Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from California [Mr. Fazio], the chairman of the Democratic Caucus.
Mr. FAZIO of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the Defense Department authorization bill and the accompanying conference report. I implore my colleagues to join me in voting against that report.
Mr. Speaker, there are several reasons that this conference report is bad for the Nation. First and foremost, this bill severely restricts the public-private competitions that are to take place at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento and Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio as mandated by the 1995 BRACC law.
McClellan and Kelly Air Force Base are closing and will be closed. But as McClellan closes, 15,000 jobs and the infrastructure that supports them will disappear from Sacramento's economy. This, by the way, is the third base closure we have had in four BRACC rounds.
I am here to implore Members to support the BRAC Commission, however, and its recommendation, and give DOD the flexibility to use competitions as a means to achieve lower costs and greater efficiencies. It has been shown that competitions save money for the American taxpayer.
Without, for example, the recent competition for the C-5 work load done at Kelly in the past, Warner-Robbins Air Logistic Center in Georgia would have used over $100 million in new military construction to build new buildings to handle the work load.
Instead, the contract was awarded on the basis of a public-private competition and Warner-Robbins won by coming up with a creative solution so their bid would be competitive. That public-private competition for the C-5 work load saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
With the Federal budget being severely constrained for the next several years, it is critical we spend every defense dollar prudently. I am not asking DOD to just give the Sacramento work load to a private contractor. I am merely asking that the private contractors be given the opportunity to bid for the work on a level playing field, just as they did in the instance of that C-5 work.
The depot maintenance language currently in the DOD authorization report does not provide that level playing field. Instead, the language was crafted to give the public depots an overwhelming advantage. Sure, it lets the competitions go forward, but it puts so many restrictions on the competitions that it will be impossible for the private contractors to win.
In fact, recently the Sacramento Bee quoted an industry representative who said, in response to the language in this report we are voting on tonight, `I can't conceive of a company that would bid for McClellan and Kelly under these circumstances.'
Not only is this so-called compromise language not a compromise, it was also negotiated in secret without the knowledge or input of several members of the authorization committee, including my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ciro Rodriguez who just spoke. This was done in the dark of night by people who had an agenda. That was to make this floor think that it had compromised, when in fact they had wired the competition for an outcome.
The President has said over and over again that he would veto a defense authorization bill that would restrict the competitions at McClellan and Kelly. He has sent his advisers to talk to members of the committees about his commitment to vetoing this bill. In fact, I received a letter from Secretary Cohen just a month ago that reiterated that veto threat. It is obvious that the current language would severely restrict the competitions, and on that basis alone I believe the President will veto this bill. In fact, there is a letter this evening from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget which says the following: `We need to ensure more competition from private industry, not less. Billions of dollars in potential savings are at issue. These resources should be used to maintain the U.S. fighting edge, not to preserve excess infrastructure. The impact on the Department's costs and our Nation's military capacity would be profound if this report were adopted.'
He says parenthetically, `The President's senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.' There is no question, that will be the result if we continue down this path that we are on tonight. But in addition, the conference report includes new restrictions on supercomputer exports that will have a profound impact on the Nation's high-technology economy. Computer technology advances at such a rapid rate that the computers on many desks were once considered supercomputers. The U.S. computer industry leads the world in production and sales of high-powered computers, and that leading role will be harmed by the language in this report.
Please join me in opposing the defense authorization conference report, because it is bad for our national defense and bad for American taxpayers.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Farmington, Utah [Mr. Hansen], who without question is one of the most respected Members of this House.
Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me the time.
Mr. Speaker, let me point out in regard to what has happened that we all know how BRACC went about it, the anguish we all felt as BRACC closed many bases, how tough it was, but we all went along with it. We knew the President had a few days in which he could look at it. He had two choices, yes or no. He could not change it.
No disrespect to our President, but he came up with a statement in this one, and said, I will get around this, and in effect tried to do that by privatization inplace.
Now, we have heard many things flying around here. Let me point out, we have only compromised this thing time after time after time. Seven times it has been voted on over here; seven times we won. It has been voted on in the Senate and it won there. Now the conference report is before us.
One of these charges is, the President will veto this. I think the Members should ask the gentleman from South Carolina, Chairman Spence if a veto message has been issued. I know of no veto message that has been issued; also, that the Pentagon was not part of it. Let me tell the Members, I can give them personal knowledge that the Pentagon was part of many of these compromises, and it has been watered down, and the idea that one of the Senators did not like the 60-40 rule, it went to 50-50. I think almost all of these charges we have just heard have been answered.
The charge that this is not fair competition, the House has overwhelmingly supported restoring integrity to the BRAC process by opposing subsidized privatization inplace. The compromise bill requires full and open competition on all noncore work loads. Anyone who reads this bill will see that it is free and fair competition.
Another charge on this floor, private bidders should not have to pay for Government assets. Closed bases represent hundreds of millions of dollars of Government assets owned by the American taxpayers. If a private sector company wants to bid on Government contracts, they need to account for this cost to the taxpayers.
Another charge: Depot maintenance provisions are more restrictive and require private work to be involved in-house. That is absolutely false. The bill changes the 60-40 to 50-50, even including a full accounting. I urge people to support this rule and support this conference report. It is fair, and if it does anything, it upholds flaw. It amazes me that any of my colleagues would argue to violate the law of the land.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland [Mr. Hoyer], former Speaker of the House of Representatives in the State of Maryland, and the present chairman of the steering committee.
(Mr. HOYER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. HOYER. President of the Senate.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman in exile of the Committee on Rules for recognizing my former status in which I had some authority. I have since lost that.
Mr. Speaker, this bill, in my opinion, recognizes the enormous contributions of our military personnel. It acknowledges the sacrifice and commitment required of those who choose to follow a career in our military services. This bill seeks to encourage their continued dedication and retention in several very important ways. Military pay and quality of life is protected by a 2.8-percent pay increase and emphasizes the importance of military housing, construction, and improvements. It provides for child development centers for our troops and their families. It provides $35 million to continue impact aid, important in my area and around the country.
Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, it provides our war fighters with the best possible equipment, $293.9 million in particular for R&D for the Navy's Super Hornet. This is an investment, Mr. Speaker, which keeps this critical program on track, reaching the fleet by 2001. The Super Hornet is proving to be one of DOD's most successful accusation programs.
Also, Mr. Speaker, the committee increased funding for the joint strike fighter. This will accelerate the program to meet Navy requirements and ensure our continued air superiority and pilot survivability.
In addition, Mr. Speaker, this bill addresses our national security interests. It emphasizes our concerns for the most appropriate use of our military forces in Bosnia. Unlike the House bill as it left here, this bill does not completely tie the hands of our President and the Joint Chiefs, in my opinion, inappropriately.
As we learned so painfully during the 4-year-long conflict in Bosnia, the aggressors are bullies and worse. Mr. Speaker, if we and our NATO allies are not willing to confront the bullies in Bosnia, the aggressors, and who I call bullies. In fact, in many respects many of them are war criminals. If we and our NATO allies are not willing to confront these criminals in Bosnia and lay the groundwork for long-term peace in that region, we will encourage the transgressions that have appeared in the past to reoccur and ensure that we will act again sometime, somewhere. That, Mr. Speaker, is the lesson of history. We must not forget.
I congratulate the conferees for including in this bill compromise language which will not hamstring the President or compromise our commitment.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. HOYER. I yield to the gentleman from Indiana.
Mr. BUYER. Just on the point on Bosnia, Mr. Speaker, part of the purpose I brought that legislation to the House floor is that I did not make up that day, that was the President's day. We sought to extend the time for him to fulfill that commitment.
Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's observation. Whoever's date it was, I did not agree with it. I tell my friend, I think it is a very significant tactical error to tell your enemy, and in this case not our enemy but the aggressing parties and the parties in question, when you are going to take specific action. I think that is tactically a mistake. I did not agree with it, whether the President said it or we said it.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker I proudly yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Lincoln, Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter], one of the most outstanding and respected Members of this body, sent to us 19 years ago next month by the people of Lincoln, Nebraska, and surrounding environs. He is still with us.
(Mr. BEREUTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman of the committee for yielding time to me.
I rise in support of the rule, but I wish to speak now tonight as an outside conferee on the House Committee on International Relations assigned to this legislation on the issue of supercomputer exports and the regulations thereof.
This Member rises to express his serious concerns about the conference committee's proposed statute changes to our current supercomputer licensing process. Unfortunately, the jurisdiction of the Committee on International Relations on this subject was almost totally ignored.
The proposed statute changes have at least two fundamental flaws. First, they do not adequately recognize or take into account how quickly computer processing speeds become outdated. They, therefore, ensure that our regulatory framework for licensing supercomputers will always be chronically outdated relative to technological change.
Second and perhaps more importantly, these proposed changes force the U.S. Government and our export control enforcement personnel to focus too many resources and personnel on monitoring the export of not so super, relatively slow computers that are no longer either controllable or, for that matter, sufficiently threatening to our national security interests.
By requiring our export enforcement personnel to complete post-shipment verification on any 2000 MTOPS level of computer export, this legislation diverts precious resources away from monitoring high technology exports that are a serious threat to our national security. Requiring such a shotgun approach to export control makes it more likely that we could easily let serious technology diversion slip through our fingers that are real threats to our national security interest.
For these two critical reasons, this Member cannot support this aspect of the conference report. However, this Member would like to note that several changes to the proposed language in the conference report could make it acceptable. For example, simply linking the post-shipment verification requirements to administration-proposed changes in the MTOPS level of control would answer this Member's major concern that we could ultimately be wasting tremendous enforcement resources on monitoring computer exports that are no longer a threat to national security.
Such a change, if coupled with more reasonable short periods for approval of administration-requested changes in MTOPS control levels, would ensure that our export control regime would keep up with advances in computer technology.
Mr. Speaker, this Member certainly believes we must be very cautious to ensure that our high-technology exports are not available to those who threaten our national security interests. But we must be careful in a time of limited resources to recognize our limitations on our ability to control all potentially dangerous items. One of the best ways we can protect our national security is to first monitor and disclose those entities in foreign countries that represent a threat to our interests.
Then we can demand that U.S. exporters simply not export to those entities and, if necessary, initiate criminal proceedings against U.S. exporters if they fail to comply.
Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to read the rest of my remarks in the Record.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Connecticut [Mr. Gejdenson], the ranking member in waiting of the Committee on International Relations.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter], my friend, to say that this particular language on the computers not only will squander America's security resources on a product that is rapidly generally available, and is even today generally available, but it will be the attempt to control our laptop and desktop computers within a year or two. The computers that we will have on our desks by the year 2000, 2002, will be traveling at 1 or 2 MTOPS.
Beyond that, if my colleagues watch the news, what just happened? Two developments in computer technology, going to copper and having multiple levels of recognition in each cell, is going to change the speed at which new generations occur.
This is an industry where 18 months was a lifetime. If Members want us to stay out in front for our defense and economic needs, then we have to be able to market products as soon as they come up, if they do not threaten American national security.
Mr. Speaker, these products do not threaten our national security. We are soon going to have a shelf life of less than a year. If we put the process in this kind of manner, we are going to end up with computers that are outdated operating the American system. It is the same thing that was done in machine tools. My colleagues did it to machine tools. They stopped American companies from exporting them because they said it was national security. Now we buy our machine tools from Japan.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues, `Do not do to the machine computer industry what you did to the machine tool industry.'
This is a very bad time to try to slow down the process of exports. The speed at which new generations and faster computers develop is going to be cut in half from 18 months to as little as 9 months. If we tie up the sale of these computers, we will only cripple America's future and thereby endanger its defense.
Mr. Speaker, I know the gentleman is well-intentioned, but the gentleman is causing mischief here that will hurt American national security.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Santa Clarita, CA [Mr. McKeon].
Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule for the conference report to H.R. 1119, the National Defense Authorization Act.
Although it has taken a long time to get to this point, I want to encourage my colleagues to support this conference report.
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Defense needs this bill to be enacted so that it can implement reforms and manage its vast resources as effectively as possible.
This conference report funds important modernization and research initiatives that are vital to our Nation as our military continues to downsize. While I cannot say that I totally agree with all of the provisions contained in the report, I am supporting it because it reflects the hard work of our chairman and embodies the strong commitment for the defense of our Nation, given the parameters with which we had to work with the budget agreement with the President.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote `yes' on the rule and the conference report.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from North Carolina [Mrs. Clayton].
Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Speaker, approximately 4,206 Army Reserve and National Guard members were deployed to Europe as a part of our second rotation for Operation Joint Guard. These brave men and women were caught in the middle of an administrative policy change concerning the payment of the shipment of their personal property. We thought this inequity would be taken care of in the conference report. It was not, because it was determined to be out of scope of the bill.
However, it received wide bipartisan support. I plan, therefore, to introduce a freestanding bill to facilitate reimbursing the 4,206 soldiers as quickly as possible.
Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this so that the families can have equity and we can support our National Guard and Reserve troops by sponsoring this bill.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Traficant].
Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the debate so far and I listened to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon] talk about the fact that China has an opportunity to establish a beachhead on our shores. I knew, because the Democrats had told me in advance, that they would knock my provision out of the Defense authorization bill to provide more military troops to the border.
Mr. Speaker, I want the Democrats to listen to this. For 12 years they would not hold a hearing on the burden of proof in a civil tax case. The Republicans have just added it to the IRS reform bill. For 12 years they would not hold a hearing on military troops on our border. Here is what I would like to say to my Democrat colleagues. We will probably stay the minority the way we are doing business around here.
Mr. Speaker, young students aged 12 to 17 years old, the use of heroin is, quote-unquote, `at historic levels.' Experts tell us that the major point source for heroin and cocaine is coming across the Mexican border.
Our troops are guarding the borders in Bosnia and the Middle East. They were, in fact, administering rabies vaccinations to dogs in Haiti. There has been a recent earthquake in Italy, and our troops are literally building homes in Italy. And while the staff is laughing about it, we are saying we cannot bring it down by having our troops help to secure our borders.
Mr. Speaker, I am going to resubmit that bill with a couple of concerns the Republican Party has, and I am going to ask for some chairmen to sit down and look at the common sense. Our Nation is going to hell in a hand basket. Other than China, the biggest national security threat facing America is narcotics, and they are coming across the border and we have no program.
It is a joke. And, yes, I am admitting as a Democrat, the Democrats killed it. I am going to ask the Republicans to take a look at a national security initiative that this Nation needs. Maybe the majority party will once again realize what the Nation is looking for and needs.
The military does not want it. That is true. The military wants appropriations. I think it is time that the civilian government straightens out our borders and straightens out our Nation.
Mr. Speaker, let me tell my colleagues one last thing. The Drug Enforcement Administrator said that these new sophisticated organized criminal groups in Mexico make the Colombia group look like Boy Scouts.
So, yes, my Democrat colleagues killed it this time; we will resubmit it and maybe we will get some hearings on the Republican side so the Republicans could continue to stay in the majority. Beam me up. How dumb we are as a party.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Monticello, IN [Mr. Buyer], a veteran of the gulf war. The gentleman is doing an outstanding job as the chairman of our Subcommittee on Personnel for the Committee on Armed Services
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, I would ask everyone to support this rule. My concerns have been addressed not only in this bill, but I also appreciate the leadership of Chairman Solomon.
Mr. Speaker, many in this body know that I took on the issue of sexual misconduct in the U.S. military. This bill addresses a lot of those issues. In this bill it addresses a range of these issues that emerged during the Subcommittee on Personnel's examination of sexual misconduct in the military.
The conference report provides for a review of the ability of the military criminal investigative services to investigate crimes of sexual misconduct and mandates a series of reforms to drill sergeant selection and training.
The bill also addresses my concerns with the loss of rigor and warrior spirit that is occurring in our basic training. This bill requires an independent congressional panel to assess reforms to military basic training, including a determination of the merits of gender-integrated and gender-segregated basic training as well as the method to attain the training objectives established by each of the services.
Mr. Speaker, we also have taken on the issues of military pay, increased housing allowances in high cost areas, retained the statutory floors on end strength and many other areas.
Mr. Speaker, this is a very good bill and I encourage all Members to support it.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Moran].
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I want to address the issue that the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Kasich] brought up with regard to Bosnia. The reason that we are in Bosnia, there are two reasons. One is to save lives, and the second is American leadership.
Mr. Speaker, the fact that we did not get involved in Bosnia when we could, and I think we should have, trying to defer to Europe, ultimately resulted in the loss of a quarter of a million lives. We are in Bosnia to save lives. I think when we have the capability to do that, I think we have some moral responsibility to do so.
The second issue is one of American leadership. We have the capacity, the military capability, and I think the moral resolve to do the right thing throughout the world where we are needed. That is what this bill is all about. It is about sustaining America's global military leadership. That is why I support this bill.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Lofgren].
(Ms. LOFGREN asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and the conference report due to the inclusion in the bill of unnecessarily restrictive export controls on computer products.
Two years ago, the administration determined in an uncontested study that computers of at least 5,000 MTOPS, that is millions of theoretical operations per second, were currently widely available worldwide and that computers up to 7,000 MTOPS would be available the next year; that is, this year.
Based on that study, the current policy allows exports of computers between 2,000 and 7,000 MTOPS without a license for civilian end-use. The U.S. Government made this policy after the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the Commerce Department concluded it would not jeopardize national security.
However, Mr. Speaker, the conference report would repeal this sensible policy and try to limit exports of technology that has already been widely available for purchase abroad for over 3 years. Since competitive products are already available from our foreign competitors, such a policy would hurt U.S. computer companies without improving our national security in any way.
This year, U.S. sales of these computers to Tier III countries will total about $500 million. By 2000, this number is expected to grow to between $1.5 billion and $3 billion in a total worldwide market of $7 billion to $12 billion. That is why I believe that the U.S. Export Administration in their fax to me on Friday indicated, quote,
The waiting periods in the bill are an affront to normal decisionmaking processes, are unnecessary, and make no technological sense,
Furthermore, the U.S. Export Administration fax to me, said:
The requirement to conduct postshipment checks will become an extraordinary resource burden, is unadministrable, and is unnecessary.
Mr. Speaker, supporters of this amendment will invariably bring up anecdotal stories about inappropriate computer sales. Certainly we must prevent powerful computers from ending up in the wrong hands. Current U.S. law restricts such sales. We should absolutely discuss ways to improve communications between exporters and the agencies that track dummy civilian end-users.
However, restrictions on domestic exporters will not stop anyone from getting 7,000, or even greater, MTOPS computers because they are already available across the globe. Moreover, current law includes strong penalties for companies that sell to military users or sell restricted technologies. Several companies are currently under investigation under these laws. We do not need new legislation to maintain national security.
Violations of current laws can result in a 20-year prohibition on all exports, prison terms of up to 10 years, and fines of up to $50,000 per violation.
The Spence-Dellums amendment included in the conference report will add layers of bureaucratic impediments, and I would urge my colleagues to vote against the rule.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Del Mar, California [Mr. Cunningham].
Many C-SPAN viewers will remember the movie `Top Gun.' The next speaker's military life was patterned after that movie. He is a fighter pilot from the Vietnam war.
Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I feel like bottom gun tonight because I am upset with this bill.
First of all, in the light of Communist China trying to influence the White House and the DNC, the President gives $50 million to a coal-burning plant in China. Then he shuts down Idaho coal burning in the district of the gentleman from Utah [Mr. Hansen]. Then he gives sweetheart deals to Lippo Bank with Trie, Riady, Huang and billions of dollars for Lippo Bank.
It is okay for China to take over a national security base now at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. One person shut down Kelly. One person shut down McClellan and Long Beach Naval Shipyard. That is the President of the United States in the BRACC process. Then he entered into a political deal during the political election to try and privatize those two bases.
COSCO, right after Hutchinson took over both ends of the Panama Canal, the President said, it is okay for a Communist-Chinese-run organization to take over a national security base at Long Beach. I do not mind if they are a tenant like they have been. But intel says that COSCO has currently, and in the past, been involved in espionage, in intelligence work for both the military and industry. They will ship in and ship out those issues.
COSCO, this is the same COSCO that rolled out the pier, knocked out the pier in New Orleans. This is the same COSCO shipping yard that took two boat loads of illegals off the shore of California. This is the same shipping company that shipped in chemical and biological weapons to Iran, Iraq, and Libya. This is the same COSCO that shipped in nuclear components to Libya, the same COSCO that shipped in AK-47s. This is the same group that the Chinese had said, when Taiwan was being shelled by China, do you prefer Los Angeles or do you want Taiwan?
Now, the President is going to allow them to take over a national security base in California, just south of Los Angeles? No. We cannot allow this to happen. The House gave in to the Senate position, Mr. Speaker. That is wrong. We ought to fight this. We should not let Communist Chinese take over our bases in this country. We ought to fight tooth, hook and nail to stop it. I fought, and they are going to take it over my dead body.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from San Diego, CA [Mr. Hunter]. Back in 1980, a man I deeply admire came to this Capital. His name was Ronald Reagan. He was accompanied by the gentleman from California [Mr. Hunter].
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my great friend on national security, the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon] for yielding me this time. Let me say a couple things about this bill.
First, we are on a downswing with respect to defense spending. The force structure that we have now has gone down from 18 Army divisions that we had during Desert Storm to 10. We have gone down from 24 fighter airwings to only 13, roughly half the air power that we had. We have gone down from 546 naval vessels to 346. We are at what I would call the bottom of a dangerous downswing.
In this bill, we have tried to pull up the modernization levels a little bit and we have done that. We have not done it as much as we would like to. I think we have been too constrained by the budget. I think we are going to pay for that in later conflicts. But this bill is better than what we had before.
With respect to supercomputers, the gentleman from Connecticut [Mr. Gejdenson] talked about this saying it was just totally off base. We have had about 80 supercomputer transactions in which the Chinese and the Russians have received American high performance supercomputers over the last couple of years. Right now we allow American companies to engage in a fiction. If they are told that the supercomputer is going to go to the Agriculture Department in China, they can ship it. If they are told it is going to go to the People's Liberation Army, the military complex, nuclear weapons complex, they cannot ship it. So the bad guys have caught on. They simply stamp `agriculture' on the invoices and our people ship it off to them.
All we did, this was a well-reasoned provision that the gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums], and the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spence] put in this thing, almost unanimously supported by the committee. It simply says if you trust the Secretary of Defense and you want to make a supercomputer sale, show it to him. Let the Secretary of Defense look at your supercomputer sale and review it and make sure it is going to a benign use. It is not going to a nuclear weapons complex. It is not going to military use, and it is not going to accrue later to the detriment of our men and women in uniform. This is a well-thought-out provision. I would hope that Members would support this bill and nobody would vote against this bill because of the supercomputer provisions that are in it.
Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums], the ranking member.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums].
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Snowbarger). The gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums] is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes.
Mr. DELLUMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlemen for their generosity.
Mr. Speaker, as far as this gentleman is concerned, there has been a great deal of hyperbole around the issue of high performance computer export policy. Let us state, first of all, the facts. What is the current policy?
All computers of performance above 2,000 million theoretical operations per second, known as MTOPS, that are exported to so-called Tier III countries must have a license. All transactions must have a license unless the sale is to a so-called civilian end user for civilian end use and the performance level is below 7,000 MTOPS.
Now, what is the legislative change that we propose? That the U.S. Government must review civilian end users, civilian end use exports between 2,000 and 7,000 MTOPS in Tier III countries.
The review by the Secretary of Defense, Commerce, Energy, State and the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency must be conducted within 10 days.
Mr. Speaker, 10 days is reasonable. So people who want to sell computers cannot stop for 10 days to allow the government to look at the efficacy of the transaction. Ten days. We are the government. We have some responsibility here.
I have spent 27 years of my life as an arms control person here. I will not be rolled by hyperbole that does not address the reality of what it is we are trying to do here.
Lack of any objection authorizes export. So if you look for 10 days, there is nothing there, the export goes. Objection by any of the five requires a license review. That protects us as a government for a variety of reasons.
Now, let me tell my colleagues the second significant piece. One argument is, this is an industry that moves fast and 7,000 MTOPS may be obsolete tomorrow, whatever. This bill allows the President to change the performance threshold and that change will go into effect after a 10-day period of congressional review, allowing us to do our job.
Mr. Speaker, I argued during the context of the debate that whatever level Members want to raise the MTOPS, raise them. If we want to make them 7, 10, 20,000, whatever we raised them to, we give the President the flexibility to do it, but we as a government ought to be able to control export. Otherwise why are we here. So all this hyperbole that talks about allowing the industry to go forward selling, the reason why we set policy is because our foreign policy should not be driven solely by commercial interests.
We have a fiduciary responsibility to our people in this country for a variety of different reasons. For those reasons I would argue strenuously that the provisions in this bill dealing with high performance computer export policy is reasonable and it makes sense.
For those who think that it does not, we are simply talking about commercial interests. I think that our arms control interests, that our governmental interests ought to balance out some kind of way. That is our responsibility. For those reasons, I urge my colleagues, whether they support the conference report or not, support this particular policy. It does make sense. It is reasonable.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Now you know why I have such great respect for the gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums].
Let me finish on a high note, just to call attention to the fact that this conference report does contain my amendment on the Bosnia troop medal. My provision was approved in the conference that awards all U.S. troops who have served in Operation Joint Endeavor and Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia with the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
The significance of that medal is that it is a campaign level badge unlike the service award that was going to be awarded by the DOD. Even better, the campaign level badge makes these American troops that have served in Bosnia eligible for veterans preference and Federal employment. That is the way to follow through on rewarding those who devote themselves to service in our all-voluntary military.
I want to thank the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spence], and the gentleman from California [Mr. Dellums], and the House negotiators for sticking with it and to the Senate for accepting this proposal. It is very important to our men and women who serve in the military in Bosnia.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
The previous question was ordered.