt Manuel Noriega regime in Panama.

A few months ago, in February, President George H.W. Bush was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. This award is the highest civilian honor given for an especially meritorious contribution to the security of the national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural, or other significant public or private endeavors.

In 2000, his son, George W. Bush, followed in his footsteps when he was elected the 43rd President of the United

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States, after serving 6 years as the Governor of Texas. President George W. Bush led our Nation in response to the worst terrorist attack on our soil. He helped to unite the Nation after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and, under his leadership, led the reforms of our intelligence and securities capabilities to better counter this unconventional threat.

During his two terms, he effectuated the overthrow of a dictator in Iraq and removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, upsetting a key staging ground for al Qaeda and bringing democracy to an oppressed country. And, yesterday, this groundwork led to our Nation bringing justice to Osama bin Laden when, during a raid by one of our Special Operations teams, he was killed in a compound in Pakistan. And I want to recognize the work of our Special Operations teams and our intelligence community, including the CIA, which were critical in locating Osama bin Laden and executing this mission.

[Time: 18:20]

With the help of intelligence that was gathered from detainees from Guantanamo Bay, our intelligence community was able to gather the key information needed to locate Osama bin Laden. With these events comes a sense of closure. However, we must remain vigilant in protecting our Nation from the threat of terrorism.

President George W. Bush helped to realign our intelligence and military capabilities to set the framework for our Nation to better respond to this new threat. I think that it is appropriate for us to honor their service to our Nation by naming this courthouse after them, as both former Presidents have lived in Texas for some time and George W. Bush calls Midland his hometown.

I support passage of this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Ms. NORTON. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 362, a bill that honors the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush, by naming a United States courthouse located in Midland, Texas, after both of them. This honor is highly fitting, given their devotion to public service and their unique status as only the second father and son pair to serve in our Nation's highest office.

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He served our country in many capacities, first as the youngest naval aviator at the time in the United States Navy, and later as a Member of Congress representing the Seventh Congressional District of Texas. After leaving Congress, President Bush served in many prominent public service positions, including ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office of the People's Republic of China and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1980, President Bush was elected Vice President of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. He was reelected Vice President in 1984. President Bush was then elected President of the United States in 1988.

Former President George Walker Bush was the 43rd President of the United States. President George W. Bush was a graduate of Yale University. After his service in the Texas Air National Guard, he graduated from Harvard Business School and began a career in the oil industry. President Bush became the principal owner of the Texas Rangers, a Major League Baseball team. In 1994, he was elected Governor of Texas, a position to which he was reelected in 1998. He was elected President of the United States in 2000 and again in 2004.

Upon passage of this legislation, what is now known as the George Mahon Federal Building will be renamed the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush United States Courthouse and George Mahon Federal Building.

I urge my colleagues to support the passage of H.R. 362.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Conaway).

Mr. CONAWAY. I thank the gentleman for allowing me the time.

I rise, Mr. Speaker, to pay tribute to the renaming of this courthouse for two of west Texas's favorite sons, President George Herbert Walker Bush and his son, George W. Bush. The community I call home could not be prouder of our two most famous residents. We are grateful for their faithful service and stewardship of the powers entrusted to them and their legacy in advancing freedom, human dignity and the rule of law across the globe.

Texas ought to be rightly proud of our neighbors who rose to lead our Nation. These two men, bound by blood, but bonded by an unshakeable commitment to human liberty, shared a vision for America and the world that was mined in Philadelphia and forged at the Alamo. It is a vision that is rooted first and foremost in liberty and all her attendants--individual rights, free markets, and fair elections.

Both Presidents understood that America's wealth and power are not what make us an exceptional Nation. It is those faded words written large across four sheets of parchment over 200 years ago that form the soul of this Nation. In those words, the rights that we cherish are forever set apart from the machinations of man. In those words, we became a Nation of laws, of discourse, and of reason.

It is fitting that we are choosing to name a courthouse in their honor today because it is fidelity to the law, above all else, that secures the blessings of liberty these men worked so hard to promote. This courthouse will be a symbol of the triumph of law over violence, the triumph of free minds over the iron wills of dictators.

From the dissolution of the Soviet Union to the liberation of Kuwait, and from the first shoots of democratic order in Afghanistan to the parliamentary elections in Iraq, both father and son have helped to lift the crushing burdens of tyranny from millions of people. In each effort, the nations liberated have embarked on the difficult path of making laws and holding one another accountable. These are not easy steps; but in the end, with the continued support of the United States, these efforts will prove to be an enduring and lasting legacy for both these men and our Nation.

Mr. Speaker, in my life I have had the privilege to work alongside the Bush family, both in Texas and in Washington; and today I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work here in Congress and to represent the people of west Texas. On behalf of the people of District 11, I would like to extend my humblest gratitude to President George Herbert Walker Bush and President George W. Bush for their service to their community, our State and our Nation. We are a better Nation for their service.

I would also like to acknowledge the role that Federal District Judge Rob Junell played in getting this courthouse renamed in honor of these two fine gentlemen.

I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hultgren) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 362.

The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

(House of Representatives - May 2, 2011)

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