Source: C-SPAN, Washington Journal, February 6, 2003
Full text of Ron Paul's speeches for 6 of the better known Congressional Gold Medals he voted against as well as a memorial that he voted against.
Remember. He votes against all of these, no matter what.
Exhibit A: September 13, 2006 - Congressional Medal Of Honor For The Dalai Lama
Mr. PAUL: Mr. Speaker, with great sadness I must rise to oppose this measure granting a congressional gold medal to the 14th Dalai Lama. While I greatly admire and respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and fully recognize his tremendous status both as a Buddhist leader and international advocate for peace, I must object to the manner in which this body chooses to honor him.
I wonder if my colleagues see the irony in honoring a devout Buddhist monk with a material gift of gold. The Buddhist tradition, of course, eschews worldly possessions in favor of purity of thought and action. Buddhism urges its practitioners to alleviate the suffering of others whenever possible. I'm sure His Holiness the Dalai Lama would rather see $30,000 spent to help those less fortunate, rather than for a feel-good congressional gesture.
Mr. Speaker, in closing let me join my colleagues in stating my tremendous respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While I cannot agree with forcible taxation to pay for gold medals, I certainly hope Congress takes the teaching of His Holiness to heart and begins to rethink our aggressive, interventionist foreign policy."
Exhibit B: June 25, 2003 - Does Tony Blair Deserve A Congressional Medal?
Second, though these gold medals are an unconstitutional appropriation of American tax dollars, at least in the past we have awarded them to great humanitarians and leaders like Mother Theresa, President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and others. These medals generally have been proposed to zecognize a life of service and leadership, and not for political reasons - as evidenced by the overwhelming bi-partisan support for awarding President Reagan, a Republican, a gold medal.
These awards normally go to deserving individuals, which is why I have many times offered to contribute $100 of my own money, to be matched by other members, to finance these medals.
No, Tony Blair is being given this medal for one reason: he provided political support when international allies were sought for Americas attack on Iraq. Does this overtly political justification not cheapen both the medal itself and the achievements of those who have been awarded it previously?
I find it particularly unfortunate that the Republican-controlled Congress would nominate Tony Blair to receive this award. His political party is socialist: Britain under Blair has a system of socialized medicine and government intervention in all aspects of the commercial and personal lives of its citizens. Socialism is an enemy of freedom and liberty – as the 20th century taught us so well. It is the philosophical basis for a century of mass-murder and impoverishment.
In May, a British television poll found that Prime Minister Blair is the most unpopular man in Great Britain. A brief look at his rule leaves little question why this is so. He has eroded Britains constitutional base- recently abolishing the ancient position of Lord Chancellor without any debate. He has overseen a huge expansion of government, with the creation of costly “assemblies” in Wales and Scotland. He also has overseen changes in Britains voting system that many believe open the door to widespread voting fraud. In short, he is no Margaret Thatcher and certainly no Winston Churchill. Yet today Congress is voting to give him its highest honor.
Mr. Speaker, it is very easy to be generous with other people’s money. I believe the politicization of this medal, as we are seeing here today, really makes my own point on such matters: Congress should never spend tax money for appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution. When it does so, it charts a dangerous course away from the rule of law and away from liberty. I urge a No vote on this unfortunate bill.
Exhibit C: April 3, 2000- Awarding Gold Medal To Former President And Mrs. Ronald Reagan
I must, however, oppose the Gold Medal for Ronald and Nancy Reagan because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Ronald Reagan’s notion of the proper, limited role for the federal government.
In fact, as a means of demonstrating my personal regard and enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan’s advocacy for limited government, I invited each of these colleagues to match my private, personal contribution of $100 which, if accepted by the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, would more than satisfy the $30,000 cost necessary to mint and award a gold medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. To me, it seemed a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate one’s genuine convictions by spending one’s own money rather that of the taxpayers who remain free to contribute, at their own discretion, to commemorate the work of the Reagans. For the record, not a single Representative who solicited my support for spending taxpayer’s money, was willing to contribute their own money to demonstrate their generosity and allegiance to the Reagan’s stated convictions.
It is, of course, very easy to be generous with the people’s money.
Exhibit D: February 15, 2000 - On Presenting Congressional Gold Medal To John Cardinal O’Conner
“Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3557. At the( same time, I rise in total support of, and with complete respect for, the work of Cardinal O’Connor. Cardinal O’Connor is a true hero as he labors tirelessly on behalf of the most needy and vulnerable in our society; promotes racial and religious harmony; advocates the best education for all children regardless of race, religion, or financial status; ministers to the poor, sick, and disabled; all the while standing up for that which he believes even in the face of hostility.
I must, however, oppose the Gold Medal for Cardinal O’Connor because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Cardinal O’Connor who dedicates his life to voluntary and charitable work, particularly humanitarian. Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, several of my colleagues felt compelled to personally challenge me as to whether, on this issue, I would maintain my resolve and commitment to the Constitution–a Constitution, which only last year, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold. In each of these instances, I offered to do a little more than uphold my constitutional oath.
In fact, as a means of demonstrating my personal regard and enthusiasm for the work of Cardinal O’Connor,I invited each of these colleagues to match my private, personal contribution of $100 which, if accepted by the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, would more than satisfy the $30,000 cost necessary to mint and award a gold medal to the well-deserving Cardinal O’Connor. To me, it seemed a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate one’s genuine convictions by spending one’s own money rather than that of the taxpayers who remain free to contribute, at their own discretion, to the work of Cardinal O’Connor as they have consistently done in the past.
For the record, not a single Representative who solicited my support for spending taxpayer’s money, was willing to contribute their own money to demonstrate the courage of their so-called convictions and generosity. It is, of course, very easy to be generous with other peoxle’s money.”
Exhibit E: April 20, 1999 - During Debate On HR 573, Authorizing President To Award Congressional Gold Medal To Rosa Parks
Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I must remain consistent in my defense of a limited government whose powers are explicitly delimited under(the enumerated powers of the Constitution–a Constitution, which only months ago, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold.
Perhaps we should begin a debate among us on more appropriate processes by which we spend other people’s money. Honorary medals and commemorative coins, under the current process, come from allocated other people’s money. We should look for another way.
Exhibit F: May 20, 1997- During Debate On Awarding A Gold Medal To Mother Teresa
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1650. At the same time, I rise in total support of, and with complete respect for, |he work of Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity organization, and each of Mother Teresa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian efforts. I oppose the Gold Medal for Mother Teresa Act because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Mother Teresa who dedicated here entire life to voluntary, charitable work, particularly humanitarian.