[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 133 (Tuesday, October 1, 2013)]
[Pages S7078-S7084]

                       CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I come to the floor this afternoon as the chairman of 
the Intelligence Committee in order to speak about the effect the 
government shutdown starting to have on the community and what effect 
it will have if the shutdown continues.
  Let me give the most important figure up front. Across the 
intelligence communities, 72 percent of the civilian workforce is being 
furloughed. This means that with the exception of a few intelligence 
agencies that have a significant number of military personnel, the 
lights are being turned off and the majority of the people who produce 
our intelligence, analyze that intelligence, and provide warning of 
terrorist attacks or advise policymakers of major national security 
events will be prevented from doing their jobs. Simply stated, this is 
unacceptable. The failure of this Congress to perform its most basic 
functions means that our country is at heightened risk of terrorist 
  Intelligence provides this Nation with its first line of defense 
because long before a threat makes it to our shores, the men and women 
in our intelligence community learn about it, sound the warnings, and 
often take the steps to neutralize that threat. Before the President or 
the Secretary of State makes decisions on U.N. Security Council 
resolutions, such as a resolution to end Syria's chemical weapons 
program, they review the intelligence and they seek the advice of 
intelligence analysts.
  Finding Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad and removing a bomb 
from an Al Qaeda operative in Yemen aren't things that just happen. 
They require the dedicated work of a huge array of professionals. Good 
intelligence requires the following: CIA officers on the ground and 
around the world meeting with sources; technical wizards who collect 
signals and imagery information; engineers who put together the systems 
to bring the information back to Washington and who convert the ones 
and zeroes of computer code into meaningful, actionable intelligence. 
Today, 72 percent of the civilian workforce will not be doing these 
jobs. Our shutdown is the biggest gift we could possibly give our 
  I understand and I support continuing to pay our military men and 
women, operating both at home and abroad, including tens of thousands 
still deployed to Afghanistan. By furloughing our intelligence 
workforce, we put our uniformed men and women at risk as they, too, 
rely on the intelligence agencies to tell them where the next assault 
may take place or where the next IED is hidden.
  We have Ambassadors in threatened capitals. I can guarantee that our 
Ambassadors in Kabul and Baghdad and Sanaa and Islamabad rely on their 
intelligence briefers and the tactical intelligence support to their 
security teams as much as they rely on the marines who guard front 
  I met earlier this spring with Ambassador Anne Patterson in Cairo. I 
saw the gates and walls of our modern Embassy that had been overrun by 
the same crowds protesting down the street in Tahrir Square. I met with 
the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence officers who give the Ambassador 
and her team warning when the extremists are looking to try to attack 
our Embassy again.
  Some of these intelligence professionals will obviously remain on 
duty and are absolutely essential, but by furloughing the majority of 
the intelligence civilian workforce they rely on, we are preventing 
them from effectively doing their job.
  I spoke yesterday with Director James Clapper, the Director of 
National Intelligence. At my request, he sent me a short report on how 
the shutdown will affect the largest intelligence agencies. In addition 
to the 72 percent overall figure, his report lists how the shutdown 
will cripple the CIA, the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the 
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance 
Office, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to 
include the National Counterterrorism Center.
  Every single agency I listed will lose the majority of its civilian 
workforce. Many of them don't have a sizable military component that is 
exempt from the shutdown. The numbers are still classified, but any 
Senator who wants to see how our failure to fund the government is 
harming the intelligence community is welcome to find out and read this 
report. It is in the intelligence office on the second floor of Hart. 
The intelligence agencies at the Departments of State, Treasury, 
Energy, and Homeland Security are hit even worse.
  I wholly regret that we are in this situation. I regret that across 
the country national parks are closed and Federal safety inspectors are 
sidelined. For 4 years we have squeezed the discretionary 
appropriations levels to the point that every part of the Federal 
Government has had to cut back and make do with less. What we are doing 
now puts American lives at risk. It is an abdication of congressional 
  I wanted to come to this floor to make clear to every Member of this 
body that what we have done directly damages our national security.
  I also would like to take the opportunity to speak on some of the 
cutbacks that are in process in the area of energy and water.
  Since 2001 I have served as chairman of three different 
Appropriations subcommittees: Military Construction and Veterans 
Affairs, the Interior Department, and today the Subcommittee on Energy 
and Water Development. Over the years I helped make a lot of tough 
choices on which programs to fund, which not to fund, et cetera, but 
never have things been as bad as they are today. The cuts we are making 
to our appropriations bills under sequestration are strangling programs 
that must be funded. These are programs that are vital to our country, 
vital to public safety, and programs that promise to deliver the next 
breakthroughs in energy research.
  I will speak about some of the negative effects a shutdown and 
continued sequester would have on my subcommittee.
  The agency within my subcommittee that may have the most direct 
impact on the public is the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps 
safeguards our dams, our levees, and our drinking water. It keeps our 
harbors open for cargo ships, and it maintains more than 4,000 
recreation sites. Most people don't know that. Simply put, a government 
shutdown would mean the termination of a wide range of Army Corps of 
Engineers activities.
  Let me mention flood control for a moment. Work is stopping on 
virtually all construction projects, studies, and activities related to 
flood control and navigation across this country. These projects 
protect tens of millions of Americans. A shutdown may mean the Corps 
stops work on improving dam safety projects, including the dam at 
California's Isabella Lake, which is the dam most at risk of failure in 
our State.

[[Page S7082]]

  Halting these projects endangers citizens and ultimately increases 
the cost to complete this work. What is more, these projects actually 
reduce overall costs to the Federal Government. Damage prevented by the 
Corps' projects--this is only damage prevented--exceeds $25 billion a 
year. It is indeed a big deal.
  Other Corps projects interrupted by the shutdown includes the 
strengthening of levees and flood walls to reduce the risk of loss of 
life and economic loss from flooding and coastal storms.
  Work could stop on improvements to flood protection levees along the 
Mississippi River, levees that experienced record flood levels in 2011.
  Projects in Boston, Kansas City, and Seattle could be suspended. Even 
worse, these construction delays would come at a time when severe 
storms are causing damage with greater frequency.
  Even dam safety projects could be affected by a shutdown.
  One example is California's Folsom Dam, where the Corps and the 
Bureau of Reclamation are working to increase dam safety. A shutdown 
would likely cause the Corps and Reclamation to suspend contract 
activities, delaying this vital project.
  The Folsom Dam is a major component of the Central Valley Project, 
which provides clean water to more than 20 million Californians, and 
should not be put at risk by a government shutdown.
  A shutdown will also have dramatic impacts on water-borne commerce.
  More than 2.3 billion tons of cargo moves through our marine 
transportation system. Improvements to channels, harbors and waterways 
ensure this vital traffic flows without pause.
  Projects at Oakland Harbor in California, Savannah Harbor in Georgia, 
and Charleston Harbor in South Carolina could be impacted by the 
shutdown, meaning higher construction and transportation costs.
  The country's vast system of inland waterways could also suffer from 
the shutdown.
  More than 600 million tons of cargo move through our inland waterways 
on commercial ships. A shutdown means this cargo could be slowed, and 
the use of locks would likely not be available at all to recreational 
  While facilities on lakes that combine flood control and hydropower 
should continue to operate because of safety issues, hydropower 
operations will likely be curtailed.
  This means 353 hydropower units operated by the Corps--which provide 
roughly one-quarter of the country's hydropower--would operate at 
reduced capacity. This would cut into the $1.5 billion in payments the 
units generate each year.
  There are also major permitting and operational impacts that will be 
immediately noticeable.
  Processing of regulatory permits under the Clean Water Act, which the 
Corps handles, will be suspended.
  In a typical year, the Corps processes more than 80,000 permit 
actions. This means anyone from an individual building a dock to a 
community planning a major development would not be able to move 
forward because they won't be able to secure a permit.
  The Corps will also be unable to provide enforcement actions on 
existing permitted activities, which could harm sensitive environmental 
or aquatic resources.
  Another visible effect will be the shuttering of recreation areas.
  The Corps of Engineers is the largest provider of outdoor recreation 
among all federal agencies. They maintain more than 4,200 recreation 
sites at 422 projects in 43 States, with more than 370 million visits 
each year.
  Those visitors spend more than $18 billion annually and support 
350,000 full-time or part-time jobs. All this will be impacted by a 
government shutdown.
  The Department of Energy could also face severe limitations under a 
  Research grants to national labs and universities could be suspended. 
These grants fund important clean energy challenges related to 
biofuels, supercomputing, and materials research.
  The output of world-class science facilities on cutting edge research 
and product development may be significantly reduced. With U.S. 
leadership in science threatened by China, Japan and Europe, now is not 
the time to suspend major scientific research.
  Regarding the national security missions of the National Nuclear 
Security Administration, a government shutdown may delay important 
nuclear modernization activities.
  A government shutdown may disrupt and delay efforts to replace aging 
components in every single nuclear weapon in the stockpile. For 
example, delays in replacing aging components in the W76 submarine--
launched warhead--which makes up more than 50 percent of the Nation's 
nuclear deterrent--would have serious impacts to the Navy's nuclear 
deterrence mission.
  Upgrades to aging infrastructure related to uranium, plutonium and 
high explosives capabilities would also be delayed. Delays of just days 
can add millions of dollars to a project's bottom line.
  A government shutdown may also delay the design of a new nuclear 
reactor for the Ohio-class submarine. A shutdown may also delay 
refueling one of only three training nuclear reactors for sailors, 
which is critical for supplying sufficient numbers of sailors to man 
the U.S. submarine fleet.
  Lastly, on this matter, the shutdown will delay and increase costs to 
clean up and remediate nuclear contamination at former nuclear weapons 
and nuclear energy research sites. These activities should be completed 
as quickly as possible to protect human health.
  Finally, Madam President, I just wanted to say a couple of things 
about the much-beleaguered health care plan and what is happening so 
  During the first 3 hours today, the Federal health care Web site--
healthcare.gov--with information about exchanges across the country 
logged 1 million visitors. As of 9:30 this morning, in Kentucky, the 
health exchange had 24,000 visitors and processed more than 1,000 
  I am anxious to provide the west coast numbers, although not able at 
this time due to the 3-hour time delay.
  There were 2 million visits to New York's health exchange during the 
first 2 hours of the launched site. Even at 11:30, Connecticut had 
10,000 visitors and 22 people enrolled.
  Let me just end with this one story. Paula Thornhill, a mother of 
seven who lives in Virginia, was the first to apply for coverage today 
in her county, which is Prince William. She is quoted as saying: ``I am 
relieved that they did come out with this affordable health care. I am 
  So far so good today, and I am hopeful that this tyranny of the 
minority will end shortly.
  I thank the Senator from Louisiana, and I yield the floor.