Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Sanders: At the end of title I, add the following new section:


(a) Limitation.--Except as provided in subsection (b), notwithstanding the total amount of the individual authorizations of appropriations contained in this Act, including the amounts specified in the classified Schedule of Authorizations referred to in section 102, there is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1997 to carry out this Act not more than 90 percent of the total amount authorized to be appropriated by the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996.

(b) Exception.--Subsection (a) does not apply to amounts authorized to be appropriated for the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability Fund by section 201.

Mr. SANDERS (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Vermont?

There was no objection.

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is simple. It is straightforward and, in fact, it should be supported by every Member of this House, especially those who are concerned about our national debt and the deficit situation.

This amendment is about honesty. It is about consistency, and it is about national priorities. It is about whether the Members of this body, many of whom have voted to cut programs which will be very negative, which will have a lot of pain, cause a lot of pain for some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in this country, programs for our kids, programs for our senior citizens, programs for our young people, whether the Members who have voted to cut those programs now have the courage to take on the very powerful intelligence community and to say that with a $5 trillion national debt, we should not be increasing funding for intelligence when we cut back on so many programs that tens of millions of Americans depend upon.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment cuts the intelligence budget by 10 percent from the level authorized for fiscal year 1996, and that is approximately a $3 billion cut.

Mr. Chairman, there are three basic reasons why this amendment should be supported.

First, major sections of the intelligence community are fiscally irresponsible and need to be held accountable for their hugely inaccurate reports to Congress and for their wasteful habits.

Second, like every other agency of Government, the intelligence community must bear its burden in balancing the budget. We cannot say to pregnant women, we do not have the funds to provide health insurance for you, we cannot say to senior citizens, we do not have the money to make sure you get your prescription drugs, we cannot say to young working-class families, we do not have the money to make sure that your kids can go to college, we do not have the money to adequately fund Medicaid or Medicare, but, yes, we have more than enough money to put into the intelligence agencies despite the fact that the cold war has ended.

Mr. Chairman, let me read for my colleagues an article that appeared in the May 16 New York Times. I am going to read this slowly, because I want the Members to appreciate what we are talking about today and why it is totally irresponsible for any Member to be talking about a 4.9 increase in funding.

Let me quote from the article: `In a complete collapse of accountability, the government agency that builds spy satellites accumulated about $4 billion in uncounted secret money, nearly twice the amount previously reported to Congress, intelligence officials acknowledge today.'

Mr. Chairman, let us repeat what was in the New York Times so that every Member understands what this debate is about. I quote from the New York Times; `In a complete collapse of accountability, the government agency that builds spy satellites accumulated about $4 billion in uncounted secret money, nearly twice the amount previously reported to Congress.'

I would agree with that. I would contend that every American depends upon and receives equally the positive results of a strong national defense, which a vital part of that is intelligence and the ability to determine intentions of other countries, particularly as we enter into wartime situations. The reduction of our capabilities abroad in the areas of defense, I think, heighten the magnification of the need for strong intelligence to make for certain we do not send Americans into harm's way. That is on the international front.

On the domestic front, concerns of terrorism, concerns of narcotics, concerns of crime are also very important to the American people, and the abilities of intelligence organizations to counter and to be aware of intentions many times go unnoticed, unheralded and, most of the time, unspoken because we simply cannot discuss them.

I share the gentleman's concern on the primary subject that he mentioned, and that was the carry-forward account in the NRO, and he is correct in the $4 billion figure that was recently announced by the newly appointed financial manager of the NRO who was brought in after the carry-forward account was discovered. Some have accused the majority in this year's authorization bill of micromanaging the NRO, and the NRP, National Reconnaissance Program.

I made a commitment to the members of this committee that the committee that was brought under task in the New York Times editorial of last year when the NRO account, carried-forward account, was first mentioned, and the committees of Congress with oversight were chastised for inadequate oversight that, as long as I had the luxury and the ability to serve as chairman of this committee, I would make every effort that I would not subject the committee to that type of criticism in the future, and it is with great interest and looking at all of the programs of the NRO that the mark that we have brought to the committee in our authorization bill this year is being questioned by so many people.

We want to be able to assure, those of us who have been given the ability to serve on this committee and basically have to ask Members of the Congress to trust us, that we are scrutinizing the expenditures of those funds, and while I do not agree that the accounting was done well at all, and in fact I think it was shoddy at best, that those moneys were appropriated and expended for, authorized and appropriated for, programs over the years of which the expenditure did not need to take place because the programs that they were to replace in our architecture had worked so well.

There was not a loss of the funds, there was not a squandering of the funds. We are continuing to demand an actual and exact accounting of those funds and the purposes for which they were initially authorized and appropriated, not money which was wasted. It is not money which was wasted, it is money which I will be the first to admit was done very shoddily in reporting to Congress, even to the director of Central Intelligence, that those funds existed.

We do not intend to allow that to happen again and are very concerned about that.

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

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

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding, I thank him for his graciousness with which he is managing this debate, but I do have concern about the $4 billion. My question is: When we discovered that there was $4 billion that was unspent because, as he said, it turned out that they did not need to spend it, did we recapture that for the U.S. Treasury and use it to reduce the deficit?

My problem is that my information is, no, the people who in fact were responsible for the overspending and no accounting essentially were allowed to spend it for other purposes or give it to the Defense Department, which means they have been given them zero incentive not to do this again. And if, in fact, it was unneeded spending, why did we not recapture it and apply it to reducing the deficit?

Mr. COMBEST. The gentleman does make a point, and he is correct in the fact that it was not taken and it was not used toward the deficit.

Let me mention to the gentleman from Massachusetts the $4 billion only is recently. We are still looking to find the fact amount.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Is there more? Maybe can we hope?

Mr. COMBEST. Well, hopefully not, but it did begin at 1, and, as we know, went to 2. The committee has been kept informed of this, of the additional amounts that continue to be uncovered, but of the amount last year, over $2 billion has been taken. Some of that was taken by other committees. Some of it was taken by the Director of Central Intelligence and expended for----

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. If the gentleman will yield. How much? Of the $2 billion that he saved and did not spend, or his predecessor, how much of a reward did he get of that to spend on other things?

Mr. COMBEST. I guess the reward was the fact that there was no punitive action taken. But we have taken $400 million out of the account, more than we had in our authorized bill. We are below some $400 million below the authorization from, $800 million below the authorization for 1996.

I do not want to make light of, and I do not make light of, the concerns that are raised. I will assure the gentleman that the committee shares those concerns.

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

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

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

Mr. COMBEST. Let me just finish this, and I will be happy to yield.

Mr. Chairman, the committee is extremely concerned about the accountability because of all those good things that are there that do happen. It is this type of problem that arises that obviously makes, stretches the credibility of many of these agencies of Government.

I would only want to try to assure the gentleman that we are looking at this very carefully, very closely, and we intend for there to be complete and thorough accountability.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders].

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Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the difficulty of the gentleman's job as chairman of the committee, but let me ask the gentleman this: To put $4 billion into perspective that the National Reconnaissance Office, quote unquote, lost track of, I would mention to my friend I know he is from Texas and it is a little bit bigger State than Vermont; our entire annual budget for the State of Vermont for 1 year is $1.5 billion. In other words, they lost track of an amount of money equivalent to 3 years of the budget of the State of Vermont.

Last year, I was on the floor of the House, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] was on the floor of the House, other Members, and we opposed an increase in the intelligence budget. We were concerned about exactly what we are talking about today, and we were told, `No problem. They need every dime.'

Somehow or other they lost $4 billion, and I would suggest that the problem that I have with my friend's argument is that I fear next year we are going to be in the same position again.

When some agency is so irresponsible, I think we have got to say enough is enough.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I understand the gentleman's concern. Let me say first of all it was not lost. The money is there and accounted for. These were programs that were authorized and appropriated and programs for which commitments have been made, and I would just simply say to the gentleman, in comparing with the State of Vermont's budget, fortunately the State of Vermont does not have to fund national defense for all Americans.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I want to try to see if I can provide some clarification.

On most of the major weapons systems that we fund in the Defense Department, like an aircraft carrier or the F-22, which is still an R&D program, we authorize all of the budget authority at one time. Therefore we have each year tremendous amounts of unobligated funds for those programs. If we looked at the Department of Defense, we would see there are a lot of unobligated funds.

In this area there was adopted a procedure when George McMahon was chairman of the Committee on Appropriations. There was a concern that at the end of the fiscal year if Congress did not pass the budget, that some of these programs would be adversely affected.

These are the crown jewels of our national technical means. We have a series of satellite programs that are funded on an incremental basis. One of the things we do not want to do is have them do what some agencies do, and that is rush at the end of the fiscal year to spend all the money. We have somewhere between 7 and 12 programs that have had various levels of unspent funds which added up to this total.

We have no evidence whatsoever that any of this money was wrongly spent. The money would have ultimately been spent for each of these programs. The mistake of the NRO was not keeping Congress properly informed about the total of those carryforward funds. That is what we objected to, and we were very upset about it. The Director of Central Intelligence , Mr. Deutsch, was very upset about it. He has taken steps to appoint a chief financial officer to get these accounts in order.

The money is no longer there, I want to point out to my colleagues. Some of it was used in Bosnia, some of it was used for other defense purposes, the administration took part of it in terms of their budget request. So that balance has been reduced to a much smaller level, and again there is some management reason to have modest reserves in each of these line items.

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

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I would like to just also mention that in the authorization of last year our committee, and I am sorry in the conference report, which finally became the law, this committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee put a limit of 1-month carryforward money so that those could be substantial so that we can make for certain that it does not grow into the amounts. But it is written into law that there is a 1-month carryforward, no more than an 1-month carryover.

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

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I must tell my friend from Texas I am less reassured by that than I might have been, given the fact that after we passed that conference report and it was signed into law, the unobligated, unaccounted for secret surplus went from $2 billion to $4 billion. So this restriction on them did not appear to lay a glove on them because they passed this tough restriction, and then we find out months after they pass the restriction that it was $4 billion instead of $2 billion. Maybe our colleagues should stop trying to restrict them, because they are not doing too well.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman from Massachusetts will let me have my time back, I would appreciate that. I want to point out to the gentleman that when we named the chief financial officer, he had to go back in and go through all these accounts. I admit and agree with the gentleman that the amount here was totally out of proportion to what is needed to properly take care of these contingency purposes. What I am trying to point out is that the money has not been squandered, has not been used for unauthorized purposes; there is no waste, fraud, or abuse. What we had is lousy bookkeeping on the part of the NRO.

Let me just say one thing further. The NRO has been one of the premier organizations in this Government. They are great engineers. They build incredible satellites. They may be lousy accountants, and in this case they certainly were. We should always remember what they have done. They have created the best capabilities that anybody has in the world and we should remember that this agency has been very effective for the American people.

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

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. My point was, and I must say I am again unreassured that these crack intelligence people who are so terrific cannot keep track of the money.

I will say, in fairness to them, I do not think this was lousy accounting, I think this was cleverness on their part, knowing that they can build this up and those guys are going to spend it.

But the point I want to make is this: The chairman said, `You came up with a way to prevent this from happening last year, and what happened? It got worse after you presented it.' So I am saying it is----

Mr. DICKS. That is for this year's budget.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Oh, I see. So what is the excuse going to be next year?

Mr. DICKS. Well, we hope there will not be one, I would say to my colleague.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] has expired.

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

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

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentleman from Vermont.

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, my friend from Washington will recall that last year, same time, same place, we had the same debate. The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] and myself and others said we think we are spending too much on the intelligence , and we had leaders from both political parties coming forward saying they need every single nickel. And what we are hearing today is, in fact, that there was an unaccounted-for slush fund of $4 billion that, in fact, was not needed.

We were right on the debate last time, and in due respect to my friend from Washington, his position was wrong.

So the question now comes before us this year. I am not here to pass blame on any Member of the Congress.

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Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I take back my time, and I say to my friend, first of all, I would not characterize this as a slush fund. I would characterize it as a management reserve for each of these important programs, and the money that Congress appropriated and authorized is needed at some point for these programs.

We have taken the money away. That means at some point in the future we have to restore it.

I would also say to the gentleman that we are going through a period where we are reducing the number of programs that we have, we are trying to change the architecture, we are trying to, in essence, invest in more capable systems for the future so that we will be able to save some money.

[TIME: 1215]

I would argue that all of the money would have been legally spent on the programs as required, eventually, and there is no indication of waste, fraud, or abuse.

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

Mr. Chairman, we have never had a clearer demonstration of the importance of an amendment. We are constrained by one of the dumber laws in the United States from telling the American people what the overall intelligence budget is. If we cannot tell people what the overall intelligence budget is, we cannot tell them the percentage, because even the accountants at the National Reconnaissance Office could figure out what that meant the total was.

But I can say this, Mr. Chairman. The $4 billion that has hidden away and spent for purposes other than was legally authorized, and let us be very clear, there is no doubt about that; what the gentleman from Texas said was it turned out they did not need to spend that.

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

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman, I know, is not intending to say that. There was no evidence whatsoever that funds were spent for anything that was unauthorized.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. That is not my point. I did not say it was unauthorized, I said they spent clearly more----

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman wants to read the Record back, that is exactly what he said.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Yes, and I will explain what I said to the gentleman. I am sorry the gentleman and his colleagues have done, frankly, such a lousy job in letting these people put $4 billion away, and it was $1 billion and then $2 billion, and now it is $4 billion. Every time, they come up with more money. You explained to us how you had it under control.

What happened, Mr. Chairman, was this: They were allowed to spend almost all of that on other purposes, not things that were not authorized, but they were allowed to spend more, because the accounts were added to. They were given that $4 billion, they were given a limit: You can spend so much on this and so much on that and so much there. And because they underspent here, they were allowed to reuse that.

You have provided them with every incentive to keep fooling you, and fooling you they have been doing. You have not penalized them at all. If any other agency of the Federal Government got caught with a surplus of this percentage, there would be calls for resignations and impeachments and denunciations.

Mr. Chairman, the $4 billion that was found, that was spent in addition to what was authorized in these purposes, that $4 billion is more than the amendment of the gentleman from Vermont would cut. You lost track of more money than we want to cut, so that is how, I think, unfounded it is for you to claim that this in any way jeopardizes it.

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

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Vermont.

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Massachusetts is on the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the Committee on Banking and Financial Services with me. He will remember a few weeks ago, there was a photograph and great discussions about mismanagement of public housing. Does the gentleman recall that?

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Yes, I do.

Mr. SANDERS. How terrible it was; how could we continue to have covered, how would we continue to fund the HUD agencies when they are going mismanagement like that? Does the gentleman not a see a little bit of a discrepancy in judgment, in opinion, in terms of the gross mismanagement of billions of dollars through the National Reconnaissance Office and what we heard about HUD and the running of public housing?

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I would make this distinction, and in the case of HUD, I am more critical, because we had for 8 years a Secretary of HUD, appointed by Ronald Reagan, who was dishonest and incompetent, in combination. I do not think that is the case here. I do not think people had the kind of abuses and criminality here. I know they did not. But what we had was they gamed the system very effectively. They were able to not have to spend it.

Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Texas said it turned out they did not need to spend it. They were able to save $4 billion. And they got the ability, after authorizations, to reprogram that and reuse it so they were able to spend more in other areas, since they did not have to spend as much in the first area.

Given the commitment we hear about deficit reduction, it is striking that almost none of that undiscovered, unspent money went for deficit reduction.

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

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I think the gentleman was a little more accurate in his latter phrases. I want to make sure that what we did, what the Defense Department did, was take some of the excess money and use it for Bosnia. Then they did not have to come to Congress, and we approved that.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. How much for Bosnia, I would ask the gentleman?

Mr. DICKS. The sum of $200 million was used.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. That is $200 million out of $4 billion.

Mr. Chairman, let me take back my time to say, here is the point: Yes, $200 million, maybe a couple hundred more, was used for Bosnia. Billions of dollars were unspent. I am making two points. First of all, I am wholly skeptical of the toughness of your oversight, since no one was penalized at all. As a matter of fact, they are rewarded by this. They are rewarded when they overspend, by being allowed then to spend more than was authorized.

My point is this: If you authorize correctly in the first place, then you must admit you overspent, because if in fact they were able to make savings to the tune of $4 billion in one set of programs, then we should have been able to get at least some of the benefit of that $4 billion, instead of your rewarding them by putting it elsewhere.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] has expired.

(On request of Mr. Dicks and by unanimous consent, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)

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

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I would say to my friend, the gentleman from Massachusetts, first of all, this was not without penalty. The Director and the Deputy Director of the NRO were replaced by the administration and a new head was brought in.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. When?

Mr. DICKS. Several months ago, in February or March of this year, so there was direct action taken. I take some umbrage at this, because it was the staff on our committee, and the minority staff in particular, that were at the forefront of discovering this problem and bringing it to the administration's attention.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I would ask the gentleman, where did it get to $4 billion.

Mr. DICKS. Last year.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. You were telling us $2 billion.

Mr. DICKS. At the time they discovered it.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. They hid $2 billion from you.

Mr. DICKS. They did not know what the total was.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Who did not know?

Mr. DICKS. The NRO did not.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. They just lost $2 billion? With their satellites they could not find $2 billion?

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I just would say we tried our very best to ensure that. We supported Mr. Deutsch's steps to reform the NRO such as appointing a chief financial officer. We found the money in the first instance, and we now have a more accurate figure.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I will take back my time to say this, Mr. Chairman; the record is clear. As the gentleman from Vermont said, you always have an explanation of how everything is fine. I understand this is difficult. They are very sophisticated things they are doing. I do not believe it was an honest error. I believe they figured out a game.

The central point I want to make is this, and I am not for hanging anyone, but the fact that an agency was able to accumulate a surplus greater than 10 percent of the total authorization here is an indication that you are giving them more money than they need for the purposes you say you are giving it to them for.

In fact, what you were doing, that $4 billion, that is the entire Community Development Block Grant Program for the United States. It was twice the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the United States. You are talking about the deficit, and people should understand, because we are going to get to a zero deficit.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] has again expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts was allowed to proceed for 30 additional seconds.)

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I say to the gentleman, continue this trend of ever-increasing appropriations and authorizations for this agency, even when they have shown it is excessive by building up these surpluses, and you mandate deeper cuts in the environment and law enforcement and college education and public safety and everything else, because we are in a zero-sum situation. The $4 billion they accumulated without the knowledge of this committee is taken out of other important programs. We would be gravely mistaken if we did not try to recapture that for other purposes.

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

Mr. Chairman, this is a stealth cut. Technically, the American people do not know what the budget is in the first place. I think it is very important today that we pass the Conyers amendment and once and for all bring some fiscal responsibility to the Central Intelligence Agency.

I have voted for cuts in this bill nearly every year I have been in Congress. It is amazing for me to announce here now that I am not going to vote to cut this budget by 10 percent. I am not going to do that because I believe that John Deutch, his word is good. He is doing a good job. We have an opportunity here to put this department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence units in order.

But we wonder why the American people are so upset with our Government. I would like to make this statement, because I do trust the chairman and the ranking member, two of our finer members, but I think it is very unusual when the American people learn about an invasion of Kuwait on CNN news. There must be an aggressive congressional oversight to ensure that these intelligence agencies are not just operating in a stealth vacuum, doing absolutely nothing. This will be the one chance this Member will give.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to say one other thing. Unless we pass the Conyers amendment, we would not know what the Sanders amendment would cut if we were not a Member of the Congress of the United States. I think the American people are paying for the freight coming down the track and should know what our intelligence community is doing.

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

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

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I want the gentleman to know that I have supported Chairman Glickman, I am supporting and cosponsoring the amendment of the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Conyers, and the President supports, as does the Aspin-Brown Commission, making the aggregate dollar number known to the American public.

I would only say one thing to the gentleman about his statement about Kuwait. George Bush, as President, the first thing he stated after the invasion was that it was not an intelligence failure. We knew several days ahead of time, but again, it is always hard for the American Government, the national command authority, when it is getting differing opinions from government heads in the area that, well, Saddham will not do this, to take action. It was not a failure of intelligence . We did have 2 or 3 days of warning. It is acting on that warning that is always difficult under our form of government.

So I do not want to disparage the intelligence agencies here. They gave them the information. The leadership could not make a decision that quickly.

Mr. TRAFICANT. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will not support this cutting amendment. I will give John Deutch a hand. But I will say this next year, if we continue to find ourselves in this big sinkhole without passing a Conyers amendment, I would recommend we hire Ted Turner and Rush Limbaugh and let the CIA stay home, and other defense intelligence agencies, because they are not getting too much done, folks.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment, but I want to commend the gentleman from Vermont, Mr. Sanders. I think he may help pass the Conyers amendment, and that may be the best thing we do here in this Congress today.

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

Mr. Chairman, as a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence who has served on the committee now for a couple of years, I cannot help but rise at this point to first express my deep appreciation for the work of both the chairman, the gentleman from Texas, Larry Combest, and my colleague, the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Dicks, for the very, very fine job they are doing on an extremely difficult subject area, developing and bringing the intelligence budget to this House floor.

Mr. Chairman, it is a very, very popular thing to rise and oppose the intelligence community and presume that lightly we can, using essentially a machete approach, cut 10 percent across the board in this program. Since the end of the cold war, we have progressively been reducing a very significant portion of our budget; that is, the defense budget. Defense has come down by approximately $100 billion. It is the presumption of many that since the cold war is over and since we are reducing our defense budget, that lightly we can just wipe out our intelligence needs. To suggest that that is the case would suggest to me that not very much light has been applied to the intelligence that is involved here.

The reality is that we are living in a very, very complex and very dangerous world. At the very time that we have been reducing defense spending, it is the very moment that the President and the appropriate committees need more and better intelligence around here.

The heart of the discussion relative to this proposed 10-percent cut has been that of the expenditures of the NRO. The NRO is that agency which develops and deploys our satellite systems, a source of information, intelligence information, that is most critical and one of the more important sources.

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[TIME: 1230]

To suggest that we can blithely reduce the entire intelligence budget because of problems that have developed in the NRO is to not understand the need for intelligence at all. I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the very people who are making this proposal are the same people who for all of their careers here have opposed our national defense, have not supported expanding the national defense when we truly needed to expand those budgets. To not understand the significance of these information flows to the President at this critical time is to ignore the reality of this changing world.

This budget is within 3.9 percent of the President's request. It is not an excessive budget. Indeed, there is a need for oversight and review. I suggest to my colleagues that absolutely we support not just the chairman and the ranking member in this budget, but support the President as well.

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

Mr. Chairman, in response to the last gentleman, they are within 3.9 percent of the President's budget, but of course it erred on the side of increasing the rather generous allotment that the President has already made for these agencies, as though a fiscal crisis did not exist here in Washington.

This is an extraordinary debate, and I think the burden goes to those who are defending against a 10-percent cut in a secret number that we cannot know. Now, a case can of course be made that it is a dangerous world and we need these various organizations, and they need and can spend productively every penny which has been allocated, even a 4-percent increase over and above the generous allotment requested by the President.

But the burden does rest with the members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence because they are overseers, they are the monitors, they are the protectors of the Constitution that says only Congress should appropriate funds and that it should know how much it is appropriating.

I do not know. I have not gone to look at the

secret number, because if I go and look at the secret number, then I cannot tell people what the secret number is, which I can read in the New York Times. But this is somehow protecting us against the threats of our enemies. What it is protecting us against is fiscal responsibility at these agencies.

Now, wait a minute, the National Reconnaissance Agency, well, they did have a little problem. They built a building for some $300 or $400 million out at a shopping center, and Congress did not know about it. Perhaps the agency itself did not know about it or most parts of the agency did not know about it, because it keeps secrets from itself.

This is the agency that monitors everything that goes on on Earth at all times. At this moment they are recording my conversation, if not by supersecret satellite, from CNN, where they get a good deal of their information.

Now they are saying that they have found an extra $4 billion in their budget. Not to worry, $4 billion. We kill on the floor of the House of Congress, for a couple hundred thousand crummy dollars over here, and talk about welfare cheats and food stamp fraud and all that, and amounts of 10 or 20 or 30 thousands of dollars.

But here is an agency that had $4 billion, more than the total appropriation of the FBI and the State Department for their general operations, and they just did not know it, and that does not need that. Never too much money. No; an extra $4 billion. I mean given the magnitude of their annual budget, secret number, we cannot know how much that is, they needed this $4 billion. They just did not know they had it and they did not know how to spend it.

Now, there is something very, very wrong with this picture. They know everything that is going on. They are monitoring my speech on the floor, but they do not know how much money they have because they are so awash in funds, they cannot even be bothered to go out and buy a $39 software program to keep track of it.

Now, that is absurd, absolutely absured, and to say that that agency cannot withstand a cut of 10 percent is indefensible. The burden lies on those who would defend it. They get $4 billion they have not been able to spend, they did not know they had, and now they cannot withstand a 10-percent cut of their annual budget, secret number, no one can know it.

The Soviet Union might learn something from knowing how much we are spending on that agency. They will learn that we are spending more on these agencies than they are spending on their entire military budget, is what they will find. They will shake their head and wonder.

Of course the Soviet Union does not exist anymore, and that has almost percolated down to some of these agencies. They have found that fact out and we will be getting a report on that soon.

So I would rise in support of this amendment and say that the burden lies with those who would say an agency, just one of many, we do not know how much the others have lost or have an account that they have not spent. That is secret, too.

But just one of our supersecret agencies had $4 billion it did not know it had, that it has not spent, and we are being told now it was a management reserve. If that was a management reserve there, how much is reserved at the other agencies? Do they really need this year's budget? Because maybe they should spend down the reserve a little bit, because they might be at an imprudent level.

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

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment. The CIA is out of control. It is not just the $4 billion that they had lying around that they did not know that they had. There are many other ways that the CIA is out of control, and the CIA would greatly benefit from some downsizing and some streamlining. The CIA would greatly benefit from a cut in the funds that they have while they reorganize and regroup.

This is the CIA that did not predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is the CIA that could not predict the most momentous event of our century. This is the CIA that could not see a dinosaur event, like the collapse of the Soviet Union. There is something radically wrong with the CIA. It has been wrong for a long time.

It is amazing that people would come to this floor and defend an agency which has lost track of $4 billion, lost track of $4 billion, and to talk about them as if they are heroes now because they are going to let some of that $4 billion be spent taking care of the war in Bosnia, somewhere else. They are not heroes. And do not talk about the fact that this is just mismanagement. It is more than mismanagement. We do not know.

Anybody here who has ever been the head of any kind of organization, if they have ever been an administrator of a public agency or they are the owner, the administrator of a private sector business, they know that when money cannot be accounted for, if it is lying loosely around and the head of the department did not know it, the head of the CIA did not know it, the President did not know it, somebody did steal money. We can assume there is a lot of stealing going on, because if we do not have any accountability, human beings always will steal.

This is the CIA that for a number of reasons should be downsizing, reorganizing, and streamlining. Nobody has mentioned Aldrich Ames here. We have discussed the $4 billion, although the $4 billion is something that the administration has admitted. They fired two people. It was on the front page of the New York Times. Some people did not know it. They fired two people, so mismanagement was occurring.

For the first time they fired the people, openly stated their names, so we know it took place, and it upset the administration a great deal because, they publicly fired the people. That is a well-documented example of great waste, monumental waste and probably corruption also.

But what we do not know, what is not talked about more is Aldrich Ames, the implication of the fact that Aldrich Ames was the head of intelligence for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and he was the biggest spy of the century for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Aldrich Ames was there for numerous years, and they never detected him and finally announced it was the FBI which really trapped Aldrich Ames.

Out of control, something is radically wrong there. It is a welfare agency, in that they have a lot of incompetent people there who are not doing their job, or not doing a job which is going to benefit the welfare and protect the security of the United States. Something is radically wrong. Incompetence must be monumental in that agency.

This is the agency that paid the salary of Emanuel Comstonce, who was the man who led the demonstration on the docks in Haiti when we were sending ships down there. We sent ships down there with a peacekeeping mission which had police, engineers, et cetera. They led a demonstration where they were shooting guns, intimidating the Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy. It was led by a man named Emanuel Comstonce, who was on the payroll of the CIA.

Emanuel Comstonce is right now in prison here in this country. They want to keep him here. They want to keep him isolated and quiet because he has confessed and he is telling: `I was on the payroll of the CIA.'

This is an agency that is obviously out of control. It needs to be reexamined, downsized, streamlined. In modern society, any institution that operates in secrecy is in danger. Our complex society is such that any complex institutions needs to be open, so that other folks from outside the decisionmaking circles can be able to look at what is going on and offer some objective criticisms.

The Soviet Union collapsed because its whole society was a closed circle of decisionmaking, and they made monumental errors which we are still discovering and still suffering from. Chernobyl, they did not have a nuclear commission that was open and people could talk to. They did not have a environmental movement. They would suppress anybody who tried to have a movement critical of anything, so they ruined their environment.

The CIA is a closed circle of decisionmaking. The secrecy in the CIA guarantees that is always going to be a big problem. We need to open up as much as possible, not tell everything, but we can have a discussion of the budget. We should know the full amount of the budget. The New York Times estimates it is between $28 and $30 billion. We are talking about a 10-percent cut on $28 to $30 billion. We are talking about a 10-percent cut which will at the most amount to $3 billion.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York [Mr. Owens] has expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Owens was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

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Mr. OWENS. Mr. Chairman, it has already been pointed out a 10-percent cut, which would amount to $3 billion, is less than the amount of money they lost track of. They lost track of $4 billion. They put a spin on it, they said it was $1 billion, then it became $2 billion. Now they are admitting $4 billion, and we do not know how honest they are because it keeps mounting. If they have lost track of that kind of money, they certainly can afford a 10-percent cut.

We have been offering this amendment now for the last 4 years. If they accepted it in the first place, we might be much further along the way in terms of streamlining the CIA.

I think we need the CIA. We certainly do not need the monster, the dinosaur that we have had so many years, that could not detect the changes of the Soviet Union, that gave us Aldrich Ames, that gave us Emanuel Comstonce, and then had $4 billion lying around while we are cutting the budget of Head Start, and cutting the budget of the school lunch program, and we are cutting the budget of title I, and we are cutting the budget of public housing.

We are cutting all these budgets while they have $4 billion lying around unused. We need to get control of the CIA, Mr. Chairman. We need to get control of the CIA.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders].

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

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote, and, pending that, I make the point of order that a quorum is not present.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders] will be postponed.

The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.