Congressional Record: September 9, 2002 (Senate)
Page S8352-S8367                       

[[Page S8352]]
                HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Continued

                           Amendment No. 4513

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, on behalf of myself and Senator Warner, 
I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Tennessee [Mr. Thompson], for himself and 
     Mr. Warner, proposes an amendment numbered 4513.

  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

       On page 8, strike lines 1 through 3.
       On page 9, strike lines 13 through 15.
       On page 12, line 15, strike ", with the Director,".
       On page 12, strike lines 18 through 26 and insert the 
       (4) To make budget recommendations relating to the 
     Strategy, border and transportation security, infrastructure 
     protection, emergency preparedness and response, science and 
     technology promotion related to homeland security, and 
     Federal support for State and local activities.
       On page 77, lines 22 and 23, strike ", the Office," after 
       On page 103, line 5, strike "amended--" and all that 
     follows through line 12 and insert the following: "amended 
     in section 204(b)(1) (42 U.S.C. 6613(b)(1)), by inserting 
     `homeland security' after `national security,'.".
       On page 156, lines 15 and 16, strike ", the Office,".
       On page 158, line 9, strike ", the Office,".
       On page 162, line 11, strike "and the Director".
       On page 162, line 17, strike "and Office".
       On page 173, strike line 15 and all that follows through 
     page 197, line 19.

  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, the purpose of this amendment is to 
strike title II and title III and make conforming amendments.
  Title II would create an office in the White House that would 
coordinate the homeland security activities of the Federal Government. 
Title III would require the new office and the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to jointly produce a national strategy.
  The administration opposes the creation of an office in the White 
House that would have a Senate-confirmed director with specific 
responsibilities and authorities. The White House believes that such an 
office would blur the lines of accountability and diffuse 
responsibility, particularly since the White House already has an 
office, the Office of Homeland Security, that is responsible for 
coordinating the Federal Government's homeland security efforts.
  The committee's proposed structure will also create confusion because 
similar functions will be performed by the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security, and the 
Director of the Office of Combating Terrorism, which is the National 
Security Council. With all these different offices, it will be 
extremely difficult to determine who is responsible. When a homeland 
security issue arises, which official does the Congress hold 
accountable, the Secretary for Homeland Security or the proposed 
Director of the Office for Combating Terrorism?
  We should also recognize that statutorily creating an office in the 
White House impairs the President's flexibility and authority to 
structure the Executive Office of the President to best meet his and 
the Nation's needs. The President traditionally has had broad authority 
to structure the Executive Office as he sees fit. This proposal is an 
infringement on that authority.
  There certainly have been times when it has been necessary to create 
an interagency coordinating body in the White House. The creation of 
the National Security Council is an excellent example of this.
  However, this proposal goes too far. It gives the proposed office 
specific responsibilities and authorities that tie the President's 
hands and limit his ability to mold the office to serve the needs of 
the American public.
  Another disconcerting aspect of this proposal is that it would 
require the director to be Senate confirmed. For the last year, the 
President has made it clear that he desires a confidential homeland 
security adviser who would advise him on domestic security issues. He 
doesn't want or need another Senate-confirmed official who would be 
required to testify before a congressional committee. We have such an 
individual in the new Secretary that has been created. The President 
must have his own advisers who work for him. I think he is entitled to 
  Senator Warner, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services 
Committee, also expressed concern in a letter to the Senate 
Governmental Affairs Committee, where he wrote:

       The structure proposed by the Chairman would be redundant 
     of the structure that is already in place.

  He further said that:

       The budget review and certification authorities would 
     undercut the ability of several cabinet members, including 
     the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the 
     Director for the Central Intelligence, to carry out their 
     responsibilities. In the case of the Secretary of Defense, in 
     particular, the proposal would give the director of this new 
     office the ability to decertify; in essence, to veto the 
     defense budget. It would be unwise to give this authority to 
     an official who does not have to balance the many competing 
     needs of the Department of Defense.

  Finally he said:

       The drafting of a new comprehensive strategy for homeland 
     security is unnecessary. Legislating anything other than a 
     periodic review and update of this strategy would be 
     burdensome and would divert attention and resources away from 
     the administration's focus on homeland security.

  Prior to the President's June 6 decision to support a Department of 
Homeland Security, I spoke in favor of a Senate-confirmed official that 
the Congress could hold accountable. We now have that with the new 
Secretary, or soon will have with the new Secretary of Homeland 
  I see little value in creating this new office when such an office 
already exists. Simply put, another office in the White House is 
redundant and unnecessary. Moreover, probably more importantly, there 
appears to be several negative consequences, potentially creating 
confusion as to accountability, as to budget authority, and the 
creation of a new homeland security strategy.
  Therefore, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, at the request of our colleague, Senator 
Lieberman, I will be managing the debate on this particular amendment, 
an amendment for which I feel a strong parental relationship.
  Shortly after the tragic events of September 11, with Senator 
Feinstein, I introduced legislation to establish such an office of 
terrorism within the White House in order to create a focal point for 
decisionmaking and informing the President and the Congress of a 
national strategy on how to combat what clearly was emerging as the 
major challenge to America's national security.
  My good friend, Senator Thompson, has just suggested that events that 
have occurred since that time, particularly the event of the President 
deciding, after a long period of consideration, to support a 
statutorily created Department of Homeland Security, had rendered 
irrelevant or, maybe even worse, redundant the idea of an office to 
combat terrorism within the Presidency.
  I disagree with that analysis and look forward to the debate which 
will lay out the case of why these two agencies--a Department of 
Homeland Security and an office within the Office of the President--
are, in fact, reinforcing in the same way that, in 1947, Congress found 
it appropriate to reorganize the previously distributed military, 
distributed by the various services, Army, Navy, a newly emerging Air 
Force, into a single Department of Defense. But at the same time they 
did that, in fact in the same legislation, they created the Office of 
National Security Council. They found those two actions to be 
reinforcing, cohesive, and both contributing to the Nation's security.
  I will attempt to make the case that the same is true for the action 
suggested in the legislation before us.
  I strongly support the creation of the Department of Homeland 
Security and the legislation before us today to do so. I wish to 
commend our colleagues, Senator Lieberman and Senator Thompson, Senator 
Levin, Senator Cochran,

[[Page S8353]]

as well as Senator Shelby, who serves with me on the Senate Committee 
on Intelligence, for their leadership on this issue and for the wisdom 
which they have shown in the development of this specific legislation.
  The establishment of a Department entrusted with the security of our 
homeland, in my judgment, is a critical step to making our Nation 
safer. The vicious terrorists who struck out on September 11 may have 
succeeded in executing their plot, but they failed in achieving their 
  America is sad; America is not afraid. We are alert, not panicked. We 
are firm in our resolve to orient ourselves to protect against future 
attacks; without altering the fundamental aspects of our life, we are 
committed to a strategy that will both protect us against our 
vulnerabilities here at home, while we take the war aggressively and 
successfully to our enemies, wherever they might live.
  The Department of National Homeland Security Act of 2002 makes 
necessary changes in our governmental structure. It does so in a 
reasoned, careful way, preserving our constitutional liberties while 
increasing the effectiveness of our security organization.
  This legislation is consistent with our history where periodically we 
have reexamined what our national priorities are and how the Federal 
Government should be organized to achieve those national priorities. A 
perfect example of this is the agency most affected by this 
legislation--the U.S. Coast Guard, which will represent about 25 
percent of all the personnel in the new Department.
  The Coast Guard began in 1789, the same year that George Washington 
was sworn in as President of the United States. At that time, it was 
known as the United States Light House Service, and its primary 
function, as its name implies, was seeing that lighthouses were 
operational. The agency eventually merged with four others and assumed 
a new role, and that was enforcing our customs laws, collecting 
tariffs. At that point, it was moved into the Department of the 
Treasury. Other than twice during World War I and again during World 
War II, when the Coast Guard was transferred by Executive order to the 
Navy, it stayed in the Department of the Treasury until 1967, when its 
role evolved yet again and it became seen as a maritime safety and 
security agency.
  The Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department of 
Transportation. It has stayed in that Department since 1967. Today, the 
Coast Guard is recognized as a primary component of our Nation's 
homeland security force. Thus, the recommendation in this legislation 
is that the Coast Guard in toto be transferred to the Department of 
Homeland Security.
  I focus my remarks today on that portion of the bill which is the 
subject of the amendment that has just been offered by Senator 
Thompson, the amendment to delete from this legislation title II and 
title III, which would establish within the White House a national 
office for combating terrorism. The need for a coordinator within the 
White House has been recognized by a number of blue ribbon commissions 
in the last several years. Here are recommendations from three of the 
most prominent of those commissions.
  The Gilmore Commission, chaired by the former Governor of Virginia, 

       Recommendation No. 2: The next President should establish a 
     National Office for Combating Terrorism in the Executive 
     Office of the President, and should seek a statutory basis 
     for this office.

  The Hart-Rudman Commission, chaired by two of our former colleagues, 
said this:

       Strategic planning is largely absent within the United 
     States Government. . . . Across the Government, [a 
     coordinator] should be given a stronger hand in the budget 
     process. . . . Congress should develop mechanisms for a 
     comprehensive review of the President's counterterrorism 
     policy and budget.

  The Bremer Commission, chaired by the distinguished Ambassador 
Bremer, stated:

       The President and the Congress should reform the system for 
     reviewing and funding departmental counterterrorism programs 
     to ensure that the activities and programs of various 
     agencies are part of a comprehensive plan.

  In a recently released--in July of this year--Brookings Institution 
report on the events since September 11, it was stated:

       Whether Congress establishes the broad-ranging department 
     the Bush administration proposes or the more focused 
     Department we advocate, there will remain a need for White 
     House coordination. . . . By the administration's own 
     reckoning, more than 100 U.S. Government agencies are 
     involved in the homeland security effort. . . .

  Continuing, the Brookings Institution report states:

       There is a critical need to coordinate their actions with 
     those of [the Department of Homeland Security] and to develop 
     and implement a government-wide homeland security strategy.

  As I indicated earlier, this concept of an office within the White 
House with the responsibility for coordinating efforts to combat 
terrorism was originally embodied in legislation I introduced with 
Senator Feinstein last fall and is based on the lack of any central 
coordinating figure within our Government with a singular focus on 
  We believed then--and with the creation of the new department, we 
believe now--that it is essential the sometimes-discordant group of 
departments and agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities must be 
brought into harmony.
  The creation of the Department of National Homeland Security does not 
change that fact. While this new Department will subsume some of the 
existing agencies, there will be many others which remain outside the 
authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security but will still be 
performing vital missions related to our efforts to combat terrorism.
  As an example, the intelligence community itself is not going to be 
brought into the Department of Homeland Security. Clearly, it will play 
a very significant role if we are going to anticipate and be able to 
respond to terrorist attacks before they are launched.
  The Department of Defense has recently created a new central command 
called Northern Command. That command will have increased 
responsibility for the military's role in protecting the security of 
our homeland. The departments of the Treasury will still be responsible 
for coordinating economic measures to reduce the opportunities of 
terrorists who finance their activities through U.S. sources or 
international sources. The departments of State and the Department of 
Energy, which has a major role in our nuclear policy and will have a 
major role in the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to develop 
new technologies that will help us better confront terrorism--they will 
all play a role in our national efforts to combat terrorism.
  The Director of the National Office of Combating Terrorism will have 
three missions. First, the Director will be able to provide that 
coordination on counterterrorism for all of the agencies--not only the 
Department of Homeland Security but the intelligence community, 
Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, Department of State, 
Department of Energy, just to list some of the other agencies that will 
be most directly involved in homeland security.
  He will be able to do this with his power to certify budgets, that 
they are consistent with the comprehensive plan for combating 
terrorism. The model for this is twofold. I mentioned earlier the 1947 
National Security Act, created by statute for a National Security 
Council and a National Security Adviser to the President.
  In more recent years, we have created an office of drug policy. That 
office has been increased in authority over the years as we have seen 
that greater authority was needed in order to bring the Federal 
Government more effectively into a common army to combat the enemy of 
drug traffickers. That legislation now provides that the head of that 
office is appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation, 
and has the power to decertify budgets that are not consistent with the 
President's antidrug plan.
  Those two models--the National Security Council and the National 
Office for Drug Policy--are the models for the office that we are 
proposing to create today.
  This office and these powers, particularly the power to certify 
budgets, are what are necessary for the Director to

[[Page S8354]]

effectively coordinate the counterterrorism efforts of the important 
agencies that will not be part of the Department of Homeland Security.
  The second responsibility of the Director will be to assure that his 
status and his effectiveness derives from law, not just the personal 
relationship with the President. Like the Office of Drug Policy, this 
is an agency that serves not only the interest of the President but 
also the interest of all of the American people and their 
representatives in the Congress. So it is important there be a level of 
shared responsibility and confidence in the individual who occupies 
that position.
  Third, the Director will be subject to the explicit oversight of 
Congress. This is important so that Congress is a full partner; that 
Congress is there at the launch of our comprehensive strategy to combat 
terrorism so that Congress will be there during the good days and the 
bad days, and there will be some of both as we move forward in this 
effort to protect the homeland.
  Fourth, this Director will have the confidence of both the executive 
branch and the Congress and will play the critical role of assuring 
that the agencies most involved in the war on terrorism will make the 
necessary institutional adjustments to move toward the era of terrorism 
and away from many of the concepts which have dominated us during the 
cold war.
  One of the concerns I have developed, as our Intelligence Committee 
has reviewed the events leading up to September 11, is the question of 
why was the intelligence community slow to recognize that the world 
changed in a very fundamental way in terms of its mission with the end 
of the cold war? It was not surprising that the intelligence agencies 
were very influenced by the history of the cold war because they were a 
product of the cold war.
  The United States had not had an organized intelligence service until 
World War II. During the war, a special security agency was established 
to develop and analyze intelligence for a military purpose. As soon as 
the war ended, so did that agency.
  Two years later, President Truman recognized that as the Soviet Union 
changed from being a wartime ally to now an adversary, we needed to 
know more about the Soviet Union, about its capabilities, about its 
intentions, and in order to do so, we needed to have a permanent and a 
mixed civilian and military set of intelligence agencies.
  Out of that decision came the 1947 National Security Act and the 
creation, in addition to the Department of Defense and the National 
Security Council, of also the intelligence community more or less as we 
know it today.
  The intelligence community grew up dealing with the peculiarities of 
the Soviet Union. We knew a tremendous amount about the Soviet Union. 
We probably, without question, had more information about issues of 
warfare in the Arctic Ocean than any other place in the world, 
including the Soviet Union itself because it was very much in our 
interest to understand that particular water body.
  As we were acquiring this tremendous depth of knowledge about the 
Soviet Union, we were doing it at the expense of not learning more 
about much of the rest of the world. Our intelligence agencies became 
focused narrowly--culturally, and linguistically--particularly on the 
Soviet Union. We were not acquiring competencies in other parts of the 

  Second, we became very dependent on technology as a means of 
collecting intelligence. The Soviet Union was a hard place to get spies 
into and to support and to sustain them once they were there. 
Particularly our satellite-based technologies gave us the means of 
acquiring most of the information we wanted to learn about the Soviet 
Union without the risk and difficulty of putting human beings into a 
position to collect that intelligence.
  Finally, there was a criticism, which is subject to debate, that our 
intelligence communities became risk adverse; that we were reluctant to 
engage in operations that might fail and be embarrassing; it might fail 
and cost lives. All three of these characteristics, real or alleged, 
have disserved us in the post-cold-war era. Instead of being narrowly 
focused, we now must be broadly focused. We must understand the 
cultures and languages of countries that did not exist at the time the 
cold war started.
  We no longer can depend on our technology, although it continues to 
be a very significant part of our intelligence collection, but if you 
are going to understand the mind of Osama bin Laden, you cannot do so 
by taking a picture or even listening to a conversation. The fact is, 
modern international terrorists rarely use the kind of communication 
that we have the greatest capability to intercept. Rather, we must have 
an intelligence capability which is extremely diverse, that understands 
many cultures, understands many languages, and is able to function in 
alliances with the intelligence services from many other nations.
  Finally, this is going to be a riskier war than was the cold war. 
While the cold war posed the ultimate risk--nuclear annihilation--this 
is going to require human beings operating in very close contact with 
our adversaries and exposing themselves to the risk of that close 
  The reason I use this example of the intelligence community and its 
necessity, but slowness, to make the conversion from its cold-war 
orientation to the orientation of the new era on terrorism is that 
these same challenges will be faced by the agencies which are now being 
given responsibility for homeland security.
  I can state with virtual certainty of correctness that over the next 
10 to 20 years the nature of our enemy at home, the tactics that are 
used, will be substantially different than those that were used on 
September 11, 2001, and we must have a homeland capability which 
recognizes those changes and is prepared to adapt to the new 
challenges, the new threats that it will face.
  I believe one of the things that was missing in the intelligence 
community was having an office which could be constantly challenging 
the intelligence leadership: Are you relevant to the challenge we are 
facing today? Are you looking over the horizon at the kinds of 
capabilities you will need in the tomorrows in order to prepare against 
this emerging threat?
  In my judgment, the most important function of this office to combat 
terrorism will be its role as the constant challenger of all of the 
main line departments, from the new Department of Homeland Security to 
the Department of Defense to the Department of Energy, challenging 
them: Are you relevant to the current face of evil that we are 
continuing against?
  What are you doing to prepare for future emerging threats? What are 
you doing to identify those threats? What are you doing to recruit and 
train and provide professional advancement to your key personnel so 
they will be personally responsive to the new challenges? Those are 
some of the issues. Those are some of the challenges. Those are the 
fundamental rationales why the committee, under the leadership of 
Senator Lieberman, included title II and title III in providing for the 
Office for Combating Terrorism within the Office of the President.
  These four missions together will assure the Director has both 
authority and legitimacy, authority with respect to his colleagues who 
lead other Governmental agencies, and legitimacy with respect to the 
important role the legislative branch will play in the achievement of 
his goals.
  This position, as I indicated earlier, parallels the job being done 
today by the Director of the President's National Security Council. It 
does for domestic security many of the things that Dr. Condoleezza Rice 
does for foreign policy. It also parallels in many ways the emerging 
Office of Drug Policy and its challenge to have a coherent plan of 
action, and then assure all the Federal agencies that are responsible 
for that play their appropriate role.
  We are about very serious business. It is not just business that will 
fade after the sorrow and shock of September 11. It goes further into 
history. In my judgment, for our lifetime, as it is today, the issue of 
terrorism will be the single most significant security threat faced by 
the United States of America. So we must prepare for the long haul, the 
sustained commitment.
  There has been some criticism that Congress played a role in this 
failure of the intelligence community and other aspects of our National 
Government to

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make the transition from the cold war to prepare for the challenges of 
the new era of terrorism. Some of those criticisms are no doubt 
deserved. This is an opportunity for Congress to take action which will 
help prepare us to avoid the unstated criticism. I do not want to have 
our predecessors in the Senate ask the question 25 years from now: Why 
did we create, in the year 2002, agencies that would become the 
dinosaurs of 2022 because they were unable to make the transition as 
the rapidly evolving but not fully understood threat of terrorism 
confronted our people?
  This office, in my judgment, will reduce the likelihood of that 
criticism because, if this office functions as the architects intend, 
it will be the agency for continuing renewal within all of our 
Departments which have a responsibility for protecting the American 
people in our homeland.
  For those reasons, I respectfully resist the amendment offered by 
Senator Thompson, urge its defeat, and the continuation within this 
legislation of the important concepts contained in title II of the 
Office for Combating Terrorism.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. NELSON of Nebraska). The Senator from 
  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, I appreciate the well-thought-out 
statement of my colleague from Florida with regard to his opposition to 
this amendment. I think the groundwork has been laid now for a good 
discussion of the pros and the cons.
  The points my good friend made are not valid and are certainly not 
sufficient to defeat this amendment. I support this amendment basically 
for the following reasons, in addition to what I said earlier: It seems 
the opponents of this amendment--those who would create the new 
national Office for Combating Terrorism--take the position we need a 
coordinator to develop a strategy. But since this idea was first 
proposed, lots of things have happened. One is we are now on to the 
consideration of a large, new Department containing 22 agencies. 
Secondly, we have a strategy. In July, the President came forth with a 
national strategy.
  Now we have under consideration a large new Department taking in most 
of the agencies that will have a homeland security function, and we 
have a strategy that this new Department will be following in trying to 
implement the safety measures that we all know are needed.
  In addition, we still have a coordinator. We have someone to 
coordinate this new Department and those agencies which cannot be 
brought into the new Department, such as the Department of Defense and 
the FBI and other agencies. That is the Office of Homeland Security, 
under the leadership of Mr. Ridge. We also have the Office for 
Combating Terrorism under the NSC. Those offices are already there. We 
have those two offices in the White House serving a coordination 
  Plus, we will have a new Department with a new Secretary and all of 
his responsibilities. So we have a strategy.
  I have not heard criticism that the strategy is not a good one or 
that we should go in a different direction or that there is some reason 
we should set up a whole new mechanism and bureaucracy to come up with 
a new strategy. So we have those components which the opponents of this 
amendment say we need. I agree we need them. We have them. We have them 
in a different way than what our friends on the other side would 
  It is suggested that the National Security Council is an analogous 
entity or one after which this provision in the Senate bill has been 
patterned. There has been a comparison between the NSC and this 
proposed office, but the National Security Act of 1947 created the 
National Security Council, and this legislation gave the NSC broad 
responsibilities and limited authority.
  The head of the NSC, of course, is not confirmed by the Senate. There 
is no advice and consent with regard to the NSC. There is no Senate-
confirmed official. The NSC has no budget authority, which is another 
big distinction between the NSC and the proposed Director in this bill. 
It was also designed for the sole purpose of coordinating policy.
  In contrast, the proposed White House office would have specific 
statutory responsibilities and functions; would have a Senate-confirmed 
Director; would have considerable budget review authority; and would, I 
submit, interfere with the executive branch's current budget process.
  I will dwell on that particular aspect of the bill because I think it 
is significant. That has to do with the budget authority. It is 
substantial. In title II, section 201, it states the new Director is:

       To coordinate, with the advice of the Secretary, the 
     development of a comprehensive annual budget for the programs 
     and activities under the Strategy, including the budgets of 
     the military departments and agencies within the National 
     Foreign Intelligence Program relating to international 
     terrorism, but excluding military programs, projects or 
     activities relating to force protection.

  It goes on to say:

       To have the lead responsibility for budget recommendations 
     relating to military, intelligence, law enforcement [et 
     cetera]. . . .

       To serve as an advisor to the National Security Council.

  It goes on in section 202 and says with regard to the submittal of 
proposed budgets to the Director:

       The head of each Federal terrorism prevention response 
     agency shall submit to the Director each year the proposed 
     budget of that agency for the fiscal year beginning in that 
     year for programs and activities of that agency. . . .

  The proposed budget of an agency shall be submitted to the Director 
before that information is submitted to the Director of the OMB.
  It goes on to say:

       If the Director determines that under paragraph (1) that 
     the proposed budget of an agency for a fiscal year . . . is 
     inadequate, in whole or in part . . . the Director shall 
     submit to the agency . . . a notice and a statement.

  It goes on to state:

       The head of the Federal terrorism prevention response 
     agency that receives a notice [as described] shall 
     incorporate the proposed funding . . . set forth in the 
     statement accompanying the notice in the information 
     submitted to the Office of Management and Budget. . . .
  So as I read that he pretty much had to do what the Director says 
even though the agency has the primary responsibility for dealing with 
the problem under their jurisdiction.
  It goes on under the section having to do with review and 
decertification, the Director:

       Shall review each budget submitted under paragraph (1);
       And may decertify the proposed budget.

  So, in effect, this Director has a veto over the budget.
  National Terrorism Prevention and Response Program budget in general:

       For each year, following the submittal of proposed budgets 
     for the Director under subsection (b), the Director shall, in 
     consultation with the head of each terrorism prevention 
     agency concerned--
       (A) develop a consolidated proposed budget for each fiscal 
     year for all programs and activities under the Strategy . . .

  And submit it to the President and Congress.

       The head of the Federal terrorism prevention and response 
     agency may not submit to Congress a request for a 
     reprogramming or transfer of any funding specified in the 
     National Terrorism Prevention and Response Program Budget for 
     programs or activities of the agency under the Strategy for 
     a fiscal year in excess of $5,000,000 without the approval 
     of the Director.

  So, obviously, there is substantial budgetary authority--even though 
we have created a new Secretary with vast responsibilities, including 
the normal budgetary responsibilities--that the head of this Department 
would have. We still have the OMB and the regular process. Yet we would 
have a new Director who may not have the entire view of the Government 
that OMB has.
  Certainly it has an important function, an important role to play. 
Certainly it can have some input, but the ability to unilaterally make 
those kinds of budgetary decisions when we have this process, at a time 
when we are creating a new Department and a new Secretary, and to kind 
of take that away from the OMB, which has responsibility for a bigger 
picture, shall we say, I submit is not a good idea and it is 
  It is not necessarily accurate to say that more is better when 
creating this Department. We can make it so large, so huge, there are 
so many moving parts--and we already have more directorates in the 
Senate bill than the President would submit--that it becomes unworkable 
or much more difficult to handle and to manage than is necessary.
  Also, it takes away from ease of accountability. One of the most 

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things we have seen in the Governmental Affairs Committee with regard 
to the overall operation of the Government in looking at so many of the 
efficiencies that many of the Departments have and that we fear we may 
be incorporating into this new Department is lack of accountability, 
who is in charge. If the administration has it their way--and I submit 
on a close call you ought to give an administration, and the President, 
and a new Secretary, a fighting chance to take the approach they want 
to take and then have the accountability of making it work than 
otherwise--if we adopted the President's suggestion, we would have the 
Office of Homeland Security, Mr. Ridge, which he says he will retain 
under any circumstances. So we have to assume he will.
  The Office of Combating Terrorism, under the NSC, which we have, and 
a new Department with a new Secretary with a big umbrella covering 22 
agencies, I submit that will be complicated enough. We do not need a 
new directorate duplicating the budget process, duplicating the 
strategy process, when we already have one, and doing all those things 
that the administration is saying we don't want to do, we don't need to 
do. There has not been any good reason to say that is an incorrect 
position or that we need it. I don't think anyone has ever recommended 
exactly what we are considering today.
  The Gilmore Commission suggested a statutory White House position. 
That is true. But they did not also suggest a new Department. That was 
before we had the new Department under consideration, as we have today.
  Hart-Rudman recommended a new Department, but they did not recommend 
a statutory White House position. They recommended a coordinator, as I 
recall. I think I am accurate in saying that no Commission, no entity, 
anywhere, has ever recommended we have both a statutory, confirmable 
White House entity in addition to a new Department with a new Secretary 
which would be confirmable.
  I submit it is a reasonable and prudent thing to prune this huge--
some have called it--monstrosity. Maybe I have in times past. It is so 
big and potentially so unwieldy. I hope it does not turn out to be a 
monstrosity. I am talking about the new Department with all of the 
different agencies and 170,000 people, coming together and all of that. 
Surely, on something that is clearly as duplicative as this, we can 
pare it down a bit, use those offices and people we already have in 
place in all these key positions, and give the administration the 
ability to start this extremely important operation on a level playing 
field and one with which they feel comfortable. It does nothing for 
homeland security. It does not do anything to make this Nation safe by 
just adding on new agencies or any offices and new Directors and new 
  Let this entity also do what this other entity is already doing and 
establish someone else in play with regard to that. That does not do a 
thing to enhance homeland security.
  I submit that it diminishes homeland security. None of us want to do 
that. So I submit the amendment is founded on sound principles and 
deserves serious consideration.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the amendment 
offered by my friend and colleague from Tennessee, which would strike 
title II and title III, two very important pieces of our legislation; 
that is, the amendment that was passed out of the Governmental Affairs 
  I thank my friend and colleague from Florida, Senator Graham, not 
only for his eloquent statement in response to the introduction of the 
amendment by Senator Thompson, but for the considerable work he has 
done on this proposal for almost a year now building on work, as he 
said in his statement, that was done by other groups calling for such 
an office. It was bipartisan work, incidentally--including members of 
the other party here in the Senate. This work greatly influenced the 
Senate Governmental Affairs Committee as we put together the amendment 
that we bring before you. So I thank the Senator from Florida for his 
thoughtful leadership on this matter.
  This is not an amendment that strikes at the margins of our committee 
proposal. This is an amendment that really goes to one of the 
fundamental parts of the amendment that the Governmental Affairs 
Committee reported out in a bipartisan vote of 12 to 5. Look at the 
title of the amendment, the proposed bill: The National Homeland 
Security and Combating Terrorism Act of 2002. It clearly is the 
intention of our committee not just to create a Department of Homeland 
Security, which is, of course critical, but to combat terrorism. 
Terrorism goes beyond homeland security. It goes beyond the Department 
of Homeland Security. We feel very strongly that it requires the kind 
of strong coordination that the National Office for Combating Terrorism 
would provide. We wrote these two titles, title II and title III that 
Senator Thompson's amendment would strike, into our bill because while 
the new Department of Homeland Security would be a critical advance in 
our efforts to combat terrorism by raising our guard, by defending 
ourselves, the American people here at home, it is obviously not all 
that is needed to rise to the challenge that our terrorist enemies have 
put before us.
  More than half the Members of the Senate were in New York Friday with 
more than half the Members of the House to meet in an unusual joint 
session to express our solidarity and respect and admiration to the 
people of New York, to honor those who were heroes that day, to mourn 
those who died that day, and to support their survivors. But also, I 
think, to rededicate ourselves to the war on terrorism so, as much as 
it is humanly possible, we believe that we have done everything we can 
to prevent another September 11 type of attack from occurring.
  I strongly believe for that to be so we need not only the Department 
of Homeland Security, but the office that this proposal would require 
because even after the Department is up and running, there are going to 
be many agencies and programs with key roles in the war on terrorism 
that would be outside the purview of the new Department. That is why we 
created this national office in the White House.
  The Director of the office, in my view, and I believe in the view of 
the majority on the committee, would be the primary architect of an 
antiterrorism multi-agency strategy working, of course, for the 
President because the Director is the appointee of the President. That 
strategy would include a host of components beyond homeland security--
some diplomatic, some financial, some military, some intelligence, some 
law enforcement. I think Senator Graham has listed the possibilities 
and the realities quite effectively.
  What we are saying is, what we need to prevent another September 11 
from ever happening again is not just a new department to oversee the 
most critical aspects of homeland security, but a coordinator, a 
director working directly for the President, who has the real power and 
positioning to see the larger picture of the war against terrorism and 
to coordinate it in a very aggressive way for the President.
  We heard testimony at one of our Governmental Affairs Committee 
hearings--one of 18 we have held since September 11, 2001, from Ashton 
Carter, who was an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton 
administration. I want to quote from him. Ash said:
  The announcement of an intention to create a cabinet-level Department 
of Homeland Security should in no way obscure the paramount need for a 
strong White House hand over all aspects of homeland security . . . The 
nation's capabilities for homeland security, even optimally 
coordinated, are simply not adequate to cope with 21st century 
terrorism. What is needed is far less a coordinator of what exists than 
an architect of the capabilities we need to build.
  I want to read from a few others who have both supported the creation 
of a new Department and a strong White House office.
  In July, the Brookings Institute issued a report called, "Assessing 
the Department of Homeland Security." They say in that report:

       Whether Congress establishes the broad ranging department 
     the Bush administration proposes or the more focused 
     department we advocate--

  That is the nonpartisan experts on this task force at Brookings--

     there will remain a need for White-House coordination. By the 
     administration's own

[[Page S8357]]

     reckoning, more than 100 U.S. government agencies are 
     involved in the homeland security effort . . . There is a 
     critical need to coordinate their actions with those of DHS 
     and to develop and implement a government-wide homeland 
     security strategy.
       Indeed [Brookings continued] it would be advisable to 
     broaden the scope of the Office of Homeland Security to 
     include overseeing the intersection between the U.S., 
     domestic and overseas counter-terrorism activities. Under 
     this arrangement, the Office of Homeland Security will likely 
     only be able to perform its vital coordinating functions if 
     Congress steps in and provides the homeland security office, 
     council and director status in law.

  Which, parenthetically, I say, is exactly what our proposal would do. 
Going back to Brookings:

       Moreover, if the Office of Homeland Security and its 
     director are to continue to have a major role in drawing up 
     an integrated homeland security budget--

  As was the case for Governor Ridge for the 2003 fiscal year request--

     it is absolutely critical that the director not only have 
     statutory authority but be accountable and answerable to 

  I will read one more quote of GEN Barry McCaffrey, who testified 
before our committee on October 12 of 2001. Of course, General 
McCaffrey had been the Director of the Office of National Drug Control 
Policy. He talked about the importance of the authority to review and 
certify budgets if we are going to have and implement a national 
strategy for combating terrorism. General McCaffrey said:

       A strategy without the resources is not worth the paper it 
     is written on. The director of the Homeland Security Office 
     needs the authority to independently decertify any agency 
     budget that does not provide the resources needed to combat 
     the threat of terrorism.

  He added:

       Not only are budget certification powers required to ensure 
     sufficient resources, they also play a critical role in 
     policy-making. The ability to decertify an agency's budget is 
     the nuclear weapon of policymaking--it isn't something you 
     can use often, but the mere fact that it is in your 
     arsenal guarantees you are taken seriously. If you want to 
     see another agency get with the program fast, just 
     articulate the possible decertification of its budget.

  End of quote from General McCaffrey. It is a very important point. 
The reality is that President Bush has acknowledged the need for an 
ongoing White House coordinating office on homeland security and 
terrorism, saying he would retain the current office he established 
last October once the new Department is established. That is what the 
Thompson amendment seeks to achieve, preserving the status quo with 
respect to the powers of the Office of Homeland Security.
  But with all due respect, that would give us less than we need. We 
need an office that, of course, is accountable to the President, the 
President's appointee, but nonetheless can be an advocate within the 
councils of our Government to make antiterrorism a priority and, also, 
as General McCaffrey's words suggest, to create an incentive, because 
of the potential use of the power of decertification, for agencies not 
to slip back and underfund our antiterrorism effort, not to allow us to 
fall back into a slumber and make counterterrorism and antiterrorism a 
secondary or tertiary matter.
  This office, with the authority our bill gives it, through both 
budgetary authority and Senate confirmation, will have the power to be 
what we all need it to be. The President basically acknowledges the 
utility of continuing the office. The question is, Will it be a strong 
office or a weak office?
  I think the very reasons that convinced President Bush, contrary to 
his original position on this--and, of course, I am grateful for the 
change he made and I appreciate and admire him for making it--make the 
case for a strong White House office. He concluded that the original 
Office of Homeland Security was not enough to do the job that he 
wanted, as President, to have done because it did not have the power to 
do the job.
  Also, there are war stories you can hear from inside the councils of 
Government about various attempts Governor Ridge made to try to bring 
some coordination to the disparate agencies involved in homeland 
defense. For instance, there was a proposal on coordinating the border 
agencies, and it was knocked down from within the agencies themselves.
  Part of why, probably, those four men to whom Senator Byrd refers 
often, who gathered secretly to put together the administration's 
position or recommendation on the Department of Homeland Security, did 
so is that I think they--wisely, in this case--did not want to enter 
into a process preliminarily that would have allowed the bureaucracy to 
fight change, which was what Governor Ridge was facing.
  So I think the fact that the Governor hit a lot of roadblocks and 
speed bumps rather than paved stretches of road should convince us that 
a Senate-confirmed director of the White House office, exercising 
statutory powers, would have the clout he or she needs to accomplish 
what the President wants him or her to accomplish.
  Some argue, I know, that once we create the new Department, it will 
not really matter if the White House position is statutory and Senate 
confirmed. Certainly, I agree that even without a statutory and Senate-
confirmed director of the White House office--which, again, we know 
will exist, in any case--the new Department of Homeland Security would 
be a vast improvement over what we have today. But it is still risky.

  It is inadequate to assume that, even with the new Department, we can 
afford to have anything less than the strong antiterrorism coordinating 
office in the White House that was conceived by Senator Graham and his 
cosponsors and adopted by our committee. As he has said, critical 
pieces of the antiterrorism effort cut across the Government and will 
not and cannot and should not be folded into the new Department even if 
it is well organized. Somebody needs to be looking at the big picture 
with a comprehensive sense of how every piece and element of the fight 
supports every other element, and then directly advising the President 
as to how the entire effort can be strategically integrated and 
  The White House office can be a crucial complement to a line agency. 
It is not unprecedented for Congress to create such positions within 
the White House, as Senator Graham has said. Such legislatively created 
offices include the National Security Council; the U.S. Trade 
Representative, subject to confirmation; the Office of Drug Control 
Policy, of course, subject to confirmation by the Senate; and the 
Director of OMB, naturally subject to confirmation by the Senate.
  The complexity of orchestrating the fight against terrorism makes 
this mission, which will be central to our security for a good part of 
the years ahead of us, every bit as worthy of statutory status within 
the White House as those other missions fighting drugs, expanding and 
providing for fair trade, and coordinating management and budgeting.
  The White House office our legislation envisions would not be charged 
with homeland security per se, I want to make clear. Homeland security 
is the responsibility of the new Department. The White House office's 
job is to orchestrate and advise the President more broadly on the 
fight against terrorism. For instance, central questions that this 
office would consider, that will not come before the Department of 
Homeland Security or the Secretary, are: Are we doing enough to cut off 
the money supply of al-Qaida? And where might a new funding stream come 
from? Are our public diplomacy efforts, which are run through the State 
Department, complementing the other pieces, the military pieces, of the 
wider war against terrorism? How should our trade policies or our 
foreign aid policies be structured to be maximally effective in the 
fight against terrorism? Are there efforts that are duplicative or are 
there gaps between the various Departments beyond homeland security 
that need to be addressed? Those are central questions in the war 
against terrorism which will not come before or be decided by the 
Secretary of Homeland Security or all the agencies working under him or 
  A lot of our antiterrorism effort was not well coordinated before 
September 11. That is a sad fact. As we approach the first September 11 
since the dark day of September 11, 2001, it is critically important 
that we make sure our antiterrorism effort has learned all the painful 
lessons of last September 11. It is just unrealistic to think that a 
new Department alone will achieve that goal. We must still press for 
the most effective coordination and leadership we can achieve.

[[Page S8358]]

  I must say, we must do that for the longer term. I understand the 
President has strong feelings about this, but Congress has a 
responsibility to legislate for the longer term. As we all have agreed, 
the battle against terrorism is going to go on for the longer term, not 
just through this administration. And that really argues strongly for a 
statutory, Senate-confirmed position such as this bill would provide.
  I want to quote David Walker, the Comptroller General, who made this 
point when he testified before our committee in April. On that 
occasion, he called for support of a statutory, Senate-confirmed 
official to coordinate antiterrorism policy Government-wide. 
Comptroller General Walker stated:

       Bottom line, there is a clear correlation that to the 
     extent that there is a significant responsibility that spans 
     administrations and years, that involve significant sums of 
     money, . . . Congress has historically sought to address 
     those with a statutory basis and to head those offices or 
     operations with a Presidential appointee subject to Senate 
     confirmation. History has shown that those lead to . . . more 
     effective and accountable activity.
  That is a critically important statement. We are legislating here for 
the long term. David Walker explains why the long-term interests of the 
security of the American people argue for this office as we have 
conceived it.
  Brookings Institution scholar Paul Light added at one of our 

       Congress should establish a statutory foundation for the 
     White House Office of Homeland Security. Such a foundation is 
     essential for the strategy, authority, and, perhaps most 
     importantly, accountability.

  Again, an important office. There is no sense in maintaining this 
office, as the President wants to do, unless it has an important role. 
If it has an important role, it ought to be subject to Senate 
confirmation and, therefore, accountable to the Congress as 
representatives of the people.
  Title III of the legislation calls for a comprehensive national 
strategy to combat terrorism to be developed collaboratively by the new 
Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the White House 
Office for Combating Terrorism. The Secretary will have the lead role 
in issues of border security, critical infrastructure protection, 
emergency preparation and response, and integration with State and 
local efforts. Those are the elements within the Department. But the 
Director will have overall responsibility for preparing the strategy 
and will take the lead on strategic planning concerning intelligence 
and military assets, for instance, law enforcement, and diplomacy.
  The idea is, the Director, working with the Secretary, will ensure 
the coordination of critical counterterrorism areas of Government 
outside the Secretary's direct control. And the legislation establishes 
an interagency council to be cochaired by the Secretary and Director to 
assist with preparation and implementation of the strategy.
  It very progressively establishes a nonpartisan nine-member panel of 
outside experts to provide an assessment of the terrorism strategy. 
This is similar to the national defense panel created in legislation 
that came out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which I am 
privileged to be a member, that, in 1999, assessed the first Department 
of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review for military planning, and did so 
with very productive results.
  In the area of antiterrorism, complacency has to be our constant 
concern. This panel our legislation creates will help assure an 
outsider-based, so-called red team critique of the strategy on a 
periodic basis.
  Under our legislation, this antiterrorism strategy would be updated 
on a regular basis. The President's recently completed and released 
homeland security strategy is a good, constructive beginning, but of 
course it does not obviate the need for more detailed and updated 
strategies in the years to come.
  I don't know if it is fair to quote a distinguished citizen from 
Tennessee when arguing against an amendment offered by the Senators 
from Tennessee, but I remember Fred Smith of FedEx said in a speech 
years ago, speaking to his employees--I paraphrase; I may not have it 
exactly--the journey to higher quality services has no final 
destination point.
  That is a good point because the journey goes on and on. We are 
constantly trying to improve. In that same sense, the need for constant 
review and revision of our antiterrorism efforts will have no end. We 
have to keep reviewing and being a step ahead of our enemies.
  I hope in the years to come and in future administrations, obviously, 
that terrorism is much less fresh in the minds and hearts and souls of 
the American people than it is less than a year after September 11. 
When it is, we need to ensure that, nonetheless, antiterrorism does not 
fall from the top of our concerns because these enemies of ours will 
still be out there in the shadows.

  This statutory proposal of ours seems to me to be one of the best 
ways we can guarantee steadfast attention to the terrorism threat from 
administration to administration, from generation to generation, as we 
go forward in this century. We have never before had to organize and 
implement both a concerted assault against terrorists and to mount a 
defense of our people here at home at the same time, following an 
attack of this kind against civilians, innocents, on our territory. It 
is unprecedented.
  Meeting the challenge means not only consolidating and organizing the 
dozens of agencies responsible for homeland security into a single 
unified chain of command, as we did in the first title of our bill, but 
it also means ensuring that the agencies and offices that remain 
outside the Department do not slip to the fringes of the fight against 
terrorism. That is what is achieved in titles II and III of the bill 
which Senator Thompson's amendment would strike.
  We need every gear of government turning in the right direction, 
supporting every other as far ahead as we can see, to maximize our 
antiterrorism strategy, to advance the President's vision and policies, 
and to provide, in this painfully new context, for the common defense.
  Therefore, I strongly oppose the Senator's amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Connecticut 
for eloquently laying out his case against this amendment. It makes for 
a good debate.
  As I sit and listen and think about what we are about here, it occurs 
to me that never before in the history of this country have we ever set 
up an organizational framework at this level of government. That is a 
pretty strong statement. I stand to be corrected if I can be.
  We are setting up something here that we have never tried before. We 
are experimenting in a way in which we should not be experimenting. Why 
do I say that? I say that because we have never had a situation in the 
highest levels of government where we had a department with clearly 
defined responsibilities for an area of government and a White House 
entity that is Senate confirmed with decertification authority over the 
budget that pertains to that Secretary.
  If there is another situation like that in the history of the 
Government, I will acknowledge it and stand corrected.
  Reference has been made to the drug czar. He is Senate confirmed. He 
has decertification authority. But there wasn't a department such as 
the one we are in the process of creating. He, by his nature, by the 
nature of his job, had to coordinate legions of different entities and 
agencies and departments' budgets under the framework they had then. 
There was no one drug department or drug-fighting department other than 
him. He was it.
  He had to deal with budgets of the Department of Agriculture, the 
Corporation for National and Community Service, the DC court services 
and offender protection, the Department of Defense, the intelligence 
community management account, the Department of Education, the 
Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development, the Department of the Interior, the judiciary, the 
Department of Justice--I am not listing all the divisions and agencies 
within these Departments--the Department of Labor, the OMBCP, the Small 
Business Administration, the Department of State, the Department of 
Transportation, and the

[[Page S8359]]

Department of the Treasury. He was a coordinator in the truest sense of 
the word--not analogous at all to the situation we have here.
  Reference has been made again to the NSC. We all know that the NSC 
not only does not have decertification authority; the NSC has no budget 
authority. The NSC is not confirmed by the Senate. Reference was made 
some way to our Trade Representative. He is confirmed by the Senate. He 
is the Trade Representative. I guess you could make some analogy to the 
Department of Commerce in terms of there being a Department that 
somehow has a responsibility in that area, but he is the person there, 
plus the fact that he has no decertification authority with regard to 
the Department of Commerce or anybody else.

  So, again, I cannot think of another situation where we have had a 
large Department that we are getting ready to create, with 22 agencies, 
170,000 people, and all the responsibilities, and we are going to be 
looking to that new Secretary. Everybody agrees there needs to be a 
coordinator there. I don't hear any reference to Mr. Ridge not doing a 
good job or the present circumstance not working out.
  As the Office of Homeland Security is now constituted, we have a 
coordinator. But a new Department, a coordinator, who has 
decertification authority--think about how that would work. It is a 
recipe for conflict and turmoil within any administration. I don't know 
that there is a comparable in the history of our Government. It stands 
to reason that there would not be. What we seemingly have done is taken 
a lot of good ideas from a lot of people and added them together and 
not eliminated much of anything.
  I don't know of any proposal that we do that is truly analogous. 
Perhaps Brookings comes the closest, but they were thinking about a 
much narrower Department. They were thinking about a border security 
department more than anything else.
  So I suggest that we really think this through. More is not 
necessarily better. Do we really want a new coordinator who apparently 
is going to work down the hall from Mr. Ridge? I don't know if we are 
assuming--the President tells us he deserves to have his own person 
there. Are we assuming that he is going to back off? Is the new 
person--new Director--going to work down the hall from Mr. Ridge? Are 
we going to insist that the President get rid of Mr. Ridge's position 
because one is not confirmed and the other one is to be confirmed? It 
cannot be the same person serving both functions. I don't know what we 
are assuming.
  Do we really want to set up a person there who has decertification of 
the budget--even over the military, apparently, according to Senator 
Warner, who can speak for himself, and I understand he will--inside the 
White House? It is to be submitted to the budget and to him before it 
even goes to OMB, when you have a Secretary there with all of the 
responsibilities, budgetary and otherwise, that Secretaries normally 
have? Do we really want to do that? Is that really going to improve the 
operation of Government?
  Like I say, there have been different ideas at different times, at 
different stages of this process. Many of them are good ideas, but many 
of them came before the President proposed his ideas for a Department 
and before he submitted his national strategy in July. To a great 
extent, unfortunately, what we have done is taken all these proposals 
and kind of added them together and said if a Senate-confirmed new 
Secretary for a Department is good, then a Senate-confirmed new Office 
of Homeland Security would be even better. And if the responsibility of 
the new Secretary for his budget is a good idea, let's have somebody 
over in the White House who can decertify his budget.
  As I say, I think it is a recipe for turmoil within any 
administration. It is a recipe for conflict. I know that is not what is 
intended. As I sit here and think about how this would work, I think 
that would happen in any administration.
  I think Mr. McCaffrey used his authority one time to great 
consternation with regard to everybody, but it would not be anything--
perhaps he used it wisely, and I assume he did, but it would not be 
anything like a new Secretary with the responsibilities that a new 
Secretary would have, and the responsibility that OMB has.
  We are going from a budget surplus to a budget deficit. We have no 
idea, in my humble opinion, as to how much this is going to cost us. We 
don't know how much it is going to cost the private sector and the 
State and local governments. I think it is going to be a lot if we do 
what we need to do to protect our infrastructure and the other things 
that constitute homeland security. It is certainly going to cost the 
Federal Government an awful lot of money.
  We cannot shut this Nation down. We cannot spend all of our money on 
homeland security. We cannot have someone--I suggest it would not be 
wise--in the White House who only has responsibility for homeland 
security dictating what the entire Federal budget ought to look like. 
Somebody has to balance those, goodness knows, legitimate and, I would 
even say, primary concerns. But they are not exclusive concerns. We 
don't have an unlimited amount of money. We are apparently not willing 
to make tradeoffs.
  We are spending money like there is no war against terrorism. We are 
adding new entitlement programs--the Congress is--as we speak. We have 
done some and are in the process of doing others. So what are we going 
to do, send somebody up in the White House to say, stop, don't let us 
kill again; is that the idea?
  I think it has to do more with the will of Congress. We are going to 
have to do the right thing as a Congress. The Secretary is going to 
have to make proposals. The President and the head of OMB are going to 
have to say how much money we have to spend, and then take it to 
Congress and see what we think about it.
  There will be plenty of ways for Congress to exert its will--properly 
so. We are not going to be cut out and should not be. That is the 
normal process. Do we really need another entity, which I think would 
be unprecedented, in the midst of all this confusion and difficulty 
that we are going through? People talk about maybe we ought to look at 
this thing in stages. Maybe that is one of the things we ought to look 
at in stages.
  If it turns out that the strategy does not pan out, it is not 
satisfactory, that the budgetary situation is not working, it might be 
something we can revisit at another time. But with all these 
difficulties, is this really something we want to interject in the 
middle of this very difficult process? I submit to you that it is not.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Corzine). The Senator from Florida is 
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, just to respond to some of the comments of 
my friend and colleague from Tennessee, it seems to me, as this debate 
has gone on for the last couple of hours, that we have sort of narrowed 
the focus. One question is: Does America need--assuming that there will 
be created an Office for Homeland Security--an office in the Presidency 
for the specific purpose of coordinating our efforts to combat 
  I think the Senator from Tennessee just said he agreed--or he thought 
the President agreed--that some sort of office like that was going to 
be necessary. Basically, it is the office that Governor Ridge has been 
occupying now for approximately 10 months. So we agree there is a 
sufficient potential disorder, with the number of agencies that are 
going to have a role in our efforts to combat terrorism, and that is 
the specific and sole focus of this office in the White House; that it 
justifies somebody to attempt to bring order out of disorder.

  As I was reviewing the legislation, I found some agencies that, 
frankly, I had not originally thought were going to be part of the 
fight to combat terrorism which I did not mention in my earlier 
remarks. One of those is the Environmental Protection Agency. One might 
say: How in the world is the Environmental Protection Agency going to 
be a part of the effort of homeland security against terrorism?
  The answer is, if you list our vulnerabilities to terrorists, clearly 
one of the most significant of those vulnerabilities is our 
infrastructure, our basic water systems. If you were a creative 
terrorist and wanted to quickly disrupt America, identifying and 
targeting your efforts against our

[[Page S8360]]

water supply would be one of the ways that you might consider doing so.
  Obviously, if that is going to be a vulnerability, then the agency of 
the Federal Government which has the primary responsibility, 
particularly for protecting the quality of our water--the Environmental 
Protection Agency--becomes an agency that has a role to play in 
deterring terrorists from access to that part of America's 
  The list of agencies you can consider today, much less what we might 
be dealing with 10 or 20 years from now when the imagination of the 
terrorists in our own sense of vulnerabilities have become more mature, 
could be very numerous. So we agree there is a need for there to be an 
agency in the White House for purposes of focusing on the specific 
issue of terrorism.
  The second question then becomes: If so, how should that office be 
organized? Should it be called "a meeting and hope people will come 
and, if they come, that they will cooperate" type of agency, or should 
they have some agency with teeth that can sink in, if that is 
necessary, in order to accomplish the result?
  We have had some experience with the former type of agency in the 
original version of the National Office of Drug Control. That office 
had relatively little real teeth and, therefore, had little 
effectiveness on chewing on the difficult problems of getting the 
variety of Federal agencies that have a role in our drug policy to 
  We already are aware of some of the difficulties we are going to have 
in the area of homeland security because we are identifying areas in 
which various agencies, for reasons of their cultural attitudes or 
traditions, their isolation, their desire to not share the potential 
glory of success with other agencies, have been insular and the 
American people have paid the price because the agencies that should 
have known important pieces of information were denied that information 
and, therefore, their ability to be as effective on behalf of the 
American people in giving us security against terrorists was 
  We know that this office within the White House has to have enough 
power to be taken seriously. I believe it is the evolution of the 
Office of Drug Policy that is the most informing recent experience in 
American Government as to what kind of agency this needs to be and that 
we do not have the luxury of waiting 10 years for it to get there; that 
this office within the White House needs to have some ability to 
oversee and control the budget as it is being developed to assure that 
it is consistent with the strategy for combating terrorism that has 
been agreed to and that, in the implementation of budgets, agencies 
will devote the required funds necessary to carry out that strategy.

  I believe if we are serious about a war on terror--and the American 
people are very serious about an effective war on terror--they need to 
have what, in this beginning of the season, we might refer to as a head 
coach who can oversee all of the assistant coaches who have 
responsibility for individual components of the team to assure that the 
team in totality is focused on victory against its opponent.
  There is the third question, and that is: How do we prepare for the 
future? It was said that we do not need title III which calls for the 
development of a strategic comprehensive plan to combat terrorism 
because we already have a plan. It was the plan the President submitted 
a few weeks ago.
  Without commenting about the current plan that the President 
submitted, I can tell you--and I do not believe there would be anyone 
here who would speak to the contrary--but that is not the plan we are 
going to have 10 years from now. We are not so lame-headed as to be 
unable to learn from the experience that we are going to have over the 
next decade and to then incorporate that experience into what we think 
is the effective strategy to protect Americans against terrorism.
  Unfortunately, there is a tendency to want to revere the status quo 
and to resist change. In my earlier remarks I talked about some of the 
history of the American intelligence agencies, going back to their 
inception in 1947 and how they became so committed to fighting the cold 
war against the one big enemy, the Soviet Union, that when the cold war 
was over and we suddenly had a much different environment of enemies, 
that they found it difficult to make the transitions that were 
necessary to respond to the new set of enemies.
  The same thing is going to happen in our domestic war to secure 
Americans here in our homeland, but we have already demonstrated some 
of the slowness to respond.
  One of my critiques of the current effort at homeland security is 
that we have tended to focus our efforts on those vulnerabilities that 
have been attacked. Just think of all the things we have done to change 
the character of American airports and American commercial airlines, 
with many more changes still to be fully implemented. Contrast that to 
what we have done to substantially increase the security in areas that, 
in my judgment, are equal in their vulnerability and threat to the 
people of the United States, such as the water systems to which I 
referred earlier.
  What have we done to increase the security of our seaports and those 
thousands of containers which enter America every day? In my own 
judgment, they represent one of the greatest threats for a terrorist 
wishing to bring a weapon of mass destruction into the United States.
  We have almost a genetic tendency to support the status quo and a 
genetic tendency to respond when we have been hit where we have been 
hit. Hopefully, this agency, at its best, will be an agency that will 
challenge us to think creatively about what our vulnerabilities might 
be, and then to assess: Are we taking those steps that are reasonable 
and appropriate to protect us against an attack, against a 
vulnerability that has not yet been exploited?
  I believe an agency that has that kind of an orientation, mission, 
and responsibility will also then need the authority this legislation 
provides to see that, in fact, we act against that.
  It is easy to get Americans energized to deal with commercial airline 
safety when commercial airliners have been flown into some of the 
symbols of America's greatness, but it is more difficult to get 
Americans to respond to dealing with the potential threats at a 
seaport, or a metal container rolling down the highway when we have not 
yet been attacked at that point of vulnerability.
  This agency will have the opportunity, within the White House, with 
the power of the Presidency and the power of the Congress, through 
confirmation, and with the power that this legislation would provide, 
to be that creative watchdog to ensure that we are responding to the 
threat profile as it changes and that we do not require that we be 
attacked in a particular point of vulnerability before we take steps to 
secure that vulnerability.
  So I think those are the basic issues in this debate.
  Does America need such an office? I believe there is unanimity, yes. 
Once established, does the office need to have the capability, the 
authority, and the clout to assure that it can conduct a difficult job? 
I think the answer to that question is yes because it then answers the 
third question: Are we going to look to this agency to be, yes, a 
coordinative agency; yes, an agency that will help advise us as to the 
wisest strategy to combat terrorism, but, maybe most importantly, to be 
the agency that will be responsible for our creative inquiry as to what 
is the nature of the threat today, what is it likely to be tomorrow, 
and how do we prepare to give to the American people what they deserve 
and what they look to us to provide, the most effective security in the 
homeland of America?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, I agree we do have some points of 
agreement. One is the fact that we do need a person in the White House 
in this coordination function. I agree with the second point also that 
we need a person with some clout. I submit Condoleezza Rice has clout 
and Tom Ridge has clout to do their jobs. Neither is confirmed by the 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.

[[Page S8361]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, if I may just momentarily desist and 
continue to hold the floor?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, throughout this debate--and there really 
hasn't been a lot of debate--there was talk about rushing this bill 
through and putting it on the President's desk before the August 
recess. Then there was kind of a fallback position in which it would be 
rushed through but it would be on the President's desk by 9/11, 
September 11. Neither of these efforts, as they appeared to be 
explained in the newspaper, was a very wise approach to dealing with 
such a very, very difficult, important--and I will use the word 
complex, which encompasses difficult as well, but I will add it to the 
sentence--piece of legislation.
  How many Senators are paying attention to what is being said on this 
very important legislation? We have on the floor the distinguished 
manager of the bill, the chairman of the committee which had 
jurisdiction over this legislation, and we have the ranking member. 
These two Senators are here at their posts of duty. How many other 
Senators are there? I see the distinguished Senator from New Jersey, 
Mr. Corzine, in the Chair. And here is this middling upstart from West 
Virginia at this desk.
  So the deadline for completing this legislation by the beginning of 
the recess came and went, and the deadline of September 11 is going to 
come and go, but who is paying attention? My thought was that if 
Senators had the August recess, many of them would read this bill. What 
I mean by "this bill," this bill is a House bill which was passed by 
the House after 2 days of floor debate--imagine that. Two days of floor 
debate. Why, it would take longer than that to get a sewer permit 
approved by the city council in many towns. And here we are passing a 
bill of this magnitude in 2 days by the other body and great pressure 
on this body, now, to act on this mammoth proposition, great pressure 
from the President, who is going up and down the country saying: Pass 
my bill. Pass my bill. Pass my bill. Then there are others from both 
sides who are willing to go along and really want to hurry through this 

  But let me say in all candor that if we do not pass this bill until 
next year, this country is not going to go undefended at its borders, 
at its ports, at its airports. No. The same people who will be working 
in the agencies within the new Department, when it is created, are 
already out there right now. They are out there on the borders today. 
They were out there last night when you and I were sleeping. I take it 
that you slept a little bit. I got a fair amount of sleep. But they 
were out there protecting us. They are at the airports. We are not 
satisfied with the protection we are getting at the airports, but I 
don't know that this bill is going to improve that.
  But, in any event, what I am saying is that the very people who are 
going to be protecting the ports of entry, protecting the long borders 
to the north and to the south, protecting the seaports and the river 
ports, they are out there now. These are experienced people. These are 
those terrible Federal employees whose rights are about to be swept 
away under the administration's proposal. But under this bill they are 
being protected.
  That is not exactly the point I am making. The point I am trying to 
make is why the hurry? On the other hand, in looking about this Senate 
one would say: Why not? There is no interest in this bill. Senators are 
not at their desks. Look on that side: One Senator. Look on this side: 
Two Senators, and one in the Chair. I am not saying that in derogation 
of Senators. They are busy, very busy. Senators are on committees, they 
have people back home who are No. 1. This is the people's branch. They 
are busy.
  But how many Senators have read this bill? That is the key. If more 
Senators had read this bill than obviously have read it, I think we 
would have more Senators on both sides on the floor.
  The chairman and ranking member have given plenty of attention to 
this bill. They worked for days. Their staffs worked for days and far 
into the nights in developing this piece of legislation. So we have 
several Senators on both sides of the aisle who have read the bill and 
worked over it and they have far more expertise so far as this bill is 
concerned than I have.
  I am not on the committee that has jurisdiction over their 
legislation; what business do I have here?
  Well, I have the same business here that every other Senator on both 
sides of the aisle has, and I have been concerned about this 
legislation. I have read the House bill. I have read the Lieberman 
substitute. And I have read them both more than once--twice is more 
than once, so I read them at least twice, you can say--you can draw 
from that statement. But I read this bill. When I say "this bill," I 
am talking about the House bill and the Lieberman substitute. The House 
bill is the underlying bill here--we all know that--and it can be 
amended, too.
  But the Thompson amendment is the amendment before the Senate right 
now, and it would strike title II and I believe it would strike title 
III as well; am I right?
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. That is true.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, the Thompson amendment touches the bill in 
more than one place. It touches the bill in several places so it is 
open to a point of order to strike, a point of order against this 
amendment because it touches the bill in several places--more than one 
place, certainly. Also, it certainly is open to division. I am not sure 
at this point in time that I intend to pursue either of these two 
courses: make a point of order or ask for divisions. I am not sure of 
that at all.

  I want to proceed right now with my statement. But I want to call 
attention to the fact that neither the Senate, apparently, judging from 
the attendance on the floor, nor the press is greatly concerned about 
this bill. Maybe Members and the media are just taking it for granted 
that this bill will pass, and it is a good bill, and the President 
wants it, and there it is; that is all there is to it. It is going to 
pass, so why fool around with it? Let's get on with something else. We 
have many other issues to occupy our attention.
  I cannot fathom the reasons, except that I do not believe Senators 
have read this bill. I just do not believe it. If Senators read this 
bill, I think many more Senators would express concerns about it. 
Several Senators have expressed concerns about it. I am very concerned 
about it. It is a complex bill, and I think we are about to pass 
legislation here, if we are not very careful, that we will come to rue, 
that there will be many, many problems in connection with this bill 
that Senators have not thought through and will look back and say: My, 
how could that have happened? I didn't know that was in the bill.
  So, in a way, I can understand Mr. Thompson's desire to strike titles 
II and III of the bill. I can understand that. I am not all together 
happy with either of those titles. But I think that the Senate will err 
in adopting the amendment by Mr. Thompson.
  Throughout this debate, such debate as we have had, I have made clear 
my respect for the efforts of Senator Thompson in his work with 
Chairman Lieberman on the homeland security bill. First of all, I think 
the Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Thompson, has a head full of common 
sense. You can find a good bit of that in those Tennessee hills and 
throughout most of Appalachia. I can say that because I am likewise 
from Appalachia. There are several States in Appalachia. But this 
Senator from Tennessee is one of the Senators representing a State in 
Appalachia where the common people, the common folk live. There are a 
lot of them down there, just ordinary people who live on my side of the 
tracks, the side of the tracks where I grew up.
  I have also made clear my intention to oppose any effort that I 
believe jeopardizes the rights and liberties of the American people. I, 
therefore, must oppose Senator Thompson's amendment because, as I see 
it, it would contribute to the undermining of our constitutional system 
of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches.

[[Page S8362]]

  Now, to begin with, let me say that the administration's proposal 
does exactly that in several ways. I will not go into all the ways 
today. But if Senators will take the time to read the House bill, which 
reflects, in great measure, the administration's position on homeland 
security, they will find many instances in the House bill reflecting 
the administration's position which do just that--that get between the 
Constitution and the people, that put the Constitution and the people 
off to one side--and while this piece of legislation goes like a 
steamroller over that constitutional system of checks and balances, the 
separation of powers.
  So the Thompson amendment would strike titles II and III of the 
Lieberman substitute. Title II is a title that provides a National 
Office for Combating Terrorism be established within the Executive 
Office of the President, presumably to replace the current White House 
Office of Homeland Security.

  So we already have, in essence, just such an office as the one we are 
talking about in title II; namely, a National Office for Combating 
Terrorism. There is already one in the White House. There is already 
one established within the Executive Office of the President. It has 
not been established by law, but it has been established by Executive 
order. I do not have much use for Executive orders, whether they are 
issued under a Republican President or a Democratic President. But this 
legislation would replace, in my judgment, the current White House 
Office of Homeland Security.
  In the legislation we are talking about here, in title II of the 
underlying legislation, such an office would be headed by a Director, 
who would be subject to Senate confirmation and made accountable to the 
Congress. Get that.
  We already have such a Director down at the White House now working 
within the office of the White House, and that person is Tom Ridge, a 
former Governor of Pennsylvania. He has been there quite a while. He 
has been given a great deal of authority by the administration, by this 
President. He is an individual who is not subject to Senate 
confirmation and, therefore, is not made accountable to the Congress.
  This legislation would make him subject to confirmation and 
accountable to the Congress. Why shouldn't that be the case?
  Mr. President, the White House Office of Homeland Security was 
created to respond to an immediate need for an Executive Office that 
would oversee our Nation's homeland security efforts. Since its 
creation, however, it has become clear that that office, which has 
taken on such an important role in protecting our homeland, was also 
designed to be insulated from the American people, to operate from 
within the White House without congressional oversight and outside our 
constitutional system of Government, without, as I say, congressional 
  Now, Senator Stevens and I, as all Senators know, tried repeatedly to 
have Mr. Ridge come before the Senate Appropriations Committee and 
testify on the budget for homeland security. The Director of the Office 
of Homeland Security has repeatedly refused.
  I say with respect to Mr. Ridge, he is a former Governor. He is a 
very able, likable man, who once served in the Congress of the United 
States. He repeatedly refused to testify before the Congress. The 
administration arrogantly, in my opinion--arrogantly--maintained that 
he is accountable to the President only and not to the people's 
  Now, I have some sympathy for the argument that a President ought to 
be able to have advisers from whom he can receive confidential 
  I am not saying that every Tom, Dick, and Harry, every clerk high and 
low at the White House, should have to come up and testify before the 
Congress if it invites him or her up to the Hill. I have sympathy for 
that idea as a concept.
  But in the Director of Homeland Security, we have something that goes 
far beyond a mere staff person, far beyond a mere adviser to the 
  The Bush administration designed the Office of Homeland Security to 
be the Federal Government's point man on homeland security. There is 
the man. He is the man in whom the President of the United States has 
reposed great confidence and authority. Authority? Well, there was an 
Executive order.
  The Office of Homeland Security was intimately involved in crafting 
the President's proposal to create a new Department of Homeland 
Security. I have said many times, I have almost spoken ad nauseam about 
the way this idea was initiated in the bowels of the White House and 
brought to life, much like Aphrodite, who sprang to life from the ocean 
foam and later appeared before the gods on Mount Olympus, and they all 
were much taken with Aphrodite; or much like Minerva who sprang from 
the forehead of Jove, fully armed, fully clothed, fully grown. And here 
it is, Minerva.
  Well, that is the way this thing kind of came up. It came right out 
of the White House like an ocean foam. There it is, bango. You got it. 
We have something here that was created, lock, stock, and barrel, from 
an embryo of a tiny imagination. It was not quite the committee that 
created the Declaration of Independence, not quite of that caliber, but 
it was a committee of respectable men. There were four of them.
  It was all done in secret, you know, down there in the subterranean 
caverns where there was not even a candlelight whose rays might 
illuminate just what was being talked about. But here it came.
  Do you know why it came? In large measure, I say to my friend, 
Senator Thompson, I think one of the compelling factors in this idea 
that sprang from the White House foam might have been that legislation, 
that appropriations bill which was fast approaching and which had in it 
the language that Senator Stevens and I put in it to require Mr. Ridge 
to be confirmed by the Senate of the United States.
  That was in the appropriations bill. That appropriations bill passed 
the Senate in the seventies for it. Nobody took on provision. Nobody 
attacked that provision when it was before the Senate. Nobody tried to 
strike it. But there was a provision in that appropriations bill that 
said the Director of Homeland Security should be confirmed by the 
Senate of the United States.
  Well, the administration saw that coming. They saw it coming like a 
train down the track. And it passed the Senate. Nobody raised any 
questions about it. It was headed for conference. And it went to 
  So the administration, I think, thought: Wait a minute here. We had 
better get on board. Let's not get on board. Let's get ahead of that 
train. That is a fast train coming down the track. Let's get ahead of 
it. And so here came this thing out of the dungeon, out of the dark 
bowels of the Earth, beneath the White House.
  So the administration had to do something fast to get ahead of this 
train so that the administration could claim, of course, credit for it. 
So here they came with this big idea of having a Department of Homeland 
Security. I am not sure they would have done that had Ted Stevens and I 
and the other members of the Appropriations Committee not included that 
provision in our appropriations bill which passed the Senate with 
nobody raising a finger against that provision. The administration saw 
that train coming.

  The Office of Homeland Security was intimately involved in crafting 
the President's proposal to create a new Department of Homeland 
Security. Its Director has represented our Nation in forging 
international agreements related to our homeland security. You see, 
Governor Ridge could go to Mexico, he could go to Canada, but he 
couldn't come here before the Senate Appropriations Committee. "No. 
No. No, don't throw me into that briar patch." He didn't want to come 
here. I think probably it was the President who didn't want him to come 
  Further, the President has vested in the Director of Homeland 
Security budgetary powers that led our colleague, Senator Specter, to 
say in testimony before the Governmental Affairs Committee in April:

       Some have compared Governor Ridge's position to that of Dr. 
     Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser. However, 
     Governor Ridge's authority over such a large piece of the 
     budget clearly distinguishes his position from that of the 
     National Security Adviser. When an adviser such as Governor 
     Ridge has significant responsibility for budgetary matters, 
     he should be subject to congressional oversight.

[[Page S8363]]

  That was Senator Specter. He went on to say:

       We need to "codify" Governor Ridge's position.

  The Office of Homeland Security is perhaps the clearest example of 
the administration's contempt, utter contempt, for Congress, a contempt 
that drives the White House to operate in a cloud of secrecy, beyond 
the boundaries of our constitutional system of government.
  I recall--I am sure my distinguished friend from Tennessee recalls 
because he was here, as I was, and he was right in the middle of the 
news of that day and time--the Nixon administration attempting to 
create an entire executive system to bypass Congress. It has been 
called a "personalized presidency." It has been called an 
"administrative presidency." But whatever we call it, President Nixon 
wanted an administration in which the Federal Government would be run 
out of the White House, while the executive departments, those agencies 
and offices that are subjected to the oversight of Congress--I am 
talking about the people's branch--were, for all practical purposes, 
stripped of policymaking powers.
  I do remember that period quite well. I was the Senate Democratic 
whip at the time. Senator Thompson must remember that period, too. He 
was minority counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Presidential 
Campaign Activities--in other words, the Watergate committee. He did a 
very competent job because he is a very competent man and a very 
knowledgeable person, as I said, and has a lot of the sense of the 
American people who read this thing and who are far ahead of any of us 
most of the time.
  I remember not only the Watergate scandal, but I also remember the 
atmosphere and the culture that created it. As President Nixon's 
counsel, John Dean, later pointed out, Watergate was "an inevitable 
outgrowth of a climate" that had developed over the previous years of 
the administration.
  Foreign and military policy at the time was being run not by the 
State Department so much or the Defense Department but largely out of 
the White House by the National Security Council, with National 
Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in command. There existed at the White 
House a layer of Government between the President and his Cabinet 
departments, with their congressionally confirmed Cabinet secretaries.
  To run domestic policy, the Nixon administration created a White 
House Domestic Council, which was patterned after Kissinger's version 
of the National Security Council. According to former Nixon 
administration official Richard Nathan, in his book, "The Plot That 
Failed: Nixon and the Administrative Presidency," Nixon's intent was 
"to achieve policy aims through administrative action as opposed to 
legislative change." I repeat, "through administration action as 
opposed to legislative change"--by the White House rather than the 
Congress, where the people have their say.
  I recall the Nixon administration's defiance of Congress and the 
constitutional process. This included Nixon administration officials 
refusing to appear before Congress. It included the Nixon 
administration's efforts to "stonewall" Congress by denying 
information to congressional committees. It included the Nixon 
administration's efforts to belittle Congress and its constitutional 
responsibilities. It included the impoundment of funds appropriated by 
Congress by Mr. Nixon.
  "Quite clearly," I wrote in my own history of the Senate, 
"President Nixon set out to circumvent Congress."
  "Had Nixon succeeded," wrote Arthur Schlesinger, "he would have 
effectively ended Congress as a serious partner in the Constitutional 
order"--a stunning thought that, through such brazen power grabs by 
the administration, in fact, one man could so dramatically shift the 
balance of power that safeguards the people's liberties. It should 
worry us all. It should worry us, as the people's elected 
representatives. It should worry the media, as the fourth estate that 
is to enlighten the people--our people. It should worry us all just how 
easily that shift can be accomplished.
  Cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in arrogance, the Nixon 
administration became one in which the President and his aides believed 
that they operated outside the constitutional process and beyond 
congressional oversight. "Even before Watergate," wrote Nathan, 
"Nixon's management strategy was criticized as dictatorial, illegal 
and impolite."
  My point is that Watergate didn't just happen. Years of Executive 
secrecy and arrogance and contempt for Congress created it. As John 
Dean said, it was an "inevitable outgrowth."
  When I think of these preconditions that led to Watergate, I keep 
thinking--I cannot help but think of the current administration. I am 
concerned--no, let me say I am not just concerned, I am alarmed that in 
this administration we are witnessing another Nixonian approach to 
Government; that is, holding the Congress at bay, saying to 
congressional committees, no, this man won't come; he is not coming up 
there--holding the Congress at bay using Senate-confirmed department 
and agency heads, while the real policy decisions are being made by 
advisers to the President behind the protected walls of the White 
House. That is where the real decisions are being made.
  The Assistant to the President for National Security, Condoleezza 
Rice, plays a major role in crafting foreign policy for the Bush 
administration. That position, however, unlike that of Secretary of 
State, is not subject to Senate confirmation. While the Secretary of 
State testifies regularly before the Congress and is accountable for 
the Bush administration's foreign policy, the President's National 
Security Adviser operates secretly, inside the White House, and is 
largely unaccountable to the American public.
  The same can be said for the Assistant to the President for Economic 
Policy, Larry Lindsey. The President's economic adviser is not subject 
to Senate confirmation and, while he crafts economic policy for the 
administration, he is not accountable for that policy to the Congress. 
The Treasury Secretary, who is confirmed by the Senate, has to justify 
his decisions and actions to Congress and to the public. The 
President's economic adviser, however, has no such obligation.

  These are policymakers inside the White House who operate outside the 
constitutional system of checks and balances.
  With the creation of this new Department of Homeland Security, my 
concern--indeed, what should be the concern of every Member of this 
body--is that the Department and its Secretary will be used as decoys 
to divert the attention of the American public away from the White 
House's Office of Homeland Security and its Director, Tom Ridge.
  I speak with great respect for Tom Ridge, who happens to be the 
person in that position at this point. It could be "Jack in the 
Beanstalk," or John, or Henry, or Robert--whatever. The White House 
has tried to shield that office. I know. Ted Stevens knows that. I know 
the White House has tried to shield that office from the Congress and 
the American public ever since its creation last year. Oh, they are 
willing to come up, yes. I heard from Tom Ridge. He was willing to come 
up and brief the members of the Appropriations Committee.
  Well, now, that is a way of getting around what the people desire. 
The people deserve something better. The people deserve to see these 
hearings. The Appropriations Committee has been created now since 1867. 
So for these 135 years, since its creation, that is the way it has been 
done. I know the other body apparently settled for that kind of thing 
but not our side; we are not going to settle for that. We will do it 
the way it has always been done--out there within public view, with the 
record being written, questions being asked, and the American people 
  The American people want answers to these questions, not just members 
of the Appropriations Committee. So it is the way it has been done for 
135 years, and as long as I am chairman, that is the way it is going to 
be done. We are not going to settle for merely briefings. We can get 
that from lots of people.
  But title II of the Lieberman bill seeks to make the actions of a 
Homeland Security Office inside the White House more accessible and 
more accountable to the public. What we must strive to avoid is a White 
House Homeland Security Office--be it the Ridge

[[Page S8364]]

office or John Doe's office or the one envisioned by the Lieberman 
substitute--that would act as a puppet-master for Homeland Security, 
pulling the strings of the new Department and its Secretary from behind 
a curtain of secrecy.
  That is why it is so important that the White House office, whatever 
its form, whoever its Director may be, be held accountable to the 
Congress and the American people. The head of that office must be a 
confirmable position, no matter what the President--any President--may 
say. After all, we hear that this battle, this war on terrorism, is 
going to go on for a long time. So I take "a long time" to mean 
beyond this year, beyond next year, beyond the next election, beyond 
the next 2 years. And who knows, we may have a different President in 2 
years; we may have a Democratic President.
  Will I feel any differently? No, not one whit. No. The head of that 
office must be a confirmable position. If the war is going on for a 
long time, that position is going to be there a long time. That office 
will be there a long time, and it should be a confirmable position.
  If there is a Democratic President in office 2 years from now--and 
who knows. I do not know if I will be around or not. Only the Good Lord 
knows that. But whether I am around or not, that position, under a 
Democratic President or under a Republican President, should be 
confirmed by the United States Senate. He should be accountable to the 
American people, the people out there who are looking through those 
electronic lenses right up there, right now. He should be accountable 
to them.
  Mr. President, the men who drafted our Constitution carefully laid 
out a system of government that has worked remarkably well for more 
than two centuries. It began in 1789. The First Congress in 1789 was 
probably the most important Congress of any of the 107 Congresses we 
have had. There was no Congress before it to tackle those problems. 
That Congress took on great problems, and the Senate especially is to 
be credited with the formulation of the Judiciary Act, creating the 
  There we are, 1789. What would those signers of that Constitution 
think about the way we are running our Government today? Would they say 
to Robert Byrd: Senator Byrd, you should take your seat; there is no 
reason for that person to be confirmed; he should not be confirmed; we 
should accept at face value whatever President is in office, whether he 
is a Democrat or Republican. They would say: We did not have any 
political parties in our time, but you have them. You ought to just sit 
down and not worry. Leave it all to the President. If he is a 
Democratic President, leave it all to him. If he is a Republican 
President, leave it all to him. Leave it up to him. Trust him. Don't 
require that person to be confirmed.
  How many Senators would believe those men who signed that 
Constitution of the United States would say that? They would turn over 
in their graves, as we hear an expression often in our part of the 
woods. They would turn over in their graves to even contemplate such a 
  A major reason our Government has been so successful is that our 
Founding Fathers were wise and cautious people who had no naive 
expectations about human behavior. They understood human behavior. It 
has never changed. It is just like it was when Adam and Eve were in the 
garden, just as it was when Cain slew Abel. It does not change. That is 
why we have Saddam Hussein because human nature has not changed.
  Everybody loves power, and sometimes we get intoxicated with the 
power we have. That intoxication feeds on intoxication and power feeds 
on power. I would much rather believe that the American people were in 
the mix. I should think any President would want that to be the way: I 
have nothing to hide; let the American people see it.

  James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, had a shrewd view of 
human nature. He knew that those who achieved power too often tried to 
amass more power or, in other ways, misuse their power. "If men were 
angels," he observed in Federalist 51, "no government would be 
  According to Madison, history showed that those in power often 
overreach; they want more. It is like that song: Give me more, more, 
more of your kisses. They want more, more, more power.
  According to Madison, history showed that those in power often 
overreach and, as a result, power too often can become located in a 
single person or a single branch of government, either of which is 
dangerous to liberty. That is what we are talking about, the liberty of 
the American people. We are not talking about the prerogatives of the 
Senate per se. They are prerogatives of the Senate by the Constitution, 
but it goes deeper than that.
  We are talking about the people's liberties. "The accumulation of 
all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands," 
wrote Madison, "may justly be pronounced the very definition of 
  This very point was emphasized by none other than the Vice President 
of the United States, Richard Cheney, when as a Member of the House of 
Representatives, during a hearing by the Iran-Contra committee, he, 
Richard Cheney, lectured Oliver North saying, and I quote the now-Vice 

       There is a long tradition in the Presidency of presidents 
     and their staffs, becoming frustrated with the bureaucratic 
     organizations they are required to deal with, to increasingly 
     pull difficult positions or problems into the White House to 
     be managed because there is oftentimes no sense of urgency at 
     State or at Defense or any of the other departments that have 
     to be worked with. . . . [P]roblems . . . that automatically 
     lead presidents sooner or later to move in the direction of 
     deciding that the only way to get anything done, to cut 
     through the red tape, to be able to move aggressively, is to 
     have it done, in effect, inside the boundary of the White 

  That was now-Vice President Cheney back then.
  Is that what is going on now? I remember the concerns and issues 
raised by Members on the other side of the aisle when the Clinton 
administration's health care task force was forming its policies in 
secrecy. One Republican Senator, who is here today--not on the floor 
right at this time--denounced the Clinton administration for 
operating--and I quote the Senator--a "shadow government, without 
accountability to the American people."
  That Senator went on to say that:

       All Americans should know what their Government is doing 
     and how it is spending public funds. That is just the way we 
     ought to do things in a democracy."

  While I do not agree this is a democracy--Senators know we do not 
pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the democracy 
for which it stands. This is a republic. But that is neither here nor 
  This Senator said that is just the way we ought to do things in a 
democracy. Well, I think that Senator was right. He was a Republican 
Senator from Iowa, Senator Grassley.
  Another Republican Senator at that time, Senator Simpson, charged:

       The secrecy on the ongoing negotiations within the confines 
     of the White House is a major concern of mine. . . . Health 
     care is too important an issue to the American public to 
     deliberate behind secretive walls of the White House.

  Well, Senator Simpson was right, too. I do not dispute those 
comments, but I do ask this: If health care is too important an issue 
to the American public to deliberate behind the secretive walls of the 
White House, then what about the challenges of protecting our Nation in 
this frightful new age of terrorism, and what of a White House that 
seeks broad new authorities without respect to the harm they may do to 
the people's liberties or to our system of government? What about an 
officer who has his hand in intelligence, health care, law enforcement, 
commerce, environmental protection, transportation, agriculture, all 
matters that fall under the broad rubric of homeland security? What of 
a White House officer who would be granted never-before-seen 
authorities to involve the U.S. military?
  Now get this, Mr. President, as you sit up there in that chair 
presiding over this august body. It is probably not very difficult to 
preside over when there are only three Senators in the Chamber. What of 
a White House officer who would be granted never-before-seen 
authorities to involve the U.S. military in any domestic matter that 
can be labeled "homeland security"? What about that?
  Let me read that again. What of a White House officer who would be

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granted never-before-seen authorities to involve the U.S. military in 
any domestic matter that can be labeled "homeland security"?
  That is enough to choke on, is it not? Give me a glass of water. My 
gosh, that is enough to choke on. That is more than a bone. We will 
find that more than a bone in one's throat.
  The White House is clearly seeking new and expanded roles for the 
military within our own borders. It has articulated as much in the 
homeland security plan the President released last July.
  The White House aims to provide broad authorities to the military as 
part of its national antiterrorism homeland security plan. That should 
give us all pause.
  I am certainly not to be equated in any sense with George Washington, 
but I think of George Washington who said, I have grown old and gray in 
my country's service; now I am growing blind. So in that sense I am a 
bit like George Washington.
  Now, when we are talking about the military, I am reading from the 
national strategy for homeland security. This is what it says, in 
part--these are major Federal initiatives. I will just pick out this 
one. It jumps out at me.

       Review authority for military assistance in domestic 
     security. Federal law prohibits military personnel from 
     enforcing the law within the United States except as 
     expressly authorized by the Constitution . . .

  Oh, that word. How many of us have heard that word on television 
recently, the word "constitution"? Let me read that again.

       Federal law prohibits military personnel from enforcing the 
     law within the United States except as expressly authorized 
     by the Constitution or an act of Congress. The threat of 
     catastrophic terrorism requires a thorough review of the 
     laws permitting the military to act within the United 
     States in order to determine whether domestic preparedness 
     and response efforts would benefit from greater 
     involvement of military personnel and, if so, how.

  All right, Senators, see if you can swallow that one. Apparently, 
there is some thinking going on in certain circles, because this says 
so, that the threat--I will read this portion again:

       The threat of catastrophic terrorism requires a thorough 
     review of the laws permitting the military to act within the 
     United States in order to determine whether domestic 
     preparedness and response efforts would benefit from greater 
     involvement of military personnel and, if so, how.

  I say to Senators, beware.
  The Lieberman substitute includes language requiring the Director of 
the new National Office for Combating Terrorism, in consultation with 
the new Homeland Security Secretary, to develop a national strategy 
that would include "plans for integrating the capabilities and assets 
of the United States military into all aspects of the Strategy."
  Let me read that to Senators. I read from the substitute by Mr. 
Lieberman. I read title III, section 301, the section entitled 
"development," which says:

       The Secretary and the Director shall develop the National 
     Strategy for Combating Terrorism and Homeland Security 

  Then it goes on and tells the responsibilities of the Secretary, and 
among those responsibilities I go down to the word "contents," and 
then I go down to the fourth paragraph which reads as follows:

       Plans for integrating the capabilities and assets of the 
     United States military into all aspects of the Strategy.

  Title III of the Lieberman bill talks about the Strategy. And so the 
Director and the Secretary together will develop the National Strategy 
for Combating Terrorism and Homeland Security Response. That is being 
done now in the White House by the Director, Tom Ridge, I would say 
  Senator Lieberman is trying to put--I have a little dog. I used to 
have a dog named Billy. I have a little dog now whose name is Trouble. 
My wife named him Trouble. She may have been looking at me when she 
named the dog. We put a little collar on that dog, and then I have a 
nice little chain that goes into the collar. That little dog might go 
astray if we did not have that collar on that sweet little dog. She has 
my wife and I around her two front paws. So when I take her out for a 
walk, she then would not run out on the street and get run over by a 
  Senator Lieberman is seeking to put a collar on this office. He is 
seeking to put a chain on it, and for good reason. So Lieberman's 
substitute includes language requiring the Director--this is the chain 
in the collar--requiring the Director of the new national Office for 
Combating Terrorism, in consultation with the Homeland Security 
Secretary, to develop a national strategy that would include plans for 
integrating the capabilities and assets of the U.S. military and to all 
aspects of the strategy. The White House Homeland Security Director, 
Mr. Ridge, is under similar orders from the President. But at least, as 
I say, under the Lieberman plan, the Government official responsible 
for developing plans to mobilize U.S. troops within our own borders, if 
it comes to that, would be held accountable--and I hope it does not 
come to that--to the American public and the Congress. That is a 
critical difference.
  Certainly the American people should feel uncomfortable with the 
thought of government officials, hidden away inside of the White House, 
drawing up plans on how to insert the military into the homeland 
security efforts of our communities. Ours is a nation in which the 
streets of our small towns and large cities are patrolled by civil 
forces, not tanks and black hawk helicopters. Our policemen are 
accountable to locally elected leaders, not four-star generals in 
distant command centers. Our citizens are tried in courts of law, not 
secret military tribunals. We may, in an abstract sense, recognize the 
danger of a growing involvement of the military in civil affairs, but 
we do not seem to recognize that the wall between civil and military 
government may be eroding as we speak. It is imperative, therefore, to 
ensure that any White House officer who would be granted such broad 
powers--as, say, Mr. Ridge would be--to insert the military into "all 
aspects" of the homeland security strategy should also be made 
accountable to the people's representatives.
  I recognize the value of an Executive Office to coordinate homeland 
security efforts across the Federal Government. But there is also a 
need to ensure that any office with such long arms, so able to reach 
into the affairs of so many agencies, and with powers so sweeping that 
it can trim the liberties of the American people is, ultimately secured 
under the control of the people. Title II of the Lieberman bill 
attempts to respond to that need.
  The mere fact that White House advisors have quietly accumulated 
broad powers in the past is certainly no reason to allow a White House 
office with influence of this magnitude and without congressional 
oversight to go forward.
  We stand today in the swirl of unanswered questions about this 
administration's intent with regard to an unprovoked, preemptive attack 
against the sovereign nation of Iraq, the reasons for which have not 
yet been explained to Congress or the American people. Perhaps the 
White House has the answers to the questions that people are asking 
about why we may soon send our sons and daughters to fight, and perhaps 
die, in the sands of the Middle East, but thus far, we have encountered 
only a wall of secrecy at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue--a wall 
built on the pillars of Executive privilege.
  On the issue of homeland security, however, the lives at risk are not 
only of those who have chosen to serve our country in uniform. Homeland 
security is about protecting the lives of innocent civilians--men and 
women, children and grandparents--from terrorist attacks. The current 
administration is quite evidently eager to avail itself of every past 
precedent and every current day opening to hide its affairs from the 
public eye. If anything, we, the people's representatives, should be 
  If I were Paul Revere and had the lungs, brass lungs, if I could 
speak as thunder from the cloud in a storm, I would insist that any 
such powerful White House Homeland Security Office not be allowed to 
operate outside the reach of the American people.
  So I urge the Senate to refuse to be a party to erecting such a 
dangerous wall of secrecy between the people and their government. I 
urge the Senate to refuse to be a party to erecting such a dangerous 
wall of secrecy between the American people and the American 
Government, their Government. I urge my colleagues to vote against the 
Thompson amendment.

[[Page S8366]]

  So, Mr. President, here we are. We are talking--I am not sure we are 
debating it, but we are talking--about this massive piece of 
legislation that would constitute the greatest reorganization of the 
American Government since 1789--not since the Department of Defense was 
created, not since the National Security Act, but I think the greatest 
reorganization of Government and, it is certainly arguable, since 1787, 
when our constitutional forebears met in Philadelphia to create a new 
Constitution, a new Government under a new Constitution, while those 
men at Philadelphia were serving under the Constitution that then 
guided them, and that then obtained the Constitution under the Articles 
of Federation. That was the first Constitution, that was the first 
American Constitution. There were State constitutions, State 
constitutions in 13 States before that time. They reconstituted this 
Government. Not all of the delegates from the 13 States attended; Rhode 
Island did not think too much of the idea. But under that Constitution, 
and the new Constitution, the support and ratification by nine States 
would constitute enough, a sufficient number to adopt this new 
Constitution and create a new order of--a new order of the ages. 
"Novus ordo seclorum," a new order of the ages. There it is, up there 
on the wall. They created it.

  "Annuit coeptis." He has favored our undertakings. God.
  So they set forth a new order for the ages. They created anew, they 
reorganized this Government. That was the greatest reorganization ever. 
And there was the reorganization of the military that we have already 
talked about. And now we come along with this reorganization. But this 
is a far-reaching reorganization and this is a new Department.
  Senators will remember the first three Departments were the 
Department of State or foreign affairs, the Department of War, and the 
Department of the Treasury. And the first committees, the real 
committees of the Congress, were created in 1816--the permanent 
committees. And the Appropriations Committee, as I say, was created in 
1867. But here we are. We are creating a new Department of Government.
  I have been here when several new Departments have been created. This 
will not be my first one, but this is the one which gives me greatest 
pause, the creation of this Department.
  I will not proceed to make a point of order against this amendment at 
this time. I am not the manager of this bill. I am not even on the 
committee that created it. But I still have the rights of any Senator, 
so I can make a point of order. But out of courtesy to the 
distinguished chairman of the committee and the distinguished ranking 
member, who certainly has listened to me and my concerns--and Ted 
Stevens and his concerns, our concerns with respect to the power of the 
purse--they have listened and they have given great consideration to 
our concerns in those regards--I will not make the point of order, as I 
indicated was available to me and I could have made, but I am not going 
to do that out of respect for them. They are managers of the bill, not 
I. But I must say I am very concerned, extremely concerned about this 
whole matter.
  I think the language that has been brought to the floor by Mr. 
Lieberman and Mr. Thompson is--I wouldn't say light years ahead, but it 
is certainly way ahead of the House bill. I only hope Senators will 
read the House bill so that they can see the legislation that pretty 
accurately reflects the administration's position with respect to this 
new Department. I am telling you, it will make your hair curl if you 
pay close attention to that language.
  I have some problems with this substitute, I have to say. But I will 
have opportunities as time goes on. I have an amendment which I will 
offer. I have more amendments than one, but I do have one I am going to 
offer within the next few days.
  I hope, may I say to the chairman and ranking member, that other 
Senators will come to the floor and discuss this amendment. I hope they 
will come to the floor and discuss this amendment. I hope they will 
read in the Record tomorrow morning what was said today and that they, 
too, will come to the floor. The people will profit by vigorous debate.
  I thank both Senators for their courtesies to me. I have great 
respect for them.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from 
West Virginia for a characteristically learned statement, and also for 
the passion with which he has delivered it. He always informs this 
Senator and illuminates and informs the debate generally. I am very 
grateful to him.
  I share his wish that Senators will come to the floor and debate this 
amendment. This amendment really does, as I indicated earlier today, go 
to one of the pillars of the bill. It is not just a bill to create a 
Department of Homeland Security. It is a bill to create a Department of 
Homeland Security and Combat Terrorism. The strength and structure and 
authority and accountability of this White House office really will 
determine, in my view, how effectively we will be able to combat 
  Senators were here for a vote earlier today. As the Senator from West 
Virginia said, I know and respect the difficult schedules of Senators, 
but this is a very important amendment and I hope more Senators will 
come to the floor tomorrow. I believe it is the intention of the 
leadership to move to a vote on this amendment sometime tomorrow 
afternoon. There are many amendments filed by other Senators. This is 
the beginning of the second week on which we have been on this bill, 
though last week was a shortened week because of Labor Day at the 
beginning and our joint meeting in New York at the end.
  This bill deserves the involvement for which the Senator from West 
Virginia has called. I thank him for it. I echo it. We are going to 
keep moving forward.
  I thank Senator Thompson for putting forward a very consequential 
amendment which deserves the attention of all Members of the Senate.
  I appreciate what the Senator from West Virginia has said. There is a 
point of order that is appropriate here. He reserves the right, of 
course, to make that point, as others of us do, and I would like to 
counsel with him on this tomorrow as we go forward and also to engage 
the Senator from Florida, Mr. Graham, who was a major contributor and 
drafter of this particular part of the amendment we have put before the 
  The bottom line is I want to thank the Senator for West Virginia for 
his commitment, his understanding of how significant this piece of 
legislation is, and the extent to which he has devoted his valuable 
time to studying the various proposals and then his valuable time to 
preparing the learned statements--I go back to that adjective--learned 
statements that he has already made in the 3 or 4 days we have been on 
the bill, on different parts of the bill. He sets a standard for the 
rest of us. I must say even when, as occasionally happens, I do not 
agree with him, I always benefit from his involvement and appreciate 
very much his extraordinary public service.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, on June 6 of this year, President Bush 
proposed the establishment of a Department of Homeland Security and, 
arguably, the most fundamental reorganization of the United States 
Government since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947.
  This proposal by our President is the logical culmination of a very 
deliberate process that started when then-Governor George W. Bush 
established homeland security as his highest priority during a speech 
at the Citadel in September 1999, when he stated, "Once a strategic 
afterthought defense has become an urgent duty."
  While I support the overall intent of the legislation and strongly 
agree with the need to better organize our Government to protect our 
homeland, I do not support all provisions of this bill as drafted. Two 
such provisions are addressed by the pending Thompson amendment--which 
I support--which would strike titles II, and III of the underlying 
  Title II mandates the establishment of a National Office for 
Combating Terrorism and title III mandates the development of a 
national strategy for terrorism and homeland security response. I would 
like to note that the

[[Page S8367]]

administration is strongly opposed to both of these titles.
  On October 8, 2001, following the tragic events of September 11, 
President Bush formed the Office of Homeland Security in the Executive 
Office of the White House to oversee immediate homeland security 
concerns and to propose long-term solutions. Governor Ridge and others 
have worked hard under the President's guidance to produce a 
comprehensive plan that now deserves our serious consideration and 
  To now mandate the establishment of a national Office for Combating 
Terrorism within the Executive Office of the President would be 
redundant to the structure currently in place, particularly since the 
President has already stated his intention to retain the position of 
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.
  Additionally, I have serious concerns about the budget review and 
certification authority provided by this legislation to the proposed 
Director of the National Office for Combating Terrorism. In my view, 
such authorities would undercut the ability of several Cabinet-level 
officials, including the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, 
the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence, as well 
as the new Secretary of Homeland Security, to carry out their primary 
  In the case of the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense 
has wide-ranging responsibilities to protect vital U.S. interests and 
to prevent threats from reaching our shores. The Department, under the 
leadership of Secretary Rumsfeld, is currently engaged in an all-out 
global war against terrorism--designed to bring to justice those 
responsible for the September 11 attacks on our Nation and to deter 
would-be terrorists and those who harbor them from further attacks.
  The Secretary of Defense must ensure that the Department is 
adequately and properly funded to carry out its many missions. It would 
be unwise to subject portions of the budget carefully prepared by the 
Secretary of Defense to a "decertification"--in essence, a veto--by 
an official who does not have to balance the many competing needs of 
the Department of Defense and the men and women of the Armed Forces.
  Title III of the pending legislation requires the development of a 
national strategy for combating terrorism and the homeland security 
response. When the President established the Office of Homeland 
Security, he directed Governor Ridge to develop a comprehensive 
strategy to protect the United States from terrorist attacks.
  In July of this year, President Bush unveiled his Homeland Security 
Strategy, precluding the need for Title III of the pending legislation. 
Legislating anything other than a periodic review and update of this 
strategy in conjunction with normal updates of our overall national 
security strategy would be burdensome and would divert attention and 
resources away from the administration's focus on homeland defense and 
the global war on terrorism.
  As the President stated in releasing the homeland security strategy 
on July 16, "The U.S. Government has no more important mission than 
protecting the homeland from future terrorist attacks." We in the 
Congress should do all we can to help our President achieve this goal.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Thompson amendment.