Congressional Record: April 16, 2007 (Senate)
Page S4463-S4470                     


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 372, which the clerk will report.

       A bill (S. 372) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 
     2007 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities 
     of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community 
     Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency 
     Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, first, let me express my 
disappointment that we are here under these circumstances. This is not 
the way we should be handling this important national security 
  The fiscal year 2007 Intelligence authorization bill should have been 
considered by the Senate, in fact, 7 months ago when it was reported 
unanimously by the Intelligence Committee. That is usually the way 
things are meant to work. For reasons that are still not clear to me, 
it was never brought before the Senate.
  Because of the importance of this legislation, Vice Chairman Bond and 
I made the Intelligence bill the first order of business this January 
when the new Congress convened. We hoped the Senate could act swiftly 
on the bill so we could move to the conference with the House, but an 
anonymous hold on the other side prevented us from bringing up the bill 
and passing it by unanimous consent. Again, I am not

[[Page S4464]]

clear what the reason for that might have been, but it was discouraging 
to us and, in any event, it precluded our taking any action whatsoever.
  Fortunately, Senator Reid understands how important this legislation 
is. So last week he attempted to call up the bill. But even that simple 
motion to proceed to the bill was blocked, forcing the Senate to invoke 
cloture by a vote of 94 in favor and 3 against.
  The Senate, after 7 months of delay, is finally considering the 
legislation that sets the policy framework for the Nation's 
intelligence efforts, but because of the inordinate number of obstacles 
put in the path of the bill to date, the majority leader has been 
forced to file a motion to invoke cloture on this legislation. I agree 
with him that this is the only way to force the Senate to finally do 
its job and pass this very important bill. It is unfortunate, but it 
has to happen. This is national security legislation.
  I strongly encourage all of my colleagues to support cloture so that 
we can move this bill forward to a conference with the House. I know I 
am joined by my colleague, the vice chairman. I understand that some, 
both in the Senate and in the administration, have expressed concern 
with a number of the provisions of the bill. The Office of Management 
and Budget issued a Statement of Administration Policy last Thursday 
including a veto threat, and unfortunately that statement ignored 
several important developments and several changes Vice Chairman Bond 
and I have proposed in a managers' amendment, which I am going to talk 
about briefly.
  The administration complains about the magnitude of the fences and 
other restrictions contained in the classified annex to the bill. They 
ignore the fact that the classified annex was drafted last September 
with a view to having it in full effect for the full fiscal year. Vice 
Chairman Bond and I decided in January that the best approach to 
achieve swift passage was to simply bring up and pass the bill as it 
had been reported unanimously last year.
  We have always known that many of these provisions have become 
outdated or have been overtaken by events. Of course, they will be 
adjusted, or perhaps dropped, when we go to conference. We have no 
intention of fencing 50 percent of a program with only 4 or 5 months 
left in this year. Please give us some credit.
  Perhaps the more important omission in the OMB statement is the 
effort that Vice Chairman Bond and I have made to address, through a 
managers' amendment, many of the administration's specific concerns 
with those legislative provisions. I will run through these provisions 
  As reported by the committee, the bill requires two actions related 
to the public disclosure of intelligence budgets. First, it requires 
the public release of an overall budget request authorization and 
appropriation, the so-called top line, one number for all intelligence 
  The second action is a study and report by the Director of National 
Intelligence on whether the top line for each intelligence community 
element; that is, the CIA, NSA, et cetera, can always be declassified 
without harming national security. This was a recommendation, in fact, 
of the 9/11 Commission.
  The managers' amendment; that is, the amendment by Senator Bond and 
myself, struck that requirement for a study and a report on the agency-
level declassification. The study and report alarmed some who believed 
that declassification itself would cause no harm but worry that it 
could lead to a ``slippery slope'' of revealing too much information.
  The managers' amendment returns the bill language to the specific 
stated objective; that is, the declassification of the overall national 
intelligence budget. This is something the Senate has voted for twice 
in the last 2\1/2\ years, including last month when it passed S. 4.
  This concurrent version of the authorization bill includes another 
provision that has passed the Senate twice but which concerns the 
administration and some of our colleagues. That provision in section 
108 provides additional authority for congressional committees, 
including the Intelligence Committees of both the House and Senate, to 
obtain intelligence documents and information.
  The managers' amendment modifies section 108 in three ways. First, it 
doubles the amount of time the administration will have to respond to 
these priority requests from 15 to 30 days.
  Second, section 108 currently applies to requests from any 
committee--any committee--that has jurisdiction over any part of 
intelligence, not just the Intelligence Committees of full jurisdiction 
in the House and Senate. This amendment will limit the provision to 
requests from the Intelligence Committees.
  Third, it would make clear the Intelligence Committee could specify a 
greater number of days than 30 for intelligence community responses. We 
are not unreasonable people, and if more time is needed, we would, 
obviously, want to be helpful.
  Let me be clear to my colleagues on other committees with 
jurisdiction that touches on intelligence matters, because some of them 
are sensitive about this issue. These changes will in no way limit 
their ability to ask for and receive intelligence-related information. 
In fact, any Senator can ask for such information.
  The amendment sets up an expedited procedure available to the 
Intelligence Committees, but it does not change existing relations or 
procedures for obtaining such information for other committees. That 
should be of comfort. If another committee were to encounter difficulty 
in obtaining intelligence information, they could easily ask the 
intelligence community to request the information under this expedited 
procedure. It sounds wordy; in fact, it is very easy. I think this is a 
sensible modification to alleviate the concern that the Intelligence 
Committee would be overwhelmed with requests requiring short turnaround 
times. Vice Chairman Bond and I are sensitive to that concern and 
modified the matter.
  A second provision of the bill dealing with the provision of 
information to Congress is section 304. That section tightens up the 
requirement for the President to fully inform the Intelligence 
Committees about intelligence activities, including covert actions. 
Section 304, as reported, requires if the President does not inform all 
members of the committee about intelligence activity, the DNI must 
provide all members with a summary with sufficient information to 
permit members to assess the legality, benefits, cost, and advisability 
of these activities. This is on a case-by-case basis.
  There was a discussion of this provision during our markup, and the 
administration has objected that this requirement is too detailed. The 
managers' amendment seeks to resolve that objection by providing 
instead that the DNI submit a classified notice with ``a description 
that provides the main features of the intelligence activities.'' This 
standard is sufficiently broad to allow the notification of members, 
but at the same time protects sensitive sources and methods or ongoing 
  Section 310 of this bill, as reported, would establish a pilot 
program on access by the intelligence community to information 
protected by the Privacy Act. This provision was controversial and 
several members expressed reservations. We subsequently learned the 
administration is no longer seeking this authority, so the managers' 
amendment strikes section 310 from the bill.
  Finally, the managers' amendment modifies one of the reporting 
requirements included in the bill. Section 314 requires a classified 
report from the Director of National Intelligence about clandestine 
prisons. One part of that provision called for reporting on the 
location of any clandestine detention facility. Vice Chairman Bond and 
I agreed this particular information was of such sensitivity it should 
not be included in this report. The managers' amendment strikes that 
one requirement.
  Mr. President, might I ask before calling up the managers' amendment, 
does the distinguished vice chairman wish to speak?
  Mr. President, will the vice chairman have adequate time to speak?
  Mr. Bond. Mr. President, if the chairman wishes to offer the 
amendment, I will be happy for him to do that. I will talk as long or 
short as I have the opportunity.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no time limit on the bill at this 

[[Page S4465]]

                           Amendment No. 843

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I offer the managers' amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from West Virginia [Mr. Rockefeller], for 
     himself and Mr. Bond, proposes an amendment numbered 843.

  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I am very pleased to join my distinguished 
colleague, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator 
Rockefeller, in not only bringing before this body the Intelligence 
authorization bill, S. 372, but also offering the managers' amendment. 
This is an important first step for the Senate to return to and enhance 
its responsibilities of coordinating oversight and conducting 
aggressive oversight of intelligence activities and programs.
  The committee has not been able to pass an authorization bill in the 
last 2 years, which means the work that has gone on in the committee 
cannot be reflected in guidance to the committee or in carrying out our 
oversight responsibilities.
  Some Members may recall, others have been informed, that 30 years ago 
the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was formed to address a 
serious problem. There had been a complete lack of congressional 
oversight of U.S. intelligence operations. Then when we reviewed the 
attacks of September 11, the findings of our committee and the findings 
of the 9/11 Commission confirmed that congressional oversight of 
intelligence was not what it should be.
  We firmly believe that enacting S. 372 will move us a long way in 
restoring the Senate's legitimate role in oversight of U.S. 
intelligence. I believe we must be in a position where we can assure 
our colleagues and the people of the United States that the 
intelligence activities necessarily conducted in secret do comply with 
the Constitution, the treaties and the laws of the United States and 
other mandates and limitations placed on the exercise of that secret 
  Make no mistake about it, intelligence in this global war on terror, 
which has been declared on us by al-Qaida and other Islamic groups, is 
one that can only be countered with effective intelligence. 
Intelligence is the most important weapon we have in keeping our 
homeland safe and protecting U.S. interests and citizens abroad. We 
need to make sure it is done properly. We need to make sure it is done 
  Having studied the intelligence community and having gone through 
exhaustive reviews over the last 4 years of shortcomings pointed out in 
the intelligence community operations, we believe we can work with the 
intelligence community and provide necessary legislative support to 
ensure that the intelligence activities not only are staying within the 
road lines--staying on the road in the path--but also being carried out 
effectively. That is why we feel it is tremendously important we pass 
this legislation.
  The chairman has pointed out there are concerns that have been voiced 
by the administration about this bill. To be candid, there are some 
provisions in the bill I do not favor or at least question. I hope in 
the amendment process and in the House-Senate conference we can develop 
a good bill that will be signed into law. But it is important to 
remember--and my colleagues who have expressed concerns particularly 
about the administration's objections should know--that what has been 
outlined by the chairman in the managers' amendment begins to deal with 
the major questions they have. The chairman and I have agreed it makes 
sense, for example, to declassify the top line number of the 
intelligence budget.
  I have talked with leaders in the intelligence community and I said: 
Does that cause you any problems? They said: No. It is only when you 
get below that. Were you to go down the slippery slope of disclosing 
amounts going into particular units or particular programs of the 
intelligence community, you give away vital secrets.
  This body has twice gone on record and was stated by the chairman and 
the 9/11 Commission has recommended disclosing the overall number so 
that the people of America will know whether we are continuing to 
support the intelligence community adequately, whether we are 
supporting it with the kinds of resources needed.
  In our managers' amendment, we took out a study that would purport to 
look at the possibility of declassifying further details, other than 
the top line. We both agreed that should be out. The administration 
also was concerned about identifying certain sites, and we agreed, and 
in our managers' amendment we will take out any reference or any 
requirement of identifying those certain sites. The administration also 
was concerned about the number of people, the manner of informing 
members of the committee about certain activities that were highly 
classified. We are working to remedy that. The administration also had 
concerns about getting reports filed, the potential for a large number 
of requests being dumped on the intelligence community, and we have 
dealt with that.

  So there are other items the administration has concerns about, and 
we may be able to address some of those here. We may be able to address 
some of those when we get to conference, if they still are not properly 
solved. But I would say one thing. The administration, like every 
administration, sometimes feels that congressional oversight goes 
further than they would like. Well, our job is to conduct oversight, 
and we do so with an aim of improving intelligence, the products that 
come out, and also ensuring that procedures are properly contained 
within the rules of the road, and we will continue to seek those 
legislative oversight tools.
  We are going to accommodate the reasonable concerns of the Executive 
in every instance that we can because we want to make sure we don't, 
either by overt or inadvertent action, compromise intelligence sources, 
intelligence methods, or other essential intelligence programs that are 
necessary for the safety of our homeland and the safety of our troops 
in the field.
  In addition to the measures contained in the managers' amendment, I 
have filed nine amendments, some of which overlap with the managers' 
amendment that we can discuss on the Senate floor. Some of these may be 
necessary to ameliorate and alleviate the administration's concerns. We 
were disadvantaged in filing this managers' amendment because the time 
that we had to do it was the time when most Members were out of 
Washington, DC, in their home State, which has led to some confusion.
  I hope everybody who had a first-degree amendment that they wanted 
filed was able to file it by 2:30. We hope we will be able to deal with 
those amendments, and also we look forward to a good, robust debate on 
the floor of the Senate.
  I hope we will have ready a description, at least for our side, of 
the provisions in the managers' amendment. Most of the concerns I have 
heard about this bill are concerns that should be alleviated by the 
managers' amendment, so I would ask all of my colleagues to read 
carefully the provisions in the managers' amendment to ensure that we 
have resolved those concerns.
  In addition, Senator Rockefeller and I are always willing to discuss 
with colleagues, in this unclassified setting, the unclassified 
portions and our reasoning for it. Our invitation to Members still 
stands; that if Members want to be briefed on classified portions of 
the intelligence bill or on matters that cannot be discussed on the 
Senate floor, we stand ready with our staffs to have briefings set up 
in the intelligence facilities to fill them in on questions that they 
may legitimately have.
  We will look forward to conducting the debate in the time ahead.
  I thank the Chair, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                         Moving America Forward

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, my distinguished counterpart, the Senator 

[[Page S4466]]

Kentucky, Senator McConnell, held a press conference at 2:30, talking 
about what the Senate has not accomplished this year. I, of course, am 
very disappointed in that because I thought we had done a lot. I 
believe we have produced.
  The minority talk a lot about their desire to see this Congress pass 
meaningful legislation. They talk a lot about supporting our troops. We 
have heard a lot from them about the need to defeat terrorists and make 
the country more secure. Their actions do not match their rhetoric. In 
far too many instances, our Republican colleagues say one thing and do 
  Last week, the 110th Congress reached its 100th day. In that time, 
the Senate has passed a series of bills that would move our country 
forward. With bipartisan support, we passed the toughest lobbying 
ethics reform legislation in the entire history of our country. With 
bipartisan support, we voted to give working Americans a much deserved 
and long overdue raise in the minimum wage. With bipartisan support, we 
passed a continuing resolution that enacted tough spending limits and 
eliminated earmarks for this year. With bipartisan support, we passed 
every single recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, after it languished 
in the Republican-controlled Congress for 2\1/2\ years. With bipartisan 
support, we passed a responsible, balanced, pay-as-you-go budget that 
reduces taxes for working Americans and invests more in education, 
veterans, and health care. With bipartisan support, we passed 
legislation that would fully fund our troops while forcing the 
President to change course in Iraq. And, last week, with bipartisan 
support, once again, we passed legislation to open the promise of stem 
cell research in a responsible and ethical way.
  The American people want Congress to put petty bickering aside. This 
is exactly what I believe this Congress has done. It has not been easy. 
My Republican colleagues have, time and time again, allowed a small 
minority in their caucus to block progress that the American people, 
and a bipartisan majority of the Senate, demand. On every piece of 
legislation I mentioned, we have had to file cloture.
  Sadly, on the most important issue facing our country, national 
security, this has been especially apparent. The minority forced us to 
come up with 60 votes to pass the 9/11 Commission recommendations. They 
required the same for the Iraq supplemental bill.
  Now it appears this same group of Republicans will attempt to block 
passage of the Intelligence Authorization bill, the bill they wrote 
when they were in the majority but failed to pass for 2 years. As 
everyone knows, the Intelligence Authorization bill funds the operation 
of 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA, 
the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Defense Department, and all 
the critical work they do in fighting the war on terror. We are so 
fortunate that we have bipartisan cooperation of the management of the 
Intelligence Committee. Senator Rockefeller and Senator Bond have 
worked closely together. They want this legislation to move forward.
  This should not be a partisan issue. We had to vote to get 60 votes 
to proceed to the legislation. I said at that time, if you want to 
offer amendments while we are in the 30 hours postcloture time, do it. 
Now I am told the ability for us to get on the bill is going to be 
thwarted by not allowing us to have 60 votes.
  I was upstairs this afternoon in room 407, getting a briefing on 
issues that are important to our country. It is so important that we 
move forward on this legislation and support our people who are making 
America safe and secure and protecting our interests all around the 
world. Sixteen agencies, I repeat, of the U.S. intelligence community 
want this legislation passed.
  We are in a battle around the world on terrorism. Shouldn't our 
intelligence community be able to move forward with this legislation? I 
repeat: It was written by the Republicans. Why would they not let us go 
forward on this legislation? Is it because--I don't know. Is it because 
Vice President Cheney thinks he is going to lose a little of his power 
directing everything covert that goes on in the intelligence community? 
Is he the one stopping this? Why? Why can't we pass legislation that 
was written by the Republicans to improve our intelligence operations?
  This legislation includes essential initiatives that would improve 
our efforts to fight terrorism and control weapons of mass destruction, 
enhance our intelligence collection capabilities, and strengthen 
intelligence oversight. Does anybody dispute that? For 27 years, since 
we first started doing an Intelligence bill, we passed it every year. 
But not the last 2 years. Blocking passage of the bill leaves Congress 
silent on these important matters, dealing with terrorism, weapons of 
mass destruction, intelligence collection capabilities, and 
intelligence oversight. It is so important to pass this bill. This is 
not a partisan issue. I don't think there are political points to be 
scored on either side.
  I hope my friends on the other side of the aisle will let this 
legislation go forward. We have a managers' amendment that Senator 
Rockefeller and Senator Bond worked on that would be accepted. I cannot 
imagine why we would be stopped on an Intelligence authorization. I 
have been told that the word is out, the Republicans are not going to 
support cloture on this most important bill.

  My friend, the distinguished Republican leader, pointed out this 
afternoon that we filed cloture a number of times this year. We surely 
have. We surely have, because there has been a minority of people on 
the other side who forced us to do this. The bills we passed have been 
bipartisan: Ethics/lobbying reform got a big bipartisan vote; minimum 
wage, big bipartisan vote; the continuing resolution, a big bipartisan 
vote--we had to do that to fund the Government--the 9/11 Commission 
recommendations, big bipartisan vote; stem cell, big bipartisan vote; 
the supplemental, a bipartisan vote. Sure, we have had to file cloture 
because there has been a minority of Senators on the other side who 
forced us to do that on these bipartisan bills.
  My friend, the minority leader, is right, we have filed cloture a 
number of times. The fact is, his side forced us to do so rather than 
let us proceed directly to these bills--and this bill. We have been 
forced to jump through a number of procedural hoops designed to block 
legislation that enjoyed bipartisan support.
  I will continue to do that. I understand the rights of just a few 
Senators and if a few Senators want to stop us from moving forward, 
that is fine. But to think that we couldn't get 10 Republicans to 
support us on a motion to invoke cloture on an Intelligence 
authorization bill? That is beyond my ability to comprehend, why the 
Republicans would stop us from moving forward on an Intelligence 
authorization bill. I have said they can offer amendments to the bill. 
Even though I thought it was absolutely wrong that we had to vote 
cloture on the motion to proceed, I said, during the 30 hours, if you 
want to offer amendments, go ahead and do so. ``No.''
  This is not ethics reform, it is not minimum wage, it is not stem 
cell research, it is not the continuing resolution--it is the ability 
of our intelligence agencies to do their work: the CIA, FBI, NSA, 
Defense Department. I urge the minority to not stop this bill from 
going forward. The vote is at 5:30. But that is what I am told is going 
to happen. Their actions, if in fact they follow through on this, are 
not in the best interests of the American people. Anyone who has been 
told that they are being stymied from offering amendments is not being 
told the truth.
  We will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to move our country 
forward. The bills that passed this body so far this year have been 
bipartisan, with overwhelming support, and, yes, we did have to file 
cloture because a small number of people held us up from moving on this 
most important piece of legislation.
  I hope there will be people who will move away from this madding 
crowd who will not allow us to help these agencies do their work.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Whitehouse). The Senator from Virginia.

                         Virginia Tech Massacre

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I am joined on the floor by my 
distinguished colleague, Senator Webb. We wish to address the Senate, 
indeed speak with all America, for we Virginians have

[[Page S4467]]

suffered today one of the most grievous incidents ever to occur in our 
State or, indeed, in America.
  I speak to the tragic loss of life and tragic injury of so many 
students and faculty at the distinguished and venerable institution of 
Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.
  All America joins to mourn these young people whose lives of promise 
have been cut so short, and those injured as they, hopefully and 
prayerfully, recover from their wounds. I must say, I have been 
privileged to serve in this institution for many years. I served in 
many other posts of public service in my lifetime. This tragedy, this 
tragedy is an incomprehensible situation, an incomprehensible, 
senseless act of violence.
  In time, be it days or weeks, Americans will learn more about the 
circumstances of today in Blacksburg, VA. For now, however, and forever 
after, our hearts and our prayers are with the victims, their families, 
and the other students and faculty at Virginia Tech and, indeed, their 
  Virginians are proud of this historic university. I have known it all 
my lifetime and how it has served our State and Nation for nearly a 
century and a half as an exemplary institution of learning, one that 
has contributed many fine young men and women to the Armed Forces of 
our United States.
  For the moment, I simply close by saying that the historic and proud 
tradition of Virginia Tech will carry on. Our State embraces them as 
does all America. We will work with them to make sure they can carry 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia, Mr. Webb, is 
  Mr. WEBB. Mr. President, I would like to thank the senior Senator 
from Virginia for having taken the initiative to bring this matter 
briefly to the floor today as we consider other issues.
  As we have learned more facts about this incident during the time 
that I was presiding over the Senate, I am sure that over the next day 
or so we are going to learn a lot more that will help us understand, 
perhaps, how this incredibly tragic incident occurred.
  We will have time to reach out to the grieving families and hopefully 
begin to heal ourselves and to again regain the confidence and the 
respect of the people who go to that institution. But I thank the 
senior Senator for bringing this matter to the floor. I want to 
associate myself fully with his comments. There is very little I can 
add in terms of describing the depth of our feelings and our regret 
over the fact that this incident has occurred.
  It is an incredible human tragedy. As I said, there will be, I am 
sure, many stories over the coming days about how it occurred and the 
implications of it. But it is very fitting for us to pause for a few 
moments as we consider all of these other issues that are on the table, 
some of them which obviously divide us by party, but certainly on an 
issue such as this we are all together in extending our compassion and 
our regrets to the families of those who are involved.
  This is a great institution. The lives that were lost today were of 
those people who had in their early days demonstrated an enormous 
amount of promise, and we again express our regrets to the families and 
our determination that we will help the people of the community around 
Virginia Tech regain the sense of purpose and vitality once we reach 
more understanding of what happened.
  Again, I thank the senior Senator and I thank you, Mr. President, for 
allowing us to stop for a few moments in business today to mention this 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia, Mr. Warner, is 
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague. We do recognize, 
both of us, our gratitude to the bipartisan leadership of this 
institution in opening today's session with a prayer and a moment of 
silence to honor the victims; not only the victims involved but those 
at this great university and throughout the State.
  I also thank our Governor. Our Governor is en route quickly returning 
from a trip to Japan. He has been in contact and received a call from 
the President of the United States, George Bush. We have talked with 
his chief of staff throughout the day and have waited until this time, 
until such facts have been gathered, the few that are known about this 
tragedy, before addressing the Senate.
  I thank the Chair. I thank my colleagues.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine is recognized.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, before the two Senators from the 
Commonwealth of Virginia leave the floor, let me express to them our 
sympathy and sorrow over the tremendous tragedy suffered in their State 
  A member of my staff has a son who attends this fine institution. 
Fortunately, she has learned that he is fine, but you can imagine her 
anxiety as she was waiting to hear from her son and had the television 
on hearing the reports.
  I say to both of the Senators from Virginia that our hearts go out to 
them, to the members of this fine institution in Virginia, and to those 
who are affected by this terrible violence.
  Before I turned to the issue that has brought me to the Senate floor, 
I just want to extend my condolences on behalf of the people of Maine 
to the people of Virginia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia, Mr. Warner, is 
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague and dear friend from 
Maine. I thank other colleagues who have spoken to me and to my 
distinguished colleague, Senator Webb. We thank the Senate for its 
compassion in this matter. Each Senator feels deeply that it could have 
happened, I suppose, this sort of tragic situation, in any State in the 
Union. So we are all sharing this tragic moment in the life of America.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine is recognized.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, can the Chair inform me of whether there 
is an amendment pending at the current time?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Only the managers' substitute.

                 Amendment No. 847 to Amendment No. 843

  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 847, which is 
pending at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maine [Ms. Collins], for herself, Mr. 
     Lieberman, Mr. Carper, Mr. Coleman, and Mr. Akaka, proposes 
     an amendment numbered 847 to amendment No. 843.

  Ms. COLLINS. 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:

  (Purpose: To reaffirm the constitutional and statutory protections 
         accorded sealed domestic mail, and for other purposes)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:


       (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) all Americans depend on the United States Postal 
     Service to transact business and communicate with friends and 
       (2) postal customers have a constitutional right to expect 
     that their sealed domestic mail will be protected against 
     unreasonable searches;
       (3) the circumstances and procedures under which the 
     Government may search sealed mail are well defined, including 
     provisions under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 
     1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and generally require prior 
     judicial approval;
       (4) the United States Postal Inspection Service has the 
     authority to open and search a sealed envelope or package 
     when there is immediate threat to life or limb or an 
     immediate and substantial danger to property;
       (5) the United States Postal Service affirmed January 4, 
     2007, that the enactment of the Postal Accountability and 
     Enhancement Act (Public Law 109-435) does not grant Federal 
     law enforcement officials any new authority to open domestic 
       (6) questions have been raised about these basic privacy 
     protections following issuance of the President's signing 
     statement on the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act 
     (Public Law 109-435); and
       (7) the Senate rejects any interpretation of the 
     President's signing statement on the Postal Accountability 
     and Enhancement Act (Public Law 109-435) that in any way 
     diminishes the privacy protections accorded sealed

[[Page S4468]]

     domestic mail under the Constitution and Federal laws and 
       (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     Congress reaffirms the constitutional and statutory 
     protections accorded sealed domestic mail.

  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I am calling up this amendment on behalf 
of myself, Senator Lieberman, Senator Carper, Senator Coleman, and 
Senator Akaka.
  Our bipartisan amendment reaffirms the fundamental constitutional and 
statutory protections accorded to sealed domestic mail, even as we make 
provisions for sustaining our vital intelligence-gathering activity in 
the interests of advancing the goals of protecting our homeland from 
  I am very pleased to have the distinguished chairman of the Senate 
Homeland Security Committee, Senator Lieberman, as a cosponsor, as well 
as Senator Carper of Delaware, who was the coauthor with me of the 
postal reform legislation that passed and was signed into law last 
  Senator Coleman and Senator Akaka have also been very active on 
postal issues. I have also had the opportunity to talk with the 
distinguished chairman and the ranking member of the Intelligence 
Committee about this proposal.
  For those who may not have followed this issue, let me first provide 
some brief background. On December 20, President Bush signed into law 
the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that Senator Carper and I 
introduced last year. This new law makes the most sweeping changes in 
the Postal Service in more than 30 years.
  The act will help the Postal Service meet the challenges of the 21st 
century, establish a new rate-setting system, help ensure a stronger 
financial future for the Postal Service, provide more stability and 
predictability in rates, and protect the basic features of universal 
  One of the act's many provisions provides continued authority for the 
Postal Service to establish a class of mail sealed against inspection.
  Now, let me make very clear, this is not new authority. This is a 
continuation of authority that the Postal Service already has.
  Regrettably, on the day that he signed the Postal Reform Act into 
law, the President also issued a signing statement which has created 
some confusion about the continued protection of sealed domestic mail. 
He construed that particular provision in our bill to permit ``searches 
in exigent circumstances, such as to protect life and safety.''
  Now, since that time, the President's spokesman has made very clear 
that the President's signing statement was not intended in any way to 
change the scope of the current law. But the statement caused confusion 
and concern about the President's commitment to abide by the basic 
privacy protections afforded sealed domestic mail. For some, it raised 
the specter of the Government unlawfully monitoring our mail in the 
name of national security.
  Given this unfortunate and inaccurate perception, I wish to be very 
clear, as the author of the postal reform legislation; nothing in the 
Postal Reform Act nor in the President's signing statement in any way 
alters the privacy and civil liberty protections provided to a person 
who sends or receives sealed mail.
  In fact, the President's signing statement appears to do nothing more 
than restate current law. By issuing the signing statement, however, 
the President, unfortunately, generated questions about the 
administration's intent.

  I am confident the administration does not intend to interpret the 
law differently or change the constitutional or statutory protections. 
But, unfortunately, this is the case, again, of where the President 
stepped forward and issued a signing statement, upon signing this bill 
into law, that has created concern and confusion where none existed 
before. I think it is unfortunate the President did so.
  Under current law, mail sealed against inspection is entitled to 
constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. With only 
limited exceptions, the Government needs a court warrant before it can 
search sealed mail. This is true whether the search is conducted to 
gather evidence under our Criminal Code or to collect foreign 
intelligence information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 
Act of 1978, perhaps better known as the FISA Act.
  Exceptions to the warrant requirements of the fourth amendment are 
limited. When there is an immediate danger to life or limb or an 
immediate and substantial danger to property, then the Postal Service 
can search a domestic sealed letter or package without a warrant. Let 
me give you examples of what we are talking about. What we are talking 
about when we are talking about immediate threats could include wires 
protruding from a package that gives one the reasonable belief there 
may be a bomb inside. Another example might be odors or stains that 
indicate the presence of a hazardous material.
  Americans depend upon the U.S. Postal Service to transact business 
and to communicate with friends and family. If there is any doubt in 
the public's mind that the Federal Government is not protecting the 
constitutional privacy accorded their mail, if there is a suspicion 
that the Government is unlawfully opening mail, then our people's 
confidence in the sanctity of our mail system and even in our 
Government itself will be undermined.
  That is why I have joined my colleagues in offering this amendment 
today. It makes clear to all law-abiding Americans that the Federal 
Government will not invade their privacy by reading their sealed mail, 
absent a court order or exigent circumstances. Any contrary 
interpretation of the Postal Reform Act is just plain wrong. I think it 
is important that the Senate go on record affirming this basic 
constitutional privacy--statutory privacy, as well--that Americans have 
always counted on.
  Our amendment will do nothing to weaken the vital protections we have 
created against terrorist attacks, but it will remove any doubt that 
our fundamental protections of privacy rights have in some way been 
weakened by the signing statement that, unfortunately, the President 
chose to issue.
  So I urge my colleagues to remove any doubt, to make it clear that 
the new law, on which we worked so hard for 3 years and which was 
signed into law last December, does not change this in any way.
  Again, I thank the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the 
ranking member for their willingness to discuss this issue.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, first, I see the distinguished chairman of 
the committee and the vice chairman of the committee on the floor. I 
commend both of them for their excellent work on this legislation. I 
particularly wish to commend Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman 
Bond for the bipartisan approach the two of them have brought to 
tackling these important issues in this session of the Senate.
  It is extremely important that intelligence is conducted in a 
bipartisan fashion and the chairman and vice chairman have set a model 
in terms of approaching these issues in that fashion.
  In the 1970s, Members of Congress realized there was not nearly 
enough oversight of our Nation's spy agencies, and this lack of 
oversight led to a number of serious abuses. In response to the abuses, 
the Senate created the Select Committee on Intelligence, on which I am 
proud to serve. Each year, for 29 straight years, our committee has 
produced an intelligence authorization bill, and this annual 
legislation has given Congress a means by which to exercise oversight 
of the classified intelligence budget and provide guidance to the 
Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and various 
other important intelligence agencies.
  In 2005 and 2006, regrettably, the Congress failed to pass the 
Intelligence authorization legislation. In my view, this is 
inexcusable. At a time when

[[Page S4469]]

Americans were questioning our intelligence agencies' ability to keep 
them safe, the Congress failed to provide the necessary support. At a 
time when the intelligence community was undergoing major 
reorganization, Congress failed to provide sufficient guidance. At a 
time when our allies and our own citizens were raising serious 
questions about our detention policies, the Congress failed to conduct 
oversight. At a time when Americans were opening their morning papers 
and reading about the aggressive new forms of Government surveillance, 
such as the President's warrantless wiretapping program, the Congress 
failed to demand accountability.
  The committee did report Intelligence authorization bills for fiscal 
years 2006 and 2007, but they were blocked repeatedly by anonymous 
holds. Regrettably, the previous leadership failed to make passing this 
legislation a top priority. The new leadership of the Senate has 
decided that ensuring national security and protecting Americans' 
rights and values is a major concern and, as a result, we are now 
dealing with this year's Intelligence Authorization Act, and it comes, 
in my view, to a great extent because of the cooperation of Chairman 
Rockefeller and Vice Chairman Bond, who has also assisted me in a 
number of critical areas throughout this session of the Senate, for 
which I am very appreciative.
  This legislation contains a number of important provisions which I am 
proud to have worked on with my colleagues on the committee. It 
clarifies many of the authorities of the Director of National 
Intelligence, establishes a new national space intelligence center, and 
creates a strong independent inspector general for the intelligence 
community. It strengthens congressional oversight by clarifying the 
President's responsibility to keep the Congress informed of all 
intelligence activities. In addition, it contains three amendments that 
I offered and that I believe are going to improve the functioning of 
our intelligence agencies.
  The first of these amendments would make public the total amount of 
the national intelligence budget. In my view, it is ridiculous to 
suggest that Osama bin Laden is going to gain some sort of advantage 
from knowing that the national intelligence budget is one specific 
number or another. But declassifying this number would increase, in my 
view, transparency and public accountability. It would increase public 
accountability without sacrificing the national security needs of this 
country and also permit a more informed debate about funding for 
defense and national security.
  The second of these amendments which I offered with the distinguished 
chairman of the committee, Senator Rockefeller, would increase 
resources to support the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United 
States. After investigating the proposed takeover of the management of 
several United States ports by Dubai Ports World, I became convinced 
that the process for approving these foreign purchases did not include 
sufficient due diligence. There ought to be more room in this process 
for input from the intelligence community, and these additional 
resources that have come about as a result of this amendment I 
developed with Chairman Rockefeller would support that.
  The last of these amendments would maximize the criminal penalty for 
knowingly and intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert agent. 
Like many Americans, I was shocked and disappointed to learn that 
members of the administration exposed the identity of an undercover CIA 
officer for partisan political purposes. Undercover officers perform a 
vital and demanding service for the Nation, and the very nature of 
their work prevents them from receiving public praise or recognition. 
Deliberately exposing an undercover officer for any reason, in my view, 
is unacceptable, and to do it for a political purpose is simply 
reprehensible. This provision will send a message to men and women of 
the CIA and other human intelligence services that the Congress values 
them and their work and takes any threat to them or to their identity 
very seriously.
  I also note that the version of this legislation that was reported by 
the Intelligence Committee also creates a new exemption to the Privacy 
Act. In the additional views to the committee report, Senator Feingold 
and I expressed our view that the impact of this provision had not been 
considered carefully enough. I am pleased the managers' amendment 
prepared by Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman Bond removes this 
provision and, in my view, that is going to make our conference with 
the House of Representatives easier.
  In sum, I am pleased with the work--the bipartisan work--our 
committee put into this legislation, and I hope the Senate will support 
cloture this afternoon. This is extremely important legislation. It 
ought to be passed on a bipartisan basis. It should not be subject to a 
filibuster. Congress has surrendered its national security 
responsibilities for too long and too often, and it is time for the 
Congress to stand up and do its job.
  Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Bond have made it possible for the 
Senate Intelligence Committee to bring this legislation before the 
Senate. I am very hopeful this legislation will move forward today and 
that the Senate will support cloture.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Oregon for his kind 
comments. As I said earlier today, we are most grateful to the 
leadership for having brought up S. 372. This is a very important and 
necessary first step for the Senate to return to its responsibility of 
conducting oversight of U.S. intelligence activities and programs. 
Enacting S. 372 into law will help restore the Senate's legitimate role 
in oversight of U.S. intelligence.
  As I said, the administration has voiced some concerns about 
provisions in the bill, and the chairman and I have made a good-faith 
attempt to address those concerns. We have a managers' amendment, plus 
several other amendments on which the chairman and I agree that we 
think are legitimate and measured modifications that don't change the 
basic purpose of our provisions but meet some of their objections.
  As I said before, there are provisions in the bill that we do believe 
need such changes. Should any Member, however, feel we have not gone 
far enough, we invite them to come to the floor and join in the debate.
  Is S. 372 perfect? I have never seen a piece of legislation that was 
and don't expect to see one. That being said, we should all remember 
that the perfect is the enemy of the good. There is no such thing as 
perfect legislation. We can today, however, begin the process of 
improving our oversight with a good piece of legislation.
  Again, will the administration agree with everything in the bill? No. 
On the other hand, I do not remember many times in my political career 
when any executive branch has invited the legislative branch, 
Congress--or a State legislature with which I am also familiar--to 
conduct rigorous oversight of its actions and policies.
  Unfortunately for executive branch officials, that is our 
constitutional role as laid down by the Founding Fathers. It does not 
mean we will refuse to accommodate the executive branch's legitimate 
concerns. After all, the President does have the power to veto any 
legislation that he feels unduly intrudes upon his authority.
  In an effort to ensure the administration's concerns are addressed, I 
have filed an additional nine amendments to S. 372, some of which 
overlap with the managers' amendment the chairman and I have presented. 
I believe the chairman and I are in agreement on almost all of these 
amendments, if not all of them. Through that process, I think we can 
alleviate the concerns the administration has with the bill.
  I am concerned, however, that the process by which we had to draft 
the managers' amendment, combined with the fact that the preparation 
had to be undertaken largely when Members were in their home State, has 
led to some confusion among our colleagues. That is why we are handing 
out a one-page summary that I hope all Members will review so they 
understand how this measure has been changed. We will be happy to talk 
with them privately or discuss it with them on the floor, and our 
staffs are available to work with their staffs if they have any other 

[[Page S4470]]

  I also want to make it clear to all of my colleagues that I support 
full and open debate on S. 372 and the timely consideration of all 
germane amendments. We ask that the amendments be germane. We would 
have great difficulty in conferencing this bill on nongermane 
amendments and the possibility that they would be accepted in the final 
report I would say is doubtful. If confusion over the amendment filing 
process has prevented any Senator from getting a germane amendment 
considered, I will certainly work with that Member to see if we could 
get the amendment brought to the floor for consideration.

  Again, I thank my chairman who has worked in a very cooperative 
manner. We are seeking to achieve a good bipartisan consensus on how we 
in this body exercise our very important constitutional role of 
providing oversight for a critically important factor in our 
responsibility, and that is oversight and legislation with respect to 
the national intelligence program and the intelligence community which 
administers it.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Stabenow). The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, in essence, what I will do is 
repeat what my valued and distinguished vice chairman said. It is a 
fact of life. The vice chairman and I have both been Governors. It is a 
fact of life that Governors don't like to have oversight. They don't 
get it. The legislatures don't get it. They get it by the people every 
4 years.
  It is a little different here. The President sends legislation. We 
look at it. It gets passed or not. But the country is so huge, and 
there are innumerable problems, none of which are more important than 
the national security. It is incredibly important not just to take the 
President's decision and assume that it is right. Maybe that works at 
the State level, but it doesn't work here.
  We have an absolutely sacred obligation--and in this case a life-and-
death obligation--to review, to do oversight, to ask questions, to call 
people in and to have closed hearings. We have endless numbers of 
closed hearings which are attended by members of the committee. 
Suddenly, this committee has come together, it is alive, and this sense 
of oversight is felt and appreciated by the intelligence community.
  This single sheet of paper which every single Member will get when 
they come to the Chamber shows how Vice Chairman Bond and I, working 
together as we always do, made five major amendments to try to 
accommodate the administration with respect to the managers' amendment, 
which is the pending amendment. We worked those through very carefully, 
we agreed upon them, and they are now before us.
  Then there is a separate list of five more individual amendments 
where we try to be responsible and responsive. That is all we can do.
  The great sadness to this Senator over the past several years has 
been the inability of the Intelligence Committee to do oversight. That 
is our obligation. We need to know what is happening. There are certain 
areas which become so sensitive that it may be that only the vice 
chairman and I can be informed. People grumble about that, and so be 
it. That is national security protection. But we have to know what is 
going on, and that is the purpose of this legislation.
  It has been a long time coming. The majority leader has spoken to 
that point. I recommend to my colleagues who come to the Chamber to 
vote that they take a look at this paper.
  We have worked to try to accommodate the administration's objections. 
I am sure we have not accommodated all of them, but we have addressed 
some important ones without in any way interfering with our ability to 
do proper oversight.


[Congressional Record: April 16, 2007 (Senate)]
[Page S4471-S4474]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I rise to oppose cloture on the 
Intelligence authorization. There are plenty of things wrong with this 
bill, but our primary objection, once again, is the way it is being 
handled on the floor.
  The Democratic majority has filed 21 cloture motions so far this 
session. At this rate, we will have 160 cloture motions by the end of 
the 110th Congress. This would shatter the old record of 82 back in 
1995 and 1996.
  The purpose of filing cloture early is to end debate and accelerate 
the passage of a measure, but abusing this privilege has the opposite 
effect. If the minority is shut out of the debate, it will block 
participation until their Members are respected and their voices are 
given an opportunity to be heard. We have seen this happen again and 
again over the last 3\1/2\ months as the majority has repeatedly 
struggled and failed to move legislation.
  Republicans take no joy in this, but we will continue to defend our 
right to be heard. The Senate, as we have learned over the years, is 
not the House. Contrast this torpid pace of legislation in this 
Congress with the first 3\1/2\ months of the last one, when Republicans 
passed some of the most far-reaching civil justice reforms in decades. 
Republicans knew that the price of passing laws was to work with the 
minority, to have an open debate, and to vote on amendments the other 
side had to offer.
  On bankruptcy reform, for example, we allowed 30 votes, including 
final passage. On this date, in the first session of the 109th 
Congress, Republicans had filed only four cloture motions. Looking back 
to the previous Congress on this date, we had only filed four cloture 
motions. We have had 21 filed by the new majority.
  On this date in the first session of the 108th Congress, we had filed 
5 cloture motions, as compared to 21 at this point with the new 
majority. On this date in the first session of the 107th Congress, we 
had only filed one cloture motion.
  I think the message is pretty clear. I started this session by 
expressing the hope that we would do big and important things for the 
country. The realities of divided Government and the rules of the 
Senate make that supremely possible, and I thought the bipartisan 
meeting we had that first week in the Old Senate Chamber was a sign of 
good things to come. I still have that hope, and I see a real 
opportunity opening with the early steps the majority leader has taken 
on immigration reform. We are going to that the last 2 weeks before the 
Memorial Day recess. I think that is a good thing. I commend him for 
  It is my hope that this trend of limited debate and limited 
amendments--which, of course, leads to the limitation of minority 
rights--will soon come to an end. Madam President, 3\1/2\ months is not 
that long a time. We can still correct course and accomplish very 
important things for our country.
  I yield the floor.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order and pursuant to rule 
XXII, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on Calendar No. 20, S. 
     372, the Intelligence Authorization bill of 2007.
         Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Russell D. Feingold, Jay 
           Rockefeller, Evan Bayh, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Jeff 
           Bingaman, Robert Menendez, B.A. Mikulski, Dianne 
           Feinstein, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, S. 
           Whitehouse, Byron L. Dorgan, Blanche L. Lincoln, Ron 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived. The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate 
that debate on S. 372, a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal 
year 2007 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of 
the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Management 
Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability 
System, and for other purposes, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call 
the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Delaware (Mr. Biden), 
the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Dodd), the Senator from Iowa (Mr. 
Harkin), the Senator from South Dakota (Mr. Johnson), the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry), the Senator from Louisiana (Ms. Landrieu), 
the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Lautenberg), the Senator from Florida 
(Mr. Nelson), and the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Obama), are 
necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from Iowa 
(Mr. Harkin) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) would each 
vote ``yea.''
  LOTT. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from 
Kansas (Mr. Brownback), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran), the 
Senator from Wyoming (Mr. Craig), the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
DeMint), the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign), the Senator from South 
Carolina (Mr. Graham), the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Gregg), the 
Senator from Florida (Mr. Martinez), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. 
McCain), and the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
DeMint) would have voted ``nay.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 41, nays 40, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 130 Leg.]


     Nelson (NE)



[[Page S4472]]


                             NOT VOTING--19

     Nelson (FL)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 41, the nays are 
40. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is entered.
  The Senator from West Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I have to declare myself absolutely 
a series of things: furious, double-crossed, misled, minimized--in 
terms of my role as a Senator and as chairman of the Intelligence 
Committee--shocked by the arrogance of the technique that was used 
between the White House and the minority leader to say to Republicans, 
after weeks in which Vice Chairman Bond and I worked out a compromise 
on a managers' amendment on which we worked in good faith--I dropped 
things he did not like, he dropped things I did not like--but it was a 
genuine effort.
  Vice Chairman Bond, whom I respect greatly, stood here praising the 
managers' amendment. Then the word came down from the White House--not 
from Vice Chairman Bond but from the White House--through the minority 
leader, that this vote was to be a test of Republican Party loyalty and 
that therefore all Republicans were instructed to vote against it.
  In all of my years in the Senate, and certainly all of my years on 
the Intelligence Committee, I have never seen something so repugnant, 
putting politics over national security. That is the bottom line. 
Politics was put over national security.
  An order came down: This is a test of Republican Party loyalty. When 
it comes to that, by golly, you put politics over national security.
  Thirty-one people, at least, died at Virginia Tech University this 
afternoon. All of my kids went to camp there. I know a number of 
students down there. I called to find out that they were OK, and there 
was grief everywhere. Republicans were standing up, Democrats were 
standing up expressing they were horrified.
  I was just trying to figure out how many intelligence agents, how 
many soldiers--because of inadequate intelligence or because of some 
slip-up or something we had not done, something which we were prepared 
to correct or did correct in the managers' amendment--died, and I 
suspect the number was essentially greater than 31.
  Now, my heart goes out to those 31. I know some of them who were 
spared. I was in despair until I knew they were OK.
  But this act of cynicism, this act for the third year in a row, 
blocking intelligence legislation is beyond me. We all understand 
nothing can happen in military action without intelligence leading the 
way in; to scout out the territory, to get the feeling, to get through 
language skills, et cetera, to get the feeling of what is going on so 
we know what we are getting into.
  I will not get into the importance of intelligence for Iraq or 
Afghanistan, but this is a real crusher. I am not shocked or 
discouraged with the intelligence. I am more fired up than ever on 
intelligence. I am shocked because something like this happens in the 
United States Senate for any reason at any time. I have been in this 
body for 24 years.
  I have been in this body for 24 years, and on one occasion a majority 
leader called me at home--I happened to be shaving, and it was not a 
convenient phone call--and asked me to vote against a particular piece 
of legislation, which I was going to vote against in any event. That 
has never happened since then. Not once have I been instructed by my 
party or by my minority or majority leader to vote a certain way.
  Yet when it comes to national security, to funding intelligence 
agencies, where we change the authorities, where we spent weeks in 
trying to work out hard problems, and did so in the managers' 
amendment, with more amendments to come, which we would have agreed to, 
to alleviate the White House's concern--the White House decided they do 
not like oversight. Well, I understand that. When I was a Governor, I 
did not like oversight. Nobody likes oversight, but it is our 
constitutional responsibility. We do not have that choice. We have that 
  One of the great things about the Intelligence Committee is it has 
come together in recent months to accept this responsibility and to 
reach out and take hold of it with a vigor and a lust that makes us 
want to do more--but not to overdo but to do. Then along comes this 
  It certainly is the most disappointing day, the most disappointing 
vote, the most disappointing sign of where we are in this country--the 
most disappointing sense of the relationship between the executive 
branch and the legislative branch--the failure of the realization we 
exist for a reason, that we work hard, getting ready for this vote 
because we had a chance to do it. Then comes down the instruction: No. 
Politics trumps national security. Prove you are a loyal Republican. 
Vote no.
  It is not a good day in the Senate.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I was fortunate enough to serve on the 
Intelligence Committee for 4 years and served with the Senator from 
West Virginia, as well as the Senator from Missouri. It is one of the 
toughest assignments in the Senate. It is time consuming. It is 
demanding. It takes a long time to even understand the nature of our 
intelligence community and the valuable work they do.
  I salute all members of the Intelligence Committee on both sides of 
the aisle for sticking with it. They do not get a lot of public 
attention because these hearings and deliberations are behind closed 
doors. This is classified information. It is critically important for 
the security of the United States of America that this Intelligence 
Committee work and work closely with the intelligence agencies.
  I want to say a word on behalf of the chairman of this Intelligence 
Committee on the Senate side, Senator Rockefeller. I cannot think of a 
person who has put in more time--certainly on our side of the aisle but 
in the Senate--dedicated to doing this job right. It must be next to 
impossible to keep up with everything else he has to do, but he has 
dedicated himself to this. I know how much this bill means to him.
  This reauthorization bill for the intelligence agencies is critically 
important to him personally, but, more importantly, it really means so 
much for our Nation. If our intelligence does not get it right, we are 
more vulnerable. If we are more vulnerable, it means that not just 
people living in Springfield, IL, but our troops in the field are more 
vulnerable. So he has worked overtime to bring this intelligence 
authorization bill to the floor in a spirit of bipartisanship, as he 
  This amendment, which was just stopped by this procedural motion, is 
a bipartisan amendment. It is from both the chairman of the committee, 
Senator Rockefeller, and the vice chairman of the committee, Senator 
Bond--Democrat and Republican. I believe him when he says he has worked 
in a spirit of compromise to try to find a reasonable position.
  Now, when we offer this amendment, this substitute amendment, to the 
Senate, and say, if you have something you want to offer to improve 
it--Senator Reid said that earlier--I cannot think of a fairer way to 
approach an issue, which should not be political at all.
  One amendment was offered. It is my understanding only one amendment 
was offered. It looked like we were finally going to get this 
reauthorization of intelligence agencies that are so important for our 
security. Along comes this procedural vote, which should have been a 
toss-away vote. It ends up virtually stopping the debate on this 
critical bill. Why? I cannot understand it.
  We have said: Offer your amendments, and only one amendment was 
offered. Senator Rockefeller has worked with the Republican side of the 
aisle for a bipartisan approach. You have given; the other side has 
given. It

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was a good spirit of compromise, cooperation. That is what people want. 
Certainly, when it comes to the security of our Nation, you do not 
expect us to come in as Democrats and Republicans. We have a lot more 
  So what happened now? When we tried to bring this to a point where it 
could pass, where the amendments would be limited to the most germane 
amendments that really get to the heart of the issue, the other side of 
the aisle, voted no, and now we are stuck.
  They knew what they were doing. They were trying to kill this bill. 
But why would they want to stop this bill? This is a good bipartisan 
bill essential for the security of America that had been arrived at in 
a bipartisan manner, and they stopped it. I do not understand that.
  I salute Senator Rockefeller for his leadership. I understand his 
frustration. Certainly, the people who depend on us in the Senate, in a 
bipartisan fashion, to keep America safe were let down by this vote 
where the overwhelming majority of Republican Senators voted no.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sanders). The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I came here earlier today anticipating there 
would be Republicans who would rise above the partisan clamor. I 
looked, as the vote was being cast: no, no, no, at the people I thought 
could do this.
  Sixteen agencies are all responsible for gathering intelligence 
information for our country.
  Mr. President, let's call it the way it is. Vice President Cheney 
runs the intelligence operations of this administration. He has for 6 
years. It apparently is not going to stop. We could not even improve 
the intelligence-gathering operations for the 16 agencies because it 
may interfere with the Vice President.
  Mr. President, even the vice chairman of the committee voted against 
moving forward. I heard his conversation with the chairman, why he was 
doing this--because he had been asked to do it. We have had experiences 
in the past with the way the Republicans--everybody, hear that--have 
handled the intelligence-gathering information for our Nation. The 
Senate had to be closed using rule XXII to get some minimal information 
how the evidence was manipulated to take us to war in Iraq, and we got 
some of that information.
  There has been a change in the leadership of the Senate. I was 
hopeful it would be better, and it has been for 3 months. There has 
been cooperation between the two Senators, the chairman and vice 
chairman. We are not dealing with--we have had to invoke cloture on 
everything we have done here because, as I said earlier today, I 
thought a minority of Republican Senators was standing in the way of 
our doing what we have done--minimum wage, stem cell, all that stuff.
  But here we are dealing with our spies. That is what they are. We 
know from the situation where there has been an indictment and 
conviction that the White House was involved in that up to their neck 
with the ``Scooter'' Libby matter. Karl Rove appeared before the grand 
jury on three or four or five occasions trying to extricate himself. 
The President said anyone who had anything to do with leaking 
information would be dumped from the administration quickly. Of course, 
that has not happened. I guess there is nothing in the minds of Karl 
Rove and his minions that is not politics--even the spy operations of 
this country.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, there have been some insinuations which have 
been thrown around on the other side. Let me be clear. This was not a 
cloture vote on the managers' amendment. This was a cloture vote on the 
bill. Many Republican Senators had asked to have an opportunity to 
offer amendments. Some 35 amendments have been submitted. The time for 
submitting the amendments shut off at 2:30 today, and we have at least 
10 or so Senators who could not get back here.
  Now, this bill is a good bill. But we have no reason, before we even 
start work on the bill, to invoke cloture to shut off amendments. 
Nobody from the White House told us to do that. We have Republican 
Senators who wanted to have an opportunity to offer amendments and 
vote. This is a critically important bill for the intelligence 
community, and I believe we need to work on it at least a couple of 
days. Is that too much to ask, that we work on it a couple of days?
  I know the leader has entered a motion to reconsider. And if there is 
any sense--if there is any sense--that there is dilatory action, if 
there is any sense that we are not moving quickly on this bill in very 
short order, I would join with him and urge my Republican colleagues to 
do so to move this bill forward. This bill is one that has to pass if 
we are to get our legitimate congressional oversight.
  I am not going to get into the arguments between the leaders on how 
many times we have invoked cloture. But on this one--this one--I gladly 
urged everybody to vote for cloture to proceed to the bill. There may 
be some in the executive branch who did not want us to. There may be a 
lot of provisions in the bill on oversight that the executive branch 
does not want. I believe we have a responsibility--a responsibility--to 
consider this carefully.
  Reference has been made to a number of things that were inaccurate. 
There was a reference made to having to shut down the Senate to get a 
process moving in one of the second-phase investigations. The staff 
work had essentially been completed. The staff, under bipartisan 
leadership, had worked on getting that done. Shutting down the Senate 
was a great show, but it did nothing to move forward that particular 
phase of the investigation.
  Now, I want to see this committee--and I hope this body--operate on a 
bipartisan basis. But I was very disappointed when I saw that cloture 
had been filed before we even started the process of amendments. 
Cloture is necessary when you see there is a filibuster or you see 
there are nongermane amendments. some of the amendments are nongermane 
and I will ask that they be withdrawn or I will join in a tabling 
motion, but I think this subject, which has not been debated on the 
floor sufficiently in recent years, should be open to a thorough 
debate. We don't want to take up a lot of time. We need to get this 
bill to the House and work with them to get a good Intelligence 
authorization bill through.

  The insinuation that we got an order from the White House is 
absolutely without basis. They are working with us in a cooperative 
way, and I hope to move forward on this bill, which is now open for 
amendment and debate. I look forward to the opportunity to proceed with 
that debate and votes on the bill.
  I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have the greatest respect for the senior 
Senator from Missouri, but his facts are all messed up. We tried to 
bring this bill to the floor for a full debate. In the Senate, as 
everyone knows, you have to move to proceed to the bill. We did that. 
They objected. We had to file cloture on even being able to proceed to 
the bill. They initially said: We are not going to give you cloture. 
Then they gave us cloture. The purpose of that was to stall for time. 
They voted to proceed. I said immediately: Why waste the 30 hours? The 
rule in the Senate is you have 30 hours after you complete the cloture. 
I said: Offer amendments during this period of time. Don't waste the 
time. We could have done that last week. I told everybody. All the 
staff knew that: But no, nothing. I indicated we would be happy to do 
relevant amendments on this bill.
  I ask unanimous consent now that there be four relevant amendments in 
order for each side and that when they are disposed of, the Senate move 
to final passage of the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I apologize.
  Mr. REID. I will repeat the request. I ask unanimous consent that 
there be four relevant amendments in order for each side and that when 
they are disposed of, the Senate vote on final passage.
  Mr. BOND. Reserving the right to object, we have 35 amendments. There 
are 10 amendments which I believe have the support of the chairman and 
the vice chairman. I will be happy to work tomorrow with the leaders, 
with the chairman, to develop a list of amendments and get a time 
agreement. But

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the whole purpose was to move this bill forward and find out what 
amendments are coming from both sides. I don't know about amendments 
from people who are not here.
  I object to that proceeding.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, let me say, it is a funny way of wanting to 
move forward on this bill by stopping cloture twice during the last 30 
hours. I repeat, I said anybody who wanted to could offer amendments. 
We sat for 2 days doing nothing, for 30 hours doing nothing.
  I hope the distinguished Senator from Missouri and my friend, my dear 
friend for life, the junior Senator from West Virginia, can work 
something out. That is why I moved to reconsider. I hope that on this 
very important piece of legislation, we are able to move forward. This 
has nothing to do with partisan politics. This is the security of our 
Nation and much of the world.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, as I indicated earlier, I want to see this 
bill move forward. It is open for amendment and debate. I will work 
with the chairman, with the leaders on both sides to come to a short 
time agreement with amendments to be considered. If that cannot be 
accepted, if we have any indication that this bill is going to be drawn 
out, then I will work with the leadership to get us to a position to 
vote on the bill. I remain committed to seeing this bill go forward, 
but I believe we have the need for at least a day's debate. The 
objection to proceeding on the bill was withdrawn. There could have 
been debate on Friday, but we weren't in. Now we are back in session, 
and I hope both sides can come forward and offer their amendments and 
offer their debates, and have votes and move this bill to final passage 
and send it to conference.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. REID. We weren't in session because there was no activity on this 
bill. No one was offering amendments. I would go one step further than 
the distinguished Senator from Missouri suggested. The amendments have 
been filed. Why don't we do the relevant amendments? I don't know how 
many there are. Let's do the ones that are in keeping with the rules of 
the Senate, go ahead and handle those, starting in the morning.
  That is all I have, Mr. President.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the role.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.