Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 587, I call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 5095) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1993 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. Government 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. Mazzoli). Pursuant to the provisions of House Resolution 587, the conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of Thursday, October 1, 1992, at page H 10058.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Mazzoli). The gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] will be recognized for 30 minutes, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] will be recognized for 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy].
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report to accompany H.R. 5095, the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1993. As is customary, the conference report contains classified, as well as unclassified, elements. A classified schedule of authorizations, which is incorporated by reference in the conference report, sets forth the funding levels agreed to by the conferees. The schedule of authorizations is described in detail in a classified annex to the joint explanatory statement of the committee of conference. Both of these classified documents may be reviewed by Members in the offices of the Intelligence Committee. I urge Members to take the time to examine these documents.
This conference report underscores the fact that intelligence programs cannot be immune from the spending reductions necessary if our Nation's fiscal ills are to be addressed. As passed by the House 3 months ago, this measure contained a 5-percent cut in the authorization levels for the activities, known collectively as the National Foreign Intelligence Program [NFIP] which provide intelligence to policymakers such as the President and Cabinet officers. The Senate made reductions which were similar in the aggregate to those made by the House.
In conference we were able to cut more than had been cut by either the House or the Senate. Under the conference report, national intelligence programs--those undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency, among others--are reduced by nearly 6 percent from the levels requested by the President. This is a substantial reduction in funding, but I believe it can be accommodated by the intelligence community without any loss in essential intelligence capabilities.
Our intelligence agencies are at a critical juncture. The collapse of the primary reason for their creation and growth--the threat posed by the Soviet Union and its allies--has left them without a clear focus for their activities. Efforts by the agencies to reorient themselves away from their traditional targets have collided with the reality that the Federal deficit ensures that the competition among national security programs for a share of shrinking budgetary resources will be fierce for the foreseeable future.
I believe our response to this situation must seek to avoid two mistakes. First, we must resist the temptation to mindlessly slash intelligence budgets in the mistaken belief that the end of the cold war means the end of our need for reliable and timely intelligence about the challenges we will continue to face as a Nation. As a result, this conference report targets its reductions in programs the conferees believed to be outdated, ineffective, or redundant, while making investments for the future in new technologies and expanded capabilities.
The second mistake we must avoid is to try to shelter the intelligence budget from any meaningful reductions on the theory that the post-cold-war intelligence community must necessarily look, at least from a resource standpoint, like its predecessor. We must not allow intelligence activities to be justified by their ability to absorb available resources rather than by their importance to the national security. The reductions contained in this conference report are a first step in an effort to match roles and missions for intelligence with the money that can be spent on them. Our goal is an intelligence community that is the right size for the future. This conference report takes us toward that goal, but we have much more work to do before the goal is attained. The definition of roles and missions will be among the committee's most important tasks next year, and I hope that we can work cooperatively with the next administration in this important undertaking.
The conference report also recognizes that the changed world situation, and declining budgets, need to be reflected in the size of the intelligence community's work force. The conferees are proposing a plan that will reduce intelligence personnel levels by nearly 18 percent by 1997, while retaining sufficient flexibility to allow agencies to maintain the infusion of new talent necessary to ensure that they do not calcify. We must strike a balance between personnel levels and investment in new technologies and equipment. The implementation of sensible, phased reductions in personnel levels will be essential to achieving that balance.
In addition to the budgetary provisions, the conference report contains a number of legislative items which will be explained in more detail by the chairwoman of our Subcommittee on Legislation, Congresswoman Kennelly. The presence of many of these items in the conference report was the result of cooperative efforts between the Intelligence Committee and other committees of jurisdiction, including the Armed Services, Judiciary, Post Office, and Civil Service, Government Operations, and Education and Labor Committees. The assistance of the members and staff of these committees is most appreciated. At the conclusion of my remarks, I would like to include in the Record an exchange of letters between myself and Chairman Ford of the Education and Labor Committee which reflects the mutual interest of the two committees in one of the provisions in this conference report.
Earlier this year, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Boren, and I, introduced legislation to reorganize the U.S. intelligence community, which has grown in an uncoordinated fashion over the last 47 years. We had useful hearings in both committees on these bills. The Director of Central Intelligence [DCI] Gates, much to his credit, decided to implement administratively a number of structural changes that were similar to some of the suggestions in our legislation. I also believe that the recent decision by the administration to publicly acknowledge the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office reflects the spirit of change that was a part of these bills.
We were advised, however, that the amendment views as its exclusive prerogative the determination of the organization of the executive branch. This is an issue that we leave unresolved for now. We will monitor the performance of the DCI's changes, and continue to make suggestions for improvement. If legislation is determined to be necessary to eliminate duplication of effort, clarify lines of authority, and consolidate functions for more effective management, I will not hesitate to propose it.
The conference report does contain, in title VII, a codification of the duties and responsibilities of certain officials within the intelligence community, and a codification of the relationship between various components of the intelligence
community. While affirming the situation that has long been assumed to exist both with the respect to these duties and responsibilities, and the organizational relationships, the codification does provide a useful and appropriate measure of clarity and certainty. In addition, one of the provisions in title VII will enhance the ability of the DCI to move funds and personnel between elements of the national foreign intelligence program. This kind of enhancement will assist in the effective discharge of the DCI's responsibilities as head of the intelligence community, as was recommended in my reorganization bill.
Before closing, I want to note the contribution made to the work of the committee by six members whose service will end at the conclusion of this session of Congress. The committee's ranking Republican, Bud Shuster, and I have forged a very good working relationship during a time of considerable change in the intelligence community. He has encouraged, and at times prodded, the community to play a more effective role in areas like counternarcotics and he has achieved considerable success. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work cooperatively with him in a way that enabled the committee to adopt bipartisan positions on most of the issues which have come before it.
In addition to Mr. Shuster, the committee will lose the services of two of its subcommittee chairs, Charlie Wilson and Barbara Kennelly, as well as Steve Solarz and Wayne Owens on the Democratic side and David O'B. Martin on the Republican. These members have brought varied perspectives on national security issues to the committee and made important contributions to our work.
Mr. Speaker, the conference report on H.R. 5095 has, I believe, support on both sides of the aisle. It is good legislation for an intelligence community in transition, and I urge its adoption by the House.
Mr. Speaker, the letters referred to follow:
Committee on Education and Labor,
Washington, DC, September 25, 1992.
Hon. Dave McCurdy,
Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing concerning H.R. 5095, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993, and the Senate amendment thereto.
Section 304 of the Senate amendment contains several amendments to the National Security Education Act of 1991 which, under clause 1. (g) of Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, are within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Education and Labor. As you will recall, during the 1st Session of this Congress, Members of this Committee were appointed conferees for those provisions of the fiscal year 1992 intelligence authorization act (H.R. 2038) which established the National Security Education Act.
Because of this Committee's jurisdictional interests, typically I would ask that some of its Members be appointed as conferees on H.R. 5095. In this instance, however, our staffs have discussed the provisions in question and their proposed resolution in conference. Based on these discussions, I do not believe it is necessary for me to request the appointment of conferees.
I would appreciate, however, a letter acknowledging this Committee's jurisdictional interest in section 304 and ask that you insert our exchange of letters in the Record during debate on the conference report.
With kind regards,
William D. Ford,
Washington, DC, September 25, 1992.
Hon. William D. Ford,
Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter concerning H.R. 5095, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993, and the Senate amendment thereto.
I appreciate your committee's jurisdictional interest in the National Security Education Act of 1991. Last year, our committees shared jurisdiction over the creation of the Act. I am pleased that our staffs were able to agree on the final form of the relatively minor changes to the Act included in the Senate amendment to the fiscal year 1993 intelligence authorization bill. I appreciate your forbearance on the question of the appointment of conferees, which will greatly facilitate the completion of our conference.
Our exchange of letters will be included in the Record as a part of the debate on the conference report.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
(Mr. SHUSTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, first I want to thank our distinguished chairman for his very kind words. I wish to emphasize to the body that he has quite accurately described the conference report before us today.
I rise in support of this conference report, even though it certainly is not perfect. There are many good provisions in it, however. Most importantly, perhaps, we have preserved the core intelligence programs for the intelligence community serving the national security of our Nation. We have also restored very significant FBI funding, and we have restored the CIA imagery analysis office.
I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, frankly, about the size of the funding cut. Certainly some reduction is advisable, but we have cut deeper than either the chairman or I have proposed. This is of great concern. The details for all of this, of course, are in the classified annex.
We face a changing world, but although it is a changing world, it continues to be a very dangerous world and intelligence is clearly described as a force multiplier, an early warning system for the very dangerous world in which we live.
There are other shortcomings in this conference report that I believe are worth noting. One area where I took special exception pertains to providing more funds entirely from the intelligence budget for the National Security Education Act, a program for language and area studies scholarships and fellowships. There is absolutely no guarantee that the beneficiaries of this program will make any contribution whatsoever to filling the needs of the intelligence community. In my view it simply does not make good fiscal sense to authorize another $30 million for this new trust fund when the intelligence budget is under its severest constraints in many, many years.
Also, Mr. Speaker, the intelligence authorization reorganization title in the Senate bill which caused the administration so much concern has, after much negotiation, been much watered down in the conference report. Many of the original provisions to rewrite the National Security Act of 1947 were viewed as needlessly threatening the President's necessary flexibility to structure the intelligence community for the most effective conduct of intelligence activities.
The conference report, however, adopts reorganization provisions which are largely harmless and minor nuisances.
In short, this particular reorganization provision might be described as being from the Tammie Fay Baker school of legislative cosmetology: rather harmless.
The reorganization title does, however, include a modest but useful expansion of the authorities of the Director of Central Intelligence to transfer funds and personnel between the programs of the National Foreign Intelligence Program, and once again this year, the conference report includes a Senate provision, I underline, a Senate provision, not a House provision, expressing the sense of Congress that the overall intelligence budget totals should be publicly disclosed each year.
This is a recycled canard which will not provide the American people with any meaningful understanding of the relative costs versus benefits of funding intelligence activities. I am very thankful that the provision is not written into the law itself.
There are other shortcomings in the conference report worth noting. I believe I have covered the various most important shortcomings, in my judgment, Mr. Speaker.
Before I close, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that as I conclude my 6 years on this committee, I certainly want to salute our distinguished chairman, who has made and is making an enormous contribution to the well-being and national security of our country, as well as every member of the committee on both sides of the aisle and the extraordinary staff which we have supporting us on both sides of the aisle.
While it is necessary that so much of what we do be highly classified, in one respect it is too bad that it is so highly classified, because some of the most important things we do simply can never be discussed. The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has made a significant difference over these past years, Mr. Speaker. I refer specifically to Desert Storm. It can be said categorically that American lives were saved in Desert Storm because of programs that not only were supported by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but were initiated and championed by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Indeed, it can also be said categorically that some of the most extraordinary successes in our war against drugs, against illegal narcotics around the world, some of those most extraordinary successes took place as a result of programs initiated and supported by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. People are freer around the world today because of the support of Members on both sides of the aisle of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
I wish we could talk in detail about the successes. We obviously cannot, because they are classified, but it can be stated categorically that these kinds of extraordinary accomplishments were made possible because of the dedication and the patriotism of the Democrats and the Republicans who worked together on a bipartisan basis on this very important committee.
Over my years in the Congress, Mr. Speaker, I have had the privilege of serving on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, the Committee on the Budget, the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on the District of Columbia, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. I can say without hesitation that the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence provides us with the opportunity to make an unparalleled contribution to the well-being of our country. America is more secure today because of the dedicated men and women who serve on this extraordinary committee.
From the bottom of my heart I am thankful for the privilege of having been able to give this service to the Congress and my country.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from Connecticut [Mrs. Kennelly], the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Legislation of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
(Mrs. KENNELLY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. KENNELLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 5095, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1993. This legislation is an important step in reordering the Nation's intelligence community to reflect the new realities of the post-cold-war era. The reductions in funding and personnel levels contained in the conference report, and the legislative provisions pertaining to the community's organization, have been ably described by Chairman McCurdy.
In addition, the conference report includes many legislative measures this year. All of the legislative provisions in the House-passed bill were included in the conference report without significant change, although the restatement of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act includes more specific language spelling out how the Agency is to treat the right of a qualified former spouse of a participant in the Federal Employees' Retirement System [FERS] to a share of the thrift savings plan account. In short, the qualified former spouse is entitled to 50 percent of the amount that accrued in the account during the marriage, payable in a lump sum, upon receipt by the Director of Central Intelligence of proper documentation following divorce. We expect the Director to take steps to protect the rights of qualified former spouses to their share of these funds prior to the date payment is made.
The conferees also adopted all but one of the legislative provisions included in the Senate amendment. The conference report includes several technical amendments to the National Security Education Act [NSEA] of 1991, renamed by this measure in honor of Senator David L. Boren, who has championed the program. Among other measures, the conference report increases the trust fund authorized under the NSEA Program by $30 million and expands the membership of the National Security Education Board to include the chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities and two more education experts from outside the Federal Government. In addition, the conference report strikes the requirement that the program be administered by the Secretary of Defense through the Defense
Intelligence College, which had proven to be impractical. In response to administration objections, we did not include the Senate's language that the Secretary establish an independent center for international studies to administer the program. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that it is the Board with its broad membership including educational and nonintelligence Government viewpoints which establishes policies governing the criteria and qualifications for making awards. In addition, the law prohibits any person who receives assistance under the act from being used for intelligence purposes under any circumstances while pursuing his or her education.
As a supporter of the goals of the NSEA, I see it as a program of tremendous potential. Unfortunately, we are not near the point of realizing that potential. I am disappointed the administration has not managed to send to the Senate for confirmation its appointments to the National Security Education Board on a timely basis. This failure will prevent the Board from convening and setting forth the regulatory foundation that must be in place before scholarships, fellowships, and grants are awarded, for at least another 4 months, and may mean there will not be awards for the 1993-94 academic year. Furthermore, although I am aware that there are difficult administrative questions underlying this program, I remain concerned that there be an emphasis on keeping the administrative costs and complexities to a minimum so there is maximum benefit to students and scholars pursuing foreign languages and area studies. I am hopeful this can be done and I will continue to monitor implementation of the NSEA.
Finally, I would like to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for granting me the honor of serving on the Intelligence Committee over the past 6 years. I have been a member during difficult and challenging times. The issues facing the committee have been complex, but they promise to be no less so in the future as we struggle as a nation to define what we mean by national security.
And I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], the ranking member for his courtesy in always being willing to discuss issues with me as a Member. And obviously I would like to give great thanks to the chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy], who has given so much of his time through the years as a Member of the Congress of the United States to this committee, sitting in that room at the top of the Capitol and giving an effort and an ability to understand these very complex problems, and being willing to continue as its chairman and its leader.
I also would like to state today that I have been incredibly impressed by the intelligence, the dedication and professionalism of the staff of the Intelligence Committee. These are very difficult matters that we address for a person like myself who was never able to have the opportunity or the privilege to serve in the armed services, and to be able to serve on this committee and yet be backed up with a supportive professional staff so that I can make known the feelings of the persons outside in the community concerning our intelligence community, and I thank the staff for that. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Intelligence Committee, and I would say to my fellow colleagues, as next year comes about, give some thought to giving some time to your country by serving on this committee.
Mr. SCHULZE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest].
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me the time. I certainly want to rise in support of this conference agreement, Mr. Speaker, but I do want to wholeheartedly endorse the reservations that were expressed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania on some of the areas of funding and cutbacks. But I think this is probably reflective of a lot of hard work that did restore some of the things that had concerned us earlier.
The main reason that I wanted to take the opportunity to take just a moment was to bid farewell from this committee to a gentleman that I have had an opportunity to work with for 4 years, and it has been a true delight. This has been I think, maybe one of the most or somewhat most difficult, and maybe equally challenging times to go through with the world moving out of a cold war. Certainly the chairman and the ranking member have done a wonderful job in moving through a tremendous reorganizational effort of the intelligence community. This bill is much better because of the very personal, hands-on approach by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, and the people who strongly believe in a strong intelligence community owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to him. If it had not been for that perseverance and persistence, I think many of the things which we were able to win in this bill would not have come about, and the gentleman I think should have tremendous commendation for that, because he has done a phenomenal job. And it has been a pleasure, and I assure you that the committee and the community will sorely miss his leadership and his guidance. He has left a mark that will be well remembered into the years to come.
Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I just want to yield myself a couple of minutes here to conclude.
Mr. Speaker, I want to identify with the remarks of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], again in stating the belief of Members of both sides of the aisle that the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Schulze] will be missed, and we certainly have appreciated his service on the committee.
Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment as well to express my desire to be working with the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], who will be the ranking member in the next Congress, and I look forward to that association. I guess it is a true mark of the bipartisanship of this committee when we have two Members that face off on opposite sides of the Red River being able to work as well as we have been able to do.
Mr. Speaker, none of us could work and be effective without strong committee staff, and of all of the committees in the Congress we were the one that reduced our operating budget this year voluntarily. But I want to make it clear that we have I think, as professional and as high quality a staff as any committee in the Congress. They are truly dedicated, intelligent, and provide great service to us.
Also, Mr. Speaker, because of the jurisdiction, we work very closely with the committee members and staffs of the House Armed Services Committee, and also the House Appropriations Committee. And I also want to take a moment just to note their professionalism and our strong working relationship that we have, and we obviously appreciate that fact.
Mr. Speaker, earlier today we had you in the chair, and we had the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], handling the rule, and the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. McEwen] handling the rule, and all three of you have likewise served on the committee. I think it is important to note that again it is not something that people send press releases back to the district on, but it was nice to have those Members in the chair and managing the rule that had experience as you had, and I think it is important that we note that as well.
Mr. Speaker, it has been a tough 2 years, and a lot has happened with the gulf war, the collapse of communism, and the Warsaw Pact. But I can assure Members that there are many, many serious challenges out there and great instability in many places around the globe. The Bosnias of the world are going to be numerous in the future, and it takes quality intelligence in order to serve our Government well. We believe that this committee is important and plays an important role, and we believe that the intelligence community is doing a good job.
Mr. SCHULZE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. McCURDY. 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.
The conference report was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.