INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1997 (House of Representatives - May 22, 1996)

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The Committee resumed its sitting.

Ms. FURSE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the amendment of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank]. I think that the U.S. public wants us to cut where we can and spend wisely. It is their money. It is taxpayer money, and they want us to spend it wisely.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to talk about four security budgets that are being cut at the same time we are increasing the CIA budget. These four security budgets, I would suggest, are the budgets for law enforcement, local law enforcement; budgets for protection for children; for protection of seniors; and I would like to speak a little bit about the Coast Guard, because in my district, the security threat is on our streets. It is on the sea, where our fishermen go through dangerous waters. It is for our children, who are in dangerous homes or in schools that are dangerous. Then I also think our threat is for our seniors' health care.

Mr. Chairman, our law enforcement officers in the district I represent would be ecstatic, in fact they would be unbelieving, if somebody said we are going to increase your budget by about 4 percent. Their budgets are being cut. Yet, we have a problem of security on our streets.

In the State of Oregon, we are extremely concerned, because last year 38 children died in Oregon because of neglect or abuse. One of the reasons, it is my belief, that those children died, is that there was not a place for them to go from dangerous homes. There were not enough social workers to follow their care. Why not? Because we keep cutting those kinds of budgets. We should be protecting our children. Our children are the most important thing for us to protect.

Mr. Chairman, then our seniors. I want to talk a little bit about their health care. It is vital that the health care of seniors be protected, yet we see cuts being proposed, large cuts in Medicare, because we do not have enough money.

I represent a district that has a coastal area. It has the most dangerous place where the river comes out into the ocean. That bar is perhaps the most dangerous in the world. We have a wonderful Coast Guard station. Every day the Coast Guard protects our security, the security of fishing women and men who cross that bar. They also do tremendous work in drug interdiction. But guess what? Their budget has been cut. That budget is a real security budget. It is a budget that real men and women need.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard that the CIA budget has actually decreased, but in fact if we look at the figures since 1980, true, there has been a decrease since 1989, but if we look from 1980 to 1996, we see an overall increase of 80 percent. Imagine, just imagine, an 80-percent increase in education, health care, law enforcement.

I think it is our absolute duty here to spend the public's money wisely. The most wise and commonsense way to spend it is to look at every budget and figure out, are we giving them enough? Could we cut something? But to increase this budget 3.9 percent this year does not make common sense. The American people want common sense. They want us to spend their money wisely. Let us hold it at last year's rate, and let us have a commonsense approach to security.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I will just point out to my colleagues that I am as sympathetic as they are to the fact that we have reduced some of the most important domestic programs in this country. In fact, I supported both the Blue Dog budget and the Clinton budget, which I think in overall budgetary terms were more balanced than the alternative which was adopted by the House.

But I have to remind my good friends and colleagues who have suggested that we can just take this money from defense and intelligence and move it over to the domestic side; that, unfortunately, is not the way the budget works here. If we make the reductions in intelligence , the money is going to go over and be spent on defense, because it is all within the same budgetary item.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard a lot today about the NRO. This committee has dealt effectively and supported John Deutch in his efforts to get control over the NRO. We have significantly reduced the carryforward funds and used it for other crucial defense priorities.

Having said that, we are in the midst of a very important modernization of our signals and imagery collection systems. What we are trying to do is to modernize so we will have fewer but more capable systems and that they will ultimately save money, because we are able to shut down equipment and facilities that will save us money over the longer term and still give us a very capable system.

Again, I want to remind my colleagues, everybody gets up here today and talks about the CIA. The CIA is just a small fraction of the overall intelligence budget. I voted with my colleagues to make that number known, the aggregate number known. The vast preponderance of funds that we have in the intelligence budget are used to assist the men and women who are serving us today very effectively in the military all over the world. It is the ability to give them rapid intelligence so they can go in and find a relocatable Scud launcher and destroy it that will save American lives in the future.

In the gulf war we were vulnerable to that situation because we could not find those relocatable Scud launchers. Now we have improved intelligence capabilities that will allow us to do that and to target them rapidly and to protect and save American lives.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues today to oppose the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank].

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. DICKS. I am glad to yield to my colleague, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank], for whom I have enormous respect.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I would just point out to the gentleman, when he says if we make this cut it goes not to domestic but to defense programs, that is so because the House voted it that way. There is nothing in the law or Constitution that would require that. We would have the option.

The chairman of the Committee on Appropriations on the House side has just gone through the difficult process of doing the allocations of funds among subcommittees. If we were to reduce that by $1.5 billion plus, he could then take that out of the national security allocation and give it to others. Indeed, interestingly, $1.5 billion is a figure that, as I understand it, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has said he needs to distribute to other domestic programs to prevent real carnage, so this one amendment would ease that.

It is true if we reduce this authorization and made no other change, they would gobble it up; but we have, by the same vote that we reduce this authorization, the ability to reduce overall appropriations and allow the reallocation. It is entirely within our decision.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank].

The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

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Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 192, noes 235, not voting 6, as follows:

Roll No. 187

[Roll No. 187]




[TIME: 1545]

The Clerk announced the following pair:

On this vote:

Mr. Torricelli for, with Mr. Scarborough against.

Messrs. PALLONE, WYNN, GUTKNECHT, and LoBIONDO changed their vote from `aye' to `no.'

Messrs, FRELINGHUYSEN, TANNER, HOKE, and MARTINI changed their vote from `no' to `aye.'

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.


Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mrs Schroeder: At the end of title I, insert the following new section:


Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act and the amounts specified in the classified Schedule of Authorizations referred to in section 102, the total amount authorized to be appropriated by this Act for the National Reconnaissance Office is the aggregate amount appropriated or otherwise made available for the National Reconnaissance Office for fiscal year 1996.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, this is one more attempt to try and cut back just a little bit. The gentleman from Massachusetts' amendment was just defeated. My amendment builds on his, and instead of cutting all across the board or holding at the fiscal year 1996 level, it only cuts and holds to the fiscal year 1996 level the funds that go to the National Reconnaissance Agency. So it is just very narrowly targeted to the NRO.

Let me tell you why. I want to read to all of you, and I think this is very important. This is May 16, 1996. This is just recently, right?

They are talking about how Mr. John Nelson, who was appointed last year as the Reconnaissance Office's top financial manager, said to the press that there had been in Defense Week an agency that had gone a total fundamental financial meltdown. He admitted that when he got into his office and started looking at the accounts, he discovered that this agency had put away $4 billion, and that it had not reported that accurately to the Congress, to the Secretary of Defense, to the head of the Intelligence Agency, or anyone else.

Mr. Chairman, my amendment says that if this agency, if we discovered this last week about this agency, if they had been totally in our face, in the Secretary of Defense's face, in the head of the CIA's face, and everyone else, if Mr. Nelson, who is there now trying to get the books in order, if all of that happened, which apparently it did, certainly we should not give them an increase for next year. We are just going to hold them level to what they got this year.

Does that not make sense? No one is taking these extra funds away. No one has done any of that. We are only saying, `OK, let's hold them to that level that they have this year.'

This is not a cut, this is a freeze. Freeze them. And only freeze that agency, that agency that we just heard had played all sorts of games with us and had really not leveled.

Mr. Chairman, I could stand here and read all sorts of editorials from newspapers across the country decrying the mismanagement. I certainly salute John Nelson. He has been very candid. He has come forward. He told us what he found, and that is wonderful. There have been editorials in all sorts of newspapers across the country pointing out that if any civilian agency in this government had come forward and found out that there was such a fraud and they had played such a game, this body would go out into orbit.

I cannot believe 1 week after all of this, 1 week after the rash of different editorials and news on this, that we are going to give them an increase for next year, when we know they did not even level with us about the surplus they put away years before.

People will stand up and they will fight my amendment by saying `Well, they didn't spend the money and they used it on other things,' and so forth and so on.

Every bit of money that you put away, that is interest that we are borrowing this money for. That is not how the game is supposed to be run around here. It is really saying to Congress, you cannot touch us.

That kind of attitude is what makes everybody terribly angry. I certainly hope people will vote for this amendment.

Let me frame it one more time: All this amendment does is say to the one agency that has really admitted, its new fiscal officer has admitted, they had a financial meltdown, it says they are not going to get an increase in the next fiscal year.

Now, in my prior speech I talked about sacred cow disease, and I said that sacred cow disease seems to be almost as prevalent as mad cow disease is in Great Britain. When we come to defense and intelligence , it makes no difference what we do, we cannot help ourselves. We increase it. Some of the biggest budget hawks in the world that are out there trying to fight that deficit, they just cannot stand it. They cannot spend enough in this area.

But if we do not reward a deal with this kind of mismanagement, I think we really look like we are not serious about this at all.

Mr. Chairman, I urge people to vote for this little, tiny, tiny amendment, and send a message that we will not tolerate that kind of mismanagement in the future.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment is both fiscally and constitutionally required. Fiscally, because it would give us at least some reduction in the 5-percent increase that is otherwise being voted; but it is also important as a matter of constitutional government.

The following facts are not in dispute: About a year ago, some newspaper reports came out that the National Reconnaissance Organization, the entity that is the subject of this amendment, had squirreled away $1 billion. There was $1 billion we did not know they had.

People said well, they had a bad accounting system. I reject the notion that the people who know all, see all, are everywhere, from whom the world has no secrets, did not know how much money they had. Of course they did.

What they counted on was the laxity of this body's supervision. They counted on being able to put that money away so they could in effect supplement their own appropriation. These people have invented the new parliamentary device, the autonomous supplemental appropriation. They can supplement their own, by hiding the money as it goes along.

What this means, of course, is it turns out that some of the money we voted for them was not necessary. They were able to accomplish certain objectives or for other reasons they were not able to spend some money. They did not turn it back. They did not come and say reprogram it. They just kept it.

At first we were told there was $1 billion. Then we heard there was $2 billion. Then the committee intervened. Riding to the rescue of fiscal integrity came the Intelligence Oversight Committee, and they adopted some rules to prevent this from happening. And it worked, because thanks to them, we no longer had a $2 billion surplus hidden away. We had a $4 billion surplus. Thanks to the effective oversight, the committee said `We took some steps a year ago.' They took some steps, and as a consequence of the steps, or perhaps irrelevant to the steps, the $2 billion became $4 billion.

Now, as I suggested earlier, maybe what we should do is simply withhold here, because we seem to have a great, surefire deficit reducing device. First they found $1 billion. Then the $1 billion became $2 billion. Then the $2 billion became $4 billion. I do not have my calculator, but it seems to me in a very few years, if we let these people go at the rate they are going, they would make a very substantial reduction in the deficit. They are able to produce the greatest surplus in a shorter period of time than anybody I have ever seen. But they should not be able to do it without this body voting on how to spend that money.

We were told they have been disciplined. Somebody was fired. But as an entity, this is undeniable, they have benefited from that. They have gotten more money to spend.

People said well, we are trying, Mr. Deutch is trying. I believe Mr. Deutch is trying. I believe the committee was trying. But Mr. Deutch has a broad set of responsibilities. The members of this committee have very broad sets of responsibilities.

No, if you have got people who are specialists, particularly when they are working in a technically sophisticated area where secrecy is involved, no one will be able to out-account them, no one will be able to stop this kind of game playing, except if we say to them, we penalize you.

There is one way to put an end to this, and that is to pass the gentlewoman's very thoughtful amendment so we say to these people there is a penalty for this kind of game playing and avoidance of the rules, and it is you will not get the full benefit from this.

There is no danger they will be hurting financially. An entity that was able to squirrel away $4 billion while doing everything they were supposed to do is hardly going to be hurt when they get their share of a 5-percent increase and still have kept some of what they had.

None of it has gone back to the deficit. Let us at least in this amendment give the American taxpayers some benefit from the $4 billion in savings. I hope the gentlewoman from Colorado's amendment is adopted.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, in the discussions here, we have been talking about this $4 billion. What we have done in the Congress is we have taken the $4 billion away and we are using it for other things. It has been used for Bosnia, it has been used for other defense priorities.

So if the money were still there, then maybe I could see some wisdom in this amendment. The reality is, we are 5 percent below, for the NRO budget this year, 5 percent below the Clinton budget request. We have made some reductions in this particular area.

I would also say to my colleagues that we are trying in the NRO, we have got a new financial officer who, John Deutch, a Democrat, Mr. Clinton's DCI put in. He took out the leadership of the NRO. He took out the Director and the Deputy Director. He put in Keith Hall, who is doing a fine job.

So the amendment tries to punish someone who has already been punished. They have had their carryforward account taken away, their leadership has been replaced, a new financial manager has been put in place.

John Deutch deserves support here. He would tell you if he were here on the floor of the House today that we are in the midst of a modernization effort to build new satellites that will allow us to reduce the overall infrastructure of this program and reduce spending in the future. But if he does not get the NRO money this year to make those investments, then we are going to wind up spending more on intelligence than we need and we are going to have less capable systems.

So the DCI has taken the steps necessary to reform this. What we are doing today is repudiating John Deutch by saying even though you did that, Mr. Director, it was not enough. Now we are going to slap your hand again and take away a very significant amount of money.

[TIME: 1600]

I cannot say the numbers, but we are talking about a significant amount of money. This is as big an amendment as we are talking about today.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. First of all, if the gentleman is saying we are going to have a very significant amount of money taken away if my amendment passes and we freeze it at this year's level, what we are really admitting is we are really giving that agency a huge increase but we cannot say that money.

But second, my question is, Is the gentleman telling us the entire $4 billion that we just found and talked about in the press a week ago, has that all been expended already?

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Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I would say to the gentlewoman that that money has been taken back, in the administration's budget request and we have used it for other purposes in the Defense bill, which made it possible not to have to appropriate new money.

So the problem has been addressed. And, again, the DCI has replaced the leadership of the NRO, he has put in a financial manager and we now have this thing under control. If there is additional money, and if it is not all taken, we have set a certain number of months that they can have carryover funds for use in each of these programs. If they go above that, we will take that money away as well. So it is an ongoing process.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield further, though, first of all, it is pretty astounding to me that they could have gotten rid of this this fast when we just learned about it this past week, learned of the magnitude of it.

The way I read this is that they said originally they thought there were $2 billion in the carryover fund and they now find there is $4 billion. But there also was not supposed to be any.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I would say to the gentlewoman that this is not the first time we have known about this. The members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Appropriations have known about this but we could not disclose it. Somehow it got in the press, but decisions had already been made to take a significant part of that money last year and in this year's budget.

What they are saying is that the total amount that they now have calculated was this. We knew that they were up there, and we took a lot of the money away from them earlier because it was not needed. It was not wasted. No waste, fraud or abuse. It was not used for anything other than authorized purposes.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield further, I find it surprising, then, that the newly appointed fiscal officer, John Nelson, would say there is a total financial meltdown, which is exactly what he said to the press when this was all uncovered.

So if the new guy is saying there is a financial meltdown, I think that is an admission that they had this $4 billion and a game was sort of being played, and I find it astounding we would give them that big an increase.

Mr. DICKS. I would say to the gentlewoman that we did exactly what I think my colleague would have wanted us to do once we found out that there was in fact a meltdown. He then told us what the amount of money was that was in excess to their requirements and we took it away from them.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. But the gentleman just said he spent it. The gentleman indicated it was taken away and spoke somewhere else.

Mr. DICKS. It was spent for Bosnia and it was spent for other legitimate ventures so we did not have to appropriate new money.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would yield further, I think what the American people would want us to do is not spend it and invest it to help bring down the debt, and I would hope we would not give them an increase.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, this is one of those interesting situations that one finds themselves, I guess constrained. I and the members of the committee were outraged at about this time last year when it was discovered that there was a carryforward account that we were not aware of; that the Director of Central Intelligence was not aware of.

We demanded that there be something done. As has been mentioned, the two top officials at the NRO were relieved of their duty. A chief financial officer was put into place, and he was tasked with coming up with what was the amount. Originally, it was purported to be a billion, a billion and a half. It was uncertain, because as the gentlewoman from Colorado has pointed out, when the chief financial officer, Mr. Nelson, publicly made his report last week, he talked about how egregious, and I do not remember his exact words, but they were not kind in terms of some of the financial management of the NRO.

We have tried to follow on the committee throughout the past several months, as we have had constant updates on the investigation by the chief financial officer of the NRO carryforward account. There were substantial monies taken out in the appropriations process last year, after it was discovered, from the carryforward account. The Director of Central Intelligence as well took out an additional amount of that money, all inclusive totaling in excess of billions of dollars, to use in other functions that the administration wished to pursue.

We have continually asked and we have continually been updated on the carryforward account. Mr. Nelson, rather than keeping it secret and not discussing it, has a public interview in which he mentioned the $4 billion amount.

Now the accounting process stunk, but I think it is very important to note that this was money that had been authorized and appropriated for programs that were authorized by the Congress, for future program as that are managed and run by the National Reconnaissance Office. They were moneys that had not been expended because some of the programs had been working better than had been anticipated.

These are programs that if the Congress wants to cancel, the Congress should cancel, but it does not take away from the fact that these are programs that at one time the Congress has approved to move forward with.

Now, I also find it a little difficult in defending this because of how outraged I was when I first became aware of the carryfoward account. I also find it somewhat ironic that in the mark, and I would invite Members to come up and look at what we have done in the section for the NRO, we are 5 percent below what the administration requested for the NRO. And some of us have been accused of micromanaging the NRO accounts. My comment to that was if someone had been micromanaging for several years we would not be in the problem we are in.

So on one side some of us are being criticized for micromanaging, trying to straighten out the problem, and on the other side we are being criticized for not doing enough. So I would encourage Members to come up and look, and I wish I could tell Members what we are doing with all of the programs. There has been no program left unscathed. We have brought every program program that that organization runs, put it on to the table, and we have been looking at delaying some of those programs, we are looking at potentially canceling some of those programs, and we are being strongly criticized by the agency, by the administration, and by other Members of Congress.

But the purpose of doing that is to bring into bearing what it is the gentlewoman is complaining about, and very rightly so. But I would urge her to come up and look and talk to some of the Members on the other side that have been complaining so hard about the fact that we are putting them under a microscope. They are going to have to come up with and defend and satisfy the committee that every one of the requests that they have made in the President's request, which is above what we have authorized is, in fact, justifiable.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] has expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Combest was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, the gentlewoman from Colorado had asked me to yield, and I am happy to yield to her.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding. Is the gentleman from Texas saying that the entire $4 billion has been allocated somewhere else already?

Mr. COMBEST. No. First of all, there is not an entire $4 billion. Virtually half of that amount was taken out last year.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. And so has the rest of it been expended this year?

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Mr. COMBEST. Part of that is in the continuing carryforward account. What we required last year in the authorization was that they lower their carryforward account to no more than 1 month. They could not run programs in a carryforward account, they could not keep those moneys for more than 1 month.

But they have to manage that, Mrs. Schroeder. They have to move that. They cannot take that amount of money and all of a sudden just throw it away. We do not want them to do that, and they are managing that now. So what we are requiring that they do is to take that money that was originally authorized and appropriated for certain programs and expend it on those programs and work that carryforward account down. They are in that process now to where they have no more than 1 month's carryforward at any time.

We have only become aware, as the gentlewoman mentioned, of the amount of the money just in the past week to 10 days, because they have continually, over this period of time, tried to do a very accurate accounting in which they were going to tell us how much that was there for. And it was not wasted or thrown away or squandered. It is not being spent on programs that are not authorized. It is that they were trying to work that out.

But last year, recognizing even at the time we were only talking in the neighborhood of a billion to a billion and a half, we agreed that that was not acceptable and that we were going to bring that under scrutiny.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] has again expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Combest was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)

Mr. COMBEST. That was to be brought under scrutiny and they were to begin to manage that account. We then have, in this year's authorization, as I have mentioned, and I would encourage the gentlewoman to look, brought every program that organization runs under scrutiny. Every one.

I wish the gentlewoman would look at what we are recommending on some of those. I cannot go beyond that on the floor of the House.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would continue to yield, the next question I have, then, the gentleman is saying that if my amendment passed, which would hold this agency at this year's funding level, it would be a disaster because how much of an increase are we giving the agency? Can we say that in open session, what the percentage increase is?

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. COMBEST. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, what we can say is it is 5 percent below the Clinton budget request.

Mr. COMBEST. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, the gentleman is correct, this authorization bill is 5 percent below what the administration requested.

Mr. DICKS. And if the gentleman will yield further, that is on the NRO portion.

Mr. COMBEST. Yes; that is correct, on the NRO portion.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. But we cannot say how much of an increase it is over what we are spending this year; is that correct?

Mr. COMBEST. I guess we might, but I am not for sure. I would have to check to see what that is.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Could I ask the chairman further, if my amendment were to pass, and there is still some money left in this carryforward account, could they not use that this year to make up any critical shortfall?

Mr. COMBEST. Those funds in the carryforward account are obligated and were authorized and appropriated for specific purposes of which the new authorizations that we are looking at now would not include.

Those are still going to have to be expended. They would have had to have been expended at some point in time. And that is the point I was making earlier, was that if the Congress wants to go back and cancel some of those programs that have already been approved that this money was there for, that is a totally different subject. But as long as those are still to be moving forward in the new satellite architecture, all those funds in the carryforward account at some point have to be expended on those programs. And the moneys we are looking at now are not going in the carryforward, they are going into additional expenditures for those programs above what the carryforward accounts accounted for.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman, and I hope he understands.

Mr. COMBEST. I do understand.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. To the average person this sounds absolutely nuts, that we are giving an increase to an agency that we just learned had this surplus.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. COMBEST. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. I just want to say that we are actually cutting the NRO by 5 percent.

Mr. COMBEST. Reclaiming my time, I want to say to the gentlewoman that I understand the frustration, I truly do understand it, and it makes it seem so ridiculous for this to have happened, that we can allow a bad accounting program like this to go unpunished. but I do not know how we go back and punish. The only way to do that is to cut out what I think are some very significant programs, and, hopefully, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency's efforts to try to deal with this problem are what are bringing this all to fruition and to a head.

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] has again expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Combest was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Let me point out I think we have disciplined an agency pretty well when we take away at least 50 percent immediately of the carryover funds. As soon as we found them out, we took those away. The Director appointed a special task force. He appointed a new financial officer, fired the Director and the Deputy Director, and said we are going to get this thing cleaned up and straightened out.

Now, the problem is that what we are doing here is coming in with a punitive approach and saying even though we have done all those things we have to do something more. I would argue that if both my colleagues would come up, we could go through this program and show them that what we are talking abut here are NRO satellites that are vitally important to the military.

[TIME: 1615]

It is the men and women that we have deployed all over this world who are going to be denied important intelligence if we do not modernize and improve our imagery and satellites. It is not some bureaucrats whose hands we are slapping. It is not an accountant over at the NRO. What we are doing is denying important intelligence to our military people.

So I would urge my colleagues not to do this. This is not the right way to go. It is too significant an amount of money. Mr. Deutch has done the right things here. We have got to give him an opportunity to clean up this mess, and he is doing it. But what we are doing here is punishing him because we are undermining the architecture that he has set up for the modernization of our satellites and that was also set up by Mr. Woolsey, another Democrat and appointee of this administration. They both would say that this would undermine and hurt the efforts to improve our satellite capability.

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, earlier today I introduced an amendment which would reduce intelligence spending by 10 percent. It received, I believe, 115 votes. Just a few minutes ago the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] introduced an amendment that would freeze intelligence spending. It received 193 votes.

My sincere hope is that we can receive another 20 votes to pass the Schroeder amendment. I will tell my colleagues why. Month after month and day after day, Members from both sides of the aisle come here on the floor of the House, and they talk about the $5 trillion national debt. They talk about the deficit, and they talk about how important it is and how necessary it is to cut program after program after program. My friend from Washington a moment ago talked about his fear that we would be `disciplining this agency.'

Mr. Chairman, by overspending on intelligence , by spending more money than we need for the National Reconnaissance Office, an agency that has misplaced, that has lost $4 billion of taxpayers' money, what we are doing is disciplining hungry children in America. We are disciplining families who would like Federal funding in order to send their kids to college. We are disciplining senior citizens who get by on $7,000 or $8,000 a year Social Security but do not have the help from the Federal Government to purchase prescription drugs.

We are disciplining tens of millions of people who would like some help from the Federal Government. But we are saying, not only can we not afford it, we are going to cut back on what we are currently providing because we think we need to spend this money on the intelligence agencies, despite the end of the cold war.

Mr. Chairman, I know that many Members in this body are terribly sincere, both sides of the aisle, terribly sincere about deficit reduction. I know that they have been reluctant and with pain have made cuts that they know are going to hurt millions of middle-class working class, low-income families. I beseech those same Members who have made those cuts that impact negatively on people who are hurting today to have the courage to stand up and say that, when we have an agency that has misplaced $4 billion, the very least we can do to protect our credibility is to say to that agency that we are going to level fund you.

The gentlewoman from Colorado [Mrs. Schroeder] did not say we are going to cut their funding in half. That is not what she said. She came forward with a very conservative amendment. Level fund an agency that has misplaced $4 billion. We need 20 votes more to finally say to the American people that we are serious about deficit reduction. Please support the Schroeder amendment.

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Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, in the armed services, quite often, for example, if you have a budget and you have so much fuel allocated in that fiscal year, that fiscal year's allocation that you have to burn it during that period of time and quite often we would come to the end of the year because we did not know how much we would use in Vietnam, in Somalia, in Bosnia, and if you did not use the amount you thought, then you would end up with a bunch of it toward the end of the year. so you tried to manage it and prepare for a contingency.

Quite often we would have to fly up that fuel because we would not get as much next year. We knew that we needed the fuel over a long period of time for management for those contingencies also. We were forced to burn it when it really was not used in the best way. Intelligence has managed its dollars over a period of time looking to when it sees.

Mr. Chairman, the intelligence community works in the antidrug program. It works in anticrime, not only here but abroad, in DEA, in CIA, in FBI. If you want to come after ATF, come to me and I will help you. But if you take a look at the broad nature of where our intelligence services go and how they help the security of this country, not only aiding our military, I looked, during the bill, the antiterrorist bill, I made a statement that my concern was that people will not support our troops in the field through intelligence .

Even though the cold war is over, I believe that our need for intelligence has actually increased. If you take a look, and the reason that we were so opposed to what the President did in the arms shipment by going through Iran and getting the Iranians involved in the Middle East, if you take a look at the French and the British and the different portions in Europe to where they increased on fundamental terrorists of the Islamic groups actively engaged, there is an increased need for intelligence there, just for the security of those countries and the United States.

Mr. Chairman, I remind my colleagues, in the World Trade Center bombing, that was Islamic fundamentalists that were here also illegally in this country. The need for intelligence in that has increased in this country. We look at Ruby Ridge that was just on, and we look at other areas of the country where that increase in intelligence is so important to protect American citizens.

In areas of defense and areas of national security, in which these forces, they are not used, I think, to waste and squander dollars, but it is to help the American people in those areas and to help our troops when they are engaged in combat.

If we take a look, for example, right now today in the Ural Mountains, my friend from Washington is aware of this, within the Ural Mountains, Russia today is building an underground first strike nuclear capability as big as the entire area inside the Beltway. That is pretty important to know for this country.

I remember in San Diego, when Iraq was trying to smuggle nuclear triggers out of San Diego. It is pretty important to the American citizens to have that kind of intelligence . If we try to micromanage and cut back, yes, there are areas, I am sure there are areas in the military, to the gentlewoman from Colorado, that, yes, things have been spent too much.

Mr. Chairman, but that is the problem generally with any Federal organization. That is why we want to send a lot of it to the States. We think that is a better way to manage and balance the budget and to eliminate the programs.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me. The gentleman is making a good point. We want good intelligence . But we are talking here about just limiting this to a freeze to this year's level, and this is for satellites.

A lot of the intelligence the gentleman is talking about, language skills being able to have people on the ground understand Farsi, understand all of those types of things, or dealing with intelligence about whether you are talking about Ruby Ridge or something else, most of that you are not picking up off satellites. Satellites do not delineate a terrorist from a regular citizen. We are just targeting it to satellites.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, let me tell you about the satellites. When I was at Navy Fighter Weapons School, we were able to look down and read the serial numbers on the missiles on the side of aircraft to determine what our real threat was. The Russians have recently developed the AA-10, which is superior to our AMRAAM. We need to know those kinds of things, that is taken off the satellites.

Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I want to make sure that the Congress and the American people are not left with a misimpression that Iranian arms only began being shipped to the former Yugoslavian Republic during this administration. Through the entire course of the Bush administration, Iranian arms were going into the former Yugoslavian Republic at a time when the Bush administration had no policy to deal with the slaughter that was going on in Yugoslavia. It is particularly ironic that having executed a policy that has at least for now stopped the fighting, stopped the civilian slaughter and the genocide, that the other side would criticize and try to make an issue of the President who finally took a stand and actually concluded a policy that stopped the genocide.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to correct that one, I am sure, innocent misimpression that was left by the previous speaker. The Iranians were shipping arms into the former Yugoslavian Republic during the time of the Bush administration.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GEJDENSON. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman's clarifying that point.

I would like to also say that we are not just talking about stopping these satellites. When you talk about the satellites, they are able to gather information that gives our country a warning about terrorists and various terrorist organizations and what they are doing and their plans. So when we have things like the World Trade Center, I think it is a sobering thought that terrorists are now able to do things like this in the United States. That is another reason why in my judgment we ought to protect this budget.

This budget is not only important to our military deployed abroad, but it also gives us the ability to find these various terrorist organizations and what their plans and intentions are, some of which are not good for the United States.

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Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GEJDENSON. I yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, the point is we are only going after this one part of the budget. This is the one agency that had the fiscal meltdown. We are holding it level at this year's amount. Yes, of course, we need satellites but we also need language skills, people on the ground, all sorts of different kinds of information; and that is not cut or held even by this amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I think it is just real important. I think that the debate that would have gone on if the civilian agency had done this would have been of an entirely different tenor on this floor. People would have been jumping to the mike, demanding the head of the agency be delivered down here and everything else. I am really amazed that all the tap dancing that we have done around this. I think this is a simple amendment, and I certainly hope it passes.

Mr. NETHERCUTT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, it is interesting to me as I was watching the debate and listening to the gentlewoman from Colorado and the gentleman from Vermont talk about misplacement of $4 billion and fiscal meltdowns, I wonder what those two colleagues of mine would say if we had the same response to the mismanagement that has been shown by the inspector general of the United States for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Food and Consumer Services Agency.

The IG did an audit, as I am sure my colleagues know, showing that $13.5 billion out of $37 billion of the food and consumer services budget could not be found. Talk about mismanagement. Talk about unaccountability. And I do not here anybody on the other side being outraged by that kind of mismanagement or that kind of fiscal meltdown.

The point is, there is fiscal mismanagement at an agency that the gentlewoman from Colorado and the gentleman from Vermont I think want to ignore.

[TIME: 1630]

An audit was done; they cannot prove that it was lost, but they cannot prove that this was spent for the proper purpose. The I.G. said there is no accounting of it, it cannot be proved what happened to the money.

So that agency came before the Committee on Appropriations, on which I serve, and said, `Give us $4 billion more.'

So I think we have to put this all in perspective and realize that we are talking about the national security interests of the United States, and on that basis I think we have to be careful about saying, as my colleagues know, about trying to punish agencies because that hand can bite if we are not careful.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. NETHERCUTT. I yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I will be equally as outraged when we get to that item on the floor. I promise the gentleman. I do not like misspent money anywhere. I think that is why Americans are so angry with us, is that we come in and we become apologists for it, and they think that we have all bought into the Potomac fever syndrome when we do that.

The reason I do not have an amendment on the floor to deal with that today is we do not have that bill on the floor today.

But I promise the gentleman, if there is one up there, I will not be trying to reward that agency with a large increase over this year's budget because they cannot find money from the last year, and that is my whole point.

So I hope the gentleman joins with me today, and then we can both stand here and be outraged when that one comes up, and any other budget anywhere.

Mr. NETHERCUTT. Reclaiming my time, I hope the gentlewoman from Colorado [Mrs. Schroeder] will pay attention to what has happened in the food and consumer services agency. That money goes to kids. It is supposed to go to kids, and we are spending it on all other kinds of things in that agency, but I do not hear the outrage.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. NETHERCUTT. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, another point I would make on this is that in a sense this money was never misspent at the NRO. Apparently there was big money misspent over at the Agriculture Department on things that were not supposed to be. The NRO money ultimately would have been spent on programs that had been authorized and appropriated by the Congress, and the irony of this is that we are going to have to restore this money at some future date. We will have to do that because of the amount of money that is required to build these very elaborate, complicated intelligence system.

So we took the money away in the short term, but it is going to have to be restored in the long term.

Mr. NETHERCUTT. Let me just say in response to the gentleman from Washington, who makes a very, very good point, this is a dangerous world. We have limited resources. We cannot gamble on the intelligence services of the United States of America, and I think, as my colleagues know, we are talking a little bit about apples and oranges although the concept that the gentlewoman from Colorado makes, or the point she makes with regard to mismanagement, applies equally on the domestic side, but we do not have the national security interests of the country at stake.

So I think the point of the gentleman from Washington, my colleague and friend, Mr. Dicks, is a very good one.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. NETHERCUTT. I yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I mean I love this. These two gentlemen from Washington are here saying, as my colleagues know, `The best defense is a good offense.'

Look, we cannot be outraged about the agriculture budget, because it is not here today. If it is here today, we will offer an amendment, and, yes, it is terribly wrong to take money from little kids, but it is also terribly wrong to waste money here and to play the games that were played, and I would hope the gentleman would join me in dealing with this issue that we can do something about.

So something about what we can do something about, which is this issue in front of us today, and vote for my amendment.

Mr. NETHERCUTT. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will just simply close my portion of time in saying that this amendment should be rejected. I fully support the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] in their position on this bill and this amendment. We should move forward.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Colorado [Mrs. Schroeder].

The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes appeared to have it.


Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were ayes 137, noes 292, not voting 4, as follows:

Roll No. 188

[Roll No. 188]


[Page: H5431]



[TIME: 1654]

Mrs. ROUKEMA and Messrs. SCHUMER, WALSH, BENTSEN, and CUMMINGS changed their vote from `aye' to `no.'

Mrs. THURMAN and Messrs. RANGEL, DOGGETT, SHAYS, and FOX of Pennsylvania changed their vote from `no' to `aye.'

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Mr. CHAIRMAN. Are there other amendments to the bill?

If not, the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, the Committee rises.

Accordingly the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Hobson) having assumed the chair, Mr. Dickey, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3259), to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1997 for intelligence and intelligence -related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes, pursuant to House Resolution 437, he reported the bill back to the House with an amendment adopted by he Committee of the Whole.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is ordered.

Is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute adopted by the Committee of the Whole? If not, the question is on the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, was read the third time, and passed, and a motion to reconsider was laid on the table.