Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 216 and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:
Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 1(b) of rule XXIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee
of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1655) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1996 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. Points of order against consideration of the bill for failure to comply with section 302(f), 308(a), or 401(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence now printed in the bill, modified by the amendment recommended by the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight now printed in the bill and by an amendment striking title VII. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as modified, shall be considered by title rather than by section. The first section and each title shall be considered as read. Points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as modified, for failure to comply with clause 7 of rule XVI, clause 5(a) of rule XXI, or section 302(f) or section 401(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 are waived. No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as modified, shall be in order unless printed in the portion of the Congressional Record designated for that purpose in clause 6 of rule XXIII. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as modified. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage wihtout intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] is recognized for 1 hour.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.
(Mr. GOSS asked and was given permission to include extraneous material.)
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 216 provides for the consideration of H.R. 1655, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996. The Rules Committee met last week to grant this rule, which was requested jointly by the chairman of the committee, Mr. Combest, and the ranking member, Mr. Dicks. As has been customary in the Intelligence Committee, of which I am proud to be a new member, bipartisan cooperation was apparent in the rule request. I am pleased that our Rules Committee was able to grant the committee's reasonable request by providing an open amendment process while injecting a small point of caution for the sensitivity of the subject matter by including a preprinting requirement.
Mr. Speaker, this rule provides 1 hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The rule waives sections 302(f), 308(a) and 401(b) of the Budget Act against consideration of the bill, waivers that are all related to the issue of new entitlement authority. Our committee is most appreciative of the detailed and comprehensive explanation the Intelligence Committee provided to us in support of these waiver requests. Section 305 of the bill allows a spouse who fully cooperates in a Federal investigation of his wife or her husband to receive spousal benefits upon a determination by the Attorney General that the spouse has fully cooperated with the Government's investigation and prosecution of national security offenses. Section 601 makes a technical correction to clarify that a retired military officer who is appointed as Director or Deputy Director of Central Intelligence can receive pay at the appropriate level of the Executive schedule. Although we technically have new entitlements, in both cases we are talking about very small amounts of money. In fact, the Budget Committee, which generally plays `budget cop' in instances where Budget Act waivers are requested, has reviewed these requests without complaint.
This rule makes in order as an original bill for the purpose of amendment the Intelligence Committee's amendment in the nature of a substitute now printed in the bill, as modified by the Government Reform and Oversight Committee amendment striking section 505 now printed in the bill and by an amendment striking title VII.
Although we generally try to avoid self-executing amendments such as this, this change in the reported bill reflected a compromise agreement worked out among the committees of jurisdiction. There was legitimate concern in the Government Reform and Oversight Committee about the provision the Intelligence Committee had included in section 505, waiving the 2 percent retirement annuity reduction that NSA employees normally incur when expecting early retirement. This is a pilot program at NSA that raised concerns among our colleagues on the Government Reform Committee and we respect their conclusion that it should not be included in this bill. The second matter deleted from the bill by this rule is title VII, which addressed a consolidation issue within the State Department. This provision had raised some red flags with the Committee on International Relations, and hence agreement was reached to remove it. All in all, I am proud of the level of communication and cooperation among all the committees in agreeing to this consensus product.
Mr. Speaker, this rule provides that the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as modified, shall be considered by title with the first section and each title considered as read. The rule also waives clause 7 of rule 17 prohibiting nongermane amendments against the committee substitute as modified. In addition, the rule waives clause 5(a) of rule 21 prohibiting appropriations in a legislative bill against the committee substitute as modified. And, as I discussed earlier, the rule waives section 302(f) and section 401(b) against the committee substitute as modified for the same reasons that made the waivers necessary for consideration of the bill.
In addition, the rule requires that all amendments be preprinted in the Congressional Record, an important provision to assist the committee in protecting the security of classified matters contained within this bill, while protecting the rights of Members by guaranteeing an open amendment process. Finally, the rule provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
Mr. Speaker, I know my friend from California, Mr. Beilenson, who served his country admirably as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, understands the important of this subject matter. The paradox of the intelligence business is that successes, by their very nature, go unremarked and often unknown to most people. That is because intelligence success stories generally prevent bad things from happening. So the public picture presented of intelligence is generally skewed toward the negative, the problems, the times when things go wrong and the sensational.
Clearly, the Ames case and the recent flareup over Guatemala provide two examples of this phenomenon. It is the duty of the members of the select committee, and today of all Members of this House, to see the whole picture and ensure that our intelligence community has the necessary resources and oversight to fulfill its mission. As Members know, there are currently several comprehensive reviews being undertaken to assess the roles and capabilities of our intelligence services. I am privileged to be working on two of those efforts: IC 21, led by Chairman Combest, and the Aspin Commission, now led by Harold Brown. It is necessary to reassess where we are and where we want to be in world events, and then to determine what type of information is needed and how to best ensure that such information is available. In the meantime, I believe H.R. 1655 offers a responsible level of funding for intelligence activities, while setting appropriate priorities for how that money should be spent. As I have grown fond of saying to those who believe the end of the cold war provides a good time to slash funding for intelligence, it hardly makes sense to turn off the radar just as you are sailing the ship of State into the fog, in unfamiliar waters, without a reliable chart. I urge my colleagues to support this rule and the bill.
The Speaker, I include material from the Committee on Rules for the Record, as follows:
THE AMENDMENT PROCESS UNDER SPECIAL RULES REPORTED BY THE RULES COMMITTEE, 1 103D CONGRESS V. 104TH CONGRESS
[As of September 12, 1995]
Rule type 103d Congress 104th Congress
Number of rules Percent of total Number of rules Percent of total
Open/Modified-open 2 46 44 43 73
Modified Closed 3 49 47 14 24
Closed 4 9 9 2 3
Total: 104 100 59 100
SPECIAL RULES REPORTED BY THE RULES COMMITTEE, 104TH CONGRESS
[As of September 12, 1995]
H. Res. No. (Date rept.) Rule type Bill No. Subject Disposition of rule
H. Res. 38 (1/18/95) O H.R. 5 Unfunded Mandate Reform A: 350-71 (1/19/95)
H. Res. 44 (1/24/95) MC H. Con. Res. 17
H.J. Res. 1 Social Security
Balanced Budget Amdt A: 255-172 (1/25/95)
H. Res. 51 (1/31/95) O H.R. 101 Land Transfer, Taos Pueblo Indians A: voice vote (2/1/95)
H. Res. 52 (1/31/95) O H.R. 400 Land Exchange, Arctic Nat'l. Park and Preserve A: voice vote (2/1/95)
H. Res. 53 (1/31/95) O H.R. 440 Land Conveyance, Butte County, Calif A: voice vote (2/1/95)
H. Res. 55 (2/1/95) O H.R. 2 Line Item Veto A: voice vote (2/2/95)
H. Res. 60 (2/6/95) O H.R. 665 Victim Restitution A: voice vote (2/7/95)
H. Res. 61 (2/6/95) O H.R. 666 Exclusionary Rule Reform A: voice vote (2/7/95)
H. Res. 63 (2/8/95) MO H.R. 667 Violent Criminal Incarceration A: voice vote (2/9/95)
H. Res. 69 (2/9/95) O H.R. 668 Criminal Alien Deportation A: voice vote (2/10/95)
H. Res. 79 (2/10/95) MO H.R. 728 Law Enforcement Block Grants A: voice vote (2/13/95)
H. Res. 83 (2/13/95) MO H.R. 7 National Security Revitalization PQ: 229-100; A: 227-127 (2/15/95)
H. Res. 88 (2/16/95) MC H.R. 831 Health Insurance Deductibility PQ: 230-191; A: 229-188 (2/21/95)
H. Res. 91 (2/21/95) O H.R. 830 Paperwork Reduction Act A: voice vote (2/22/95)
H. Res. 92 (2/21/95) MC H.R. 889 Defense Supplemental A: 282-144 (2/22/95)
H. Res. 93 (2/22/95) MO H.R. 450 Regulatory Transition Act A: 252-175 (2/23/95)
H. Res. 96 (2/24/95) MO H.R. 1022 Risk Assessment A: 253-165 (2/27/95)
H. Res. 100 (2/27/95) O H.R. 926 Regulatory Reform and Relief Act A: voice vote (2/28/95)
H. Res. 101 (2/28/95) MO H.R. 925 Private Property Protection Act A: 271-151 (3/2/95)
H. Res. 103 (3/3/95) MO H.R. 1058 Securities Litigation Reform
H. Res. 104 (3/3/95) MO H.R. 988 Attorney Accountability Act A: voice vote (3/6/95)
H. Res. 105 (3/6/95) MO A: 257-155 (3/7/95)
H. Res. 108 (3/7/95) Debate H.R. 956 Product Liability Reform A: voice vote (3/8/95)
H. Res. 109 (3/8/95) MC PQ: 234-191 A: 247-181 (3/9/95)
H. Res. 115 (3/14/95) MO H.R. 1159 Making Emergency Supp. Approps. A: 242-190 (3/15/95)
H. Res. 116 (3/15/95) MC H.J. Res. 73 Term Limits Const. Amdt A: voice vote (3/28/95)
H. Res. 117 (3/16/95) Debate H.R. 4 Personal Responsibility Act of 1995 A: voice vote (3/21/95)
H. Res. 119 (3/21/95) MC A: 217-211 (3/22/95)
H. Res. 125 (4/3/95) O H.R. 1271 Family Privacy Protection Act A: 423-1 (4/4/95)
H. Res. 126 (4/3/95) O H.R. 660 Older Persons Housing Act A: voice vote (4/6/95)
H. Res. 128 (4/4/95) MC H.R. 1215 Contract With America Tax Relief Act of 1995 A: 228-204 (4/5/95)
H. Res. 130 (4/5/95) MC H.R. 483 Medicare Select Expansion A: 253-172 (4/6/95)
H. Res. 136 (5/1/95) O H.R. 655 Hydrogen Future Act of 1995 A: voice vote (5/2/95)
H. Res. 139 (5/3/95) O H.R. 1361 Coast Guard Auth. FY 1996 A: voice vote (5/9/95)
H. Res. 140 (5/9/95) O H.R. 961 Clean Water Amendments A: 414-4 (5/10/95)
H. Res. 144 (5/11/95) O H.R. 535 Fish Hatchery--Arkansas A: voice vote (5/15/95)
H. Res. 145 (5/11/95) O H.R. 584 Fish Hatchery--Iowa A: voice vote (5/15/95)
H. Res. 146 (5/11/95) O H.R. 614 Fish Hatchery--Minnesota A: voice vote (5/15/95)
H. Res. 149 (5/16/95) MC H. Con. Res. 67 Budget Resolution FY 1996 PQ: 252-170 A: 255-168 (5/17/95)
H. Res. 155 (5/22/95) MO H.R. 1561 American Overseas Interests Act A: 233-176 (5/23/95)
H. Res. 164 (6/8/95) MC H.R. 1530 Nat. Defense Auth. FY 1996 PQ: 225-191 A: 233-183 (6/13/95)
H. Res. 167 (6/15/95) O H.R. 1817 MilCon Appropriations FY 1996 PQ: 223-180 A: 245-155 (6/16/95)
H. Res. 169 (6/19/95) MC H.R. 1854 Leg. Branch Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 232-196 A: 236-191 (6/20/95)
H. Res. 170 (6/20/95) O H.R. 1868 For. Ops. Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 221-178 A: 217-175 (6/22/95)
H. Res. 171 (6/22/95) O H.R. 1905 Energy & Water Approps. FY 1996 A: voice vote (7/12/95)
H. Res. 173 (6/27/95) C H.J. Res. 79 Flag Constitutional Amendment PQ: 258-170 A: 271-152 (6/28/95)
H. Res. 176 (6/28/95) MC H.R. 1944 Emer. Supp. Approps. PQ: 236-194 A: 234-192 (6/29/95)
H. Res. 185 (7/11/95) O H.R. 1977 Interior Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 235-193 D: 192-238 (7/12/95)
H. Res. 187 (7/12/95) O H.R. 1977 Interior Approps. FY 1996 #2 PQ: 230-194 A: 229-195 (7/13/95)
H. Res. 188 (7/12/95) O H.R. 1976 Agriculture Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 242-185 A: voice vote (7/18/95)
H. Res. 190 (7/17/95) O H.R. 2020 Treasury/Postal Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 232-192 A: voice vote (7/18/95)
H. Res. 193 (7/19/95) C H.J. Res. 96 Disapproval of MFN to China A: voice vote (7/20/95)
H. Res. 194 (7/19/95) O H.R. 2002 Transportation Approps. FY 1996 PQ: 217-202 (7/21/95)
H. Res. 197 (7/21/95) O H.R. 70 Exports of Alaskan Crude Oil A: voice vote (7/24/95)
H. Res. 198 (7/21/95) O H.R. 2076 Commerce, State Approps. FY 1996 A: voice vote (7/25/95)
H. Res. 201 (7/25/95) O H.R. 2099 VA/HUD Approps. FY 1996 A: 230-189 (7/25/95)
H. Res. 204 (7/28/95) MC S. 21 Terminating U.S. Arms Embargo on Bosnia A: voice vote (8/1/95)
H. Res. 205 (7/28/95) O H.R. 2126 Defense Approps. FY 1996 A: 409-1 (7/31/95)
H. Res. 207 (8/1/95) MC H.R. 1555 Communications Act of 1995 A: 255-156 (8/2/95)
H. Res. 208 (8/1/95) O H.R. 2127 Labor, HHS Approps. FY 1996 A: 323-104 (8/2/95)
H. Res. 215 (9/7/95) O H.R. 1594 Economically Targeted Investments A: voice vote (9/12/95)
H. Res. 216 (9/7/95) MO H.R. 1655 Intelligence Authorization FY 1996
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to commend our friend the gentleman from Florida for his good work on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and on intelligence legislation, and to point out to our colleagues that we should feel fortunate in having him on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence because of his wide experience in the intelligence community before he became a Member of the Congress.
Mr. Speaker, we support this modified open rule for the consideration of the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996. Our only concern about the rule is the preprinting requirement which the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] just recently outlined, which we are not convinced is necessary in this instance.
The chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on intelligence, the distinguished and most able gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], testified that having the opportunity to review amendments, some of which might involve sensitive matters, would be helpful to the committee in avoiding the disclosure of classified information.
I hasten to add that those of us who were in the majority in recent past years are aware of the fact that we granted the same type of request for the consideration of the last year's intelligence authorization bill, although not for any earlier ones. Nonetheless, evidently none of the anticipated amendments this year are sensitive, and in fact the two that were filed do not deal with any classified or sensitive matter.
Since the intelligence authorization bill is not particularly controversial this year, we argued in the Committee on Rules that, especially given the fact that objections of other committees to several provisions in the bill had been resolved before our committee met, the preprinting requirement was not needed this year. Nonetheless, it is in there and it is certainly okay and we can certainly live with it.
We felt that while perhaps easing the work of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, it could end up being a hindrance to other Members, shutting them out of the debate when they discovered, too late, that amendments they would like to offer were not permitted.
The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] has explained several waivers the rule provides. There was no objection to those waivers from the minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and we do not oppose them. They are perfectly reasonable waivers.
Mr. Speaker, we are also concerned about several provisions of the bill itself, which obviously will be debated and voted on tomorrow.
The minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence outlined its views on them in Minority and Additional Views, which we commend to our colleagues for their attention.
Those views point out the controversy about the way the committee handles certain National Reconnaissance Office, NRO, activities. Because of their classified status, those problems cannot be discussed in detail, but Members should be aware that the chairman described those changes as the only major departure in the bill from the administration's request for the National Foreign Intelligence Program.
The minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence expressed the hope that the reservations about the NRO will be addressed in the conference on this legislation with the Senate.
We are also concerned about the limit the committee placed on spending for the prospect of carrying out the President's Executive order of April 17 of this year that prescribes a uniform system for classifying and declassifying national security information.
The President has properly recognized the need to ensure that Americans know more about the activities of their Government when it is possible to make that information public. As the minority wrote, and I quote them, `* * * we believe that a carefully prescribed system for declassifying those documents which remain classified for no other reason than inertia is long overdue.'
The debate in the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence over the cost of compliance with the Executive order will not, we hope, delay the implementation of that Executive order.
Lastly, the committee agreed to continuation of the Environmental Task Force, which has been successful in making environmental information derived from intelligence more accessible to the general public and to the scientific community.
We are, however, concerned about the level of funding for the task force; the $5 million in the bill is disappointing. We would have preferred something closer to the $17.6 million requested by the President.
The work of the task force, which was established in 1993, has been very impressive. I commend to my colleagues the information in the Minority Views that describe some of the outstanding accomplishments associated with it.
This initiative is another way to bring the information that is collected by intelligence assets, and that is proper to share, to policymakers and to scientists. It promises to help us better understand the consequences of long-term environmental change, and to help us better manage crisis situations involving natural and ecological disasters.
There is no doubt that the information will benefit science and the environment for the well-being of all of our citizens, and we hope that the committee will be able to provide the task force with more funding in the future.
Mr. Speaker, this is an important bill that recognizes the significant challenges that the U.S. intelligence community continues to face in adapting to the new post-cold-war world.
We have a new Director of Central Intelligence who, we hope, will be able to reinforce the intelligence community's proficiencies and continue the reexamination of the overall roles of the intelligence agencies. Obviously, the intelligence community has been struggling in the past few years and needs to define its mission carefully, and properly size itself for the future.
The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has recommended a modest increase in the intelligence budget, which some Members will welcome and others decry. Obviously, there are different perspectives on what the level of spending should be; especially now, with the cuts in domestic spending, we will hear strong arguments that this is not the time for increases in the intelligence budget.
But, we all want to ensure that the United States maintains the ability to
provide timely and reliable intelligence to its policymakers and military commanders, and we commend the new chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], and the ranking member, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], for their cooperation and excellent work in developing this year's intelligence budget.
Despite the demise of the Soviet Union, the world remains an unpredictable and dangerous place; we have
only to pick up our morning newspapers or listen to a newscast to be aware of that. There is a need for effective intelligence, especially in light of the worldwide reduction of U.S. military spending and personnel.
The intelligence community should continue to be encouraged to review their operations, discarding those that are no longer necessary and strengthening those that remain important. We except that we shall hear arguments over whether the intelligence community had been adequately realigned to deal with new international realities. The appropriate missions of an intelligence agency will always be a controversial and most appropriate subject in a nation founded on democratic principles.
The debate on these issues will continue, and we appreciate the majority's recognition of the importance of the discussions of those controversial issues by providing for this modified open rule.
In closing, I again congratulate the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], the chairman of the committee, and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], ranking minority member, for bringing this bill to the floor today and their excellent work in general in leading this important committee.
Mr. Speaker, to repeat, we support this rule. We urge its adoption, so that we may proceed first thing tomorrow with consideration of the intelligence authorization bill.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California for his personally kind remarks and I assure him he has won my admiration, and the admiration of all colleagues, for his steady hand at the helm of oversight and intelligence for so many years.
And it is my honor to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], the distinguished chairman of the Permament Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I rise to thank the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss], my friend and very able colleague on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], the continuing very able and former member and chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, for their support of the rule.
Mr. Speaker, we think it is a good rule. We think it is one which will give us the opportunity to have full and open debate, and yet protect any classified material problems that we might have in open debate on the floor of the House. I would certainly commend it to my colleagues and urge its passage and thank the committee very much for its assistance in crafting a rule that was so strongly supported by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time and I move the previous question on the resolution.
The previous question was ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the resolution.
The resolution was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid upon the table.