Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the unanimous consent agreement of October 6, 1998, I call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 3694) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1999 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States 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 (Mr. Sessions). Pursuant to the order of the House of Tuesday, October 6, 1998, the conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of October 5, 1998, at page H9522.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) each will control 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss).
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I know that the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) is on his way to the Chamber at this time, and I am going to read from a prepared opening statement, which I know the gentleman will have access to, so I am going to proceed with my remarks.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report to accompany H.R. 3694, the Intelligence Reauthorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999.
This has been a busy summer from an intelligence and national security vantage point. Since House passage of H.R. 3694 in early May, we have witnessed nuclear tests in Pakistan and India; terrorist attacks on 2 of our embassies in Africa, and U.S. counterstrikes against terrorist-linked targets; a worsening world financial crisis that has spread from Asia to Russia and threatens now parts of Latin America; the eviction of United Nations weapons inspectors from Iraq; a deepening crisis in Kosovo that could embroil NATO troops before the end of the year, if not the end of this speech; and numerous ballistic missile tests by hostile and potentially hostile countries.
In addition, 2 major studies of our intelligence capabilities and processes were conducted this summer. The Rumsfeld Commission study brought to light the increasing pace of ballistic missile proliferation and the shrinking warning times that we can expect given our current intelligence collection posture. The Jeremiah Report, conducted in the wake of India's nuclear tests, highlighted several gaps in our analytical and reporting processes. Both reports expressed concern that foreign governments are increasingly able to hide their activities from us due, apparently, to their familiarity with our intelligence methods and our capabilities.
The point of recapitulating these developments and reports is to highlight the continuing critical need for good intelligence in the post-Cold War world, in this era that we find ourselves today. This after-Cold War era is an era that has seen a significant downsizing of our armed forces.
What I have not spelled out is the successes the community has had as well. All those bad things that did not happen and do not happen because we do have good intelligence capability, even though we have downsized that as well, and we need to reverse that trend.
Good intelligence enables policymakers in the government to head off crises before they occur. It provides an advantage to our military planners in everything from procurement to deployment and saves the lives of citizens and soldiers, and saving the lives of citizens and soldiers is certainly something we are about.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that this conference report incorporates the lessons learned from this busy summer. It provides needed investments in modernization of signals intelligence; revitalization of human intelligence, or espionage, capabilities; strengthening all-source analysis; and enhancement of covert action capabilities. It also includes a significant increase in research and development funding to ensure that we can stay one step ahead of the pack and compensate for foreign denial and deception practices, which, as I said, have gotten ever better.
This conference report provides new protections for `whistle-blowers,' intelligence community employees who report on potential problems within their agencies, even though it may involve classified information. I believe we have struck an appropriate balance between the need to preserve employees' rights and the unique retirement within the intelligence arena to safeguard classified information and, of course, national security. We have created a front door for rank and file information-sharing with Congress. This is a good thing.
I know that this legislation is the product of a bipartisan, bicameral effort. I am grateful for the hard work of all of our Members and the entire committee staff. I know that it took many long hours and a few sleepless nights to get this conference report completed.
I will call particular attention to the effort of my friend, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks), the ranking member of this committee, for his dedication to intelligence and national security matters. I am disappointed to say that this will be his last appearance on the House floor managing an intelligence authorization bill, I am told. The Rules of the House require the rotation of all members of our committee. The gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) has been a hard-charging, ardent supporter of improving U.S. intelligence capabilities, especially those in the advanced technical area. Indeed, his expertise in that area is unrivaled, in my view, on Capitol Hill.
While I cannot say that we have always agreed on the substance of all issues during my 2 years as chairman of the committee, I think it is very fair to say that we have always agreed to sit down and do the extra work necessary to resolve issues in a reasonable manner, and I would add in a very pleasant way.
Mr. Speaker, I say to the gentleman that both the community and the Committee on Intelligence have benefited from his 8 years of service here and I know that we can continue to count on his input, wisdom and judgment on crucial matters in the years to come on which he has so much expertise.
I will also pay tribute to the others members who are rotating off the committee or retiring next year. We have been extremely fortunate to have the distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) as a senior member of the Committee on Intelligence. Indeed, this has been his second tenure on the committee for a total of 14 years. We have benefited from the gentleman's wisdom and his willingness to find the resources necessary for intelligence in some very lean years for overall defense spending, and I thank him, particularly for his help in the committee this past week when I could not be here and he substituted for me very ably. I know I can count on him too for his advise and assistance.
The committee is further losing 2 valued democratic members to retirement: the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman), and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs). We thank them for their service and dedication and wish them luck in their new endeavors, and I personally thank them for the commitment and time that they have given on so many issues on the committee.
Finally I would be remiss if I did not mention the recent departures of professional staff members Mary Engebreth and Susan Ouellete, 2 women who have worked on the committee since 1995. Susan was our expert in the areas of analysis and defense intelligence, and Mary was our resident rocket scientist. We are going to miss Mary, and we are going to miss Susan as well.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this conference report.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
First, I want to thank the distinguished chairman and we want to welcome him back, although this has been a difficult time for he and his family. We are certainly glad to hear the positive news about his wife, Mariel.
I want to say that I appreciate his kind remarks. It has been a great pleasure to serve on this committee for eight years, and we have had bipartisan cooperation. I do not think there has ever been a time when we have not come to this floor unified behind the intelligence bill, and I think that is good. This is one area where partisanship should not be a part. It should be only how do we get the best intelligence for the American people.
Mr. Speaker, the goal of any conference committee should be to produce an agreement that improves the bills submitted to it. I believe the conference on the intelligence authorization for fiscal year 1999 achieved that result, and I urge the adoption of the conference report.
I am especially pleased that the conferees were willing to reconsider earlier legislative recommendations which I believe would have negatively impacted the ability to collect reliable and timely intelligence through our national technical means. Make no mistake about it, had these recommendations gone forward, the consequences would have been felt for years, primarily by those whose responsibility it is to ensure that United States military forces operate with maximum efficiency and minimum casualties.
The conferees did not, however, fully resist the temptation to unduly encumber highly complex programs, particularly new ones, with directives which I believe were unwise in terms of constraining the flexibility of those who are supposed to manage these programs. Congressional oversight should be vigorous and constant, but it should be reasonable as well. I am concerned that we are prematurely forcing technical programs into a budgetary straitjacket that will force them to either satisfy fewer requirements, or to become operational much later than necessary. We must never lose sight of the fact that congressionally imposed restraints on the development of intelligence collection programs can have real effects on the Nation's security.
The conference report contains a resolution of a matter on which the House and Senate intelligence committees have worked for some time, the means by which intelligence community employees can bring significant information to the attention of the intelligence committees. In perhaps no other aspect of the relationship between the executive and legislative branches is the Congress as dependent on information from the object of its oversight as it is in the area of intelligence.
We can simply not do our job if the intelligence agencies are not forthcoming with information, the bad as well as the good. We must know that impediments do not exist which would prevent intelligence community employees from bringing important information to the attention of the Intelligence committees.
I want to commend our chairman, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) for crafting an alternative means by which to assist and encourage employees who have significant information in bringing it to Congress, and the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee for raising an important issue and insisting that it be addressed.
Mr. Speaker, we should be proud of the fact that even in the chairman's absence we had a spirited debate on this subject, but the chairman prevailed, so his deft hand and good work were felt, but were felt properly. The job that the chairman did in crafting this legislation and refining it was exemplary, and I commend him for it.
My service on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence saw the successful prosecution of the Persian Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also saw greater proliferation of technologies associated with weapons of mass destruction, protracted ethnic conflicts, the possibility of information warfare, and persistent terrorist threats.
I have been continually impressed in my eight years on the committee by the need of our policymakers and military commanders for reliable and timely intelligence. I wish at times they had made better use of the intelligence available to them. To stay ahead in the collection, analysis, processing, and dissemination of actionable intelligence is admitedly costly. The authorization levels in this conference report exceed the President's request by less than one percent. The amount authorized is substantial, but I am concerned it may not be enough. We must insist that intelligence activities be pursued with efficiency, that funds provided be used wisely and well. We would make a mistake, in my judgment, however, if we did not invest enough in intelligence, and thereby risked our Nation's preeminence in this area. I hope in the years to come we will be able to devote more resources to this critical underpinning of our security.
Mr. Speaker, I commend the conference agreement to the House, and recommend its approval. I, too, want to compliment the staff of the committee. I think the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has been well served by having an outstanding staff. Mike Sheehy has been the director on our side, and I want to thank him and all the members of the Democratic staff for the outstanding work they have done, especially for me over the last four years as the ranking member. I also want to thank the majority staff; they have done an outstanding job.
I think maybe our finest hour was on the question of encryption, an issue which still has not been resolved, but I must say that I felt very proud of the fact that we had a strong majority vote out of our committee. I think we sent a very powerful message about the importance of this technology, and of the challenge that law enforcement and our intelligence agencies have in dealing with it, and why it is so important for this Congress to be very, very careful how we proceed so we do not undermine law enforcement and national security.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman again for his kind remarks.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I think Members and those watching the proceedings can see the caliber of people in the ranking member, as exemplified by what he said and the service he has provided.
People need to know that the way our system works with oversight is that the most sensitive matters are shared with the ranking member, the chairman of this body and the other body, and I cannot imagine a more honorable man, a more efficient, capable professional than the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks). I mean what I say. We are sorely going to miss him up there. I am sure the gentleman's shoes will be properly filled, but it is going to be a tough deal.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my colleague, the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum), who is chairman of our Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence.
(Mr. McCOLLUM asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. McCOLLUM. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me, Mr. Speaker. I wish to express my appreciation for this bill, for the conference report, for all the work that has been done, and for everybody who has put a lot of time in on it. It authorizes funding for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities for this coming year.
As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence, I am pleased to say the report continues the efforts of the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss) and of my subcommittee to put more eyes and ears on the streets around the world to detect, penetrate, and disrupt the movement of drugs to our cities, the planning of terrorists against our citizens, the shipment of nuclear components to rogue states, and the actions of Nations against our interests abroad.
What this country faced during the Cold War was fundamentally a single military threat from the combined forces of the Warsaw Pact. Today, standing on the rubble of the Berlin Wall, we face new transnational threats that in many cases arise in smaller, poorer, and more often obscure capitals and cities in Latin America, the Near East, and Africa.
Drug cartels reach out from the coca fields of southern Colombia and the poppy fields of Burma to poison our cities. Terrorist networks run from rural Afghanistan to Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, the Balkans, and even New York to kill our citizens and threaten our peace.
Decisions taken in Tehran, Baku, T'Blisi, and Ashgabat may affect the exploitation of the vast oil fields of the Caspian Sea, and through that, the world's economy.
It is not enough to know how badly our cities are being poisoned by cocaine and heroin from Latin America and East Asia. It is not enough to know how large a crater was left behind by terrorists in Africa. It is not enough to document how adversely our interests might be affected by the route of a pipeline through central Eurasia.
Rather, we must know the plans and intentions of those behind the transnational threats and the concerns that touch our country, its citizens, and its interests. We must know all of this before it is too late for us to act. We need to know the who, the where, and the how of drug shipments coming to Miami, New York and San Diego; of a truck bomb to be left in the front of an embassy in Africa; of a plan for hostile control of oil from the Caspian sea.
For that we must have the eyes and ears of our case officers, and technology, on the streets where these threats originate. No amount of logic or divination by our analysts back here in Washington can pick up the launch of a drug boat in the Caribbean or the Eastern Pacific, or the fusing of a bomb intended for a U.S. embassy. That must be done by the brave men and women of the intelligence community, on the front lines of this national endeavor. That Mr. Speaker is where they must be if the U.S. is to move away from being reactive to the transnational threats to becoming proactive in our efforts to frustrate and hinder as best we can future catastrophes.
With that, I would like to speak to one particular portion of the bill which has given pause to some of our Members this morning. That concerns a very minor change but a very significant change in the law dealing with wiretaps.
As the terrorist threat has grown, it has become apparent that we have had a problem, as people decide to evade a wiretap that is ordered by a court, and they decide to go to other phones than the stationary phone in the single court order that is presented, where you have just a single phone you are allowed to tap.
We have had a lot of debate about this issue. In this bill there is a provision that I think is very refined that goes to the issue. We have a provision in this bill that simply changes the law to say that a court, when it goes about considering whether to order a wiretap that allows, as it can now do, somebody to be followed and every phone they use to be tapped, rather than simply a stationary phone in the order, and the current law allows that, but instead of requiring the court to find an intent, a specific criminal intent to evade the tap, that instead we may reach the conclusion, the judge may reach the conclusion that the person is evading the tap by the circumstances that are presented, because the intent is very hard to prove a lot of times.
There is no expansion of more phones that can be tapped. In fact, there is a narrowing of that. In fact, in our provision we narrow it so now, if this becomes law, once somebody leaves an area where a phone is, let's say he is on a street corner and walks away from a phone booth and somebody is following him along, figuring out what he is doing, that phone cannot be tapped anymore. We cannot tap a phone to listen in on anybody's conversation except the person who is indeed the person being suspected of whatever it is that we are tapping their phone on.
This is a very minor change. No Member should mistake this as some major addition to the wiretap laws. It is not. I would encourage everybody to vote for this bill. It is a very important bill.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Dixon).
Mr. DIXON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding time to me.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the conference report, H.R. 3694, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999. I also want to recognize the hard and long hours of leadership that the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss) has dedicated to producing a bipartisan bill that provides the necessary resources to our Nation's intelligence community.
The gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) was joined in his efforts by the ranking Democratic member, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Norm Dicks), who is serving his final year on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The committee will certainly miss the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks), his insights, and continued input that he has had into the areas of reconnaissance and other advanced technology problems we have addressed.
I suspect that it will be difficult if not impossible to replace him on the committee. I will miss his presence in the committee's hearing room but I look forward to his continuing leadership on the Subcommittee on National Security of the Committee on Appropriations.
Mr. Speaker, the conference report authorizes appropriate levels of funding to support our country's cadre of human intelligence case officers. These individuals toil in anonymity and often times perform the most sensitive and dangerous operations in furtherance of our national security. The duties and responsibilities of human intelligence case officers are multiple, and the training needed to produce an effective case officer is rigorous and intense.
The measure we are presently considering provides badly needed resources to the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is within this directorate that CIA's case officers reside. Additionally, resources are also provided for the Defense Human Intelligence Service, which houses the Department of Defense's case officers.
The resources authorized by this conference report provide for additional training to ensure that case officers possess the necessary skills to meet future intelligence challenges, such as terrorism, proliferation, and narcotics trafficking.
Human intelligence is the one form of information that provides policymakers a look at the plans and intentions of other countries, foreign organizations, and terrorist groups. This bill also provides for the necessary tools that case officers need to carry out operations while providing for their personal security and that of their assets. Technology and its uses can only take us so far, but it is the human intelligence that often provides the critical degree of corroboration.
To ensure that these resources are put to the best possible uses, I will continue to monitor these programs during the next Congress in an effort to be certain that the initiatives designed to enhance our human intelligence capabilities are implemented.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that this conference report authorizes resources for continuing undergraduate training programs at CIA, NSA, and DIA. This program will be one of the many legacies of the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Louis Stokes), who is retiring after 30 years of service to this Nation.
When the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) served as chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he was struck by the lack of minorities in the intelligence community. Even today the fact is that the intelligence community lags behind the Federal labor sector in its representation of minorities and women.
The undergraduate training program identifies and recruits qualified minorities out of high school who have demonstrated abilities in disciplines essential to the effective performance of intelligence missions. These students are provided a scholarship to colleges or universities of their choosing, and in return agree to work for the sponsoring agency for a specified length of time.
Last summer I attended the graduation ceremonies of students in NSA's program. I was impressed by the quality and the caliber of the students, and left with confidence that the future of our intelligence community is in good hands. This report represents a continuing commitment to the undergraduate training program and to the ideals of equality of opportunity. I will continue to review the administration of these important programs in succeeding years to ensure that they are meeting their goals of providing equal employment opportunities to women and minorities.
Mr. Speaker, the threat to our Nation posed by international terrorism was made abundantly clear with the bombing of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The threat to our national security posed by nuclear proliferation was underscored when India and Pakistan detonated nuclear devices.
Finally, the devastation inflicted on our fellow Americans by international narcotics traffickers is visible in every city, village, and township. This conference report authorizes resources to enable the intelligence community to mount operations against these transitional threats. It will not be an easy chore to combat these threats, but this conference report arms the men and women of the intelligence community with the weapons they need to meet these challenges.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I must pay tribute to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman) who are both leaving the committee. They have certainly served the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence well.
I too would like to thank the staff on a bipartisan way for their total cooperation, but would like to single out one member who is leaving us and that is Mr. Humphrey, Democratic senior counsel, who is moving on to another Federal Agency. I have had an opportunity to work with him on an issue very, very closely. I appreciate his abilities and admire him for moving out at the appropriate time and look forward to our continued friendship.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) my colleague and friend, the subcommittee Cardinal of extraordinary importance to the intelligence effort.
Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me the time.
I want to say first that it has been a real honor to serve as a Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, this term for 8 years and in the previous term for 6 years, and to be entrusted with some of the most critical secrets relative to our own national security during that period of time.
I am real honored to work with people like the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss), my distinguished colleague who before coming to Congress even had his own outstanding record as a member of our intelligence community, and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks), our ranking member.
The gentleman from Washington and I have had a chance to work together for a long time as members of the Subcommittee on National Security of the Committee on Appropriations, which I have the privilege to chair.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say that these two Members, and the other members of our committee, have dedicated their lives to the security of the United States of America without any sign of partisanship, without any discussion or controversy, other than sometimes good honest opinions on what might be right or what might be wrong.
As has been pointed out, the staff has been unusual in their dedication to the members of the committee, and to the mission of the committee.
This is a good bill. I wanted to start off by saying that this bill meets the requirements of our intelligence community, but actually it does not. There are a lot more things that we need to be doing that we have not been able to do in this bill because of the financial limitations.
But it does a good job and it is important that the United States of America, as the leading Nation in the world, the leading military Nation in the world, that our Nation have the ability to hear or see what potential threat there might be to us, to our people, and to our national interest. And that is what intelligence is all about.
Whether we are dealing with a military situation such as we dealt with in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, or in Bosnia, or potentially in Kosovo, wherever it might be, Korea is one of the most realistic examples of where good intelligence is necessary, because military operations could happen overnight. And especially in places like the Mideast. We have to be aware of what a potential threat there is out there.
After the Iron Curtain melted and the Berlin Wall came down, many of us felt that we could breathe a sigh of relief. No more threats to our interests, no more threats to our own security. And all of the sudden up from the sands of the deserts of Iraq came Saddam Hussein.
We do not know who might be next to raise the ugly threat of a threat against the United States militarily or one of the growing threats is terrorism. The terrorists operate in the dark of the night with stealth, sneaky tactics. We have to not only be aware of the military, but also aware of the potential threat from terrorism.
Also another major subject is drug interdiction; to detect who the drug movers are that are bringing the devastating drugs into our country that are so devastating. This bill goes a long way towards meeting those requirements.
But I must say there is more that needs to be done, Mr. Speaker. And with the leadership of the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) and the members of the committee, I am satisfied that we will meet those obligations.
I am also proud to say that the Subcommittee on Appropriations that I have the privilege to chair works extremely closely with the Members and the staff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, because we have the funding responsibility. We are obligated to find the money that this legislation authorizes. We have had a tremendous working relationship. We are all working together for what is in the best interest of the United States of America.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Bishop), my colleague and a distinguished member of the committee.
Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the conference agreement on H.R. 3694, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999.
First, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss) for his efforts in producing a bipartisan bill that addresses the needs of the United States intelligence community.
Additionally, praise must also be extended to the ranking Democratic member, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) for his work in helping to craft this important piece of legislation and for his service to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. There is perhaps no Member in this great institution who has dedicated more time and energy to understanding the technology supporting our intelligence community than the gentleman from Washington.
Due to the service limitations placed on members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he will be leaving the committee in the next Congress. I will personally miss his leadership on technical and tactical issues that confront the committee, and the committee as a whole will miss his innovative ideas and his commitment to maintaining the best intelligence community in the world.
Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman) will also be leaving the committee, and I want to take this opportunity to wish them well and to say that these two defenders of democracy, freedom and justice will also be sorely missed. Mr. Speaker, I say, `Thank you, Mr. Skaggs and Ms. Harman, for your friendship and for your commitment to the men and the women of the national security and intelligence communities.'
Also leaving the committee is Mr. Calvin Humphrey, as was mentioned by the gentleman from California (Mr. Dixon), who was the first minority, African-American, in our nation's history to hold a professional staff position with the intelligence committee. He has provided professional support to the committee for the last 11 years. He served under six chairmen and has served in almost every official senior staff position with the committee.
Mr. Speaker, he has certainly enhanced our national security, and the efficiency of our country's intelligence community has been enhanced by his service. We will certainly miss him very much.
We congratulate him, however, as he assumes a senior level position with a Federal agency. I'm confident he will be successful and continue to contribute to the setterment of our nation.
Mr. Speaker, the conference report before us today authorizes resources to ensure that our intelligence capabilities are sufficient to meet the contingencies of the next millennium. With each passing day, our intelligence community is called upon to respond to more and more contingencies within a restrained budget.
We all recall with horror the cowardly and ruthless attacks on our embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A number of representatives of the intelligence community were on the ground in both countries in a short period of time collecting and analyzing information. The efforts of the intelligence community to date have been indispensable to the leads that have been developed and the arrests that have been made in these bombings.
Additionally, it has been widely reported in a number of our Nation's periodicals that planned attacks on other embassies have been interrupted and avoided as a result of the dedication and hard work of intelligence community personnel.
This conference report provides resources for our intelligence community's counterterrorism efforts. Additionally, funding is provided to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate critical intelligence that helps shield our sons and daughters serving in our Nation's armed forces against the deadly force of terrorism.
In short, let me say that I am confident that this conference report will assist in maintaining the intelligence capabilities necessary to provide policymakers with the information they need to make key decisions affecting our national security.
Mr. Speaker, just last week I met with individuals concerned with the fate of Americans still unaccounted for as a result of wars that our Nation has been involved in. Last January, I traveled to Southeast Asia to review our intelligence activities and operations in that region of the world. Specifically, I focused my attention on efforts aimed at achieving a full accounting of Americans still unaccounted for as a result of the Vietnam war.
Again, I want to ensure our Nation's veterans and the families of those soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines still unaccounted for that this conference report contains the necessary resources to permit the intelligence community to continue its efforts to determine the fate of those who have yet to come home.
Mr. Speaker, this conference report provides critical support to all facets of our intelligence community. Resources are authorized to sustain the intelligence community's efforts to assist in providing force protection intelligence to our troops and to assist in the collection and analysis of critical intelligence bearing on such challenging issues as counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and counterproliferation.
I am proud to support this conference agreement and I urge my colleagues to support it as well.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Delaware (Mr. Castle) my friend, former Governor of Delaware, and a member of the committee.
Mr. CASTLE. Mr. Speaker, I also join in support of the conference report for H.R. 3694, the intelligence authorization bill, and give due credit to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) and to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) who worked so very hard on this to do such a wonderful job.
United States policymakers must have the most comprehensive, responsive and timely strategic perspective on major global changes. To help provide this perspective, we rely on our intelligence agencies to collect, sort, and analyze information from all over the world.
When this bill was originally before the House in May, I expressed concerns about the capability of the intelligence community to tackle specialized financial issues like economic analysis and tracking illicit money laundering. As global financial markets grow and intertwine, timely economic intelligence in tracking the flow of laundered money becomes increasingly important to the United States national security.
Support for economic intelligence was downgraded earlier this decade, but the need for stronger support in this area was driven home by the degree to which the Asian financial crisis caught our government flat-footed. If we are to rely on the United States intelligence community to provide this kind of support, it is essential that we provide them with the resources necessary to do the job.
Also essential to our efforts to fight increasingly sophisticated international organized crime operations and narcotics traffickers is our ability to track the flow of money. With the right tools and support, the intelligence community can provide key insights into these areas to support our law enforcement agencies. And I would add that an ability to follow the money is vital to our efforts to unravel the complex web of Usama Bin Ladin's international terrorist connections.
The members and staff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have followed these issues closely this year, and I am satisfied that this conference report makes some headway in addressing these critical needs.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this conference report.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman), who is also leaving the committee. She has been one of the most outstanding Members I think of the House, both on the Committee on National Security and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and she will be sorely missed in the next Congress. She has done an outstanding job on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, she is a quick learner, and I am going to miss her service.
Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) for yielding me this time, and for 26 years of friendship so far. I thank our other colleagues for their very kind remarks about me and my service on the committee.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report to accompany H.R. 3694, the bill authorizing intelligence spending for fiscal year 1999. As we have heard, this is my last intelligence authorization. Before commenting on the bill, I would like to commend the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Goss) for generating an unusually collaborative and bipartisan environment in which talented colleagues and a superb staff can work productively. It was a special goal of mine to serve on this committee and I have loved it.
As I have often said, intelligence spending is intelligent spending, perhaps now more than ever. The U.S. no longer confronts a single, well-known adversary, but a fluid international environment where weapons of mass destruction can be had on the international market for a price; where crime syndicates organize across national borders; where terrorists, as we sadly experienced this summer, can strike with deadly force.
Mr. Speaker, it is crucial that we be able to anticipate and meet these new challenges.
Despite our efforts to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, the demand for weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery has not waned, and neither has the supply.
This past year, after information indicated an increase in the in-flow of missile technology and know-how to Iran, Congress directed the administration to impose sanctions on entities involved in these transfers. Congress' action will help curb efforts by Iran to accelerate its missile programs and impede its capability to field missiles that can strike Israel, our NATO ally Turkey, and targets in Central Europe; missiles which could be armed with chemical, biological and nuclear warheads.
We have also seen alarming developments elsewhere in Asia. Recently, North Korea tested its first Taepo Dong 1 missile. We anticipated the launch, monitored it, and now know more about this missile's performance than the North Koreans. This new missile does not yet allow North Korea to deliver a weapon to the United States, or reach significant military targets it could not strike already, but it puts it on that path. The launch also advertised North Korea's capabilities to would-be buyers, a very disturbing development.
Mr. Speaker, these are just two examples of proliferation in already unstable regions of the world. Intelligence resources will be crucial not only in monitoring these developing weapon capabilities but also in shaping policies to stem attempts to proliferate this technology.
Intelligence is also increasingly essential for success on the future battlefield. As a member of both the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on National Security, I have witnessed the incredible advantages that information technology provides to our military forces. I have strongly supported improvements to our eyes and ears in the sky so that commanders will have a complete understanding of the battlefield, and the enemy's locations and intentions. Combined with advances in precision weapon systems, we have vastly improved the capabilities of our Nation's armed forces.
I am aware that some of our colleagues would prefer to reduce the priority of satellite reconnaissance and its support to military operations. My view, however, is that there is no more important mission for our intelligence community than supporting our combatant commanders. Our intelligence capabilities are the crux of our defense modernization efforts, and we cannot shortchange intelligence without significantly weakening our military.
Mr. Speaker, accurate and timely intelligence makes our Nation safer and armed forces more effective. It is an investment we must protect and nurture.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and, on a personal note, Mr. Speaker, to join me in sending bipartisan and heartfelt get well wishes to Mariel Goss, a very important asset to our committee.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to thank the gentlewoman for those very kind remarks, and for the other remarks she has made. And I know that the gentlewoman will do well in her next endeavor, and I certainly suspect that we will be talking in the future.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), a distinguished member of our committee who makes a very valuable contribution and we are pleased to have him.
(Mr. BOEHLERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, it is important that our colleagues and the American people understand that intelligence, as distasteful as it sometimes may seem, is critical to the very survival of our Nation and our way of life. This conference report focuses on those programs that provide the best possibility of success for our Nation's first line of defense: its intelligence community.
Specifically, this report puts a great deal of emphasis on the future. We made some very difficult choices to cut funding for some legacy programs so that we could add funding for critical technologies and research and development necessary to ensure future capabilities. The ability of our laboratories and scientists to develop new techniques and `leap-ahead' technologies is critical for our intelligence community to stay ahead of the threats that our country faces.
This report is about the wise and prudent funding and oversight of those intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination functions necessary to ensure the security of our Nation, its interests and its citizens around the world, now and into the future. So I urge my colleagues to stand with our chairman and ranking member and support the report.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to add to the remarks of my colleagues and say farewell to the two distinguished gentlemen, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks), both of whom are leaving this committee this year. They have been great mentors for me, with respect to many intelligence issues, and they remain great friends.
Also, to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman), who are leaving not only the committee but the Congress, I join with the other Members in wishing them well in all of their future endeavors and thanking them most sincerely for their very distinguished service not only in this committee but in the Congress of the United States.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs), another one of our most distinguished colleagues. He has been one of the hardest working members on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has made an enormous contribution in this House.
I have had the privilege of serving with him on the Committee on Appropriations. I think of him as kind of the conscience of the House of Representatives, and I am going to very much miss him next year, and I want to wish him the very best in his future endeavors. I know he will be a success wherever he goes.
Mr. SKAGGS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank very much the gentleman from Washington. I am grateful for those kind remarks, and let me return them to him. His leadership on this committee has been extraordinary, and the Nation is in his debt for the kind of care and attention that he has paid to these many, many profoundly important issues.
I also extend my great thanks and admiration and respect to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss), who really has conducted this committee in an exemplary fashion.
Mr. Speaker, I arrived at the Capitol this morning for what may be my third or fourth next to the last day of voting in this great body. It is a cherished and awesome responsibility that we all enjoy as Members of this House. But this committee, I think, has a special responsibility that goes beyond that which we all share here.
Yes, we have a vital role in developing every year the spending authorization bill for the next fiscal year. That is what is before the House at the moment, and I urge the adoption of the 1999 bill.
But this committee has an especially critical role as proxy for our many colleagues, in fulfilling our responsibility under that always pertinent maxim from the days of the founding of the Republic, that, `The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.'
On this committee that means not only vigilance with regard to the threats posed by our enemies and adversaries abroad, and the effort to fashion the capabilities of the intelligence community to meet those threats, but also vigilance internally as well; vigilance against the seductiveness of the intelligence business, the seductiveness of power, the seductiveness of classified information, and the allure that the chief executive can always bring through his principal assists to the table upstairs where we debate these terribly difficult and important issues.
We act in behalf of our colleagues in making sure that the executive branch of government follows the law. And that is just as important a responsibility as the one that we bear with regard to any external threats that this country faces.
In that respect, I hope my colleagues understand how wonderful the bipartisanship on this committee is in its service to the country in this critical area.
It has been a real privilege to get to spend 5 1/2 years working with colleagues on my side and the other side of the aisle in behalf of national security and that eternal vigilance. It has been an enormous privilege to see the kind of dedicated staff work that goes in to support the efforts of this committee, again motivated by an absolutely remarkable level of patriotism and commitment to duty. I want our colleagues and I want the country to have some appreciation of that, because the vast bulk of the work that we do is done in secret and, therefore, cannot be discussed in any detail.
And on that point it is appropriate that on this occasion we recognize as well the dedicated work of the thousands of intelligence officers and workers in the intelligence business of this country, here at home and around the world, who work extraordinarily long hours, in very difficult circumstances, for modest compensation, because they believe in the United States of America. Most of what they do we cannot recognize publicly, but we can offer them, as I do, our thanks.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to say that I think we now understand what a loss the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Skaggs) is also going to be from the committee, after those thoughtful remarks, which are consistent with all the thoughtful work he has done for our committee all these years, and we appreciate that.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bass), who is the man who time and again seems to bail us out on the budget matters that keep confronting us.
Mr. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I also rise in support of the conference report and to pay tribute to our distinguished chairman who, under some recently difficult circumstances, has certainly led this committee with great expertise and integrity.
I also want to pay tribute to our two ranking members who will not be coming back with us next year, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Bill Young) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Norm Dicks). I cannot think of two individuals who are more committed to a strong and capable defense and an efficient and effective intelligence capability.
I came to the committee and I watched the gentleman from Washington defend an issue that was particularly near and dear to him, and this individual just would not take no for an answer. And I asked one of our ever respectful staff people, what is the story with this guy? And they said, `Norm Dicks never has a bad day.'
Over the last 2 years, and after 38 or so hearings, and 30 formal hearings, visits to Bosnia, to North Korea, to China, reports from Central America and from Africa and other places all over the world, I found, much to my surprise, that we live in a world that is far more dangerous than I ever thought it was. Those dangers are more diffuse and more difficult to identify and to contain. Indeed, I feel, as a member of this committee now, like a Dutch boy at the dike as we seek to protect Americans against threats both here and abroad.
This bill moves us forward in the direction of protecting our strategic national defense and economic interests around the world. We may never succeed, but the fact that we have a committee and a Congress that is dedicated to addressing these issues and doing it in such a fashion so that our scarce resources are expended in the most efficient and productive fashion, is very commendable to this Congress.
So I rise in support of this conference committee report and urge its passage.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time each side has?
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Sessions). The gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) has 9 1/2 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) has 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons), who is a decorated Air Force officer from Nevada who we are proud to have on our committee.
(Mr. GIBBONS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman for yielding me this time, and I rise today in strong support of the conference report to accompany H.R. 3694, the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1999.
Mr. Speaker, I have the high honor and distinct pleasure of being able to serve on both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on National Security. This allows me the opportunity to look across the operational military and defense issues, as well as the intelligence functions that not only support but, in fact, participate in the various defense operations.
I can tell my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, that this is a very prudent report. It is a conference report that not only sustains currently required capabilities, this is a report that provides our military forces with the informational resources necessary to build warfighter confidence and perhaps even keep them out of harm's way. It also seeks to provide them with the indications and warning intelligence that allow them the advantage in a conflict.
Let there be no mistake, Mr. Speaker, this is not a more secure world since the end of the Cold War. While it is true that we do not face the imminent threat of nuclear annihilation from behind the Iron Curtain, the events of the past few months regarding ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons development and testing by nations seeking to have arsenals that include weapons of mass destruction, strongly suggest that we may well face that imminent threat once again on a broader scale, and sooner than many think or may even want to believe.
Add to that threats posed by international terrorism, transnational threats such as narcotics trafficking, organized international crime, the rampant proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and use of chemical and biological weapons by rogue nations. Activities we have witnessed recently tell us that these threats are more pressing and considerably more dangerous than they have ever been. The problems associated with collecting and understanding information about today's risks are in many ways more difficult because formal government boundaries are not limiting the threats to our peace and security.
This conference report begins to provide our intelligence community and military forces the infrastructure necessary to give the U.S. that information dominance to increase our security.
That is the bottom line, the security of the United States. The Constitution of the United States places a responsibility on each of us to act in the best interest of the U.S. and our fellow citizens. We have done that here in this conference report.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman) who has made a valuable contribution to the particular conference report before us.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman).
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me the time and for his strong personal support from the outset for the worthy effort to designate the CIA compound in Langley, Virginia `The George Bush Center for Intelligence.'
Earlier this year with the help of the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss), with the help of the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Hamilton), the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier), the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) and others we were able to get such legislation passed.
I want to thank the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) and the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) as well as Senators Dick Shelby, Bob Kerrey and others in the conference committee for including the Bush legislation in this very important authorization bill today.
It is a very fitting tribute to George Bush, the only President to have served as CIA Director. His tenure from 1976 to 1977 was a difficult time when the agency was under fire from investigative committees up here on the Hill, from the press and from the public. The CIA was demoralized and in need of new leadership and direction. George Bush turned the tide. He was key to developing an executive order to prevent future violations of the agency's mandate and, most important, he provided the steady hand of leadership at a turbulent time and in doing so improved the mission and morale of the CIA.
When he resigned his post, Senator Daniel Inouye said, `Bush was one of the best CIA directors we had. The morale of the intelligence community has been inspired by Bush's leadership.'
Mr. Speaker, as a decorated Navy pilot in World War II, a distinguished Congressman, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Liaison to China, CIA Director, Vice President and President, he has ably served our Nation for over 50 years and inspired many of us. He exemplifies the highest values and principles of public service.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. PORTMAN. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I just want to commend the gentleman for outstanding leadership on this issue. I am very pleased to have been a cosponsor of his legislation. I think this is one of the best things this Congress has done. I want to commend the gentleman for the great leadership that he has demonstrated. George Bush was a great American and I think this was an outstanding idea. I want to congratulate him on his leadership.
Mr. PORTMAN. I thank the gentleman for his support, too, and for his yielding time.
Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the Members in this body for helping make this possible, because George Bush does represent the highest values and principles in public service, integrity, honesty, and has set an example really for all of us. This is the appropriate recognition of his remarkable and inspirational service to our Nation.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr).
Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida, the distinguished chairman of the committee, for yielding me this time for me to do something that I do not like to do and, that is, to rise in opposition to this bill.
Comments were made earlier that there was a minor change to the electronic surveillance or wiretapping legislation. The change that is contained in this bill is neither minor nor inconsequential. It represents a fundamental shift in wiretapping procedures in this country.
Back in 1996, Mr. Speaker, we debated extensively provisions almost identical to these that are found in section 604 of this conference report. After extensive debate, this House defeated the expanded powers that were sought by the executive branch.
Essentially, Mr. Speaker, this changes Federal wiretapping laws in a way that allows the government to seek a court order in any case, not limited to foreign intelligence surveillance, in any case that a Federal wiretap order is sought to provide that the wiretap follow the person no matter what phone that person uses. No longer would the standard be if you have grounds to tap and grounds to obtain a court order, you tap a particular person's phone, and if that person moves to another phone, you either have to provide a showing that they are deliberately trying to thwart or you have to then get another court order.
This is a very important civil liberty and privacy right. The government, however, under this legislation if this bill passes would be able to `issue an order authorizing the interception of all communications made by a particular person regardless of what telephone he may use.' That is language from the conference report. To argue with a straight face that that is a minor change to our electronic surveillance or wiretap laws is disingenuous. This is a significant change. It needs to be debated fully. I urge that this not be allowed to stand.
I rise in opposition to this conference report, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum), the author of the provision, but I would also point out before I do that any Members who wish to read the section in question, it is section 604, published yesterday in the Congressional Record of the House on page H9530, and I think it is very clear, and the safeguards that are necessary I think are equally clear.
Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I want to point out to the Members that this is truly a minor change in the wiretap laws. It is designed to combat terrorism. Current law does permit multipoint, or roving wiretaps. Current law does permit this. Court approval is still required under this bill. Probable cause of criminal activity is still required for any wiretap.
Current law requires the court to find intent to evade wiretap before allowing the tap of whatever phone is used by the suspect as opposed to a specific phone. But you can have it if that intent is proven. The bill simply changes this. It permits the court-ordered wiretap that follows the criminal terrorist suspect to whatever phone he uses if the court determines his actions show he is trying to evade the tap, not requiring the specific criminal intent which has been very hard to do. The bill also protects innocent people by limiting the tap of any phone to only those times when the criminal or terrorist suspect actually is using that phone.
This is a very minor change. It is a change allowing the court to follow the suspect as it is doing now with the simple showing that there is an evasion effort by the criminal suspect rather than having to prove the technical intent which is almost impossible now to prove. That is all that this does.
I urge a vote for the authorization bill.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi) who has been one of our most outstanding members.
Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished ranking member for his kind words and for the time that he has yielded me, and I thank the distinguished chairman for his leadership in bringing this legislation to the floor. It is good to see you here, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Speaker, one of the concerns that I wanted to address in my remarks today is about the issue of whistle blowers. One of the major issues of contention indeed between the House and Senate committees over the past 2 years has been how to address the issue of employees of the executive branch who face reprisals or threats of reprisals for bringing information to the intelligence committees concerning serious violations of law in intelligence activities of the United States.
I myself personally supported the Senate amendment which was very clear about those employees who brought to the attention of Congress issues of gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority and specific danger to public health and safety. I thought that that amendment should have been passed, but we did not prevail in conference. But our chairman has made a valiant effort to protect those who come forth with information. While I would have liked to have seen the broader language, I am pleased that we have the report language that specifically says that those who come forward with information who have a right to have that information will not have reprisals against them.
While it is not disputed that the Congress is entitled by law to receive prompt reports of any illegal intelligence activities, officials of the executive branch have asserted that the Constitution does not permit Congress to vest in lower-level employees the right to disclose classified information, even to Members of Congress. These officials have asserted that any attempt to do so by Congress would lead them to recommend the President veto such legislation.
The better constitutional view, of course, is that national security is a shared responsibility of the legislative and executive branches and that the Constitution does not deny Congress the power to direct executive activities and gain access to information needed for the performance of legislative duties.
The conferees have made very clear in the findings and the legislative history of the legislation the following:
First, Congress, as a coequal branch of government, has a need to know of allegations of wrongdoing within the intelligence community;
Second, no basis in law exists for requiring prior authorization of disclosures to the intelligence committees of Congress by employees of the executive branch of classified information about wrongdoing within the intelligence community;
Third, the nondisclosure agreements signed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency stipulate that nothing contained in the agreement prohibits the employee from reporting intelligence activities the employee considers to be unlawful or improper directly to the select committees on intelligence of the Congress; and,
Finally, separate and apart from the process established by the legislation through the inspector general, as proposed by our distinguished chairman, an intelligence community employee should not be subject to reprisals or threats of reprisals for making a report to appropriate members or staff of the intelligence committees about wrongdoing within the intelligence community.
Mr. Speaker, the conferees have thus agreed to legislation that establishes a new and additional procedure for employees of intelligence agencies to bring issues of urgent concern to the attention of Congress through the offices of their inspector general. This procedure provides the employee who uses it the protections of confidentiality now found in the CIA and 1978 inspector general acts and discourages reprisals and threat of reprisals through a new reporting requirement on the heads of intelligence agencies.
I trust, Mr. Speaker, that these findings and admonitions will guide the Director of the CIA and the heads of intelligence agencies in the treatment of intelligence community employees who seek to bring important information to the attention of Congress.
Again I repeat my support for the report language that says even if you do not go this route, no reprisals.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster).
(Mr. SHUSTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
I want to also add my congratulations to Calvin Humphrey who has been one of our most outstanding staff people. I want to congratulate him on the great job he has done for our committee. He has handled some of the most difficult assignments. He had to travel with Congressman Richardson all over the world. Together, they got many American citizens out of tight spots around the world.
The only thing I have ever had a problem with Calvin on is his devotion to the Cleveland Indians even when they kept my Seattle Mariners out of the World Series. That I may not be able to forgive him for, but I will never forget him. We wish him well in his new post.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I would certainly like to use some of that time also to have my best wishes to Calvin Humphrey's future. Let me tell you that even on the Intelligence Committee, we are sometimes surprised. When I heard that public statement made this morning, I would put it in the category of surprise. It does not diminish in any way my good wishes for your future success which I know are very well assured because of your capabilities. I want to thank you very much not only for getting me out of North Korea but for getting me into North Korea. That was a very valuable experience. And all the other things you have done for our committee.
I also need to say thank you to every member of our committee. Every member brings something to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is given an extraordinary trust on behalf of all Members and all people of this country. It is a remarkable committee. I hope people who have been watching this and other Members can see that we are able to do our business well, in a bipartisan and professional way, because there is good will to do it and there is an understanding of the need to do it and get it done.
Mr. Speaker, I have nothing but pride for all of the Members and the way they work and the staff that so ably supports us.
I have mentioned some staff; I have to mention Mike Chi and the job he does with all of what I will call not his staff but our staff because I do not make a distinction between one party or the other and the staff. John Mills, our chief of staff, has done a remarkable job, I think, of trying to pull together in a harmony all the management needs to discharge our responsibilities ably. Tim Sample has done an extraordinary job managing numbers. I never will entirely understand, but I am told they always add up, and I check the bottom line, and they seem to.
These are important people that are doing important work far from the madding crowd, far out of the visibility of the `hoo-wah' of the Beltway and the media. The work is getting done, and it matters because we are talking about national security. I want to thank everybody involved.
As for the whistle-blower provisions, I want to thank everybody for their understanding, the compromise that was worked out, and I assure the gentlewoman from California, if we find that this is not working as well as I hope it will, that we always will be able to revisit it in the future. I believe this will work.
With regard to those concerned about the matter that was brought up by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr) and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) I have read the safeguards that are in the bill; I think they are adequate. Again, if something egregious comes out of this, obviously we are prepared to resolve it.
Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Oxley).
(Mr. OXLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report.
Mr. GOSS. I would also on a personal note thank everybody for a difficult time while I have been away. It just goes to show that everybody is expendable here, and I appreciate being reminded of that. It keeps me humble.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the conference report.
The previous question was ordered.
Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit with instructions.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Sessions). Is the gentleman opposed to the conference report?
Mr. BARR of Georgia. He is, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. DICKS. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will please state his parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. DICKS. It is my understanding that this bill was taken up in the Senate yesterday. If that is true, can there be a motion to recommit?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. One moment. The Chair will examine the official papers.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I have now been informed by staff that the bill was not taken up yesterday, so I withdraw my objection.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to recommit.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. Barr of Georgia moves to recommit the Intelligence Authorization Conference bill to the Committee on Conference with instructions to the managers on the part of the House to remove section 604.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit.
There was no objection.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.
Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
Pursuant to the provisions of clause 5, rule XV, the Chair announces the he will reduce to a minimum of 5 minutes the period of time within a vote by electronic device, if ordered, will be taken on the question of passage.
The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 148, nays 267, not voting 19, as follows:
Messrs. COMBEST, KOLBE, FORBES, HUTCHINSON, SHADEGG, TAYLOR of Mississippi, NADLER, MILLER of California, REYES and OBEY and Ms. KAPTUR changed their vote from `yea' to `nay.'
Messrs. KINGSTON, REDMOND, WELLER, ADERHOLT BRYANT, SALMON, BOB SCHAFFER of Colorado, HILLIARD, DELAHUNT, CRAPO, THOMPSON, JACKSON of Illinois, SERRANO, FOSSELLA, DOGGETT, PICKERING, YATES, FORD and McGOVERN and Mrs. THURMAN, Ms. KILPATRICK, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Mrs. CLAYTON, and Mrs. MEEK of Florida changed their vote from `nay' to `yea.'
So the motion was rejected.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.