Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 285 and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:
Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider the conference report on the bill (H.R. 2038) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1992 for the intelligence activities of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes. All points of order against the conference report and against its consideration are hereby waived. The conference report shall be considered as having been read when called up for consideration.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Murphy). The gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson] is recognized for 1 hour.
Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. McEwen], pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of House Resolution 285, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.
Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 285 is the rule providing for consideration of the conference report on H.R. 2038, the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1992. The rule waives all points of order against the conference report and against its consideration.
The rule also provides that the conference report will be considered as having been read when called up for consideration.
Mr. Speaker, in order to move this conference report expeditiously, and because we are approaching the target date set for adjournment, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee requested that the 3-day layover requirement for conference reports be waived for this bill. This waiver is necessary for the House to take up the conference report today.
The chairman also requested that the rule waive points of order against provisions in the bill which are not germane because of the narrow scope of the original House bill. These provisions were requested by the administration and added to the bill in the Senate.
Points of order are waived against another provision in the conference report, which was added by the Senate also, that creates a national security education trust fund.
In addition, the rule waives points of order dealing with scope against title VI, concerning plans to consolidate certain CIA activities. According to the Intelligence Committee, the only reference to the subject is in the classified annex accompanying the Senate report, and it is not a part of either the House or Senate versions of the bill.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to approve this rule so that we may act today on this important conference report.
Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California for explaining this rule which I rise to support.
As a former member of the Intelligence Committee, I know well the important work that has been done on this conference report, and wish to thank Chairman McCurdy and the ranking member, Mr. Shuster, for their tireless efforts.
The rule by which we would consider this conference report is the customary one, and needs little further by way of explanation.
The underlying conference report does merit some discussion because this will authorize funding for one of the most crucial segments of our national security apparatus.
Mr. Speaker, as Members know, the actual level of funding for these purposes is classified. But suffice it to say that Chairman McCurdy has pointed out that this portion of our national security budget has taken its share of cuts. And it is probable that those cuts will affect both personnel levels and operational capabilities. Indeed, as the House Intelligence Committee's report stated some 6 months ago:
The monitoring of new arms control agreements will present a considerable challenge to U.S. intelligence * * * The intelligence community cannot affort major new systems or expenditures because of U.S. oversights or misjudgments during treaty negotiations.
So, at a time when our Nation is negotiating arms control agreements that could affect the safety and security of every American, it is worth noting that the conference report recommends cutting a number of important intelligence programs from the President's request for necessary programs that are integral to our national security.
It is ironic and disappointing then, to find that, at the insistence of the other body, the conference report will provide $150 million for general education. Mr. Speaker, to most Americans, that would seem nongermane to this bill. Indeed, most Americans, I submit, would say that our national security is at least as important as education.
Further, I must point out that the $150 million in education provided for in the conference report does not require the recipients of that aid to return any service to the U.S. itelligence community. That is to say, there is no requirement for national security service in return for a Government-provided education as there is under programs various other education programs provided for under the auspices of national security. Rather, this provision is simply for general education, and the only strings attached are that the recipients must work for the Federal Government or in the field of education. In fact, this amount of $150 million is equal to more than one-third of the entire funding provided for the President's high-priority America 2000 educational excellence program.
And at this time of such rapid and unprecedented change in world events, at a time when we are negotiating far-reaching and crucial arms control agreements, at a time when we are facing cuts in our national intelligence apparatus, I submit that it is disappointing to see this particular provision which has only a tenuous relationship to intelligence gathering.
And Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that this is not a shortcoming of either the chairman or the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. It is a shortcoming in the conference report. For other Members, like me, who are concerned with such provisions, I would only add that the chairman and the ranking member did assure the Rules Committee that they were successful in accomplishing other priorities of the House in exchange for this onerous provision.
Nonetheless, Mr. Speaker, this conference report should come forward. And the rule before us allows the House to consider it under the normal procedures, and so I endorse the rule.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
The previous question was ordered.
The resolution was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 285, I call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 2038) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1992 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. Government, the Intelligence Community Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Murphy). Pursuant to the rule, the conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of November 18, 1991 at page H10353.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] will be recognized for 30 minutes, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] will be recognized for 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy].
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of the conference report to accompany H.R. 2038, the fiscal year 1992 Intelligence Authorization Act. The conference report incorporates by reference a classified schedule of authorizations which contains the authorized funding levels. A detailed description of the schedule of authorizations is set forth in a classified annex to the statement of managers which accompanies the conference report. These classified documents may be reviewed by Members in the offices of the Intelligence Committee, and I urge Members to take the time to examine both the classified schedule of authorizations and the classified annex.
As is partially reflected in the unclassified portion of the conference report, this legislation differs significantly from the bill approved by the House on June 11. The House bill contained authorization levels which were substantially the same as those requested by the President. The Senate version made significant reductions. As is usually the case, the conference report reflects a compromise. In this instance, the process of compromise resulted in a cut of several hundred million dollars from the activities known collectively as the National Foreign Intelligence Program. Growth in these activities, which provide intelligence for the use of national policymakers, is limited by the conference report to less than 1 percent above the amounts appropriated in fiscal year 1991. That rate of growth is less than half the rate of growth in the defense budget, with which the intelligence budget is frequently compared.
These reductions reflect the conferees' recognition that recent events in the world, particularly the implosion of the Soviet Union which occurred since the House bill was passed in June, in combination with the fiscal constraints we will face for the foreseeable future, dictate that our intelligence programs and the spending which supports them need to be scrutinized. Both Intelligence Committees believe that we must have national intelligence agencies with the flexibility to respond effectively to the different sorts of challenges that will confront us in the 1990's and beyond. That flexibility will have to be achieved and maintained with fewer resources. The trick will be to maximize the return on the investments we are able to make in intelligence personnel, equipment, and facilities. One of the surest ways to do that is by making certain that the intelligence community is
structured in such a way as to eliminate duplication of effort and promote efficient and responsible management. While we take the first steps toward this goal in this conference report, this subject is one to which both committees will devote a lot of time next year.
The conference report contains several important legislative provisions which were not a part of the House bill. One concerns a proposed consolidation of Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] activities now undertaken at several sites in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. When the House Intelligence Committee examined this plan in July, we were appalled to discover that a decision with potential financial ramifications running in the billions of dollars had been made without the use of any criteria by which it could be understood and convincingly justified. Armed with a clear expression of disapproval by the House over the means by which the CIA had formulated the consolidation plan, we were able to insist in conference that no plan would go forward until we were assured that it had been carefully measured, both within the Agency and without, against criteria which made sense. I am pleased to report that we were successful.
The conference report does authorize funds to be used for CIA consolidation. Not a nickel of those funds, however, may be obligated until a number of conditions involving certifications and reports from the Director of Central Intelligence, the head of the General Services Administration [GSA], the CIA's inspector general, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget are provided to the committee. These conditions will ensure, among other things, that: the consolidation plan is consistent with written land acquisition procedures, like those used by GSA, which are to be put in place at the CIA; the consolidation will save the Federal Government money; that spending on the CIA consolidation in fiscal year 1992 is consistent with the Administration's fiscal priorities; and that the likelihood that the CIA of the future may be a good deal smaller in terms of personnel than it is today has been considered by the Agency.
The Intelligence Committee does not object to consolidation of functions and activities of the intelligence agencies when to do so makes sense in terms of cost and program efficiency. We do, however, object to consolidation plans which cannot be clearly seen to satisfy either of those standards. The committee intends to monitor this particular consolidation with great care in the years to come to assure ourselves those standards are being met. In that regard the committee intends to closely scrutinize any request for additional funds which may be made in this fiscal year or in future fiscal years.
The conference report also contains the National Security Education Act, an educational initiative which may appear somewhat out of place in an intelligence authorization bill. The act establishes a trust fund out of which are to come yearly disbursements to finance a program of scholarships, fellowships, and grants to educational institutions to encourage greater academic interest in foreign languages and international and area studies. An appropriation of $150 million in funds which would otherwise be used for intelligence programs is authorized to the trust fund in fiscal year 1992. An appropriation of $35 million from the trust fund is authorized in the current fiscal year with equal shares funding the scholarship, fellowship, and grant assistance established by the program. Future years' obligations from the trust fund are, if authorized by law, limited to the amounts specified in appropriations acts. The program is to be administered by the Secretary of Defense.
I recognize that there are misgivings about this program, especially about the fact that there is no discernible link between the benefits provided and the intelligence agencies whose budgets are being asked to bear the program's cost. There can be no doubt that those agencies, as prospective employers with specialized needs, benefit if the pool of potential employees has a better grasp of foreign languages, governments, and cultures. Some might argue, however, that this program's lack of focus makes the accrual of any benefit by the intelligence community more the result of happenstance than design. Nevertheless, the program has its strong supporters. The new Director of Central Intelligence has endorsed the concept. A majority of the conferees believed that on balance, the benefit to our society as a whole by expanding the educational opportunities available in foreign languages and area studies outweighed any reservations. We made changes in conference to the structure of the program, by tightening the service requirement and instituting a financial payback provision if certain conditions are not met, and we reduced the funding levels recommended by the Senate. With these improvements we decided the program's effectiveness could best be measured by its results, with the knowledge that the requirement for annual authorization and appropriations action will ensure that Congress is well positioned to make judgments about those results.
In addition, the conference report contains an expression of the sense of Congress that, beginning in 1993, the aggregate intelligence budget figure should be made public. This sense of Congress language replaces a provision in the Senate amendment which would have mandated public disclosure of the aggregate figure effective with the fiscal year 1994 budget submission.
The conferees were informed that the President's opposition to public disclosure of the intelligence budget total was unyielding.
Faced with a likely veto of the bill if the Senate language were included, we settled on the sense-of-Congress language both to express our belief that a change in the current policy on keeping the figure classified is inevitable, and to signal our desire to work with the President on an appropriate way to effect this change.
As I mentioned at the outset of my remarks, both intelligence committees intend to pursue the subject of intelligence reorganization in earnest in 1992. However, as a result of some of the lessons learned from the war against Iraq and because it made good sense from a budgetary and programmatic standpoint to do so, the conferees agreed to endorse several reorganization initiatives recommended by either the House or Senate Intelligence Committees this year. These initiatives, while important in their own right, serve to clearly reflect the intent of the committees to be involved on all levels of the reorganization issue next year. I want to encourage the Director of Central Intelligence and other senior officials in the intelligence community to join us in that undertaking.
Before closing, I want to comment briefly on two provisions in the House bill that are not fully reflected in the conference report. During the consideration of H.R. 2038 on the House floor, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Miller] and the gentleman from Delaware [Mr. Carper] successfully offered an amendment to require the public disclosure of information concerning United States personnel listed as prisoners of war or missing in action during World War II, the Korean conflict or the conflict in Vietnam. Similar language was successfully offered as an amendment to the Senate version of the Department of Defense authorization bill for fiscal years 1992 and 1993. The conferees on the defense bill, however, agreed to make public only the records of Vietnam era POW/MIA's. As I understand it, uncertainty over the actual number of World War II and Korean conflict personnel properly classified as prisoners of war or missing in action, and the amount of information already publicly available about those individuals, produced an unwillingness on the part of the Defense authorization conferees to expand the coverage of the provision to include World War II and Korea.
Since the Vietnam-era POW/MIA's were covered by a provision in other legislation, it was not necessary to repeat that provision in the conference report on H.R. 2038. The intelligence authorization conferees did feel, however, a responsibility to try to resolve some of the uncertainties surrounding the availability of information on those unaccounted for during World War II or the Korean conflict. Accordingly, this conference report directs that, within 90 days of enactment, the Secretary of Defense shall submit a report detailing: The numbers of United States personnel still unaccounted for from World War II and the Korean conflict; the extent to which records about those personnel are already publicly available; the reasons why other records which may exist are not publicly available; and the feasibility and cost of making those records available to the public.
As Members will recall, when H.R. 2038 was initially on the House floor, the committee's ranking Republican, Mr. Shuster, offered an amendment to require members of the Intelligence Committee to take an oath of secrecy. That amendment was adopted. Before conferees were named, the committee voted to amend its rules to do what Mr. Shuster's amendment would have done--require committee members and staff to take a secrecy oath. I want to make it clear that the purpose of the Shuster amendment has already been accomplished. All Intelligence Committee members have executed an oath of secrecy, as now required by committee rules. Inasmuch as these steps had already been taken, the House conferees voted not to include the Shuster amendment in the conference report.
Mr. Speaker, the conference report represents the best judgments of the conferees on a number of difficult issues. It begins the process of defining the role of the intelligence community in the post-cold war world. It deserves the support of the House and I urge that it be adopted.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to commend the members of the committee, both Democrat and Republican, the ranking member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], and publicly thank the staff of the Intelligence Committee for their hard work and diligent efforts over the past year. I believe that we have made substantial progress, and Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and proud to chair this committee and to present this conference report for consideration.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.
(Mr. SHUSTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, the House managers worked long and hard to arrive at this agreement. The result is a conference report with a number of positive features, which, on balance, I support, although it also has some disappointing aspects.
On the issue of the consolidation and relocation of CIA facilities, the conference report is consistent with the instructions the House gave its managers. As the author of the motion to instruct adopted by the House, I took great interest in obtaining a satisfactory resolution of this issue.
In conference, we wished to reaffirm and protect the prerogatives of the house. As Members will recall, the CIA, in consultation with the other body, had developed a particular plan involving sites in Virginia and West Virginia. The House had already passed the fiscal year 1992 Intelligence authorization bill by the time the House Intelligence Committee suddenly learned that the CIA had settled upon a plan and intended to go forward with it in fiscal year 1992. An Intelligence Committee hearing surfaced serious questions about his consolidation plan, the implementation of which was supported by the other body. The conference agreement on this issue reaffirms the bicameral nature of the legislative branch under our Constitution and brings the House back into the process of authorizing funds for and conducting oversight of any proposed consolidation plan.
Our 11th hour hearing left many of us unpersuaded that the CIA had made a case for its proposed plan to relocate a number of Agency offices to sites in West Virginia and Virginia. The conference report includes certification and other requirements which will assure that any consolidation plan includes a well-documented justification. As a part of those provisions, the General Services Administration [GSA], the Office of Management and Budget [OMB], and the CIA inspector general will have important reviewing roles in the development of any consolidation plan.
To my dismay, we receded to the Senate on a very expensive, $150 million, language and area studies program. It calls for a trust fund for scholarships, fellowships, and grants to universities. The program is not based on any concrete study on the scope of the intelligence community's unmet needs for more persons with language and area studies knowledge. Furthermore, no information was furnished that would indicate a significant number of beneficiaries would ultimately put this knowledge to work in any U.S. intelligence agency. The other body held no hearings on this sweeping proposal, and the House had no opportunity to conduct hearings. In conference, I unsuccessfully proposed that we postpone implementation of this major new initiative for 1 year, while a study was undertaken to evaluate how best to address the language skills problem at various alternative funding levels.
We did manage to trim the proposal from $180 to $150 million. The savings were applied to related, but more focused, government language initiatives with some concrete benefit to the intelligence community. We were only able to tighten up marginally the Senate proposal in conference, raising the likelihood that some U.S. Government agencies, not necessarily those with intelligence responsibilities, would receive some advantage from the program. But, U.S. intelligence will reap little tangible dividend, if any.
The intelligence community could have received far more benefit by spending a small fraction of this amount to address directly the community's real needs in the realm of foreign language skills and area expertise. Plainly and simply, this National Security Education Act is a diversion of defense dollars from the intelligence budget to a domestic education program, and it has no place in the intelligence bill. I trust that in future years the House Intelligence Committee will closely scrutinize the implementation of this program and any further authorizations which may be proposed for it.
Further, the conference report expresses the sense of Congress that certain overall intelligence budget totals should be made public each year beginning in 1993. The conference provision is clearly preferable to the Senate position, which would have mandated disclosure of this information in 1993. Had we adopted the Senate proposal, the President would surely have vetoed the conference report. However, I fear that even the conference report's sense of Congress language is a precursor to future efforts to pass a mandatory public disclosure requirement. As superficially appealing as that may seem to some, it is a bad idea which will serve no useful purpose, and has some serious potential drawbacks.
While providing no significant benefit, publishing these total figures on each fiscal year's intelligence budget could be helpful to intelligence agencies of nations unfriendly to American interests. It will let their intelligence analysts know the total amount of resources the United States is putting into intelligence activities. From their own experience with intelligence activities and information they have gleaned by other methods, they may be able to extrapolate from our intelligence budget total to get a clearer picture of the scope of our total intelligence efforts.
As several members of the Senate Intelligence Committee noted in their additional views, no other governments publish their intelligence budget figures. Those thoughtful views go on to note:
Other governments will not understand why funding for U.S. intelligence activities is being revealed, and some will probably be concerned that disclosure of the budget will lead to further revelations of budget figures, including amounts spent to conduct liaison acitivities with particular services. It may be difficult to reassure these governments that the confidentiality of their relationship with the United States will be preserved.
Indeed, there would be pressure to make more and more budget details public. Because, it would soon become evident that merely knowing these total figures does not realistically contribute to any meaningful involvement of the general public in determining the appropriate level of resources for U.S. intelligence activities.
Merely knowing the total costs of U.S. intelligence activities is not the same as understanding those costs. Merely knowing the total cost will not increase public involvement in any constructive way in resource allocation questions.
To have any meaningful understanding of the costs, one must have some understanding of the value of intelligence, the other side of the cost/benefit equation. Such mandatory disclosure provisions are completely one-sided. They address only the `cost' side of the balance. But this is the dilemma with these seductive disclosure proposals. Specific knowledge about the valuable contributions of intelligence to our national well-being cannot be made public without jeopardizing those activities. Yet, that is precisely the information the public, or anyone else, must have to weigh the appropriateness of specific dollar totals. Publication of the budget total will only serve to encourage the American public to become cynics about the intelligence budget, as Oscar Wilde observed the term: `A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.'
We already have an elaborate arrangement which provides adequate protection of the public interest. Members of the Intelligence, Armed Services, and Appropriations Committees in each House provide effective oversight of the details of the various programs in the intelligence budget. Much information on the main categories of each annual intelligence budget, and many other budgetary details on funding and personnel levels, are available for the inspection of all Members of Congress in the classified schedule of authorizations and classified annex accompanying each annual intelligence authorization bill.
With this information Members may perform their constitutional duty of legislating in the public interest in these matters, in their capacities as elected representatives of the American people who are their constituents. Publishing aggregate intelligence budget figures will add nothing to this process.
Already many important aspects of the structure, functions, and authority of our intelligence institutions involving substantive public policy issues are addressed to a large degree in publicly debated legislation. Recent examples include: First, the recommendations of the prestigious Eli Jacobs Panel on counterintelligence reforms; second, legislation on the authority of DOD intelligence agencies to utilize commercial cover in the collection of foreign intelligence; and third, legislation enacted earlier this year making comprehensive changes in existing laws governing congressional oversight of intelligence activities.
When publishing these figures will add nothing to the knowledge of legislators, and will not promote any more meaningful public involvement in these matters, why aid hostile foreign intelligence analysts by giving them this baseline information? Why offer a concrete target for those who are totally opposed to all U.S. intelligence activities to attack with mindless percentage reductions sensitive programs whose importance cannot be publicly disclosed to refute such attacks?
I am also disappointed that the conference dropped the provision of the House bill which required that oaths of secrecy be signed by members and staff of the House
Intelligence Committee and published in the Congessional Record. However, I am gratified that House passage of the provision was the catalyst which finally moved the Intelligence Committee and amend its rules to require such a signed oath of secrecy by committee members and staff. Nevertheless, the very limited statutory provision on this issue in the House bill would have been a more prominent and effective demonstration to the American people of the seriousness of our commitment to the protection of sensitive intelligence information. Such a positive, public affirmation would have been particularly appropriate at this juncture in view of the alarming degree of public skepticism toward Congress, heightened by the scandals surrounding the Judge Thomas confirmation leaks, the House bank, and unpaid House restaurant bills.
Congress, for reasons not yet clearly explained, seems determined to reorganize the Intelligence Community. This year we made a not-too-auspicious start, based on the hurried and often contradictory ideas of three separate committees. This is no way to do business, and I hope the process will be better next year, since our report promises that this year was just the beginning.
We micromanaged DOD to an extent that became not only counterproductive, but even silly, as some of us pointed out on the floor during consideration of the DOD authorization conference report. Yet, our ultimate goals remain as fuzzy as ever. We still have no big picture. Not knowing our final target, our efforts so far have been relegated to firing a barrage of potshots. Those scattered volleys were aimed primarily at Duane Andrews, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, and by extension, at his boss and mentor, Dick Cheney.
Some of us were very displeased with the outcome, and refused to sign the House DOD authorization conference report as a means of protest.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the conference report now before us does contain some troublesome provisions; however, on the whole, I believe that its positive aspects outweigh these drawbacks. I urge my Members to read the classified index. There are many good programs in this legislation, and I intend to support adoption of the conference report and I urge my colleagues to do so.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, will my colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, yield to me for just a moment?
Mr. SHUSTER. Yes, I yield just briefly to the gentleman from California.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, I had not known about the provision in the bill that provides CIA money for universities. I appreciate the reservations that my House committee had on this, but anybody who knows anything about the history of the CIA and the problems we had in the sixties and seventies where the CIA had gotten influence in universities, in the National Students Union, and indeed in other areas where they had a certain amount of infiltration, realizes the great damage that was done to the CIA and to the university by those activities.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, if I may reclaim my time, I have several Members who have asked for time.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield for just one further brief moment, my question to the gentleman is, did the gentleman make a diligent effort not to recede and eliminate that very dangerous provision?
Mr. SHUSTER. I can assure my friend that I did and the vote was a party-line vote, with the Republicans opposing and Democrats voting in favor of it.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. I am disappointed.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to engage the gentleman from California in a very quick exchange here on that point.
Mr. Speaker, the gentleman raises an interesting point, but I think it is important to understand that within the conference report before us--although both sides had expressed a reservation about the use of funds--is a clear provision within the National Security Education Act that there is no direction, that there is no linkage, between the assistance and the intelligence community as the provider. In other words, even though the Defense Intelligence College and the Secretary of Defense administer the trust fund, there is not a direct intrusion or invasion of university communities by the intelligence community, if that would be the concern. These are not CIA funds; they are, in effect, DOD funds, because that is where the funding is provided.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. McCURDY. I yield to the gentleman from California.
Mr. EDWARDS of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the chairman's remarks on that issue. However, just this debate on the House floor today, I am sure, will not alleviate suspicion throughout the country, especially with young people who have not gotten over their fear of intelligence agencies. I am very well acquainted with it because the subcommittee I chair has jurisdiction over the FBI, and I have cosponsored legislation authorizing the FBI to support undergraduate training, but it is all in the open and it does not involve these huge amounts of money. Furthermore, we would not allow the FBI to have any operational role at universities through training programs, or students, or grants to universities.
Mr. McCURDY. That is an interesting comment and one that should be addressed to the chairman of the Committee on Intelligence in the Senate as well.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut [Mrs. Kennelly], chairperson of the Subcommittee on Legislation of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
(Mrs. KENNELLY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. KENNELLY. I thank the chairman for yielding this time to me.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 2038, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1992.
Let me address some of the significant legislative differences between this conference report and the bill as it passed the House last June:
First, the conference report contains a provision expressing the sense of the Congress that, beginning in 1993, the aggregate amount requested and authorized for, and spent on, intelligence and intelligence-related activities, should be disclosed to the public in an appropriate manner.
Frankly, I would have preferred the Senate language requiring the public disclosure of these figures following the enactment of the fiscal year 1993 intelligence authorization bill. However, despite the support of the new Director of Central Intelligence for the Senate, language during his confirmation hearings, the administration adamantly opposed the Senate provision--as well as a reasonable compromise we suggested, making disclosure contingent upon enactment of a separate joint resolution. We thus decided not to risk a veto at this late date.
I believe the American people can be safely told the aggregate amount spent on intelligence activities without jeopardizing our national security. In fact, the American people should be aware of where intelligence spending fits in among domestic and foreign priorities. As chair of the Subcommittee on Legislation, I intend to examine this issue further next year.
Second, the conference report does not include section 404 of the House bill which prohibited intelligence agencies from providing classified information to a member or staff of the House Intelligence Committee unless the member or staff had executed an oath of secrecy published in the Congressional Record. This provision would have added nothing to the protections on classified information or the penalties on disclosure already in place. What the provision would have done was put in place a procedure whereby the executive branch would determine which members of the House Intelligence Committee had access to classified information. But giving the executive branch that power would be wrong. Our committee was setup to oversee sensitive activities of the intelligence community. We should not be monitored for compliance by the very agencies we are charged by the House to oversee. Finally, though, the provision is unnecessary because the committee changed its rules in October to require, by our own rules, an oath of secrecy for members and staff.
Third, the conference report authorizes a new education initiative designed to address critical deficiencies in our knowledge of foreign languages and cultures as well as provide a better qualified pool of employees for the Federal Government. This legislation, the National Security Education Act [NSEA], is funded by the transfer of $150 million from the intelligence budget this year to a trust fund, from which $35 million is authorized for fiscal year 1992. One-third of the funds are to be awarded to undergraduates for study abroad, one-third to graduate students for fellowships in the disciplines of foreign language, area studies, and international studies, and one-third to institutions to establish or improve programs in these disciplines.
The NSEA has been criticized for not providing a direct benefit to the U.S. intelligence community. While some of us would have preferred that the legislation was more directly tailored to assisting the intelligence community in recruiting well-qualified linguists and area specialists, the program does impose detailed reporting
requirements on the Secretary of Defense so that we in the Congress can fully monitor the NSEA and fine tune it in the future.
Nevertheless, even though we may want to tighten the requirements for Government service by recipients, we all agree that no individual recipient of assistance may be used to carry out any activity on the part of any intelligence agency of the U.S. Government during the period in which assistance is received. The individuals receiving NSEA funds are to be engaged in purely academic pursuits. The legislation makes this clear.
Despite the NSEA's weaknesses, it does recognize that America's economic well-being and national security will depend in great measure upon our ability to communicate and compete by knowing the languages and cultures of other countries. The program deserves to be enacted.
With respect to consolidation of CIA facilities to two sites outside the Washington metropolitan area, suffice it to say the House of Representatives, under the able leadership of our chairman, has forced the decisionmaking process on this issue into the open. The conference report imposes significant new requirements on the Agency before any funds can be obligated to implement its consolidation plan.
On the POW/MIA issue, the conferees agreed not to duplicate the provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993, in which the Secretary of Defense is directed to place records from the Vietnam era, pertaining to prisoners of war and missing in action, in a library-like facility for public review and photocopying. Although efforts were made to treat the records pertaining to the unaccounted from World War II and the Korean conflict in the same way, conferees were concerned that there is insufficient information on the numbers of personnel who remain unaccounted for, the location of their records, and the feasibility of expanding public access to these records. We thus require the Secretary of Defense to provide us a detailed report on these questions within 90 days of enactment.
Finally, the conference report includes several changes in the law affording retirement, survivor, and disability benefits to CIA employees and their families. One very important change is the elimination of the requirement that the former husband or wife of a CIA employee must have spent 5 years outside the United States to qualify for former spouse benefits. All too often the decision on whether the spouse will serve abroad is outside his or her control. Our change will ensure that former spouse benefits will be available on a less arbitrary basis in the future.
We rejected in conference, however, the repeal of the former spouse's entitlement to Thrift Savings Plan [TSP] benefits under the Federal Employee's Retirement System. I, for one, do not believe the imposition of a pro rata division of TSP benefits is either unworkable or unreasonable. My subcommittee will be conducting a comprehensive review of the CIA Retirement Act of 1964 for certain employees next year and I look forward to working with the Agency on developing improvements in the law.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, in June, when this bill passed the House, I discussed the committee's efforts to ensure U.S. intelligence agencies were working together to provide reliable and timely intelligence products with an absolute minimum of duplication and wasted effort. I can assure my colleagues that this conference report represents even greater progress toward our goal of streamlining the intelligence community than did our bill, and that we will continue our efforts next year.
I urge a `yes' vote on the conference report.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest].
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], the ranking member, yielding this time to me.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this conference report. There are many good things in the conference report. There are some I have reservations about. Those things which I have reservations about, the ranking member most eloquently went into in some detail, and I will not go into that detail again.
I also want to thank the chairman and all the members of the committee for the effort put into the conference report. This is a committee which requires a great deal of personal time on behalf of the Member, and the members of the committee are very diligent in carrying out that responsibility.
Two quick reservations that I would like to just mention before I go on to some of the more positive aspects of the bill are the $150 million education fund. It was in an open type discussion that that debate took place, and I would commend that to the attention of any of the Members, if they are so inclined to look at that debate and see some of the concerns that were raised, and, as earlier has been said of the ranking member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], he was diligent in his efforts to oppose that and did a great job on our side in trying to make certain that our views were expressed.
Mr. Speaker, I am also extremely concerned about the public disclosure suggestions. I am concerned that, if we move to public disclosure, that we are going to have to go back for many, many years to show basically a trend of what has happened in the intelligence community, of what has happened in the overall spending, and, if we ever deviate from that trend, I think it is going to send a signal that could very much be unwarranted. But I think in determination of what is important in this country in terms of intelligence, those are things that are best kept secret, and those are things which I think that only opening even the disclosure up to the total amount up to the public sometimes, many times not to the public of the United States, but to other countries, raises questions which make it very difficult to answer, and I believe again those are things that are part of the family secrets and should be kept as that.
Mr. Speaker, there are many good things in this bill, and the difficulty of discussing the intelligence conference report is because 99 percent of it is classified, but to the Members on particularly my side I think that I can assure them that there are in this conference report many, many good programs, that after a great deal of fight and effort by the chairman, and the ranking member, and others, that we have been able to continue. I think I can assure them that they will be programs that they will be very supportive of and ones that they can be comfortable that our Nation's secrets are in good hands.
I again strongly endorse this conference report. I commend it to my colleagues to support, as I have and always will. Members who have an interest, I would highly suggest that they go to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence making every opportunity to set up the method by which they can read the classified annex.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Washington [Mr. Miller].
Mr. MILLER of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], the ranking member, for yielding this time to me.
Mr. Speaker, other Members have covered many aspects of this conference report. I want to dwell on one particular aspect that I think may escape my colleagues' attention, and that is what this conference report does in terms of access to information for those concerned about prisoners of war in Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, and I would like to follow up on the remarks of the distinguished chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] in that regard.
My colleagues will recall that last June 11 in this House the gentleman from Delaware [Mr. Carper] and I offered an amendment to this bill, the truth bill, that scores of Members in this body cosponsored providing for better access to information out of our own U.S. Government files for those, particularly families, seeking information about POW's from the Vietnam war, the Korean war, and World War II. That amendment, by the way, passed unanimously on a voice vote, and, as the distinguished chairman noted, a similar amendment was offered in the Senate by Senator McCain which also passed under similar circumstances. As the distinguished chairman from Oklahoma noted in the defense conference report, those provisions in the truth bill, as applied to Vietnam POW's, was adopted. So, we got one-third of what we wanted. But in that defense conference report there was nothing pertaining to POW's from the Korean war or World War II.
Mr. Speaker, in this bill before us, quite appropriately in light of the defense report, there was no need to deal with Vietnam. But the provisions that were contained in the truth bill that this House passed for Korea and World War II were dropped in favor of a study provision, a 90-day study for the Pentagon to do on sources of information related to those POW's. We have made some progress. This study is a good thing. The fact that we have the truth bill for Vietnam veterans is a good thing.
But we are not there yet, and let me explain why it is so important that, despite what the Pentagon says about needing to study and gather more information on the Korean war and World War II veterans, that we need the truth bill for all the POW's.
If somebody today goes to the Pentagon who has a relative who was a POW in Korea or World War II and asks for information, I can tell my colleagues from first-hand experience with one of my constituents that they get the runaround. They are told, `We're sorry. We have no mechanism for dealing with that. We just deal with Vietnam POW questions.' Yet we know that we have 7,000 POW's unaccounted for after the Korean war and over 70,000 after World War II that probably ended up in the Soviet Union, and were their sacrifices any smaller, any less great, than those that went and sacrificed in Vietnam?
So, Mr. Speaker, that is why the gentleman from Delaware [Mr. Carper] and I, while commending the progress that has been made, hope that we will not give up this struggle and that members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will seek, when the study comes back, to see that the truth bill, which now applies and will apply to Vietnam POW's, will apply to Korean war and World War II POW's so that we can get the information out to those concerned.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Delaware [Mr. Carper].
(Mr. CARPER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. CARPER. Mr. Speaker, let me just follow up on the comments I can from the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Miller]. First I want to thank him for the leadership that he has shown to try to do what we can in this body to make certain that families of our men who never came home from the Vietnam war, families of our men who never came from the Korean war or World War II, will have the right to know as much as we know about the fate of their husbands, their sons, their uncles, their loved ones.
I think we have here before us maybe half a loaf. We have with the adoption of the armed services bill and the disclosure of information regarding Vietnam war POW's, we have a portion of that loaf, and today, with the adoption of this conference report and the study that mandates within the next 90 days pertaining to the Korean war and World War II era POW's and MIA's, we may have another portion of a loaf.
After 90 days, when this time clock has run, we want something to happen. We want something to happen. I think perhaps it is appropriate that we do have this 90-day study, but we do not want this to be the end. My hopes are it will be the next step to full and open disclosure to all the Korean war and World War II POW families who still want to know what happened to their loved ones.
Let me just conclude by saying on behalf of 2,300 American families whose sons, and fathers and relatives never came home from the Vietnam war, to express on behalf of all of us and them our thanks to this committee for the step that has been taken in the armed services bill and in the context of this bill to make sure that they finally know the truth.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Wolf].
(Mr. WOLF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy], and also the ranking member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], for their outstanding efforts to thwart the effort that was made by some to move, without any public discussion or disclosure, CIA offices to West Virginia. I also want to thank all the members of the committee, because this was a very tough battle, and at times, with the Senate side being involved the way it was, we were not sure how it would come out.
I also want to thank all the staff members on both sides of the aisle for the work they did. And last, to the Members of this House, I want to thank all the Members who supported the motion to instruct the conferees offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], which I think really helped make the difference.
As Chairman McCurdy said, this was the most expensive federal building relocation in the history of the country, and all of it was being done without any public disclosure. To the credit of the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], they held a public hearing whereby everyone could come and ask any questions, and, of course, at that hearing the CIA leadership was not able to answer many of the questions. I think, with what the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] and the committee did, it is a victory, quite frankly, for America and for the process, to make sure the process is open and public and one that people can see. I also would say it is a victory for the people of Oklahoma and the people of Pennsylvania and the people of Virginia.
I also want to publicly thank the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] on behalf of the many CIA employees who have called my office, and also on behalf of their families. If anyone won a victory, it is the families who did not want to be used as a political pawn and be manipulated the way they were.
Again, I say to the committee, `My hat is off to you.' There are some who said that going over there probably was not going to happen. I say to the gentleman, `Mr. Chairman, you did it,' and I say to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, `Mr. Shuster, you did it.' I say, `God bless you on behalf of the CIA employees and their families.'
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Murphy). The time of the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Wolf] has expired.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute to inform the gentleman that in addition to the provisions the gentleman has accurately outlined, the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] and I have sent a letter to the CIA, to GSA, and to the Office of Management and Budget, telling them that we want to be certain that any such evaluation includes an evaluation of existing Government sites in the area.
We are talking about downscaling our defense establishment, so the obvious question is this: Do we have any land at Fort Belvoir, or do we have any land at Quantico, or do we have any land at Fort Meade? We believe strongly that should be a part of the evaluation. Before we start talking about spending taxpayers' dollars to go out and buy other land, we should first look at the land that the Government already owns.
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield, let me thank the gentleman for that. I am reassured, too, knowing that before the Central Intelligence Agency can move ahead, they have to come back and report to the gentleman's committee, which is contrary to the way they handled it the last time.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr. Wise].
Mr. WISE. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me the time.
Since West Virginia was mentioned by the previous speaker, I thought I would rise and say that we, too, welcome this process, and we congratulate the committee, because West Virginia and Jefferson County in particular understand the certification, and in an open process indeed it can prove the merits of what has been proposed all along.
I might add that all the members of the West Virginia delegation in the House and the Senate are supportive of this language, because we believe it gives a chance for West Virginia to put forward its best foot. Indeed, the gentleman who preceded me has spoken today and in the past about some of his concerns. We believe the fact that land in West Virginia, at the Jefferson County site, is $10,000 an acre, for instance, versus $100,000 to $170,000 an acre in this area is key.
We believe in fact that all the land is available for anything the CIA intends versus the restrictions on land here.
I might add, of course, that two-thirds of this project will be in Virginia, not West Virginia. That fact is sometimes overlooked.
Third, we think that with the driving time and the rush hour time and communting time, this certification process will indeed show that many of the CIA employees, perhaps the bulk of them, who would be working at the Jefferson County site would be closer to Jefferson County and would be reverse commuting versus what is presently the situation where they must now commute to 21 facilities across the span of northern Virginia and three in Washington. Indeed, many of them will have a longer commuting time that way.
Finally, there is the cost savings, and we are glad there are provisions for looking at the cost savings, because we believe the costs that will be saved over not having to lease 21 separate facilities are adequate for the CIA, and with being able to lease one or two facilities such as the CIA had proposed, the GSA will be able to document those cost savings, and indeed by the year 2010 this project will more than pay for itself.
Once again I stress that two-thirds of the cost actually occurs in Prince William County, VA, not Jefferson County, WV, and more employees would be in Prince William County than in Jefferson County.
So for all these reasons, I congratulate the chairman and the ranking minority member for putting together a certification process that will answer once and for all and resolve these questions.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Darden].
(Mr. DARDEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. DARDEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this conference agreement and urge its adoption. While the entire bill is important for enhancing our Nation's intelligence activities, I want to focus on a specific proposal in the legislation that I believe is critical for our future intelligence operations.
Included in this bill is the creation of a National Security Education Program. This legislation will create graduate fellowships in critical foreign language, regional, and international studies.
It would provide grants to universities to organize, maintain, and improve critical international and area studies and foreign language programs. And, by providing scholarships for undergraduate students to study abroad in critical countries that are currently neglected, it will expose our talented young people to the economic, cultural, and military challenges that face America in the 21st century.
Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity back last January to visit the DLI [Defense Language Institute], out in Monterey, CA. I was told I was one of the few Members who ever toured through that operation to see what they did there.
I was shocked and amazed to find out that at the time the war broke out, less than 20 people in our entire Defense Establishment, of millions of people, could speak a language of the Iraqi people. So we were totally unprepared and inadequately trained to meet that great challenge.
Quite frankly, we were very fortunate that we got by with such a big gap in our defense intelligence process.
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the committee for this initiative. I support it in its entirety and look forward to an overwhelming vote by this House in approval of this conference report.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of this conference report. I believe it is a very good effort. Again I want to commend publicly the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] for his efforts.
Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the conference report.
The previous question was ordered.
The conference report was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.