NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998 (House of Representatives - June 19, 1997)

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Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, the chairman, for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, my concern is that we should err on the side of caution. While I know that there are very good arguments that are being made by other people, including the distinguished chairman, and this is a debate that is very worthy, it is the same as the debate on encryption, in my view, where we have to make a balance in this House between national security, law enforcement, and our export opportunities and our economic opportunities and our economic muscle overseas.

My view is based on the reports I have. We have three facts. One is that the administration has in fact relaxed controls twice. Where they have relaxed those controls in the case of the Russians, they have given the Russians a capability 10 times greater than anything they ever had before with regard to nuclear weapons. That is what concerns me.

Secondly, I am very concerned that the Chinese academy of sciences, which is involved in nuclear weapons and missile research, has access to these computers also. That is a fact. That bothers me.

Reports, there are reports we have that things are a little out of control in terms of areas of proliferation. This is not a good place to have things out of control. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is probably the single biggest categorical threat to our Nation that I can think of.

So I think we ought to err on the side of caution. I think that the proposals in the amendment are definitely reasonable. I do not see anything in there, when talking about approvals and verifications, those are things that seem reasonable to me. I realize this is not the last word on this. I realize there are other sides to be heard on it as well, but I am going to support this amendment because I think it errs on the side of caution, which is where we ought to be on this issue.