Serving his 17th term in Congress, Congressman Wolf is the most senior of the 11 members of the House of Representatives from Virginia. He sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is chairman of the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee, and serves on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Foreign Operations subcommittees. He is co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bi-partisan organization.
Rep. Wolf explained that the Republican Party should state their goals clearly, not just the stance on repealing Obamacare. However, shutting down government would be a big mistake because it would jeopardize keeping the House of Representatives and losing seats in the Senate.
Challenged that the government was shut down in 1995, Rep. Wolf noted that in 1995 certain things such as defense had already been funded before the shutdown took effect but this time, nothing has been funded, and a shutdown would bring the blame squarely on the Republican shoulders. He suggested that a better route would be to draw up a Republican bill and pass it “the way we want it.” There are good signs, “some Democrats are beginning to vote with us, we must change the Senate.”
The debt and deficit are very serious problems that must be addressed. “Our country is in deep, deep trouble. America has entered the state of decline in manufacturing and a lot of other issues.” As chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Wolf funds the Justice Department, the FBI, Commerce, the Weather Service, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. His committee made $17 billion in cuts.
Along with other subcommittee cuts, discretionary money has been slashed. However, he believes that entitlements must be reformed, namely raising the Social Security retirement age per Simpson-Bowles Plan (cut spending, raise taxes). A person 18 years old would have to work two additional years before retirement, 40 years olds would work six extra months, 50 year olds would work one additional month and 51 years old and older would not be affected. Rep. Wolf warned that if entitlements are not reformed, discretionary spending will be squeezed further.
Describing his experience with Watergate during the Nixon administration, Rep. Wolf recapped the Benghazi failures of leadership, response, and responsibility that resulted in the death of four Americans and the many hidden casualties.
Recalling the fabricated video scenario, the presidential apology tours at the U.N., Ambassador Susan Rice’s 5 cable TV appearances blaming a video nobody had seen, Hillary Clinton’s assurances to victims’ parents that the videographer will be brought to justice, the absence of leadership, the stand down orders, who gave them, Rep. Wolf emphasized the need for a special committee on Benghazi. “We met the threshold to have a committee on Benghazi, we have 166 members.” Speaker Boehner had been asked to push for the appointment of a special prosecutor and for public hearings. “We have to be united; it is the only way to find out the truth.”
He continued that there are many unanswered questions in the chain of events. It is strange that with the hunt of Bin Laden we had minute by minute accounts, he said, while with Benghazi, we have a cover up of events.
- Weapons were probably moved, bought for the Libyans, moved into Turkey, going to Syria
- He was told that when Navy seals got a call from the Consulate, had they gone in first, they would have saved Ambassador Stevens; they were told to stand down twice, the third time they disobeyed the order
- The airplanes that picked up the wounded were Libyan planes commandeered by our people; “Gen. Hamm testified in a closed door session on the hill that he did not send the plane in because he knew at that time that Ambassador Stevens was probably a hostage or maybe dead.”
- “What about the annex? The annex was only one and a half mile away; they could have sent an F-16 over there to the annex. It could have scared the light out of the remaining men there. Who gave the order not to go?”
- Two of the survivors from the annex have signed a $2 million book deal. “Maybe we’ll find out in 2014 when the book comes out.”
- People were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements
- Tunisia did not give us access to people who participated in and/or were witnesses of the attack in spite of the fact that we give Tunisia millions of dollars in aid
- Nobody from the FBI would cooperate and risk their careers to testify
- Egypt had another person in custody who had first-hand knowledge of the attack but the Morsi government did not cooperate
A gentleman pointed out the obvious, “If you have 166 people, why do you still have Boehner as speaker of the House? These same 166 people who want to investigate Benghazi should also sign a petition to oust Boehner.”
When asked if fear kept him from action, Rep. Wolf answered, “I am not afraid to push on this, I am 74 years old, I am closer to the end of my life than I am to the beginning, I am not afraid. We’ve urged the speaker; we’ve reached the bar and have made the case for a select committee. The speaker must have heard that two Benghazi survivors were called in and polygraphed.”
Rep. Wolf expressed his outrage that while the country is in trouble and Benghazi has not been investigated, Panetta signed a $3 million book deal, as head of CIA he flew home almost every weekend to Carmel, California on taxpayer dime, Hillary Clinton makes $200,000 a speech, cable TV is doing a series on Hillary, Susan Rice is now National Security Advisor, and Jack Lew, the former Chief of Staff is now Treasury Secretary. “The unfairness of it all is outrageous.”
One gentleman expressed his concern that two-thirds of economic growth is outside of U.S. and we must bring back innovation in order to grow our economy, repatriate corporations and lower their domestic corporate taxes. He questioned the CEOs patriotism.
A retired businessman challenged Rep. Wolf loudly that corporations go to China and overseas because Congress passed laws to make it easy for their exodus. Steve Jobs went to China to get around the regulations in the U.S. He could get a brand new glass for his iPhone in three months instead of three years, the businessman concluded.
Rep. Wolf replied, “They are going there for cheap labor.” It was greed that took corporations to China in spite of the fact that they are cyber-hacked all the time. He continued, “Steve Jobs was not worried that there are 40 Catholic bishops under house arrest in China. There are hundreds of Protestant pastors imprisoned. Buddhists monks have set themselves on fire.”
The businessman was not happy with Rep. Wolf’s explanation and responded that it is not greed, “it is called profit, it is called capitalism, that’s America. It is not a businessman’s mission to take care of politics in China.”
Rep. Wolf concluded his remarks by saying that when “China folds, we are going to find that many companies are selling equipment to China to control and spy on their people. There has to be morality. We killed an American with a drone. The President wants to close down Guantanamo although 30% of the freed detainees go back to fight.”
The enthusiastic crowd thanked Rep. Wolf for this unwavering support of persecuted Christians across the globe. He reminded the audience that “You may very well see a priest or a rabbi in this country sentenced for their faith on hate speech. We may see same persecution of those of faith as in other countries.”
A sheet was handed to him with attendee’s signatures, urging him to defund Obamacare.