Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3821) to designate the Headquarters Compound of the Central Intelligence Agency located in Langley, Virginia, as the George H.W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence.
The Clerk read as follows:
SECTION 1. DESIGNATION.
The Headquarters Compound of the Central Intelligence Agency located in Langley, Virginia, shall be known and designated as the `George H.W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence'.
SEC. 2. REFERENCES.
Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the Headquarters Compound referred to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the `George H.W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence'.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss).
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 3821.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Florida?
There was no objection.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I am pleased to bring this legislation before the House today. H.R. 3821 will designate the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters complex in Langley, Virginia as the George H.W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence. This is a fitting tribute to our 41st President and former Director of Central Intelligence, the only person in our Nation's history to have occupied both offices.
The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has taken no formal action on this bill. However, I would note that all 16 of our members are cosponsors, among the 150-plus cosponsors we have for this legislation. There is strong bipartisan support for H.R. 3821 in the House as a whole, and the other body has passed a similar measure as part of its fiscal year 1999 Intelligence Authorization Act.
George Bush has dedicated much of his life to public service. I think we all know that. Beginning back in World War II where he flew for the Navy in the Pacific theater. We have heard many of those stories. In 1967, Bush was elected to the House of Representatives, and he would later serve as Ambassador to the United Nations and as chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China.
In January of 1976, Bush was appointed Director of Central Intelligence by President Ford, a position he held through the end of the Ford Administration. His tenure as DCI was relatively short, but it came at a time when the U.S. intelligence community was undergoing increasing public scrutiny and some criticism.
It was during this year that the first permanent congressional committee on house oversight devoted to intelligence matters was formed. Took place in the other body. Of course, the House followed suit.
Bush demonstrated leadership and trustworthiness at a time when both were desperately needed to help restore confidence in the Central Intelligence Agency and the other intelligence agencies that make up our intelligence community. Mr. Speaker, I urge the House to support to this bill. I congratulate its author and lead sponsor, my friend, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman).
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3821, to designate the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia as the `George Herbert Walker Bush Center for Central Intelligence.'
George Bush served this country not only as President but also as Vice President, Member of Congress, United Nations Ambassador, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and also, Mr. Speaker, as a naval aviator in World War II. As a matter of fact, he received the Navy Cross for his courageous action in the Pacific.
He is the only Director of Central Intelligence to have become President of the United States. The CIA headquarters does not now have a formal name, and there is no facility in the Washington, D.C. area named after President Bush. I thus believe this legislation represents a fitting tribute to honor President Bush's long and distinguished career in public service.
I have known President George Bush for a good many years. History has shown that he was an excellent Director of Central Intelligence, and I heartily endorse naming the CIA headquarters after him.
I am thus happy to join my colleagues on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in cosponsoring this tribute to former President George Bush, and I urge its passage by the House.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend from Missouri, who participates in an extraordinarily helpful and valuable way on matters of national security, many of the things we cannot talk about. If people knew the contributions he made, they would indeed be gratified. I think that to have his support for this bill is a very meaningful statement, and we appreciate it very, very much.
Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman), author of the bill, and I ask unanimous consent that he be permitted to control the balance of the time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Florida?
There was no objection.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.
While he is here, let me thank him for the critical role he has played in this concept from the outset in his role as Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but also in his role as a friend and supporter of George Bush. He has been absolutely essential to getting this legislation to this point.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert).
Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding me the time. I also thank him for his leadership in advancing this important legislation.
I am privileged to serve on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and in that capacity I have come to appreciate even more than before the invaluable contributions of President Bush, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Bush, for all that he did so well for so long, but particularly in his capacity as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
He took over that agency at a time when it was somewhat troubled. Morale was low. He elevated it to a new high. For that, everyone in the intelligence community will be internally grateful.
But when I think of President Bush, I just think about him in today's terms. Every day when I get up and read the day's newspaper, we read yet another story about how good the economy is and how the Nation is moving forward, and I am reminded and all of us should be reminded that this longest period of sustained growth in our economy started under the leadership of President Bush, during his administration, and it has sustained itself. I think that is something that he can be proud of. It is one of the enduring legacies he has left to this Nation.
I also think of George Bush the human being, one of the finest, most decent, most caring, sharing individuals it has ever been my privilege to know. He is a wonderful inspiration for generations to come. He still is at it, providing leadership. He is still at it, providing valued friendship. He is very deserving of this honor for a whole bunch of the right reasons. And for that, I am proud to identify as one of the 16 members on a bipartisan basis of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence who have cosponsored this legislation.
Let me again thank my colleague for the leadership he has demonstrated.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I thank the gentleman for his wonderful comments and for his support of the legislation.
I would like to make one point, to reiterate what the gentleman said, which is that all members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Republican and Democrat, have now cosponsored this legislation, and that is the one committee of jurisdiction for the naming of the CIA center. So we are appreciative of the support of the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) and really the entire committee, Republican and Democrat.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 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 thank our colleague, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman) for sponsoring this bill. It is with great honor I rise today in support of this legislation that would designate the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia as the George H.W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence.
Renaming the CIA headquarters would be a fitting tribute to our distinguished former President. The fact is, in the early 1980s this used to be in my congressional district. I was out there at the dedication of the addition to the new building. At that time former President Bush, who was then Vice President, was out there with then President Reagan and was so warmly and well thought of by everybody at the CIA at those times.
George Bush has an exceptional career in service to the American people. He triumphantly led our country to victory in the Gulf War crisis, and he paved the way for freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe as the Cold War ended and the communist empire broke up.
George Bush also served our Nation in many other capacities. He has the distinction of being the only former President to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. George Bush is still today held in highest regard by the CIA and its employees. In fact, many times I will talk with a CIA employee or former employee, they tell me they thought George Bush was one of the best directors they ever had.
When appointed Director to the CIA in 1976, he inherited a very difficult situation, but during his tenure he created strength and stability in the intelligence community, and he is widely credited for restoring morale at the CIA.
Mr. Speaker, America has a proud tradition of honoring our great presidents. What better way to honor George Bush than to place his name on the CIA headquarters in Langley. I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this. I thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman) for introducing the bill.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Virginia for that great statement. The folks at the CIA near his district certainly have a lot of continuing respect and really warm feelings toward their former Director and former President, George Bush.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Regula), one of the original cosponsors of this legislation.
(Mr. REGULA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. REGULA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. In my early years here I used to visit agencies to get a better understanding of how the various departments functioned. One of those I visited was the CIA. This is where I first met President George Bush. I was tremendously impressed.
It was so great that, as the Director, he took a lot of time to explain to me the function of the CIA and all the various facets of this organization. I thought at the time when I first met him, this is a person I would like to support as President of the United States. Fortunately, I had that opportunity in subsequent years, and I have always been pleased that I could be one of the backers of President Bush for the highest office. I was proud to have been part of his team, with the integrity and the leadership he brought to this office.
A couple of things I would mention. One of the great diplomatic achievements, I think, was the transition in Russia during times of President Gorbachev, when there was a lot of turmoil in that country. As outlined in Ambassador Jack Matlock's book `Autopsy of an Empire,' President Bush had to make some really tough decisions as to what the position of the United States would be in light of the events in Russia. I thought he handled it with great skill, and I believe that the success of the transition in that nation, from what was formerly the U.S.S.R. to what we have today, was due in no small part, or I should say due in large part to the sense of diplomacy, the sense of understanding that President Bush brought to his role of leadership in establishing the position of the United States.
Also, I think it is very appropriate to name this building after President Bush because it does have a connection to our international relationships. His leadership during Desert Storm was just remarkable. His ability and the confidence and respect for him throughout the world and particularly with the other leaders enabled him to reach out and get the support that was essential for a successful Desert Storm. I think it was a remarkable achievement that a President of the United States could pick up the phone and elicit the kind of support that we had in the venture known as Desert Storm and without question the success of the coalition of governments in prosecuting Desert Storm was due in large part to the leadership of President George Bush.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Bereuter).
(Mr. BEREUTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and rise informally but very sincerely to commend our colleagues for bringing this legislation to the floor. I am pleased to be a cosponsor.
As a former member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I am aware, very much aware, of the extraordinary respect that the men and women of the CIA hold for their former Director, the honorable George Bush, our very distinguished former President. He brought innovation to the agency, he improved the morale dramatically of the Central Intelligence Agency, and his legacy continues on there today. So I think it is a very fitting tribute to name this facility after our former President and the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, George Bush.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, who actually took George Bush's seat in the United States Congress and has continued to be a strong supporter and friend of President Bush's over the years, and was one of the original cosponsors and supporters of this effort.
Mr. ARCHER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I am excited and pleased to be able to speak in favor of naming the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia as the George H. W. Bush Center for Central Intelligence.
I am proud for many reasons. Yes, I do hold the seat that he held in the Congress of the United States back in the 1960s, and I would like to think that I can walk in his footsteps, but his feet were very, very big.
In the life of a Nation, it is crucial that some men and women take it upon themselves to preserve and foster the Nation's institutions; to preserve the blessings of the past and create new opportunities for the future. While most of us spend our lives pursuing personal gain, George Bush early on took up the long and wearying task of building and maintaining the Nation's institutions, guarding them for future generations.
His patriotism and courage were evident from the beginning of his adult life when, as the youngest Navy pilot flying torpedo bombers in World War II, he was shot down on a bombing run in the South Pacific and narrowly escaped death. He was truly a hero and was distinguished with the Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
Coming back from the war, he married his sweetheart, Barbara Pierce of Rye, New York, and later that year made his first civilian adult decision when he made the appropriate choice of moving to Texas, and lived the rest of his life in Texas, where he started his own company and was successful in one of the riskiest businesses in the world, the oil business.
After selling it, he became involved in politics, his love for the rest of his life, and he was elected to represent Texas's 7th Congressional District, the district that I now represent, and he served on the Committee on Ways and Means, where I now serve. I am privileged to represent him as my most famous constituent today, living with his wife, Barbara, in my district.
History already records what he went on to do. Ambassador to the United Nations; chairman of the Republican National Committee, when it was in dire straits during Watergate; and chief U.S. liaison official to China, the first one after China was recognized by the United Nations; and then, when the Central Intelligence Agency needed leadership because of its great struggles, again during the Watergate period, he was picked, and did an outstanding job heading that institution; and of course, later, became Vice President under Reagan until 1988, when he was elected President.
He is a man of unblemished integrity, and his life has been the model of selfless public service, honor and scrupulous commitment to the people's institutions. Men like George Bush have preserved the peace, freedom and prosperity that we all enjoy as Americans today, and it is our privilege, mine particularly, to honor him by naming the headquarters of the CIA after him.
I particularly compliment my friend, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Rob Portman), for bringing forward this issue and giving us this opportunity.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to again compliment the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman) on his efforts, which appear to be successful, in naming the CIA headquarters after former President George Bush. It is a very, very fitting tribute to this man who was the head of the CIA, and who later became President of our country.
I had the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to work with President Bush rather closely in preparation for Desert Storm and Desert Shield, in which American interests were so vitally involved, and he not only marshaled support for the effort here in our country, he marshaled support among our allies, and he should long be remembered for that.
I compliment the gentleman and thank him for his work on putting this piece of legislation together. It certainly is a fitting tribute to Mr. Bush.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and thank my colleagues who have spoken about George Bush, the man, and about the appropriateness of this tribute.
The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) and I both have other speakers but because our time was changed a little bit, we do not have all of them here right now. Others may arrive in a moment, but I might just take a moment to talk about this legislation and talk about the people who helped so much to get us here.
The gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) has already spoken. He was very critical in his role as chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, of course, in getting us to this point, but also in his support from the outset. The gentleman from Missouri, who we just heard from, was the original cosponsor of this legislation, along with the gentleman from Florida and the gentleman from Indiana, (Mr. Lee Hamilton), and myself.
I want to thank the gentleman from Missouri. He added a lot of credibility to this effort, frankly made it bipartisan from the start, and has a deep, as we just heard from the gentleman himself, personal relationship to Mr. Bush, which grows, among other things, out of his close working relationship with the President during the Persian Gulf conflict.
The gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Lee Hamilton) is the other original cosponsor, as I said, the ranking member of the Committee on International Relations. I want to thank him again personally for his support of this effort from the start.
There are many others on both sides of the aisle who have been critical in getting us here today. Many were original cosponsors; others have come on since then, and we have heard from some today and we may hear from others in a moment.
The CIA complex at Langley, Virginia, as has been said today, is currently unnamed, and the effort we have before us here is to designate that center the George Bush Center. It is a particularly fitting tribute, I think, to the only President in our history who has served as Director, and his extraordinary leadership as Director, during a very difficult time for the agency, makes this a particularly appropriate way to remember President Bush.
That extraordinary leadership is pretty well documented. What is not as well documented, perhaps, is the personal importance George Bush places on his service there. I think it is fair to say he remembers that service as fondly as any to his Nation, and the other thing that has come up today in various speeches that we have heard is the degree to which the CIA employees, the career employees there, hold George Bush in high regard. Again, all of these make this a perfect fit.
He served his country for over 50 years. It was in 1942, on June 12th, as the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer) said earlier, the day he turned 18 years old, that George Bush joined the United States Navy. He was the youngest pilot in the Navy, and he proved himself time and time again with his older peers in the Navy. He was the youngest pilot, but also was one who, in the face of combat, showed himself to be one of the most effective.
He was shot down over the Pacific, as has been commented on earlier today. Of course, he completed his mission before he was shot down. He went on to win not only the distinguished Flying Cross but also three Air Medals for his courageous service to our country during World War II.
After the war, he moved to Texas and he was gradually drawn into politics. In 1966, he was elected to this House, sat in this Chamber for two terms, distinguished terms, as a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, at that time the most junior member ever appointed to the House Committee on Ways and Means. He served the 7th District of Texas, which is the Houston area.
In 1971, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and it is interesting, then as now, tensions were very high in the Middle East. It was Ambassador Bush, using his strong friendships with leaders around the Middle East, who was able to diffuse those tensions between Israel and the Arab nations.
In 1974, George Bush had his choice of any ambassadorship in the world, it is said. He took on the challenge of normalizing relations with the People's Republic of China and was appointed as the first U.S. liaison to China.
He was widely regarded at the time as the right man for the job because of the contacts he had made at the United Nations, but folks did not know the degree to which his people skills would be put to use in opening up the relationship between the United States and the largest country in the world. For over a year he worked hard at that effort and was very successful in breaking through the wall, which was really centuries thick, between the People's Republic of China and the United States.
When he returned from China, he became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, again in a very tough time. This was in the aftermath of the Church hearings up here on Capitol Hill. I think it is fair to say that morale was quite low at the agency, maybe at an all time low. It was George Bush, who came into the CIA, who improved the morale, who improved the agency's standing not only here on Capitol Hill but among the American people.
Again, he is remembered so fondly by the agency and its people for that effort and for his continuing support over the years after being Director of the CIA, in supporting the CIA's mission and in supporting the people at the Agency.
In 1980 he reentered elective politics, this time as the vice presidential candidate with Ronald Reagan. As Vice President, he was as involved as any Vice President in history, with all the major issues that the White House faced.
In particular, he focused on the administration's war against international terrorism and drugs. He also headed the task force on regulatory relief, which reduced the size of government and increased American industry's competitiveness around the world.
In 1988, he became the first incumbent Vice President since Martin Van Buren to be elected President of the United States. While in office, he led this country through some very historic times.
In 1989, for instance, he ushered in the end of the Cold War with the elimination of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, if I have the time, I would be pleased to yield additional time to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman). My inquiry of the Chair is do I have the time?
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Barrett of Nebraska). The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) has 16 1/2 minutes remaining.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman).
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Again, he led this country through change as President in 1989, the end of the Cold War, reunification of Germany, the elimination of the Berlin Wall, leading the effort to spread democracy around Eastern Europe.
He signed the Start I and Start II treaties that established the game plan for the reduction of two-thirds of the existing nuclear warheads by 2003.
Of all the major events in which President Bush played a key role as Commander in Chief, the one that perhaps best showcases his ability was the one that the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) talked about earlier, which is his abilities as leader during the Persian Gulf War.
He put together an unprecedented coalition of 30 nations headed by the United States to stop the aggression of Saddam Hussein in the Middle East. I think it is particularly fitting that we consider this legislation, Mr. Speaker, honoring President Bush exactly 8 years and 1 day from the date that Kuwait was liberated.
Mr. Speaker, to me President Bush exemplified the highest values and principles of public life. As a staff member in the Bush White House, I was privileged to learn firsthand from President Bush that honor, integrity, and responsibility are the most important code of conduct for a public official.
I feel the Bush Center will not only provide the needed national recognition for as many years of distinguished service, but also on a personal note it is gratifying to me to see this legislation coming to the floor of the House today honoring someone who has given so much to his Nation.
I urge all my colleagues to support this fitting tribute to our former President. I want to thank the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) again for yielding time and for the leadership of the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) in this effort.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I have no more requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3821.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor thereof) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.