[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 11, 2014)]
[House]
[Pages H1761-H1765]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                                MARRIAGE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. DeSantis). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Huelskamp) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to visit 
with you this evening. I know many of my colleagues would like to visit 
about a very, very important topic; and that is the topic of marriage. 
We are currently in the midst of National Marriage Week, which is a 
global effort with 16 other countries to promote marriage.
  I think we are going to hear tonight, Mr. Speaker, some very 
important information on how important marriage is to our culture, to 
our families, to our society and, most importantly, in my mind, to our 
children.
  So first I would like to yield to the Congresswoman from Minnesota 
(Mrs. Bachmann) to speak on this topic.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Huelskamp for 
sponsoring this important topic this evening on National Marriage Week.
  It is fitting and proper that we would set aside this period of 1 
hour to focus on the institution that is the fundamental grounding 
institution of the United States of America. There are various units of 
government. We, here, are in the well of the greatest deliberative body 
that the world has ever known, the House of Representatives. That is at 
the Federal Government level. We have 50 State governments here in the 
United States. We have numerous county governments and numerous cities 
across the United States, but the fundamental institution, the 
fundamental unit of government is the family unit, and the family unit 
begins with husband and wife.
  Mr. Speaker, this isn't a creation of the Republican Party. Marriage 
isn't a creation of Western civilization or of the United States of 
America. Marriage, as an institution, was created by none other than 
the Creator of mankind itself, a Holy God, the God of the Bible, and it 
is stated very clearly in the book of Genesis that after God created 
man and woman, He then created the institution of marriage, and He 
created it for a very simple reason: it is because God had a plan for 
man in the future, and that was through the propagation of the human 
race.
  So as we are here talking about marriage this evening, my colleagues 
who will be joining us on this floor, we are here not to condemn 
anyone. My parents were married and then were divorced and then were 
remarried again, and that is a story that is repeated not just in 
America but in families across the world.
  We are here not to condemn tonight because even though God creates an 
institution like marriage, and even though men and women can mess up 
and not necessarily fulfill what God had hoped for--God says He hates 
divorce, but it does happen--God is also the god of a second chance, 
and He gives people that opportunity, once again, to go back into a 
relationship.
  So an institution that is meant for our good, it is one that, in 
fact, has been for good. It is good for man, good for woman, but most 
of all, good for the children that come from that union.
  My husband and I are thankful that we have been blessed with five 
biological children. We have been privileged to serve as foster parents 
to 23 wonderful foster children. But you see, Mr. Speaker, without the 
umbrella and the protective element of marriage, that is the greatest 
security blanket that any child could ever know, to know that in their 
life, there is a mom or there is a dad that is crazy about them.
  Many, many women raise children on their own in this country. Many 
men are raising children on their own. But we know that it is this 
fundamental institution of marriage that is the bedrock institution of 
this land, and so we are here tonight, as imperfect and filled with 
mistakes as we are--again, not condemning. We are here to lift up and 
support and encourage this wonderful gift given to us by the Creator 
but given to us for our good and for the building up of this country.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. Congresswoman Bachmann, I appreciate your leadership 
on so many issues. One of the inspiring parts of your life, to me, is 
you and your husband's efforts as foster parents. You have stories to 
share about the many children. Acting as a family, mom and dad to these 
kids, it sure must have made a difference in their lives.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Well, it really is something, and we had seen another 
couple in our church that were serving as foster parents. That is 
really what induced us to take on foster parenting. Our hearts broke 
when we saw the lives of some of these kids, and we knew we weren't 
perfect people. We knew we didn't have the perfect marriage, but we 
thought we could offer something into the lives of these kids.
  One thing my husband said is, every child needs to know that at least 
one person is committed to them and at least one person is crazy about 
them. It isn't to take away from the foster children's biological 
parents. Families go through rough patches. Families have challenges. 
Marriages have challenges. Nothing is perfect, and we are not standing 
up here saying any of us are perfect because we aren't, but what we do 
know is that a perfect God created a pretty good institution, and that 
is marriage, and that is the one thing that we felt that we could offer 
to our foster children.

                              {time}  1800

  We are an example of two very imperfect people in an imperfect home, 
but we were able to offer that model of what God had created, and that 
is bringing man and woman together, because we each, we are two whole 
people, but when we come together in marriage, we are stronger than two 
people together. So it is a very unique, three-stranded cord.
  So I thank you for this opportunity.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. As you know, there are many parts of the country where 
we are short of foster parents, foster families. If there is one thing 
you can say to a couple considering that, what would your advice be?
  Mrs. BACHMANN. I would say think about it. It is not for everyone. 
But if you don't think you can do it--we didn't before we were foster 
parents. We took in one child, a beautiful girl. We took her from a 
homeless shelter, and we had the experience. It was good. We got a 
phone call from an agency, would we take another? We thought, okay, we 
will take another. And then we got a phone call, would we take another? 
And we took another. We got a phone call, would we take another? At 
that point, we didn't have enough places around the dining room table, 
so we blew out a wall and made the dining room bigger. And we just kept 
taking children into our home.
  What we found--it was amazing. What I would say to parents is you 
will be amazed how your heart can expand. And it is all good, so I just 
encourage people to consider being foster parents.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. Congresswoman Bachmann, I appreciate your leadership 
both personally and here in Congress. So thank you for your time this 
evening.
  Next, I would like to yield to a colleague, a freshman from 
California. I might remind the body that five Justices on our U.S. 
Supreme Court apparently didn't think California voters should decide 
some issues of marriage. But Congressman Doug LaMalfa is becoming a 
leader here in Congress on that issue. I would like to yield to him and 
his thoughts on the issue of marriage, families, and protecting our 
children.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague from Kansas (Mr. 
Huelskamp) leading on this very important topic here tonight, 
especially given that this is, indeed, International Marriage Week 
culminating on February 14, Valentine's Day. I am also

[[Page H1762]]

very pleased that my valentine is actually in town with me here for a 
few days, and it really, really picks you up because coming from 
California to the east coast does have its challenges in doing this job 
and doing it well.
  That is really what the institution of marriage is. Your mate is your 
rock and your support when you are in a role like this, or whatever it 
is. It doesn't have to be this. It can be any job, or what she is doing 
at home, when your spouse is at home taking care of family, kids, and 
all that, you being a rock for them, too.
  It is that partnership which is what marriage is. It was perfectly 
designed by God. It is the part where mankind gets involved where 
things can get a little messy. And so through prayer, through sticking 
to it, the institution of marriage is one that is a rock. It is kind of 
like--what is it?--a Nebraska defense years ago; you bend but you don't 
break.
  That is what that bond of marriage is supposed to be. It is supposed 
to keep together. Yes, you have some tough days and you have some tough 
times, whether they are financial or there are things in your life, a 
stressful job or somebody makes mistakes in their marriage. That bond 
is what keeps you together. It is sad that in this day and age the 
sacred institution of marriage has been cheapened so much by you see 
what is going on in Hollywood, what you see with easy, no-fault 
divorce, that it makes it where people believe that maybe there is just 
an easy way out of this.
  That is certainly not to say that people shouldn't have an out for a 
bad, bad marriage, an abusive marriage, but it also needs to be not 
taken lightly before you enter into it. So a successful blueprint, you 
will hear time and time again--there are statistics on it--is that if 
you, in your life, finish school, finish school, whether it is high 
school, trade school, college, grad school, whatever it is, grow up. Be 
a little bit mature before you enter this institution, then seek the 
bonds of marriage, then have kids. If you do it in that order, the 
percentages, the odds of being successful for you, your spouse, your 
life, and your kids--you create kids. You bring kids into the world. 
You have a responsibility, a big one, to help set them on a positive 
course.
  I have heard stats before that kids coming from a marriage, a family 
with a father and a mother in the same home, have like a 70 percent 
better chance of being successful, of getting through their life, with 
getting through school, moving on, being supported to where it goes.
  So the institution has so much good going for it. Indeed, it is one 
created by God and recognized by the Founders and is a cornerstone of 
this Nation's forming. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it says right above you on 
the podium there, ``In God we trust.'' This is important trust we have 
in upholding marriage.
  My colleague mentioned that being from California we do some strange 
things out there sometimes. But, you know, amazingly, in California, 
two different propositions in the State of California passed, prop. 22 
and then proposition 8, by the people of California, affirming that 
marriage is, indeed, one man and one woman. If you open the floodgates 
to other ideas, other concepts, you don't know where it ends. Multiple 
marriages? Same-sex marriage? There are so many things that are not 
what the institution is supposed to be about, indeed, an institution 
created by God, and it is supposed to be held up and respected by men 
and women.
  Indeed, it is an important responsibility. It is a decision you make 
not lightly because it is a lifetime decision--at least, it is supposed 
to be. For me and my wife, we just celebrated 25 years this year. We 
are proud of that statistic, but even more so grateful for the 
institution and what it means for our kids and the stability this 
institution brings for them and for a nation, one nation under God.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. I thank you, Congressman.
  The gentleman from California raises some incredibly important 
points; number one, the personal aspect of marriage; also, the social 
aspect of marriage, particularly for our children.
  I appreciate the efforts of voters in California. I apologize that a 
few Justices decided to attempt to overrule folks in California on this 
issue.
  Next, I would like to turn towards a gentleman from Texas who has 
rapidly become a leader on this issue as well, and that is Congressman 
Randy Weber.
  Randy, could you share with us some of your thoughts about marriage 
and its impact as we celebrate National Marriage Week?
  Mr. WEBER of Texas. Absolutely.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, Tim Huelskamp, for the 
opportunity to speak out today in support of marriage and also what I 
am going to call unmarriage, and we will talk a bit more on that later.
  Do you know, Mr. Speaker, children are the only thing God can use to 
make adults, so we had better give Him a ready supply.
  I would submit to those of us who are following this and listening 
that marriage has been the strong foundation of our culture and our 
society. Our government recognizes marriage because of the benefits it 
extends to our society. A healthy marriage creates stability, and it 
creates security, Mr. Speaker. A healthy marriage ensures a committed 
relationship with a mom and a dad to raise, to teach, and to instill 
values in those children.

  A change in attitude towards marriage over the past several decades 
has been slowly corrupting our marriage culture. But it is important 
that we continue to recognize the important institution that is 
marriage and allow the conversation on its public policy interest to 
continue in the States.
  This past week, sadly, Eric Holder, the Attorney General, has once 
again thwarted the Constitution, thwarted the separation of powers, and 
thwarted the popular will of the people when he announced that the 
Department of Justice--and I use the word loosely--would extend 
recognition of same-sex marriages nationwide, including my beloved 
Texas that has adopted a constitutional amendment to define marriage as 
a union between one man and one woman for our specific public-policy 
interests. We adopted that in Texas by over 76 percent of the vote in 
2005.
  Last summer, as we know, Congressman, you have already referred to 
it, the Supreme Court made yet another mistake. The Federal definition 
of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was ruled 
unconstitutional in the United States v. Windsor case. As a result of 
the vagueness contained in that decision, Federal agencies began 
developing interagency guidance that surpasses the limits set by our 
very own Constitution, set by the Supreme Court, and set by Congress. 
While some of those agencies are referring to State law, Mr. Speaker, 
in determining a couple's marital status based on where the couple 
resides, called the State of domicile, other Federal agencies are using 
the State of celebration or where a couple is married when they enforce 
Federal laws.
  This latter practice is unconstitutional. Agencies do not have the 
authority to create law and, therefore, agencies, which are following 
``the State of celebration'' in determining the recognition of 
marriage, they undercut State laws and inherently influence the debate 
within the borders of those States.
  That is why I have introduced the State Marriage Defense Act. This 
act solves that problem. It provides that a marriage will not be 
recognized by the Federal Government if it is not recognized by the 
State in which the person lives, aka, the State of domicile. Every 
American's marital status in the eyes of the Federal Government would 
be the same as in the eyes of the State where he or she lives. That 
would simplify the law and do away with the confusion on the part the 
Federal agencies at least in that one regard.
  So again, I have introduced the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014, 
which simply provides that a relationship will not be recognized as a 
marriage by the Federal Government if it is not recognized by the State 
in which that certain person lives. That is it in a nutshell.
  My bill, the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014, is a states' rights 
bill. We in Texas don't want other States telling us--or the Federal 
Government for that matter--telling us how we should live, and we don't 
intend to tell them how they should live.
  And now about what I call ``unmarriage.'' Federal Government: leave 
marriage alone and leave it to the individuals who live in, contribute

[[Page H1763]]

to, and build families at the local level. Federal Government: divorce 
yourselves from this notion of dictating to the States. That needs to 
be an unmarriage.
  I have been married to the prettiest gal this side of the Atlantic, 
Tim, for 37 years, and she is my girlfriend of 39 years. I understand 
that marriage is a commitment. It is a tremendous institution, and it 
undergirds our very society. I am glad to participate in National 
Marriage Week and to stand up and fight for states' rights.
  I am Randy Weber, and there you have it.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. Thank you, Congressman Weber.
  I have one follow-up question to try to determine in your mind 
exactly where do you think our Attorney General and the administration 
believes they have the authority to determine exactly what a marriage 
is? Can you explain that to me, Congressman?
  Mr. WEBER of Texas. You know, I wish I could, Tim. Sadly, I think 
they have gone around the Constitution, gone around the Supreme Court, 
and gone around the Congress. I would say we have a constitutional 
crisis on our hands because here is an administration that is out of 
control, an Attorney General that is out of control, and, sadly for the 
executive branch, for someone who taught constitutional law, that is a 
scary notion to me because I can just assure you that I have read the 
Constitution many times over, and I don't have a clue where they get 
the authority, other than people have been silent and not stood up 
against that kind of what I would call ``want to be kingship.''
  So I hope that enough people stand up and say enough is enough, get 
back to the basics and back to the Constitution. Again, as I said, 
unmarry this notion that the Federal Government has got to be in on our 
everyday lives.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. Thank you for your leadership. I appreciate your 
efforts on the State Marriage Defense Act. I am a cosponsor of that, 
and I encourage my colleagues to take a close look at that. It is not 
just the issue of marriage; it is the issue of who makes the decisions. 
As the author of the Kansas Marriage Amendment in 2005, I believe 
Kansans should decide that and Texans should decide that, not five 
unelected Justices here in our Nation's capital.
  So, thank you, Randy, for your efforts.
  Next, I would like to yield to a Congressman from New Jersey. 
Congressman Scott Garrett has been a critical leader on many issues of 
the home, the heart, marriage, family, and fiscal responsibility. It 
has been my honor to serve with Congressman Garrett.
  I yield the gentleman from New Jersey as much time as he might 
consume, Mr. Speaker.

                              {time}  1815

  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me, 
and for leading this Special Order this evening in recognition of what 
week we are in, Celebrating Marriage Week, and recognizing the very 
importance that marriage has to our society.
  Our society it can be said is built on four pillars: marriage, 
family, church, and the government, and today, we are faced with the 
reality that one of these pillars is crowding out and attempting to 
change the makeup of the other three. We have seen that some of our 
government's policies have discouraged traditional family marriage and 
traditional family structure as well, but I believe our government has 
an obligation to support policies that support marriage and support the 
American dream.
  One of the most positive influences on a society is a strong family 
structure. Marriage itself is essential. It is essential to society, 
and it is essential to our American country and the American Dream. 
What I say is not ideology; what I say is data-driven. It is verified 
by the facts that marriage alone stands as a strong social fabric, a 
stronger economy, and a better future for our children. See, 
individuals who are part of a marriage household, a married household, 
are more likely to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds. They are less 
likely to live in poverty. Married individuals are more likely to earn 
more money, to save more money, and are less likely to be in debt. See, 
marriage is not only important for the economic health of our Nation, 
but it is also important for future generations as well. Children are 
more likely to succeed not only if they come from a married household, 
but the chances of prosperity, and this is interesting, are greater 
even further if they are raised in a community, a neighborhood, if you 
will, that shares the value of marriage. Children who come from a 
married household, to give one statistic, are 82 percent less likely to 
live in poverty and are more likely to gain a college education and 
succeed in society.
  What is most essential to note is it is not only imperative for a 
child to be raised in a two-parent household, but it is also important 
for children to be raised, as I said a moment ago, in a community that 
values marriage and values family. Children who are raised in that sort 
of community will have higher rates of upward social mobility. I would 
note, to truly address some of the issues that Congress here tries to 
address, such as child poverty, we must address the root causes of 
those problems, and we must then acknowledge a solution to those 
problems as well.
  So if you want to encourage economic growth, reduce poverty and 
ensure a prosperous Nation for future children, our government must 
encourage a strong family structure.
  I said once before that this is not ideology-driven, this is data-
driven. Why do I say that? Well, if you want to try to answer the 
question of what are the factors that are preventing, for example, poor 
children from getting ahead, for mobility, we have data to support it. 
There is an important new Harvard study that looks at the best data on 
mobility in America that just came out recently. The name of that study 
is ``Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of 
Intergenerational Mobility in the United States.'' It is a long title, 
but basically a study that came out of Harvard by economist Raj Chetty, 
and some of these colleagues over in Berkeley as well.
  What they did was to dive down into the numbers, if you will, to see 
what are the characteristics most likely to predict mobility for lower-
income children. This Harvard study asked which factors are the 
strongest predictors of upward mobility in various situations. In other 
words, which are the factors you can look to to see what is it that 
will bring children in poverty situations to a higher level. They went 
through all of the various factors you might imagine, but of all of the 
factors most predictive of economic mobility in America, one that 
clearly stands out above the rest is family structure, meaning what we 
are talking about here today, marriage.
  I will quote from the study, if I may:

       The strongest and most robust predictor is the fraction of 
     children with single parent.

  In other words, the strongest indicator of where they are going to 
have a problem with social mobility, in other words the indicator that 
says what is most likely to suppress or to keep children from being 
able to rise up and increase their stature in the community, to be able 
to go to college, get a job and support themselves and be productive in 
society, in short, live the American Dream, is whether or not they come 
from single-family households or whether they come from a married 
situation:

       Children of married parents also have higher rates of upper 
     mobility if they live in communities with fewer single 
     parents.

  Why do I say that? Well, again, what this recognizes is it is not 
just an isolationist situation, it is not just if you alone are 
married; it depends on whether or not you live in a neighborhood or you 
live in a community where everyone else around you is married, too. If 
you do, then you are a fortunate child because you live in a situation 
where you are more likely to be able to say: My future is good; my 
future is one where I am going to be able to prosper. My future is one 
where I will probably be able to move out of my current economic 
situation and do better.
  So those two factors: it is whether you come from single parents or 
married parents, and also whether you live in a community where people 
around you are all single or people around you are all married.
  So I think it is interesting. It is also interesting that this study 
comes not from some university that you might think of as being more 
conservative, but coming from Berkeley and Harvard, I guess we consider 
the source.

[[Page H1764]]

  In closing, a lot of research, including some new research from 
Brookings Institution, shows what has already been shown, the first 
point, and that is to say if you are married, you have a better chance 
of rising up the economic ladder. This study now adds the additional 
feature of the community aspect.
  My third point, what we are saying here tonight, is not ideology-
driven at all. What I am referring to is a data-driven decision that we 
can make as Members of Congress. As a recent author pointed out, we 
just had the President of the United States standing before us saying 
that we must be a data-driven Congress and a data-driven government, 
and I agree with him. The data is now out there. The data shows to 
increase opportunity in America, to increase upward mobility in 
America, to sustain the American Dream, people of all races and people 
of all income levels have a far better chance if they come from a 
married family and a married community as well. So to understand this 
and have government have an effect on civil society, we must understand 
these parameters, and I applaud the gentleman for bringing this very 
important issue to the floor tonight.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. I thank the gentleman. You do indicate one study, but 
clearly what we do have are decades and decades of research, and 
obviously personal experience as well, on how important marriage is to 
reducing poverty, reducing crime. The number one single factor is the 
situation of marriage, and the gentleman from New Jersey has brought 
some additional issues as far as community.

  We sit in this body and hear from the President and others: What can 
we do for the children? I wonder, it was about a year ago, and we have 
the President of France in our Nation as we speak, and there were more 
than 1 million French marching recently to say marriage is important. 
Were they saying marriage was important for them? Partly, but they were 
saying it is most important for the children. If you want to help the 
children, I beseech you, the research is clear. The Congressman has 
identified a study, and study after study exists, if you want to help 
reduce poverty, if you want to help self-esteem, let's help encourage 
marriage.
  I appreciate your leadership on this.
  Next, I yield to a freshman, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Yoho). 
Again, this is National Marriage Week. It is close to Valentine's Day, 
and I hope you have gotten your Valentine gift for your sweetheart.
  Mr. YOHO. I thank my colleague, Mr. Huelskamp from the great State of 
Kansas, for holding this Special Order on the sanctity, the institution 
of marriage. Marriage, as we have heard, is the bedrock, the foundation 
of a society, and a strong society is necessary for a strong community. 
Strong communities are needed for strong States, and thus, they form a 
strong Nation. We have heard over and over again the different aspects 
people have brought out.
  Sociologists talk about how the family unit, a husband and wife, are 
the basic building blocks for a strong family, which is essential for 
strong communities. It has been proven over and over again, the family 
unit, people will have higher grades, higher economics when they come 
out of school. We toured several Head Start programs in our district, 
and I have asked the teachers over and over again: What percentage of 
the people are at the poverty level? It is 90-95 percent. My next 
question is: What percentage of the students here are from single-
parent households? It is 85-95 percent all the time. That just shows 
you the importance of marriage.
  Marriage is an institution passed down through thousands of years of 
human history. The three great religions, and others, recognize the 
importance of a marriage, and it has gone through the test of time and 
it has been understood to be the union of a man and a woman. It is 
sanctified by God, and it is interesting to note that children only 
come from the union of one-half of a DNA strand from a female and one-
half of a DNA strand from a father. That is nature's law; that's God's 
law.
  February is the month of lovers with Valentine's Day this coming 
Friday, February 14. February 14 is also the anniversary of my wife and 
I. I met her in the fourth grade, my fourth-grade sweetheart, Carolyn. 
This February 14 marks the 39th anniversary of Carolyn and I, and I am 
so proud of that fact. Somebody asked me today, What are you most proud 
of? I said, My marriage to my wife. We believe in a traditional 
marriage. We tend to stay that way. I just want to say: Thank you, 
dear. I love you, and happy anniversary.
  Mr. HUELSKAMP. I thank the Congressman. I appreciate your compelling 
personal story. It is a story shared by millions of other Americans. It 
is something of the heart. We mentioned as well, it is not just of the 
heart and the home; it is for our community and the entire country.
  The President and I can disagree on a number of things, but in 2008 
there were some words that I think are clearly on the mark in terms of 
some items we have been discussing today. In his 2008 Father's Day 
address, the President said:

       We know the statistics: that children who grow up without a 
     father are five times more likely to live in poverty and 
     commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, 
     and 20 times more likely to have behavioral problems or run 
     away from home or become teenage parents themselves.

  Without the institution of marriage, without particularly the 
institution of fatherhood, and we are facing a crisis epidemic of 
fatherlessness in this country, the President and I agree. It has an 
impact. It has an impact on every child. The lack of marriage and the 
lack of stability and the declining awareness of marriage hurts our 
children and hurts our society.
  It reminds me of a story that I believe was in Dr. James Dobson's 
book on raising up boys, and I do have two boys myself. He noted some 
years ago executives of a greeting card company decided to do something 
special for Mother's Day. So in a Federal prison, they set up a table 
inviting any inmate who desired to send a free card to his mom. The 
lines were long, and they had to make another trip to the factory to 
get more cards. Due to the success of the event, they said let's do the 
same thing on Father's Day, but this time, this time, no one came. Not 
one prisoner felt the need to send a card to his dad. Many had no idea 
who their fathers even were or how important it was.
  So those who are listening, whether you are fathers or mothers or 
looking at that, recognize that even though this society, even though 
Hollywood will tell us it is all about you, it is not. It is all about 
someone else. It is all about that child. They need a father, they need 
a mother.
  No one can be perfect. I have four kids myself, and I am reminded of 
that every day, oftentimes by my daughters themselves, but we are not 
asking for perfection, we are just asking for that time, that time to 
promote marriage and to spend the time with your spouse.

                              {time}  1830

  If you are not married and you have children, look at getting 
married. That will stabilize and bring many things to your children.
  This is National Marriage Week. This is an opportunity here in our 
Nation not only to talk about marriage, but talk about its impacts, 
talk about how its loss has hurt our society. I firmly believe that we 
could spend endless amounts of money up here, and occasionally we do 
that, but you cannot replace the family, you cannot replace daddy, you 
cannot replace mommy. We can do our best. We can help our neighbors.
  But as we debate the definition of marriage where we have a Court 
that on the one hand in June says we are going to let the States decide 
kind of unless you are in California, and then on the other hand there 
is a Federal definition or a State definition, at the end of the day it 
is all about how important marriage is. Marriage predates government. 
We might like to redefine it.
  In 1856, the Republican Party had a number of things in their 
platform. One is very important. They demanded a free Kansas. Being a 
Kansan, we appreciated that and entered as a free State a few years 
later.
  They also wanted to face numerous other things, including the twin 
evils of slavery and barbarism. They were talking about the issues of 
irregular marriage and the issues of traditional

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marriage and how important it was and still is to society.
  I appreciate many of my colleagues that joined us here tonight. But 
most importantly, I want to just speak again to moms and dads and 
spouses. Marriage can be tough, it really is, but God is calling you to 
do everything you can. It is just not you and your spouse. There is a 
third person in your marriage. God would like to bless and protect that 
marriage and give you many fruitful days ahead.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the time on the special hour 
during National Marriage Week. I appreciate folks that are listening--
my colleagues. Feel free to tweet out the message to encourage that. We 
can do many great things up here we think in Washington, D.C., but 
oftentimes it is that one little thing we can do for our neighbors and 
for our spouses as we celebrate Valentine's Day this week.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to direct their remarks 
to the Chair and not to a perceived viewing audience.

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