Congressional Record: September 10, 2002 (Senate)
Page S8431-S8433

                HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate resumes consideration of the 
pending bill.
  Mr. REID. Was there a unanimous consent request, Madam President?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania asked for the 
regular order.
  Mr. REID. What is the regular order?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill, H.R. 5005.
  Mr. REID. If my friend would allow me to speak, it is my 
understanding that we were in a period of morning business with 
Senators allowed to speak for up to 10 minutes each. Would it not take 
consent to get out of that?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Morning business occurs by consent. The 
regular order was the legislation.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I think I have the floor. If I might 
just comment, what I would like to do is speak on the bill.
  Mr. REID. We would like to hear you speak. But I say to my friend, 
there would be no amendments. We have the Thompson amendment pending, 
and we would have to have consent to set that aside, or I guess you 
could offer a second-degree to Senator Thompson's amendment. But you 
are not planning to offer an amendment?
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I don't plan to offer any amendments or 
anything unusual. I want to make some comments on the pending bill. I 
don't plan to do anything that would require the presence of anybody 
here to safeguard their interests. I don't wish to do anything that 
would be construed as contrary to anybody's interest. I would like to 
have people here who are on the bill.
  Mr. REID. I only say I am sorry I have to leave the floor because I 
would love to hear the statement of the Senator from Pennsylvania. I 
say this as affirmatively and sincerely as possible. The Senator always 
makes statements that are good and direct, and I am sorry to have 
interrupted him, but I didn't know what was going on.
  Mr. SPECTER. I am sorry the Senator from Nevada will not be here to 
hear my presentation, but there are 97 other Senators who could come. 
Counting the Presiding Officer and myself and the Senator from Nevada, 
that leaves 97 others. That is probably more people than are watching 
on C-SPAN 2, as a matter of fact, Madam President.

                           Amendment No. 4513

  The pending amendment seeks to speak to the provisions of the bill 
relating to a National Office for Combating Terrorism, and I believe 
the thrust of the provisions for this national office are well founded 
as a coordinating mechanism. But after discussing the matter in some 
detail with the author of the bill, the distinguished senior Senator 
from Florida, and considering the views of the President, who does not 
want to have a confirmed officer in the West Wing but is looking for an 
adviser, as former Governor Ridge who is now his adviser, as 
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is the National Security Adviser--it seems to me 
there are strong reasons for us to avoid this legislation to have a 
Secretary of Homeland Security who will be confirmed and then have a 
Director for the National Office for Combating Terrorism, because all 
of these duties, in my opinion, can be handled by the Secretary of 
Homeland Security. So the objectives which the senior Senator from 
Florida seeks to accomplish can be accomplished without adding this 
additional office. I know the President does not want another officer 
confirmed by the Senate. He didn't want one in the first place, and 
didn't want a Department of Homeland Security, but now has acceded.

  Senator Lieberman and I introduced the legislation for a Department 
of Homeland Security and a Secretary of Homeland Security last October, 
and eventually the President acceded to that necessity, and there is 
now a bill on the floor.
  But as I look over the responsibilities which the senior Senator from 
Florida has assigned to the Director of the National Office for 
Combating Terrorism, it is my view that these duties can be handled by 
the Secretary of Homeland Security. The responsibilities which are set 
out in section 201(c):

       To develop national objectives and policies for combating 

  I think that is an appropriate function for the Secretary.

       To direct . . . [the] assessment of terrorist threats and 
     vulnerabilities to those threats . . . .

  Again, I think that is something that can be handled by the 

       To coordinate . . . the implementation . . . of the 
     Strategy by agencies with responsibilities for combating 
     terrorism . . . .

  Again, I think that is something the Secretary can do.

       To work with agencies, including the Environmental 
     Protection Agency, to ensure that appropriate actions are 
     taken to address vulnerabilities identified by the 
     Directorate of Critical Infrastructure Protection within the 

  Again, that is something which the Secretary can handle.

       To coordinate, with the advice of the Secretary, the 
     development of a comprehensive annual budget for the programs 
     and activities under the Strategy, including the budgets of 
     the military departments and agencies within the National 
     Foreign Intelligence Program relating to international 
     terrorism . . . .

  That can be handled by the Secretary. In fact, this provision calls 
for coordination with the Secretary.
  The provision does exclude military programs, projects or activities 
relating to force protection. This is a controversial item, as to 
whether there ought to be somebody with budget authority. I think it is 
a good idea. Right now there is diverse budget authority with a larger 
share of it on the intelligence agencies coming out of the Department 
of Defense. I believe it would be very useful to have that centralized.
  When I chaired the Intelligence Committee in the 104th Congress, I 
proposed legislation which would have brought all of the intelligence 
agencies under one umbrella, the Central Intelligence Agency. Now I 
think there is an opportunity to do that with the new Department of 
Homeland Security since we are taking a fresh look at this area. I know 
there are objections to giving budget authority to anyone on an overall 
basis, but it would be my hope that this provision would stay--but it 
would stay under the dominion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  The other responsibilities of the Director of the National Office for 
Combating Terrorism are:

       To exercise funding authority for Federal terrorism 
     prevention and response agencies . . . .

  Stated simply, all of the functions of the Director of the National 
Office for Combating Terrorism, in my view, can be handled by the 
Secretary of Homeland Security. I think those objectives are sound.
  It is my hope that we will legislate here to put under the umbrella 
of the Secretary of Homeland Security the necessary authority to 
protect against terrorists. It is my judgment that had all of the dots 
been under one umbrella, there would have been a veritable blueprint 
for what happened on September 11 and that September 11 might well have 
been prevented. This is the time, with the new Department of Homeland 
Security to be established, that we have a chance to implement what so 
many people have proposed.
  My idea to bring all of the intelligence agencies under one umbrella 
in the legislation, which I proposed in the 104th Congress when I 
chaired the Intelligence Committee, is an idea which has been proposed 
by many. At the moment, there is on the President's desk a 
comprehensive proposal to accomplish just that. But the reality is that 
the turf wars involving the various agencies are so fierce that this is 
never accomplished. Now we have a chance to do it.
  Had the one umbrella been present to identify the FBI Phoenix 
memorandum--where there was a flight student with a big picture of 
Osama bin Laden and indicators of potential terrorist activity--had 
that, combined with the two men identified, who were later hijackers on 
September 11, in Kuala Lumpur where the CIA never told the FBI or the 
INS--had that been added to the records--the National Security Agency 
got it on September 10; it wasn't translated as a threat that something 
would happen the next day, perhaps later, until the 12th--especially 
with the information which

[[Page S8432]]

could have been obtained, had a warrant been issued for the computer of 
Zacarias Moussaoui and for the search of his premises--there was a 
virtual treasure trove of information linking Moussaoui to al-Qaida.
  We have learned a very different lesson from 9/11. Now is the time 
for the Congress to change it. We simply have to override the various 
Federal agencies that are fighting for their turf. The stakes now are 
too serious.
  We have an enormous responsibility in the Congress to do everything 
we can to see to it that there is no recurrence of 9/11. We have action 
to be taken if there is a biological attack. We have worked on various 
antidotes for various biological weapons--smallpox and anthrax. But if 
we have to respond, it is a 99 percent loss. What we have to do is 
prevent it.
  The intelligence agencies that want to maintain their own sovereignty 
just ought to change that attitude. The legislation which has been 
proposed would put all of these analysis sections under the Secretary 
of Homeland Security. That is what ought to be done. That can be done 
in this bill.
  There was a meeting on July 31 with the President, Governor Ridge, 
and Members of Congress, where we talked about these ideas.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full text of this letter be printed 
in the Record at the conclusion of my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Nelson of Nebraska). Without objection, it 
is so ordered.
  (See Exhibit 1.)
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, there is a critical line on the letter I 
have written to Governor Ridge. I will read just a little bit of it.

       Dear Tom:
       I was very pleased to hear the President's affirmative 
     response yesterday to the proposal to have analysts from 
     every intelligence agency (CIA, FBI, DIA, etc) under the 
     umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security with the 
     Secretary having the authority to direct those intelligence 
     agencies to supply his Department with the requisite 
     intelligence data.
       This doesn't mean that Homeland Security will have 
     authority over CIA agents. They will remain with the CIA. It 
     doesn't mean the Secretary of Homeland Security would have 
     the direction of the FBI agents or any other agents. They 
     will all remain in their Departments. But the analysts will 
     all come together under one roof. There will be nothing to 
     stop the CIA from having analysts under the CIA roof. But 
     they will have to be CIA agents under the roof of the 
     Director of Homeland Security so that all of the analysts are 
     there and can put the dots together in one place.

  The critical paragraph in the letter set forth is:

       Responsibilities.--The Directorate of Intelligence . . . . 
     On behalf of the Secretary, subject to disapproval by the 
     President, directing the agencies described under subsection 
     (a)(1)(B) to provide intelligence information, analyses of 
     intelligence information and such other intelligence-related 
     information as the Directorate of Intelligence deems 

  That is the critical part of it.
  The other way of articulating the idea would be to say that the 
President approves the Secretary having this authority. But it is 
unrealistic to expect the President to come in and make an analysis and 
take affirmative action. But it is effective to get the same job done 
if the problem is sufficient to have the matter disapproved by the 
  I don't think you really have to have statutory language because the 
President directs anybody as he chooses. They are going to be bound to 
carry out his orders. But this would give the Secretary of Homeland 
Security umbrella authority, as I say, subject to disapproval of the 
  Although I do think the senior Senator from Florida had a good idea 
and purpose in the National Office for Combating Terrorism, the better 
policy is to leave these responsibilities to the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, a separate Department. The President is then free to have an 
adviser on homeland security--as he currently does, a position filled 
in the West Wing by Governor Ridge.

                               Exhibit I

                                                      U.S. Senate,
                                   Washington, DC, August 1, 2002.
     Hon. Tom Ridge,
     Director of Homeland Security,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Tom: I was very pleased to hear the President's 
     affirmative response yesterday to the proposal to have 
     analysts from every intelligence agency (CIA, FBI, DIA, etc.) 
     under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security 
     with the Secretary having the authority to direct those 
     intelligence agencies to supply his Department with the 
     requisite intelligence data.
       As I said in the meeting in the Cabinet Room yesterday, I 
     think that had all of the intelligence information known 
     prior to September 11th been under one umbrella, the 
     terrorist attacks of September 11th might have been 
       Senator Thompson, as I understood him, did not disagree 
     with that ultimate approach except to express the view that 
     he thought that changes in the structure of the intelligence 
     community should await further studies. My own strongly held 
     view is that we have a unique opportunity to make the changes 
     in the intelligence community now because of the imminent 
     terrorist threats; and, if we don't act now, we will go back 
     to business as usual.
       As you and I discussed in our meeting of July 29, 2002, 
     there have been many proposals to place the intelligence 
     agencies under one umbrella, including legislation which I 
     introduced in 1996 when I chaired the Intelligence Committee, 
     and the current proposals which have been made by General 
       I suggest that Section 132(b) of the bill reported by the 
     Governmental Affairs Committee be modified by adding at the 
     beginning a new paragraph (1) to read as follows:
       (b) Responsibilities:--The Directorate of Intelligence 
     shall be responsible for the following:
       (1) On behalf of the Secretary, subject to disapproval by 
     the President, directing the agencies described under 
     subsection (a)(1)(B) to provide intelligence information, 
     analyses of intelligence information and such other 
     intelligence-related information as the Directorate of 
     Intelligence deems necessary.
       I am sending copies of this letter to Senator Lieberman and 
     Senator Thompson so that we may all discuss these issues 
       My best.
                                                    Arlen Specter.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, while our troops have had 
enormous success abroad, the war on terror, obviously, is not over. We 
are just beginning. We must do everything we can to prevent future 
attacks on the homeland.
  Tomorrow is going to commemorate that awful experience. My attention 
over the weekend was riveted to an article in one of the country's 
major newspapers that reported on a debriefing of one of the al-Qaeda 
detainees who had indicated that the fourth airplane, the one that 
crashed in Pennsylvania, had as its target the U.S. Capitol.
  How many of us on that day were working in the U.S. Capitol? I was in 
a meeting on the west front of the Capitol, only 30 paces from where I 
am now standing in the Chamber of the Senate. It was a meeting attended 
by about 15, chaired by the majority leader. We had already seen the 
television images of the World Trade Center, but we continued our 
  Someone burst in the door and said: ``The Pentagon has been hit.'' We 
leapt to the windows overlooking the west front of the Capitol, 
overlooking the mall in the direction of the Pentagon, and saw the 
black smoke rising on the other side of the Potomac.
  Interestingly, my immediate reaction was to leap to a telephone to 
try to get word to my wife, Grace. Only 5 days earlier, we had moved 
into an apartment overlooking the southwest corner of the Pentagon. My 
message to her was--and we didn't even have a telephone in the 
apartment, since we had just moved in--to get into the basement garage 
because, of course, I didn't know what was happening on that side of 
the Potomac.
  In the meantime, Grace Nelson is getting dressed in the apartment. 
She hears the airplane. She said it sounded so loud, as if it was going 
to hit the apartment. And the line of flight was very close to the 
apartment. She heard the impact. She ran to the window and saw the 
whole thing.
  When she saw the people streaming out of the Pentagon, her immediate 
response, which is the great patriotic instinct of my wife, was: What 
can I do to go down and help those people?
  That, of course, was a riveting experience, like any that you have 
had in your adult life. I was in college at the time of the 
assassination of President Kennedy. I can tell you exactly where I was 
when we received the word. So, too, on any other tragic event, such as 
the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger. And so, too, Americans 
will remember exactly what they were doing and where they were at the 
time of receiving the news that the Nation was under attack a year ago.

[[Page S8433]]

  This war is going to be a long one, and it is going to be very 
difficult because it is a new kind of war. We don't have the luxury we 
have had for two centuries of two big oceans protecting us from our 
enemies, for now the enemies have figured out a way to infiltrate 
within. Of course, all of the U.S. interests and assets around the 
world, including our ambassadors, are targets we have to protect.
  It is appropriate that this legislation is being considered at this 
time. What do we have to do to help protect future attacks on U.S. 
  Clearly, there was a colossal intelligence failure on September 11. 
That is primarily what we need to address. The inexcusable bureaucratic 
inefficiencies and inability of one hand of the bureaucracy to know 
what the other hand was doing, all of that has to be ironed out. In the 
briefings that we have had, I have some degree of confidence that it is 
being ironed out. It better be. We have no choice. For the only way to 
thwart the terrorists is to find out what they are going to do before 
they do it and stop them.
  Combining this new threat also requires a more agile government. What 
we are about to do is undertake the largest governmental reorganization 
in the last five decades. This new department will combine 22 agencies, 
170,000 people, with an annual budget of $38 billion. But considering 
the seriousness of the threat and the scope of the restructuring, I 
must say that I am surprised by the administration's demands that this 
new Department of Homeland Security be run with minimal accountability 
to the American people, which includes accountability to this Congress.
  There is something that we all swore to uphold when we took office: 
the Constitution of the United States. The political geniuses who 
gathered over 225 years ago fashioned a document that had checks and 
balances so that power could not be concentrated in any one branch of 
the Government.
  So as we start to create this new, vast reorganization of the 
executive branch, we have to make it accountable to the American people 
by having it accountable to the Congress, with our oversight functions, 
with our appropriations functions, with our authorization functions, 
with all that has served this Nation so well since the beginning of our 
constitutional government in 1789.
  I am concerned and a little bit surprised that the administration 
demands that they have it their way without the accountability, which 
is the checks and balances of the Constitution, necessary to the 
functioning of our constitutional government.
  Many of us on both sides of the aisle believe this is an issue of 
great importance, involving such a massive reorganization of the 
Government that we must ensure that there are checks and balances. The 
American people deserve to know how this new department will be managed 
and how the resources allocated to the war on terror are going to be 
  Transparency is essential to ensure that this new department is 
working. I am not sure that is the message that has come from the 
administration. It is going to be up to us, particularly those of us 
who feel so strongly about this.
  We have heard a number of people talk about the great leadership of 
Senator Lieberman, the chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, 
and, clearly, the man who not only believes daily and recites daily the 
U.S. Constitution but carries that Constitution with him wherever he 
goes, a man who has been in Congress for over 50 years, Senator Byrd, 
who has expressed his concerns. And there will be more, including mine 
that I am registering today.
  I am afraid that the administration's bill--which, in essence, is the 
House of Representatives-passed bill--fails to adequately protect the 
nonhomeland mission of the Coast Guard. Think of that. The Coast Guard 
overseas a number of important maritime missions, which save countless 
lives each year, including search-and-rescue operations, Marine safety, 
and recreational boating safety initiatives.
  Am I sensitive to this? You bet. Look how much coastline Florida has. 
I have not actually measured it against the California coastline, but I 
suspect ours is greater if not equal to the California coastline.
  So is the search-and-rescue operation, Marine safety, recreational 
boating safety--a non-homeland-defense mission of the Coast Guard--
important? Of course, but so is the Coast Guard's mission on law 
enforcement, which includes drug interdiction, and alien migrant 
interdiction, and general maritime law enforcement.
  Would it not be nice if we in Florida were not sensitive, as we are, 
to drug interdiction and to alien migrant interdiction? Waves of people 
try to come to Florida's shores illegally--some with just cause, but of 
which the Coast Guard plays a very important role. As resources are 
transferred to the war on terror, we should not forget about protecting 
people from the nonterrorist threats that can be harmful to our 
  The final plan to transfer the Coast Guard to a new Department must 
ensure, in my judgment, that law enforcement safety and transportation 
missions are not unreasonably compromised. That is why I think we have 
to adopt the Senate language and protect it then in the conference 
committee--ironing out the differences between the Senate and House 
  In addition--and very importantly--the administration's language in 
the House bill completely undermines workers' rights. Guaranteeing the 
basic civil service rights of people hired to keep us safe does not and 
will not jeopardize national security.
  What are we trying to protect? We are trying to protect the civil 
service of this Federal Government from being politicized, which is the 
reason why the Hatch Act was passed years ago, decades ago, saying that 
there was going to be a barrier put up so that any administration, 
after the Hatch Act, was not going to be able to use the Federal 
bureaucracy for their political ends; thus, the Hatch Act was enacted.
  What the administration's language does is take away those worker 
rights, those basic civil service rights, and that is not healthy, 
because it has been healthy, as we have seen how the Federal 
bureaucracy operates under those protections in the Hatch Act.
  The House bill would grant the President a blank check to take away 
the civil service protections of nearly 170,000 employees of the new 
agency. I don't think that is in the interest of the country. That is 
not going to affect the national security. The vague authority granted 
to the President would exempt employees from traditional labor laws if 
he determined, without any explanation, that the workers' rights 
somehow adversely affect the Department's homeland security mission. 
That is not right for the workers of the new agency, and it is not 
right for the country.
  Finally, the administration bill hangs consumers out to dry by 
limiting the liability of firms providing new antiterrorism 
technologies and devices because damages caused by untested 
technologies that fail to work would be restricted even in cases of 
gross negligence in the manufacture of those new technologies and 
equipment and apparatuses. This limited liability provision gives carte 
blanche then to fly-by-night companies looking to profit from 9/11 by 
selling products that, at best, do nothing and, at worst, could cause 
direct harm. I don't think we want to hang those consumers out to dry--
indeed, much more than that, we don't want to harm those consumers.
  As the clock ticks, the time becomes increasingly somber as we 
reflect back on what we were doing 365 days ago, what happened to us 
personally, and how we have changed not only as a nation but 
individually. I think it is important for us to look at the big picture 
and that as we fashion a bureaucratic response that is more flexible to 
protect our homeland, we do so in a wise and cautious fashion.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.