Mr. GLICKMAN. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the order of the House of Thursday, November 18, 1993, I call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 2330) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1994 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. Government, the Community Management Account, 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. Pursuant to the order of the House of Thursday, November 18, 1993, the conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of Thursday, November 18, 1993, at page H10150.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Glickman] will be recognized for 30 minutes, and the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] will be recognized for 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Glickman].
Mr. GLICKMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to offer special thanks to my ranking member, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest]. We have been talking about bipartisanship here, and I must tell my colleagues, in all my years in the House I have never had the privilege to work in such an open, bipartisan spirit and I have with him, and with the other Republican and Democratic members of the Committee.
It has been a joy to engage in genuine bipartisanship, not perfect unity on every issue, but for the most part in perfect harmony.
I also want to thank our staffs. We have extraordinary staffs on the Democratic and Republican side. Some of the best I have ever seen here, and they have done a splendid job in getting this bill to the floor on time.
I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 2330, the fiscal year 1994 intelligence authorization bill. As is customary, the conference report contains both classified and unclassified elements. The funding levels agreed to by the conferees are set forth in a classified schedule of authorizations which is incorporated by reference in the conference report. A classified annex to the joint explanatory statement of the committee of conference provides a detailed description of the schedule of authorizations. I urge Members to take the time to review these classified documents in the offices of the Intelligence Committee.
This conference report is an installment in the committee's ongoing effort to properly size the intelligence community for its post-cold-war mission. Members of the committee are acutely aware of the important role played by intelligence in areas such as supporting military commanders when American forces are in conflict, and furthering U.S. policies designed to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and counter the efforts of terrorists to influence government policies by violence. They are also aware, however, that an intelligence community of the dimensions of the one which was maintained to counter the threat posed by the Soviet Union is simply not necessary in the post-cold-war world. In August, the committee brought to the floor a bill which made significant reductions in the President's budget request for national intelligence programs. In conference, we reduced the National Foreign Intelligence Budget by approximately $150 million.
Budget cuts can be a blunt instrument with which to affect change. In my view, however, the reductions in the conference report represent a measured approach which will encourage efforts to eliminate activities which are no longer needed, while promoting the development of new technologies and methods of operation which are better suited to the intelligence challenges of the future. In my judgment, the budget reductions contained in the conference report can be absorbed without damaging essential intelligence capabilities. They clearly reflect the committees' intention to continue to prod the community to reduce its size and reorient its activities.
To conduct effective oversight, particularly from a budgetary standpoint, it is important that Congress have a clear understanding of how the intelligence agencies intend to address their priority activities. Two of the legislative provisions in the conference
report will particularly contribute to that result. One requires the submission to Congress by the Director of Central Intelligence of an annual unclassified report describing the significant successes and failures of the intelligence community during the preceding year, and the areas in which emphasis will need to be placed in the year to come. The second provision requires the Director of Central Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense to identify gaps between intelligence needs and intelligence collection capabilities. These reports will provide useful guidance to both the intelligence community and the Congress on how to better align available resources with essential tasks.
Two significant provisions in the Senate bill were not included in the conference report, and I want to make it clear that their omission was without prejudice to their substance. One of these provisions would have required Senate confirmation of the CIA's general counsel.
This provision was pushed very strongly by the Senator from Ohio [Mr. Glenn]. Currently, only the Director of Central Intelligence, the deputy director, and the CIA's inspector general are confirmed. No hearings have been held in the House Intelligence Committee on extending the confirmation requirement to other positions at CIA. At my request, the Senate receded on this item to give us a chance to examine it in detail next year. It may well be that the committee will conclude that additional positions throughout the intelligence community should be subject to confirmation, but that is a judgment that simply cannot be made without a full understanding of the arguments on both sides of the issue.
The second provision concerned the public disclosure of the aggregate intelligence budget figure.
This was an issue that was debated in the House in the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank]. The Senate bill contained a provision expressing the sense of Congress that the aggregate amount should be disclosed. During the consideration of the authorization measure in the House, an amendment was offered to require disclose. That amendment was defeated by a substantial margin. In light of the House vote, the House conferees did not believe that even a nonbinding sense-of-Congress resolution on this issue should be a part of the conference report.
I understand that there are strong feelings on both sides of this matter. I personally support disclosure of the budget totals. I do not believe that such disclosure in any way jeopardizes national security or that it would inevitably require the disclosure of the details of the intelligence budget. The committee will hold hearings on this issue early in the next session, and I intend for the judgments we make as a result of those hearings to be reflected in the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1995.
Let me just finally mention something which I think is important. I recognize that when it comes to monitoring intelligence agencies like the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency that the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is the agent or the trustee for the rest of the Members of the House and the public.
In years past, in the 1970's and, to some extent, in the 1980's the intelligence agencies of this Government often did not operate under the rule of law. That has changed, and it is partly because of the Committees on Intelligence in the other body and the House that it has changed. It will continue to change.
We recognize that notwithstanding efforts to open up the process so that more Members of Congress know what is going on and so that the public knows what is going on in intelligence, we need continued, effective committee oversight and review. In the past year, we have given special attention to the budget issues, how much we spend, special attention to proliferation of weapons, who has got what and who is selling what kind of weapons to whom in the world, special attention to terrorism, where it exists and who is funding it, and special attention to counternarcotics.
The committee intends to continue this oversight.
I would have to say, from a personal perspective, that all of these issues demand continued oversight to make sure the intelligence community is doing its job correctly, spending taxpayer dollars appropriately, and is not creating problems for us that we do not need in terms of trying to make sure that the world is safer and more peaceful.
Mr. Speaker, the conference report embodies difficult choices about the best ways to achieve a balance between the legitimate intelligence needs of policymakers and military commanders and fiscal realities. It deserves the support of the House and I urge that it be adopted.
I want to put the intelligence community on notice that the same kind of oversight which was conducted last year will continue next year. This committee and this Congress will do everything it can to make sure that the dollars being spent on intelligence are being spent correctly, in accordance with law and in accordance with the foreign policy objectives of the United States.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to note that our committee chairman, Mr. Glickman, has continued to lead our committee in a collegial manner, encouraging the honest sharing of views. Despite a wide variety of opinion on some matters on which our Members have felt strongly, he has successfully strived to keep the process open. I should also state that we found the conferees from the other body approached conference with a willingness to make reasonable compromises on several outstanding issues. I enjoy working with him very much.
I do rise in support of this conference report and urge Members to support its passage. Having said that, I and my colleagues from the minority are deeply disturbed by the cuts over and above those which were taken by the committee earlier in the authorization process. I fear these cuts compound the damage which has been done to our intelligence capabilities. Last year our committee made severe cuts totaling 5 percent to the intelligence budget. Even then-Chairman David McCurdy said the cuts were at `the outer limit,' going beyond which would `risk severe damage to the ability of the community to provide intelligence necessary to the policymakers.' His words were not heeded and the appropriations process essentially doubled those cuts. I and a great majority on our committee were appalled, yet here again we are making a cut of almost the same proportion.
In my statement supporting the authorization bill on the 3rd of August of this year, I outlined four of the major demands we make of our intelligence community: Preventing or, at the least, slowing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, countering terrorism, protecting American economic competitiveness, and supporting our military. I will not again discuss these in detail. I will tell you, however, that the last 3 1/2 months have convinced me even more of the importance of intelligence in helping the President navigate the waters of foreign, diplomatic, economic, and military problems. I will simply say that from the vantage point of my position on the Intelligence Committee I have seen the wreckage that results when policy is made without good intelligence or with little attention paid to it, and I have on more than one occasion seen intelligence help the policymaker change course in the nick of time.
Let no one misunderstand my words. I do not believe that we can avoid some cuts to the intelligence budget. In an ideal world I would like to see the intelligence budget increased, because I know a dollar spent on good intelligence can save thousands spent in other ways--for example, on ill-advised or poorly prepared military actions; on unemployment and other benefits for American citizens whose jobs were literally stolen away by the illegal or unethical dealings of foreign companies or because of poorly negotiated or unenforced trade agreements; or on the defenses required to protect us because radical, aggressive regimes illegally procure the technologies for weapons of mass destruction. I also think of the lives saved by intelligence--of our soldiers and of
our vulnerable overseas travelers, not to mention ordinary U.S. citizens going about their daily lives, commuting and working in structures vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
As I said, in an ideal world I could see increasing the money spent for intelligence to protect us. Yet, realistically, I know we must expect the intelligence community to share in reducing the Federal budget. For that reason, I support the 17 1/2 percent cut of the intelligence work force over 5 years which has already been mandated. I also believe the President's election call for a $7 billion cut in the 1993-97 intelligence budgets was manageable. What we are actually legislating here, though, entails much more serious cuts which will put critical capabilities at far greater risk, and that inevitably involves greater risks to the important national interests these intelligence capabilities protect. I will leave this point by simply observing that I think those of us who have been selected to protect the interests of the American people by providing oversight of the intelligence community may sooner, rather than later, regret the stampede to pick some arbitrary bottom-line amount by which to cut the intelligence budget and then go shopping for specific areas to fill out that cut.
On a more positive note, I am pleased with the progress we have made in conference on refining the concept of the National Security Education Act of 1991. We reduced the trust fund supporting the act from $150 million to $120 million and have directed that it is to operate solely from the interest accrued on the fund's principal. This will help fund more focused programs and selected students in advanced language and area studies at universities. The specific areas of study will be based on an annual assessment of critically important regions and languages. The program is to help ensure our universities' steady production of a pool of young, internationally knowledgeable, and linguistically adept individuals from which the U.S. foreign affairs and security communities will be able to recruit needed new talent. Of course, we intend to continue to closely monitor this program's implementation.
In closing, I reiterate that, although I am concerned at the cuts which have been made to our intelligence programs, I stand in support of this conference report. While it will drastically reduce some intelligence capabilities, it manages to maintain some others, although scaled down. Those who would argue that it is still too much are simply in ignorance of the fact that what the intelligence budget buys our country's leadership is not cheap: Some peace of mind from a bewildering and growing variety of political, economic, and military problems.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GLICKMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from El Paso, TX [Mr. Coleman] chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislation.
(Mr. COLEMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. COLEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman of the committee for yielding the time.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1994. On balance, we reached a good compromise on the many issues facing the intelligence committees and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the agreement.
First, I want to stress that we did not include certain provisions found in the Senate bill for which the House of Representatives, and its interested committees, have not had an adequate opportunity for hearings and consideration. Among these was the provision that would established a statutory General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. I, for one, am not all convinced that a Senate-confirmed General Counsel would prevent politicization of the Office of the General Counsel at CIA, or improve the quality of its management, and I firmly believe the current Director of Central Intelligence should have the opportunity to express his views on the issue. The Committee on Intelligence will hold hearings next year, and the matter will be part of the consideration of the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1995.
In addition, the agreement does not include the Senate provision that would have amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to grant the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to consumer credit records in counterintelligence investigations on the basis of a `national security letter.' Expansion of this extraordinary authority raised serious concerns in a number of House committees, on both substantive and procedural grounds, and the Senate receded to provide further time for House consideration of the matter.
On the National Security Education Act, the conferees agreed to reduce the unappropriated balance in the program's trust fund to $120 million and limited authorizations in fiscal year 1995 and 1996 to the amount of interest generated by the trust fund during the previous year. The conferees also required an annual assessment of foreign language and area studies hiring needs from agencies such as Department of Defense, State, and CIA, which will form the basis for the award of scholarships and fellowships under the program.
Finally, the conference report includes the House provision that authorizes retirement annuities, survivors annuities, and access to health insurance benefits for certain ex-spouses of participants in the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System. Congresswomen Kennelly and several groups comprising the spouses and ex-spouses of foreign service and CIA employees have worked hard over several years to get this provision enacted, and they should be congratulated for their efforts.
The measure of a good compromise is that no one is completely satisfied with the end result--and this agreement is no exception. Nevertheless, I urge its passage. It represents months of vigorous oversight by the intelligence committees to ensure funding is well spent and programs are productive. Enactment will set congressional priorities in place for the coming year, and thus I urge a Yes vote.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter]. He and I joined the committee at the same time. I will say that there has been in my awareness a more studious Member, one who has attended more of the hearings, one who has dedicated more of his time, one who has brought more expertise and interest to this committee, and one that I wish his constituents in Nebraska would have had some awareness of the contribution the gentleman from Nebraska has made to this committee and to the protection of this country.
(Mr. BEREUTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report. I want to thank the gentleman from Texas, the distinguished ranking member of the Intelligence authorization committee, for yielding me this time, and to thank him for his very generous comments.
I believe the gentleman from Texas, the ranking member, and the gentleman from Kansas, the chairman, deserve extraordinary expressions of appreciation, compliments, and congratulations for the leadership that they have brought to the Intelligence Committee during the past year, and I do very sincerely extend those compliments to them.
I think they have expanded on the tradition of ensuring bipartisan sharing of information and effort as we conducted oversight and authorization activities for the intelligence community. It has been an outstanding effort on their part.
Mr. Speaker, this Member shares and would like to echo the budgetary comments by the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest]. At the beginning of the year, the member request time formally registered serious concerns regarding the proposed reductions in the Intelligence budget. While I compliment the distinguished gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Glickman] for his fair- and even-handed
management of the committee, particularly with regard to program and budget issues, I feel that we cut the Intelligence Community budget authorizations too deeply. Only time will tell whether this Member's concerns are well-taken, but clearly the world in which we live is one where American's and, therefore, Congress, can ill afford to take chances with our national security. Our intelligence agencies are our first line of defense, the eyes and ears that find those smoldering issues and circumstances abroad that can quickly ignite into a major conflagration. In the coming year we will carefully watch how the intelligence community fares in the severely reduced budgetary environment in which it now must exist.
I must compliment the chairman, however, for his willingness to review and his supportive leadership on some budgetary issues late in this legislative season. In particular, one where enormous intelligence and foreign policy equities were at risk. At this point I must speak in generalities to protect classified material, but I can say and wish to note that the chairman, Mr. Combest and our colleagues joined me in the conference in insisting on our position, and as a result we have been able to save an opportunity to continue two small but very significant intelligence programs which also have very crucial foreign policy implications? On some other interrelated but distinct programs of tremendous intelligence potential, we--the House authorization conferees--have done what we can to limit the disruption, which will result from a hasty and probably ill-considered program consolidation suggested in classified portions of the appropriations act. Our action would encourage the intelligence community to determine carefully the optimal management structure for those programs as well as reaffirm the authorizing committees' legislative responsibilities. This Member still has great concerns about the direction of the Defense Appropriations Act on this classified subject, but I was not able to reverse their apparent direction.
Finally, I would like to offer a few comments on the recently authorized National Security Education Act, NSEA. At the time of passage 2 years ago, this and many other Members had grave doubts about the program. During our recent conference, I noted that if we were going to proceed with the program, which the previous Congress had authorized--if we are going to proceed with the program, we ought to impose necessary fiscal and programmatic restraints on NSEA in order to give us the very best product possible. One of those restrictions imposed limits expenditures solely to the interest earned on the principal of the trust fund. I am pleased to report that the conferees agreed to this limitation.
The conferees also agreed that the NSEA program shall only provide scholarships and fellowships in areas where there is a shortage of personnel with more esoteric language and area studies skills. The shortages will be determined based on an annual language assessment of future needs to be prepared by the Department of Defense from inputs from Federal agencies including the CIA that will employ the NSEA fellows. This annual language area studies assessment will be critical to determining new educational assistance for NSEA.
Our actions have tightened up this program significantly, and it will provide a direct benefit to the intelligence and foreign affairs community. As such, I believe that we have at least modified and directed a fledgling program in a manner that will better meet the needs of the Federal agencies which will be hiring these individuals. At the same time, providing educational opportunities to American students that are more likely to meet the actual needs of our intelligence and national security agencies.
Mr. Speaker, I would like now to engage in a brief colloquy with the ranking member of the committee related to the NSEA. I have a few brief points for him to consider, and I would ask his comments at the completion of this statement.
First, the Republican members, it is my understanding, will continue to exercise full oversight over NSEA to ensure it is executed in accordance with the changes mandated by the conferees and hope to have the cooperation of our majority counterparts in that effort. Secondly, the chairman, Mr. Glickman, at the conference stated a view, which you and I share, that the committee understands that future annual authorization actions are an essential element in effective oversight. And, third, over the next year, we the Republican minority would work to ensure that the HPSCI will hold hearings on NSEA to determine how the program is proceeding, in particular since this year will mark the award of the first scholarships and fellowships.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BEREUTER. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from Texas for any comment he may want to make.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I say to the gentleman from Nebraska that I totally concur with his comments, and strongly support them, and as the gentleman will recall, our committee had basically ended the program, but in conference, as one does in many instances in an ability to reach a position in which we could move forward with the bill, which was important to the community, did make some agreement with the Senate that the program would continue but, as the gentleman has indicated, at a significantly changed and scaled-down version, and certainly limiting only the expenditure for the program to the amount of the interest on the trust fund which was established in last year's moneys out of intelligence. Because of that, I have always felt very strongly that the Intelligence Committee should be the oversight committee of that program as long as those funds actually came from the intelligence community, which they did, and, in fact, the intelligence community should benefit from them which we have established under this, but I would strongly concur with the statement of the gentleman from Nebraska and will do everything I possibly can to make certain those concerns he has are carried out in our committee as long as I am the ranking member.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas for that assurance, which I would have expected since he has been so active in this area. I thought it might be helpful to have it on the record.
I made a characterization of the chairman's view, and if it is inaccurate, please, correct me.
Mr. Speaker, I want to add a positive note on the NSEA. It would be worthwhile to highlight the very effective management that is being exercised by the new office director, Charlene King. NSEA was going nowhere until she was appointed in April, and now it appears to be tightly run and very responsive to meeting intelligence community personnel and area study requirements.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I want to reiterate my thanks to the Chairman and the ranking Member for all of their support and courtesy throughout the Conference and earlier during committee markup on matters of interest to me. Without that assistance and attitude we could not have made the significant modifications to the House-passed bill and during the Conference. For that, I am grateful.
Mr. Speaker, moving to another point, if the gentleman from El Paso is in the room. Nevertheless, it might be good to put some comments on the Record since he brought up the discussion about the FBI and the possible amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Yesterday, this gentleman, a member of the Consumer Affairs Subcommittee of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, during a markup of a bill amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act authorization legislation, noted to members of that subcommittee that the chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Gonzalez], and the chairman of the subcommittee, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy], had asked that the Intelligence Committee, in a letter to Chairman Glickman, not proceed with amendments to the FCRA or accept Senate language to amend the FCRA, since it was in the Banking Committee jurisdiction. And appropriately, of course, the HPSCI responded in acknowledging it was in the Banking Committee jurisdiction. We
also received shortly thereafter a letter from the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Brooks], indicating that he would look to hearings and actions of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs on the issue of possible FBI-related amendments to the FCRA.
I referenced the Senate Intelligence Committee bill's relevant provisions on the FCRA yesterday for members of the House Banking Subcommittee to consider. I would say to my colleagues since there have been contacts from the FBI on several occasions with the House minority and majority staff of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, we may yet have an opportunity to weigh in, in support of FBI-related amendments to the FCRA either during the FCRA markup of the full Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs or on the House floor on such legislation.
This member wanted to alert members there is a possibility yet for action in the next session of the 103d Congress on this front. So I would particularly invite future comments from the chairman of the Legislative Subcommittee, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Coleman] on this subject.
As a final note, I want to mention that I think that the committee is extraordinarily well served by continuing to have what I consider to be the best staff to assist us that exists in the House of Representatives.
The majority and minority of HPSCI is, without exception, as outstanding a staff that has been assembled in the House. It continues the tradition of being the best staff effort in the House of Representatives.