The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senator from Ohio is to be recognized.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Metzenbaum] proposes an amendment numbered 1042.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is as follows:
On page 13, between lines 6 and 7, insert the following:
SEC. 5. GENERAL REDUCTION OF AUTHORIZATIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General: Notwithstanding any other provision of division A or B of this Act, the total amount authorized to be appropriated by the provisions of such divisions is hereby reduced by $350,000,000.
(b) Distribution of Reduction: Subsection (a) does not apply to sums provided for any intelligence program in any authorization of appropriations contained in division A or B of this Act.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, the amendment I send to the desk has to do with cutting the budget. It has to do with saving money, real dollars. It comes in an amount that the Armed Services Committee would hardly notice. In their terms, this amendment is an amendment to reduce the defense budget for fiscal year 1992 by a mere $0.35 billion; that is $350 million in a defense budget of $278.2 billion. That is a reduction of only one-eighth of 1 percent.
To the American taxpayers it is something different than just one-eighth of 1 percent of the defense budget.
To the American taxpayers, however, $350 million is more than small change. To the people, $350 million represents the yearly earnings of more than 10,000 hardworking Americans. It is the total amount of Federal income taxes paid by all of the people in some of our cities.
It also happens, Mr. President, that this $350 million represents the amount of money that the Select Committee on Intelligence trimmed from the intelligence budget for next year, only to have the Armed Services Committee divert it to their own purposes.
The relationship between the intelligence budget and the defense budget is complex. Roughly, it works as follows:
The Intelligence Committee reports out the Intelligence Authorization Act. That act authorizes funds for the National Foreign Intelligence Program.
The Armed Services Committee routinely takes sequential jurisdiction of that bill for matters that also fall within its jurisdiction.
The funds that we authorize in the Intelligence Authorization Act are also embedded in the Defense Authorization Act. This is done for security reasons, and I find no fault with that. The important point is that the purpose of embedding most of the intelligence budget in the defense budget is strictly to hide the true numbers from our enemies. And certainly every one of us would be supportive of that.
One side-effect of that practice, however, has been that the Armed Services Committee is able to change those numbers in its own authorization bill. Thus, the funds that we save in the intelligence budget can be saved by the American people only if the Armed Services Committee has the restraint and self-discipline not to divert those savings to its own pet programs.
This year, Mr. President, the Select Committee on Intelligence felt strongly that the funds we saved in the intelligence budget should be returned to the U.S. Treasury, specifically for the purpose of reducing the growing Federal deficit.
I have been here 15, 16, 17 years--I am not sure exactly how many myself. I guess I can go back and count them. But the fact is, I do not remember actually coming to the floor to talk about reducing the Federal deficit. That is what the Intelligence Committee wanted to do. That is what they thought we were going to do, although it is a fact that the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who serves on the Intelligence Committee, had indicated earlier that he felt that for his budgetary purposes he needed $350 million of that amount.
But the Intelligence Committee stated explicitly in the select committee's report, the following. I am quoting from their report:
Since virtually all of the funding for intelligence activities is contained within the funds separately authorized by the Committee on Armed Services to the Department of Defense, savings that might be achieved by this committee in the intelligence budget are ordinarily authorized to fund other programs of the Department of Defense.
It is the committee's position, however, that the savings which have been achieved in this year's intelligence budget should be returned to the U.S. Treasury to lessen the federal deficit, rather than being allocated to defense programs. The committee is hopeful that the Committee on Armed Services will take note of its views, and will take appropriate steps to achieve this objective.
The committee could not have been clearer. It was a bipartisan recommendation. We were really hoping that we would save $450 million. Now, there is, in fact, $100 million left in the armed services bill before us that is a reduction in the deficit, and I commend the Armed Services Committee for that. But the other $350 million has been absorbed into the defense budget.
That $350 million was sidetracked and used for some other purposes--maybe the B-2 bomber, maybe star wars, maybe a ship somewhere or ammunition or salaries. I do not know where it went, and it would not surprise me if the managers of this bill did not know either. Frankly, it is easy to lose $350 million in a budget of $278.2 billion.
I do not know where that money went, Mr. President, but I know where it came from. And I know it is going to reduce the Federal deficit, as the Intelligence Committee had made clear it hoped would occur.
This intelligence budget reduction did not just come about. You do not save $450 million by just a stroke of the pen.
It took weeks of difficult work in the Intelligence Committee to save the U.S. taxpayer $450 million, consistent with the national security. The cuts that we made in the intelligence budget were difficult. They were not made just to be treated just as a giveaway, not as additional money to be used by the Armed Services Committee. But that is just what happened to most of them.
So here I stand, Mr. President, with a simple request: That the funds that we on the Intelligence Committee worked so hard to save should be really saved, and not just diverted into more military spending. This is not too much to ask, just a $350 million pea in the $278 billion mattress of defense spending.
As I stated earlier, I am not unaware of the fact that the distinguished chairman of the Armed Services Committee had indicated that they wanted this $350 million out of the intelligence budget. He made that clear. The chairman of the Intelligence Committee had indicated he was continuing his discussions with the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. But the fact is we do not have that saving.
A lot of people will not notice it, will not realize what has occurred. But the American taxpayers will notice it because we so rarely offer them any money back. The self-discipline that we imposed would be good for us, if we were to save the entire $450 million.
Every dieter knows that the best exercise comes from pushing your chair away from the table before you eat everything. That is what we tried to do with the intelligence budget. I hope the managers of the bill would consider and permit us to give this modest savings back to the American people.
I reserve the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska is recognized.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment offered by my distinguished colleague.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. If the Senator will withhold, who yields time to the Senator from Alaska?
Mr. METZENBAUM. I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from Alaska.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska is recognized.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I rise in support of the concept of the amendment offered by my distinguished colleague on the Intelligence Committee, the Senator from Ohio [Mr. Metzenbaum]. The Intelligence Committee in its deliberations, I think it is fair to note, on the fiscal year 1992 intelligence authorization bill, made a major and a genuine effort to find savings in the administration's budget request. I think it is fair to say that the effort was painful. It was a difficult effort. But the interesting thing is we were successful.
The exact numbers, of course, must remain classified, but I can say that we found savings totaling in excess of several hundreds of millions of dollars. It has been addressed in general terms that is somewhere in the area of $350 million, or thereabout.
These figures are represented in savings passed out of the intelligence function to the armed services function in the overall committee budget figures. In its deliberations, the committee members made it clear by a majority that it was their intent and hope that these savings would be passed directly to the Treasury. I want to commend my colleague from Ohio for
his effort and that of several others, because it was a feeling that the savings clearly should be passed on to reduce the national deficit.
In its unclassified report, the committee stated its position:
That the savings which have been achieved in the year's intelligence budget should be returned to the United States Treasury to lessen the Federal deficit rather than being allocated to defense programs under the auspices of the Armed Services Committee.
I do not need to remind this body of the seriousness of the national debt. The fiscal year 1992 deficits is estimated at $348 billion. The accumulated national debt is $4 trillion.
Mr. President, it is a fact that a significant portion of the savings achieved in the intelligence programs are being passed through the defense authorization process to be applied to the national deficit. I commend the Armed Services Committee for recognizing that. Senator Nunn noted in his opening statement that as a consequence of intelligence cuts, over $100 million would be returned to the Treasury in the defense bill.
Like the distinguished Senator from Ohio, I wish the number were even larger, but the number is substantial. It establishes a precedent which should be adopted by other committees.
The point is savings can be found, savings were found in this case, and they should be returned directly to the Treasury.
The discussion highlights another issue that I think we must seriously consider in the future. As vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, clearly it is evident that we do not have the last word on the authorization of the intelligence budget. It is, obviously, for good reason. I am not condemning that, but the budget prepared by the Intelligence Committee as referred to the Armed Services Committee, which of course can alter it, is a reality. Today, we simply have a situation where the Intelligence Committee can achieve savings in intelligence programs but cannot necessarily guarantee that those savings will go to the Treasury unless the Armed Services Committee agrees.
The situation is a result of the need to bury the intelligence budget inside the defense budget. That certainly
is no secret. It also reflects on the fact that most intelligence programs are also in military programs.
But let me make a clear conclusion that the Intelligence Committee has received excellent cooperation from the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. I think the chairman of the Intelligence Committee will agree with that. We work closely on all matters. So it is not a complaint against any of those involved--Senator Nunn or Senator Warner. But I think we have an institutional obligation.
We have a bit of a problem. We need to address it; that is, how to give the Intelligence Committee more control over the Intelligence Committee budget so, indeed, we can pass on those savings.
I commend the Senator from Ohio. I think he has performed a useful service in highlighting this important question to our Members so that we may reflect on that and take corrective action. I thank the Chair, and I thank my colleague from Ohio for yielding.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, I yield such time as I may need.
Mr. President, I know the motives behind this amendment. I think they are good motives, and I share them. We need to do everything we can to reduce the deficit. Both the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee need to prune back everything we can prune back.
I understand where the Senator from Ohio and the Senator from Alaska are coming from, but I really believe they are looking at only one small part of the overall picture and relationship between our two committees. I do not believe the Senator from Alaska and the Senator from Ohio realize that in the last 2 years, including this one, the Armed Services Committee has saved, comparing cuts from previous years' budgets, $31 billion for the U.S. Treasury. Thirty-one billion dollars. During that same period, those 2 years, the Intelligence Committee has saved $1 billion.
We have to basically use the intelligence numbers. They are classified and I cannot discuss them today, and that is somewhat of a disadvantage but I think I can get the point across. Intelligence numbers are in the defense budget. So when you talk about cuts in the defense budget, you are talking about the total defense budget being reduced. If the intelligence budget does not come down, it makes the rest of the defense budget come down that much more.
I do not think the Senators from Ohio and Alaska focused
on the buildup of defense between 1980 and 1985. The defense budget went up probably to the highest rate it had been up in any peacetime, I would say, in history.
The intelligence budget went up twice that rate. The intelligence budget from 1980 to 1985 grew twice as much as the defense budget. I am on the Intelligence Committee. I support the Intelligence Committee. I do not want the intelligence budget coming down as rapidly as defense because I think intelligence is a multiplier, but I do not believe our colleagues understand the arithmetic of this situation.
What you are basically asking the Armed Services Committee to do is to take all the cuts and then if you find any money, you are saying we want you to pass that on. We have to work with you to begin with every year and say, look, we have to make x number of dollars in cuts; how much of it can you take? That is what we are doing.
The Senator from Ohio and the Senator from Alaska are under the impression we are taking that money and spending it. You can only take that position if we were increasing our budget. We are decreasing our budget. We came down $6 billion this year. Six billion dollars from last year's budget in real dollar terms.
The intelligence budget--I believe this is unclassified--we are talking abut how much? I see the chairman. How much did the Intelligence Committee cut this year? The Intelligence Committee cut about $600 million. I believe it is unclassified. Nevertheless, we cut $6 billion, but the big cut was last year, I say to my friend from Ohio. We cut $25 billion last year.
I will make a deal with my colleagues. Why do you not take the defense budget and put it in your budget and then you take all the cuts and whatever we save you pass through? That is what you are asking us to do.
We cannot do it that way. We both have to sit down at the first of the year and we have to say, look, here is the budget resolution: intelligence is part of the defense numbers. We are going to cut $6 or $8 billion out. That is about the pace we are on now because we made big cuts last year, $6 or $8 billion a year from last year's budget so we are coming down every year.
We say to the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the staff working closely together, how much of this $6 billion can you cut? And they tell us. Then we calculate that and then we see how much more we have to cut in addition to meet that $6 billion cut.
Then I found myself this year in the position of going to the Intelligence Committee and some members said we cut x number of dollars, now we want to make sure you pass it on. We are passing it on in effect because we are cutting $6 billion out overall. That is what people have to understand. We cannot cut $6 billion out unless we use a part of the intelligence savings. It just cannot be done. It is going to be the same thing next year and the year after. We are really working together in this respect.I think it is also important for the Senators from Ohio and Alaska to realize that last year's budget summit say $500 billion over 5 years. That is theoretical. Of course, if you look at the recession and all of that, then it is going to be dubious as to whether that much is saved. Nevertheless, that was the target. Out of that $500 billion, my understanding is, the defense portion of it was 40 percent of the savings. Part of it was taxes. If you look at all the savings for 5 years, defense is absorbing 40 percent of that.
So I say to my friends, I know where they are coming from. I certainly understand the sentiment and I believe that in the next year, and the year after, and the year after we are going to have to find more ways to save in defense and intelligence. We are going to have to sit down the first of the year and decide.
I think what we have to do next year to avoid this misunderstanding is to get the whole committee together so when Senator Boren and I have our conversations, everybody understands what it is. We will stand up and say here is how much we have to save under the budget resolution and tell us how much you can contribute toward that. What we cannot do is say this is how much we are going to save overall; Whatever you save we are going to passthrough. We cannot do that. We passed through $100 million this year, but we had already calculated in all our deliberations and assumed we were going to have $350 million from the Intelligence Committee to passthrough to deficit reduction.
So, in effect, what happened this year, if I could say to our collegues, is that the Intelligence Committee contributed $350 million toward the reduction the defense budget made of $6 billion. That is the way it is.
Now, maybe the chairman would have a slightly different perspective, but that is the way this chairman at least sees it.
I thank my friends for listening because I know they are sincere, and I know they are dedicated. I know how much time they both put on the Intelligence Committee. And I know the Intelligence Committee, because I am on it, is scrubbing this budget as never before under the leadership of both the chairman, Senator Boren, and the Senator from Alaska [Mr. Metzenbaum], and others, and we have to continue to scrub that budget.
The other thing that is complicated and frustrating is that so much of intelligence is in defense and so much of intelligence is tactical intelligence that really we have jurisdiction over and you do not. But we have to work together on that because we learn from the Intelligence Committee, and when it makes suggestions about tactical intelligence, we listen.
In fact, for the previous 5 years, every request for increase--and I think the Senator from Oklahoma would say that--while we were reducing--we have reduced for 7 years in a row, but about 5 of those years we have taken requests from the Intelligence Committee for increases and we have absorbed them.
Now, we certainly cannot do that in a period of coming down. I know the Senator from Oklahoma recognizes that, too. That is the reason this year there has been a real scrubbing of the intelligence budget. I know that is going to continue in the future. It is a complicated matter. It is a tough one for people to understand. We are inhibited in what we can say on the floor because of the exact numbers of intelligence. But I think everyone has to understand intelligence is part of defense.
When we talk about defense spending, we are talking about defense and intelligence spending. When we are talking about defense reductions, we are talking about both defense and intelligence. And when we are talking about savings, we also have to look at it in that framework.
I yield, Mr. President.
Mr. BOREN addressed the Chair.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, I yield such time as the Senator from Oklahoma may desire.
Mr. BOREN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, how much time is remaining to the Senator from Georgia?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia has 21 minutes and 17 seconds.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I thank the Chair. I certainly will not consume that much time.
Listening to this discussion between my good friends and colleagues, the distinguished chairman of the Armed Services Committee, the Senator from Georgia, my colleague on the Intelligence Committee, and the distinguished vice chairman, the Senator from Alaska, and my friend, the Senator from Ohio, as a very valued member of our committee--I might say the chairman of the Armed Services Committee is also a member of the Intelligence Committee, as is the distinguished ranking minority member of the Armed Services Committee, the Senator from Virginia, who is also on the floor--listening to this discussion, I am reminded of the story about the old politician who got up to make a speech about a
certain very controversial proposition that was pending. He said, `Some of my friends are for it, some of my friends are against it, and my position is that I stand with my friends.'
This is a little bit like my position on this matter today because I think what we have heard expressed on the floor is a commitment really by borh of these committees to do everything they can to meet their responsibilities to bring down the Federal budget deficit.
The Armed Services Committee, as we have heard the chairman indicate, has cut some $36 billion or $37 billion over the last 2 years, a very heavy responsibility. We are endeavoring in the Intelligence Committee to do our part to bring down the Federal deficit even at a time when we are facing new intelligence challenges.
The Senator from Georgia is correct as he has described the relationship between the budget and our actions in authorizing legislation and that of the Armed Services Committee. In many ways, we must work together as a unit in terms of coming up with a total figure in the national security field under the budget agreements which represent a savings toward budget deficit reduction.
He is also correct that over the last 5 years, during that period of time, at least during my service as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and his service as chairman of Armed Services, along with the service of Senator Warner, I cannot remember a single instance in which the Armed Services Committee has altered by even $1 the action of the Intelligence Committee on intelligence matters. That reflects the very close cooperation and the consensus of opinion between our two committees. Indeed, we have taken initiatives together by virtually unanimous votes of both committees to begin to make savings by bringing military and civilian intelligence closer together, reducing the duplication and the overlap in some programs between the two and making them function more as one single unit--very important initiatives that have been the initiatives of both committees.
What has happened this year is that our committee has made an especially earnest effort to reduce the intelligence budget as much as we can. We have had the support of the members of the Armed Services Committee, including the distinguished chairman, for the concept that it is difficult to bring the intelligence budget down as much percentagewise as the
defense budget and that, indeed, it would be unwise to do so because, as he has said, intelligence is a force multiplier.
As the size of our Armed Forces begins to shrink, as we have fewer bases around the world, fewer troops deployed around the world, and the small standing military force, intelligelnce becomes all the more important. Since you do not have troops spread out around the world, you need earlier advance warning in terms of any hostile action against the United States. You need better information. You need better intelligence so that you can use fewer forces to do the same job effectively.
Yesterday, we had in our committee testimony by General Schwarzkopf. He described quite vividly how intelligence, when it is properly prepared, can be a force multiplier, it can help you do the job with the smaller military force because you know what the opposition is doing.
And so the Armed Services Committee has supported us in that proposition. As I say, they have given total support. They have acted virtually as one unit, of one mind, over the past years as we have allocated resources between the intelligence budget and the armed services budget.
There are many of us on our committee who feel we should go further than we have gone in the past in trying to bring down the intelligence budget. It has grown rapidly, as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee has indicated. And in some cases I think it has grown to the point and reached a size in certain areas that it has hampered its own effectiveness. I am convinced that without sacrificing any intelligence capability, we can make substantial savings this year as we have indicated, and I hope we can come back and make more savings next year.
Let me say that no one on our committee has been more forceful in putting forward that point of view than the distinguished Senator from Ohio [Mr. Metzenbaum]. Again and again he has asked about program after program, how are we going to pay for it? Can we really afford it when we look at the size of the budget deficits? Are we really doing our part to bring those deficits down? He has been in many ways the conscience of the committee on this particular issue. I commend him for it. I think by his raising his views again and again, he has helped move the committee in a very responsible direction when it comes to making savings in the intelligence budget.
What has happened this year is that we have, as the Senator from Georgia indicated, made a net reduction of somewhere between $600 and $700 million in intelligence functions. We cannot discuss the full scale of the budget under the law as it is now, the exact amount we are cutting from, but these are very substantial savings.
We may have even more savings, but we reallocated some of those savings to new priorities, as we have indicated in public discussion--priorities that would provide better human intelligence--priorities that would provide training of those that will analyze world events in the future so we have people trained with the languages, the regional studies, and skills and knowledge of the cultures and developments around the world making them effective in providing intelligence analysis. So we not only have cuts; we have shifted priorities.
The Armed Services Committee indicated to the chairman of our meeting at the Intelligence Committee and to me, that they would simply not be able to mark to the bottom line, so to speak, in terms of deficit reduction, the full amount of savings that the Intelligence Committee was making. They had to consider that some of our savings were a contribution to this total effort--to make this reduction of approximately $6 billion that the Senator from Georgia has talked about--to come from the Armed Services Committee.
I believe that members of our committee understand that the Senator from Ohio [Mr. Metzenbaum] has indicated he knew that was the case. At the same time, the members of our committee expressed the firm hope that, as much as we could, we would like to see savings that we were accomplishing be moved to impact the bottom line of the bottom line of the Federal budget; that is, the amount outstanding in the deficit.
We were able to do that at least in part this year. Over $100 million by action of the Armed Services Committee was in essence moved straight to the bottom line account in terms of being applied directly against the Federal deficit reduction.
As the Senator has indicated, $350 million more was considered a part of the reduction which the Armed Services Committee made in terms of the $6 billion that it was trying to cut. So in both categories, if we take both definitions of deficit reduction, we are able through joint action this year to impact in both areas and in both ways.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, I think the Senator has expressed it very well because the Intelligence Committee contributed $100 million beyond what the Armed Services Committee incorporated as savings, and the $350 million was part of our $6 billion.
Mr. BOREN. The Senator is correct. So I would say to my good friend from Ohio, I think what he has done today is valuable. I think having this discussion, which is a rare public discussion of the way in which the budget process works in the intelligence area, is valuable. As we struggle over the next year to look at the possible reorganization of the intelligence community one of the things we should examine is the way the budgets are formed in the intelligence community.
We are having very good discussions again between the Armed Services Committee and ourselves on this subject and a whole range of issues that impacts reorganization. It is a valuable discussion for that reason. It is also a valuable discussion because the Senator from Ohio, the Senator from Alaska, my colleague, the vice chairman of the committee, have held up to us once again the challenge to press forward to do all we can to reduce the budget deficit of this country. We are committed to doing that.
I am pleased that they have come forward to make that point, to sound the alarm once again to encourage all of us, not just the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee. But I hope all of the committees of the Congress step up and do their part to fulfill their responsibility and go further. That is what we tried to do in the Intelligence Committee this year, not only to meet those targets given to us, but to do more than we were in essence being forced to do by circumstances. We were able to do that.
The Senator from Ohio I think is saying I wish we could have done more. I wish that we not only could have cut some more but that more of it could have gone directly down to the bottom line in terms of reducing the total budget deficit of the country. I think we all share that desire. We hope that this can happen in the future. We hope that this is only the beginning of a process.
But I would say, to close on a positive note--and I hope my colleague will consider, having had this discussion--that we might not press to a vote on this matter at this time. Because our committees have worked together in such harmony and continue, I think, to share common objectives, I hope that it is made clear what is happening here is really pretty historic. Not only have we worked together to share the burdens between the two committees of reducing the Federal deficit, not only have we had the cooperation of the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee go a step further, and for the first time, at least since I have been involved in the process, the Armed Services Committee has sent directly through to the bottom line, taken an additonal $100 million of deficit reduction over and above the $6 billion they were already obligated to take. They have taken an additional $100 million provided by our committee and passed it on through to increase by another $100 million the amount of deficit reduction that otherwise would have been achieved by the joint action of our two committees.
This is a step in the right direction. It is a modest step. But it would not have happened without the determination of those that are on the floor today. It would not have happened without the determination of Senator Metzenbaum, the Senator from Ohio, Senator Murkowski, the distinguished vice chairman, and the action of the distinguished ranking member, and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee as well.
So I prefer to look at this as a positive step. It may not be a large enough step to satisfy all, but it is a positive step in the right direction. If all of the committees of the Congress would begin to operate with the same kind of dedication to try to get the budget deficit down that I think we have shown in our committee, and I think with concurrence from the Armed Services Committee, and this action, I think we would be further down the road.
So I want to thank my colleagues for their work in bringing the budget deficits down.
I close where I began. I am with my friends on this issue. I hope that we do not press this to a vote today but I hope that instead we will take this as a challenge to build next year on the good start that we have been able to make together.
There is something I think is important. I think we all want to make sure we do not impair the intelligence capabilities of the United States. It is a force multiplier; good intelligence in some ways. It is what makes it possible for us to further reduce the defense budget. So we have to take great care where we cut.
We are committed to doing our part. I think we set a good example on this matter in both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee this year.
Mr. METZENBAUM. I yield time to the Senator from Alaska.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I probably need no more than 2 minutes.
Mr. METZENBAUM. I yield 3 minutes.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I certainly do not rise for a moment to suggest that my good friend from Ohio is providing all of the leadership in this body to reduce the deficit by any means. But, seriously, I think we have a situation where we have a good discussion. I appreciate the comments of the chairman, Senator Boren from Oklahoma, and I thank the floor leader, Senator Nunn, from Georgia, relative to his explanation of the structure.
I think it is fair to note, though, that while we do appreciate the savings of approximately $100 to $111 million, that basically was passed through as a consequence of the request of the committee, and we recognize the nuances associated with the $350 million, and recognize it is a quasi military savings of a sort. But we feel we more or less have given birth to that, and are passing it on instead of it moving down where the $111 million is moved; why as a consequence of the structure the savings is all in the same pot. But it is not coming out as a total of $461 million, which is a total amount.
As a consequence, I think that I would agree with the chairman, this is an internal matter that we can address at a later date when this comes up again so we do not get in this particular predicament again.
I think it has been a good discussion. I think it is important to note, and the chairman has noted, that as we addressed reorganization within the intelligence community we have every reason to believe we will have future savings. Clearly the Armed Services Committee is faced with the same dilemma of cutting, and addressing future savings.
So I think we have made the Record here on this point. Again, I think it behooves the other committees to take the same aggressive stance in ensuring that the deficit cuts are made. They are real, and they are pleased through to reduce the deficit.
I thank the Chair. I thank my colleague from Ohio, my committee chairman, as well as the Armed Services Committee ranking member for the opportunity to discuss this at some length.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, in a moment I will yield to the Senator from Virginia for remarks and the Senator from Ohio for remarks.
Mr. President, I want to thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his remarks. I agree with his remarks. I also very much like the suggestion that he made that perhaps we could avoid a rollcall vote on this one because we heave had a good discussion. I think that we can work better next year and inform all Members in advance of what we are doing.
I think that would be helpful. In addition to that, it is apparent to me, after listening to the Senator from Oklahoma, with his careful words and diplomacy, he has probably committed error on this side. To spare him that dilemma, I hope we can resolve this without a rollcall.
I yield 3 minutes to the Senator from Virginia.
Mr. WARNER. In the spirit of those remarks, I simply forbear to say more. I will simply say I agree with everybody who spoke. There is a phrase, `inside the beltway.' This is not inside the beltway; it is down in these committees, and we cannot give all the facts to our colleagues. So why do we not have a handshake and get on with the business of the authorization bill.
Thank you very much.
Mr. NUNN. I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from Ohio.
I hope he can yield back some of that time. I know our colleagues are ready to move.
Mr. GLENN. Mr. President, I want to first compliment my colleague from Ohio. I know personally of his interest in trying to keep the budget under control, and his efforts to make sure that every dollar gets spent properly. There is no one in the whole Senate whos stations themself on the floor more continually during times when we have legislation that involves a lot of dollars. He makes certain that he is satisfied that all of the dollars get spent correctly.
I rise today because I thik it is important, when discussing intelligence, to make a few remarks.
Mr. President, I was very much opposed to the reductions to the 1992 intelligence budget. I am not convinced of the rationale for these reductions. I do not believe by a long shot that our budget for intelligence should go up and down with the military budget.
I believe that the committee concerns with the intelligence community's focus should not be addressed by deep budget cuts, but rather by, I think we should restructure our existing resources.
We have a compelling need for a strong, reliable intelligence capability during the current period of enormous change and uncertainty.
As we pull down our military by about one-fourth over the next 5 years, there are two areas I would not cut in at all. One is basic, military research, so if we ever have to expand our military again, we do it from the best research base possible. I think that is fundamental.
Two, I would not cut intelligence. If we ever have to expand our military again, we want to do it the best way there is, using intelligence as a force multiplier.
The Soviet threat has decreased, but I do not think it is safe to decrease dramaticlaly the intelligence budget because of that, as we did on the Intelligence Committee. We need to continue to monitor events within the Soviet Union that remain very significant. We must also remember that all of our intelligence is not tied up in just military matters.
The intelligence community is looking at political changes around the world that may give Secretary of State Baker great advantage in his diplomatic dealings. Intelligence is also looking at economic and military restructuring, and ethnic and religious turmoil all over the world. The intelligence community must monitor these changes aggressively.
The international environment has also heightened expectations for the conclusion of a sweeping array of arms control agreements. We have an increased requirement for verification, not less. If we sign an arms control agreement, we are not saying to the Soviet Union that, we suddenly trust it. No; we have to verify these agreements. So treaty monitoring constitutes the hidden cost of arms control.
If these systems are sacrificed to narrow budgetary considerations, our ability to monitor adequately these agreements will be placed at risk. That endangers our Nation's security, as well as public support for both the arms control process and intelligence.
So to the extent we need to reduce resources devoted to the Soviet target, we must focus more of our intelligence capabilities and resources on other security threats, such as weapons of mass destruction, drug smuggling, terrorism, environmental change, low-intensity conflict, and hopefully, keeping up with some of the regional conflict areas that we are tailoring our military structure to address in the future.
A large measure of the military success in Panama and Iraq can be attributed to effective intelligence. These conflicts demonstrated that our most sophisticated weaponry and our most highly trained military personnel are useless, unless we know where, when, and how to deploy them for optimal effect in a conflict.
Mr. President, we are concerned about the international trade situation. I think we can well have some of our intelligence people doing some analysis in that area, as well. We are into an economic competition, internationally, like we have never seen before in our whole history.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time is up.
Mr. GLENN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished floor manager for yielding me these few minutes.
I think it was a mistake to cut our intelligence budget, wherever it is being monitored, whether in the Armed Services Committee or in the Intelligence Committee.
I yield the floor.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Does the Senator from Ohio have 11 minutes left?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 13 minutes 47 seconds.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I appreciate the comments of the manager of the bill, of my colleague from Ohio, of the distinguished chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and of the Senator from Alaska, all of whom I consider to be good personal friends.
This is an unusual day for me in the U.S. Senate, an unusual day in that, so often, I come out here, and I have thought we ought to have an extra $10 or $100 million, or some particular sum for some very worthy cause, for some program I thought would help children, or medical research, or education, or with respect to the environment or to energy issues.
Sometimes those programs cost money. But I had thought and hoped that by working within the Intelligence Committee, I could find ways to effect some economies--and I am frant to say that, originally, when the matter was first discussed in that committee, I was told there could practically be no economy; it is just not possible.
I remember saying, `I just cannot buy that in a budget as large as ours,' and it is certainly a significant one. It was hard to accept the concept that there was no way you can make any savings. So we went and looked at various different programs, and came up finally with roughly $450 million in savings.
And then I wanted to be certain that it went into reducing the deficit; that it was not just used somewhere else.
I respect the comments of my good colleague and friend, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. I think he is one of the most able Members of this body. But the fact is, as I understand it, that the Intelligence Committee this year cut the intelligence budget, while the Armed Services Committee's mark rose, as related to the amount that the administration originally requested and recommended.
Mr. NUNN. If the Senator will yield, that is incorrect. The defense budget, compared to last year's budget, is coming down in real terms by $6 billion. The budget resolution, which was the guideline we have to go by, the budget is coming down approximately $100 million.
Mr. METZENBAUM. $100 million.
Mr. NUNN. Yes; which is the result of the Intelligence Committee savings, which we passed through. The $350 million, as I explained a while ago, in addition to that, the Senator is interested in, was part of our $6 billion cut to meet the ceiling of the budget resolution, which required us to reduce approximately $6 billion in real terms from last year's bill.
There is just no sense to the word of the defense bill going up. It is coming down.
Mr. METZENBAUM. I understand the point.
Mr. NUNN. It is coming down a much larger percentage than the intelligence bill is coming down.
Mr. METZENBAUM. It is my understanding--and I may be incorrect, but I think it is correct--that if you look at the figures that the administration sent to us, their recommended budget, the Armed Services Committee figure for programs other than those in the Intelligence Authorization Act is higher than that, and the Intelligence Committee figure is lower than that.
Mr. NUNN. The Senator is incorrect. We have a chart showing what we have done on page 7 of our report that is before the Senator, and it shows Senate bill versus requests, minus $111,016,000.
Mr. METZENBAUM. I did not hear that.
Mr. NUNN. Minus $111,016,000.
Mr. METZENBAUM. $111 million compared to $278 billion.
Mr. NUNN. What the Senator has to understand is the budget resolution.
Mr. METZENBAUM. That is including our $350 million.
Mr. NUNN. No. The Senator's $350 million is required in order for us to meet the $6 billion reduction we are required to meet under the budget resolution. I think what the Senator would like to do is for us to take the 20 or 30 percent cut over 5 years over the budget resolution and then come out and see how much more we could save every year beyond that. The time for that debate is on the budget resolution. We are taking huge cuts based on the mandate of the budget resolution. That $111 million is beyond that.
Mr. METZENBAUM. I do not need to belabor this point. I want to acknowledge that the effort has been made to move in the right direction. Unfortunately, the cut in the deficit will not be as much as many of us had hoped.
I would like at this point to indicate that the support for this position in the Intelligence Committee was rather broad-based.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, I rise in support of the initiative of the distinguished Senator from Ohio. He is stating the views of the majority of members on the Intelligence Committee when he urges that most of the amount we cut from the intelligence community's budget should be returned to the Treasury. The amount, $350 million, may not seem like much in the world of defense, but it represents a serious effort by the Intelligence Committee to set priorities in the intelligence community without weakening the capabilities of our intelligence agencies.
When we made these cuts, we thought we were doing something real. The deliberations of the Intelligence Committee were not intended to be a sterile, pro forma exercise. Having saved these funds, we wanted to take an action that actually saved some money, rather than just moving it from one account to another. We wanted to show that the budget agreement has not turned Congress into robots, but that even within the bounds of that agreement, we can save real money. The opposing view seems to be that a requirement exists to spend right up to the limit of the budget agreement. What the Senator from Ohio and I are saying to our colleagues on Armed Services is, you do not have to spend it all. You can save some. The Intelligence Committee showed you where you can save $350 million. Overcome that temptation to shop till we call drop and send that money to the Treasury to reduce the deficit.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I would like to quote from the statement by Senator Hollings very briefly. Senator Hollings says: `I rise in support of the initiative of the distinguished Senator from Ohio.' He says further: `The amount, $350 million, may not seem like much in the world of defense, but it represents a serious effort by the Intelligence Committee to set priorities in the intelligence community without weakening the capabilities of our intelligence agencies. When we made these cuts we thought we were doing something real.'
He goes on to say: `We wanted to show that the budget agreement has not turned Congress into robots, but that even within the bounds of that agreement, we can save real money.'
He continues on to say: `What the Senator from Ohio and I are saying to our colleagues on Armed Services is, you do not have to spend it all. You can save some.'
I do not think I can summarize it any better than that. We could have saved some. We could have saved more. We are saving $111 million.
The chairmen of both committees have asked that we not put this matter to a vote. I am realistic enough to believe that in all probability I would not prevail. I would have been more eager to go to a vote myself, but in order to accommodate the request of my friends, both chairmen of the two committees--and hopefully to indicate, by coming here, my desire that we make more progress in the future. I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be withdrawn.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Baucus). Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is withdrawn.
The amendment (No. 1042) was withdrawn.