DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004 -- (Senate - July 23, 2003)

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   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the hour of 10 a.m. having arrived, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 2555, which the clerk will report.

   The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

   A bill (H.R. 2555) making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.

   Pending:

   Reid amendment No. 1318, to appropriate $20,000,000 to the Office for Domestic Preparedness to be used for grants to urban areas with large tourist populations.

   Mr. REID. I suggest the absence of a quorum.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

   The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

   Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

   Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, is it necessary to lay aside an amendment that is pending so that I can offer an amendment?

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.

   Mrs. BOXER. I make that request.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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   AMENDMENT NO. 1328

(Purpose: To require reports on protecting commercial aircraft from the threat of shoulder-fired missile systems)

   Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.

   The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

   The Senator from California [Mrs. Boxer], for herself and Mr. Schumer, proposes an amendment numbered 1328.

   At the appropriate place, add the following:

   Sec. . (a) Report.--Not later than March 1, 2004, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to Congress a report that--

   (1) details that progress made in developing countermeasures for commercial aircraft against shoulder-fired missile systems, including cost and time schedules for developing and deploying such countermeasures, and

   (2) in classified form and in conjunction with airports in category X and category one, an assessment of the vulnerability of such airports from the threat of shoulder-fired missile systems and the interim measures being taken to address the threat.

   Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I think this amendment is very important in making sure we stay ahead of the threat that the FBI has identified as being very real to our people. I am going to show you what the FBI said about the threat of shoulder-fired missiles.

   The FBI said that:

   ..... given al-Qaeda's demonstrated objective to target the U.S. airline industry, its access to U.S. and Russian-made MANPAD systems, and recent apparent targeting of U.S.-led military forces in Saudi Arabia, law enforcement agencies in the United States should remain alert to potential use of MANPADS--

   Those are shoulder-fired missiles--

   against U.S. aircraft.

   First, I want to say how grateful I am to the committee, both Senator Cochran and Senator Byrd, for really taking the first stand in favor of moving forward on missile defense systems that could be placed on our commercial aircraft to protect them from these shoulder-fired missiles. This is a major breakthrough.

   When I stood on this Senate floor several months ago, I lost a couple of very close votes on this issue, and then won a vote, but this is the first substantial amount of money we are going to have. I think it is crucial.

   Senator Schumer and I have led the fight on this issue in the Senate, and Congressman Israel and Congressman Mica, in a bipartisan way, over on the House side. So the first thing I want to say is thank you very much to the committee for getting us started.

   I hope we will see the technology now blossom forth because we already have this technology on our military aircraft. We have this technology on Air Force One. And I think the American traveling public deserves no less protection.

   What this amendment does--while applauding the fact that we have the money--is to make sure we are given a report by March 1, 2004, on the progress of developing and deploying such countermeasures so we stay on top of this issue.

   We also ask--and this is very important because it is going to take time for our aircraft to be retrofitted with these systems--for a report, which would be classified and available to colleagues, on what our major airports are doing in the interim before we have these systems placed on aircraft.

   I also thank Secretary Ridge because at the point in time when I talked to him about this matter--again, it was just after we had lost a very close vote here--I have to say, he recognizes this threat and he took the position that we should move forward. So I want to make sure that thank you is in the RECORD.

   I will never forget having a press conference, a bipartisan press conference, on this issue with Congressman Mica, who said after he had a classified briefing on this matter, he had a hard time sleeping at night.

   Now, here is the reason: Shoulder-fired missiles--such as the SA-7 and Stinger missile--are available on the black market for as little as a few thousand dollars.

   I want to go to a picture showing, first of all, the way these shoulder-fired missiles look. You can see from the picture they are very small. They weigh 30 pounds. It does not take a very strong person to be able to lift 30 pounds,

   and to put that 30 pounds on their shoulder. Most can be used with very little training. And they just take minutes to fire. They can go up about 12,000 feet into the air. They basically are heat-seeking missiles and are terribly destructive. We know that for sure.

   We know that more than 20 terrorist groups are in possession of these weapons, including al-Qaida. And we know that al-Qaida has shown a willingness to use these weapons as weapons of terror.

   Al-Qaida is suspected of targeting U.S. military aircraft in Saudi Arabia last May with an SA-7 missile. Saudi authorities found an empty launch tube near an air base used by American aircraft.

   We also know there was an apparent attack on one of our military aircraft over in Iraq. The good news there is that our C-130s are equipped with defense measures. We also know this was an unsuccessful attack.

   So putting it all together, and putting it together with the fact that al-Qaida attempted to bring down an Israeli airliner in Kenya--and we also believe that Israeli airliners are protected with defense systems--it was not successful--but putting all the pieces together, the attack on an Israeli commercial aircraft, the successful attacks which killed about several hundred people--I will go through that. Since 1978, 35 attempts to shoot down civilian aircraft by shoulder-fired missiles and a catastrophic loss of 24 planes and 640 deaths.

   We are not talking about some remote threat. We are talking about a real threat, a real threat that has been played out. The FBI is telling us it is a real threat. Today I am happy to say this committee has recognized that, and for the first time. That is the good news. But we want to stay on top of this and make sure these funds are well spent and well used and that the proper systems are developed.

   I want to mention that military transport and refueling aircraft, in addition to the C-130 I mentioned, the C-17, KC-135, and KC-10 are some of the models that employ countermeasures that could be used for commercial aircraft. The military has conducted thousands of hours of flight testing on countermeasure technology, including live fire testing. We know the systems work. We need to start putting these systems on our commercial planes as soon as possible.

   We all know we have to stay ahead of this terrorist threat. We all know there are cells of terrorists in our country. We all know that homeland security is crucial. Many of us believe it does not have a high enough priority in this administration, and we will have many amendments.

   This amendment, I am pleased to say, has been signed off on both sides of the aisle because I think everyone agrees that the $60 million has to be spent well and we need to move forward.

   I would like to read part of a letter from Ed Adams, chairman of Navigant, one of the leading travel management companies in the United States. He says:

   The travel industry is painfully aware of what a successful attack of using a shoulder-fired missile on a commercial airliner could do to the confidence of the traveling public. It is a situation we would prefer not even to imagine, but we must understand the reality of such an event if we intend to prevent it.

   The blow to the economy in general, and the travel and tourism sector, in particular, combined with the loss of human lives would be staggering. These costs would certainly outweigh the expense of the precautionary measures you are recommending today to make sure that our commercial planes are safe from such a terrorist act.

   We clearly see that what we are doing here is not only the right thing to do to protect the lives of our people but also to protect, frankly, the life of our economy, which is not in good shape, which is very rocky, which cannot sustain such an incident.

   I, again, thank Senators COCHRAN and BYRD for including these funds, and I know that they both signed off on this amendment, which again will simply say, we want a report that lets us know how we are moving forward to be able to retrofit these planes with the appropriate kinds of measures and also a report--and this is very important--on the interim steps that major airports are taking.

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   I went to one airport. I won't name it. I stood on the top of a roof of a garage there. There was no security anywhere around. I looked up. The planes were landing. Honest to God, I could have almost touched those planes. And this is an example of a roof area, A, that should have been patrolled or, B, should be closed. It only makes sense. How can we protect every inch of our airports and everybody? It is very difficult. But we certainly could take steps that make sense, precautionary steps that are really commonsense steps.

   My thanks again. I wonder if I could ask Senator Cochran if he would be willing to have a voice vote on the amendment.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Has the Senator completed her remarks?

   Mrs. BOXER. I have completed my remarks. I wonder if we could just accept the amendment. Then I have one more amendment I would like to speak about 6 or 7 minutes on, and then we could lay that one aside.

   Mr. COCHRAN. I would like to make some remarks in connection with this amendment.

   Mrs. BOXER. Wonderful.

   Mr. COCHRAN. The Senator from New Hampshire would also like to make some remarks.

   Mrs. BOXER. Sure, wonderful.

   Mr. COCHRAN. But not if the Senator has not completed her statement.

   Mrs. BOXER. I have completed my statement. I didn't know if the Senator wanted to move along. I would be happy to yield the floor at this time.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, on the subject of antimissile devices for commercial aircraft, the Senate should be advised that the statement of managers on the supplemental that was passed earlier this year directed the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security to prepare a program plan for the development of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft. In response to that directive, the Department of Homeland Security has developed a program plan.

   On May 22, 2003, this plan was submitted by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security to the Congress.

   I ask unanimous consent that a copy of that plan be printed in the RECORD.

   There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

   Program Plan for the Development of an Antimissile Device for Commercial Aircraft

   INTRODUCTION

   The House Report accompanying Public Law 108-11, which was signed by the President on April 16th, 2003, directed the Undersecretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security to prepare a program plan for the development of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft. The plan should identify the process for delivery and certification of a prototype and the proposed cost and schedule for such an activity. The report should be provided to the Committees on Appropriations within 30 days of enactment of this Act.

   A review of available technologies conducted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in coordination with the Homeland Security Council, identified an on-board jammer (directed infrared countermeasure, or DIRCM), as the most promising of the technologies they had reviewed. It is the intention of the Department of Homeland Security to explore this option while being open to other potential concepts that may not have surfaced or been fully explored by the OSTP study.

   The DIRCM concept has been under development for some time by the Department of Defense for protection of military and other government aircraft. In addition, there is a small market for business jets. There are currently two known contractors engaged in DIRCM development: Northrop-Grumman, and BAE.

   There are several issues associated with the DIRCM concept, as well as with other potential antimissile concepts, that the Department of Homeland Security proposes to explore in the program plan described below; these include:

   System cost, including component, integration, and certification;

   Airframe & avionics integration and FAA certification issues;

   Performance against the current and emerging threat;

   Reliability and failure rate;

   Maintenance, including built-in testing, handling, and special ground support equipment needs;

   Operating and support costs;

   Concept of operations, including air crew involvement, go/no-go doctrine, and airport operational procedures.

   In addition, a Broad Agency Announcement released May 16 by the Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) explicitly requests proposals for options for protection of aircraft from the man-portable missile threat. Given the program plan described below, it is envisioned that the TSWG solicitation will likely lead to awards for concept development, thereby requiring significant research and development.

   PROGRAM PLAN

   Strategy

   The strategy for research, development, test and evaluation of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft is to issue a solicitation for a Systems Development and Demonstration program, with potential awards to one or more contractors. Prior study has indicated that the DIRCM concept is the most likely path for providing good performance against the current and emerging threats while potentially satisfying operational constraints. One or two contracts will be awarded for system development and demonstration of a DIRCM. However, the solicitation would also allow responses for concepts other than DIRCM, with a single award contemplated should an alternative likely to meet performance, operational, and cost constraints be offered.

   Each contractor would have to design, develop, demonstrate, and deliver 2 units for demonstrating system performance (with emphasis on operational suitability and cost). For the DIRCM concept, system design and fabrication for both the countermeasure system (common for all aircraft types) and the canoe (an aerodynamic conformal pod peculiar to the aircraft type) would have to be completed. Other concepts would be required to complete similar activities. Integration onto only one aircraft type would be required in the SD&D phase. To understand the potential operating and support (O&S) procedures and costs, a detailed O&S plan would be a major part of the contract deliverables. Various Test & Evaluation (T&E) activities will also be required to include as appropriate wind tunnel, reliability, tracking accuracy, hardware-in-the-loop and live fire testing and operational suitability (e.g. environmental testing and maintainability to include built-in testing, handling, and special ground support equipment). A parallel FAA certification effort, coinciding with the SD&D phase would also occur.

   The program would be developed and managed in consultation with the airline industry, pilots, airport operators, aircraft developers, and relevant Federal agencies.

   Program cost/schedule

   Fiscal year 2003 plans are to create a special government staff office to manage the effort, with an initial task of preparing a solicitation to industry for research, development, test and evaluation of an antimissile device; this effort will be managed within the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) of the Department.

   Fiscal year 2004 activities will be to award contracts to develop system costs; analyze aircraft integration issues; and through modeling and simulation assess performance against the current and emerging MANPAD threat. Contractors will be asked to develop an operations and support plan that details the maintenance and logistical support requirements for the system they are developing, and an analysis of the recurring operating and support costs. Contractors and the government will work with the community to develop viable operational concepts for the use of the system. Finally, if analyses indicate cost effectiveness and operational suitability, development of a prototype for each viable concept may be initiated to prove out the analyses. S&T would not seek additional or supplemental funding for this effort.

   Contingent on the analytic, design and developmental efforts conducted in fiscal year 2004, fiscal year 2005 activities could include the completion of the test articles and their integration onto a single airframe type, along with hardware in the loop and live fire testing to validate performance assumptions.

   Costs quoted below are informed by contractor estimates for the DIRCM RDT&E phase, along with estimates provided by Department of Defense representatives to the OSTP study. Further development of program RDT&E costs will be conducted by the system program office during FY03.

   Mr. COCHRAN. What the Department has agreed to undertake is to bring together the best information from the private sector, our experience in the defense area for military defense against anti-aircraft missiles, and to come up with a rational approach to making such antimissile devices available to the commercial airline industry.

   We have provided in the committee report $72 million for critical infrastructure protection to utilize information and scientific advances that have been made to deal with evolving threats to protect infrastructure security. Of this amount, $60 million is allocated for systems development of antimissile devices for commercial aircraft. This is provided and printed on page 62 of our committee report.

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   These funds will be available to carry out the work contemplated in the amendment of the distinguished Senator from California. In her amendment, she asks for another report to be submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of Homeland Security not later than March 1, 2004, to report on the progress made in developing these countermeasures for commercial aircraft. We have no objection to including this provision in the bill. We expect that we are going to have reports made periodically. We have hearings to review the activities of the Department, and this is certainly going to be a subject that we are going to follow closely.

   It is because the Congress has made a strong point of emphasizing the importance of deploying these defensive measures as soon as possible that the Department has now undertaken a specific plan and approach to doing this in a rational way. The Senate may remember that some wanted to require the Department to make available immediately missile defense systems to be put on commercial airlines. We found that was not workable. The Congress did not insist on that point. In fact, amendments on that were defeated when they were offered earlier in this body.

   But this is a program now--and the Senator from California has been a leader in bringing attention, keeping the pressure on--to see that we do this in a rational and an immediate way, with some sense of urgency. We have also noticed in the amendment, which we appreciate, that the Senator calls on a classified report to be made available to the Congress as well, assessing the vulnerability of certain airports, the largest airports in our country, from the threat of shoulder-fired missile systems and the measures being taken to address that threat. We likewise have no quarrel with that part of the amendment and are prepared to recommend the Senate accept it.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.

   Mr. SUNUNU. Mr. President, I believe one of the most challenging tasks put before the Department of Homeland Security, and before the appropriators were allocating funds for the Department of Homeland Security, is to understand evolving technologies and to take steps to use those technologies to keep the public safe. I think that is a difficult task because, whether we are looking at homeland security, or information technology, or any other area, we are never sure exactly where technological developments are going to take us. It is always difficult to understand the best and most cost-effective ways to use technologies--in this case, to keep the public safe.

   I commend the members of the subcommittee and Chairman Cochran for the work they have done throughout the process on their bill but in this area in particular--to take the steps necessary to bring technologies into place in a way that will keep the public safer. The process that they used, as well, I think is commendable. They worked with the Department of Homeland Security, with the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, to develop a program plan for looking at the current state of technology to deal with the potential threat of surface-to-air missiles, and then to allocate funds to further study and evaluate, develop systems and adapt the technology for the potential use on commercial aircraft. They have appropriated a significant amount of funding, up to $60 million. Again, for that I commend the committee.

   They have really taken the steps necessary that will allow us to best understand how this technology might be deployed. It is very difficult to predict what the nature of all the threats to our commercial aircraft industry might be. There is no question, perimeter security at our Nation's airports has improved dramatically since September 11, and that has helped reduce any potential threat from shoulder-fired missiles. But we want our Department of Homeland Security to be responsive, to take the steps necessary to adapt and to use this technology, if possible, to protect commercial aircraft. I think that is exactly what they have done.

   I appreciate the work by the Senator from California to highlight this issue in the amendment she has offered, which will be accepted by the subcommittee to make sure Congress is well informed as to the progress of this development effort and this research effort.

   I look forward to continuing to work with the committee on this issue. I thank them for their funding, and I am happy to support the amendment of the Senator from California.

   I yield the floor.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi is recognized.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, to complete the record on this issue, I am going to read into the RECORD the statement of managers from the conference report, dated April 12, 2003, making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year 2003. In that statement of managers, the conferees said:

   The conferees direct the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to prepare a program plan for the development of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft. The plan should identify the process for delivery and certification of a prototype and the proposed cost and schedule for such an activity. The report should be provided to the Committees on Appropriations within 30 days of enactment of this Act.

   As I mentioned in my earlier statement, we are pleased that the report was made available. We have now submitted that for printing in the RECORD to complete the statement that should be made in the RECORD to accompany this amendment.

   I know of no one who objects to this amendment. I think we can adopt it on a voice vote.

   I suggest the absence of a quorum.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

   The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I think we are ready to proceed to a voice vote on the amendment.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the amendment?

   If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment of the Senator from California.

   The amendment (No. 1328) was agreed to.

   Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.

   Mr. REID. I move to lay that motion on the table.

   The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

   Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I thank the committee very much. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to the day that the Department has agreed on a particular system, and that we can begin the installation of the system I think will send a very good message to the flying public. We will stay on top of this until we see it through.