CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 1655, INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1996 (House of Representatives - December 21, 1995)

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Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 318 and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

H. Res. 318

Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider the conference report to accompany 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. All points of order against the conference report and against its consideration are waived. The conference report shall be considered as read.

Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the 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. Speaker, this is an appropriate rule for a conference report and I am delighted to bring it to the House so that we may expeditiously consider the intelligence authorization conference report for fiscal year 1996. This rule waives all points of order against the conference report and against its

consideration, and I would like to commend Chairman Combest and his staff for diligently providing our Rules Committee with detailed information about the types of waivers that this bill requires. In addition this rule provides that the conference report shall be considered as read.

Mr. Speaker, as a conferee who worked on this bill, I am very proud of our final product. Members should know that, despite all the partisan rhetoric that's been flying in this Capitol in recent weeks, this legislation is the product of bipartisan cooperation in the finest tradition of this House. Oversight of intelligence policy and implementation of crucial national security programs are very, very serious subjects and its oversight is taken very seriously. The Members of the House Committee on Intelligence, and our counterparts in the other body, sorted through a multitude of complex and vexing problems in order to complete this conference report. Although it is fashionable in today's environment to bash the intelligence agencies and complain about problems that have come to light, I think most Americans realize that today's highly complicated and chaotic world demands that our policymakers have accurate and timely information--perhaps more so in this modern information age than in any other time in our history. Of course, we must ensure that we learn from the mistakes of the past--the highly public mistakes we've all read about--so that we don't make such mistakes again. And we must also ensure that our finite resources are being put to their most effective and appropriate use and, frankly, that is what this bill is about. My colleagues, this process of review and assessment won't stop there. Our committee is undertaking a comprehensive review of our intelligence capabilities and how they can carry us into the next century; and I am proud to be a part of that effort under Mr. Combest's and ranking member Dick's leadership. Likewise, the former Aspin Commission--now known as the Brown Commission--is conducting a major review at direction of Congress. As a member of both those efforts, I assure my colleagues that this important subject is being carefully addressed and we will have reports to you back next spring. As an important piece of that whole picture, I urge my colleagues to support this rule and support the conference report on H.R. 1655.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I thank the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] for yielding the customary 30 minutes of debate time to me.

Mr. Speaker, we support this rule for the consideration of the conference report for the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996. There was no objection from the minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to the waivers that the rule provides for the conference report, and we do not oppose them.

Among the potential points of order that are protected against are those for violations of scope, germaneness requirements, prohibition on appropriations in a legislative bill, and the Budget Act requirements. The rule is, of course, waiving the 3-day layover requirement. We are reluctant, ordinarily, to provide that particular waiver, because we believe Members should have ample time to review the legislation they are voting on, but we did agree in this instance this particular waiver of the 3-day layover rule is not at all unreasonable.

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Mr. Speaker, the minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence supports the substance of the conference agreements. I am sure we will hear more about the provisions of the agreement during the debate on the conference report itself that will follow.

The original House bill did, however, contain several controversial provisions, including the handling of certain National Reconnaissance Office activities. Because of their classified status, these issues 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.

During House consideration of the bill, the minority on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence expressed the hope that the reservations about the NRO would be addressed in the conference on this legislation with the Senate. We trust that they were addressed satisfactorily.

We were also concerned about the limit the committee place on spending for 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 about the activities of their Government, when it is possible to make that information public. We continue to believe that a carefully prescribed system is long overdue for declassifying documents that remain classified for no reason other than inertia.

The debate over the cost of compliance with the Executive order was the main obstacle to implementation of that Executive order. We understand that the conference agreement provides more flexibility than the House bill from the several intelligence agencies in carrying out this Executive order, and we support that decision.

We are also supportive of the conferees' decision to tighten up the change in the National Security Act that would allow the President to delay the imposition of economic sanctions against a foreign country in certain cases. We understand that minority Members who raised concerns about that provision agree with the conference report action in this respect.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, we understand that the

conference committee agreed to increase the authorization for 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 had been very concerned about the level of funding for the task force in the House bill, which had been a disappointing $5 million. We understand that the conferees agreed on a funding level of $15 million. We would have preferred the $17.6 million requested by the President, but the conference agreement is certainly much better than the House version, and we welcome this improvement in the legislation.

The work of the task force, established in 1993, has been very impressive. We are pleased that the conferees agree that the outstanding accomplishments associated with it should be supported.

This initiative is another way to bring the information that is collected by intelligence assets, and that is proper to share to policymakers and scientists. It promises to help us better understand the consequences of long-term environmental change and help us better manage crisis situations involving natural and ecological disasters.

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 post-cold-war world. The conference agreement reflects a slight decrease in the intelligence budget, which some Members will welcome and others decry.

Mr. Speaker, I would point out, however, especially to those who might be tempted to criticize the decrease in spending in this legislation, that the modest reduction is the result of cuts in the huge NRO special carry-over account that was made public earlier this year. I think all agree that the conferees made the correct and proper decision in following the appropriators' lead in cutting that NRO special account.

Mr. Speaker, we all want to help ensure that the United States maintains the ability to provide timely and reliable intelligence to its policymakers and military commanders, and we think the committee has developed a responsible budget for the intelligence agencies and activities.

Despite the demise of the Soviet Union, the world clearly remains an unpredictable and dangerous place;

we know that all too well as we watch American servicemen and women enter Bosnia to help keep the peace there. There is, obviously, a great need for effective intelligence, especially in light of the worldwide reduction of U.S. military personnel.

The intelligence community should continue to be encouraged to review their operations, discarding those that are no longer necessary, strengthening those that remain important, and devising new ones when they are called for.

The appropriate missions of an intelligence agency will always be a controversial and most appropriate subject in a Nation founded on Democratic principles.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I again congratulate the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], ranking minority member, for helping to guide this legislation through the conference committee, and for their excellent work in general in leading this committee in a very difficult time.

Mr. Speaker, to repeat, we support the rule, and we urge its adoption, so that we may proceed with consideration of the intelligence authorization bill.

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Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BEILENSON. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], who was a former chairman of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, for a very good statement.

Mr. Speaker, I thought the gentleman's statement fairly and very accurately summarized the bill and the provisions in it, and we appreciate the cooperation of the Committee on Rules and I want to commend the gentleman for his interest in intelligence, his leadership of this committee, and his continued fine work in this body.

Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman from Washington very much for his kind comments.

Mr. Speaker, I again say that we strongly support this rule and the bill, and we thank especially the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], the distinguished chairman of the committee, and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], the distinguished ranking member, for all of their good work this year and in years past on this very difficult and important committee.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I would associate myself with the remarks of the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] about the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson]. I thought that was an excellent statement, and particularly compelling coming from the gentleman from California, given his experience and deep knowledge of this subject, and I would also say his commitment to it over the years.

Mr. Speaker, the only area I might take a little bit of exception, I think of Mark Twain when I think of the Soviet Union these days: The demise of the death being greatly exaggerated. After the elections last Sunday, I am not so sure that we are where we think we are, sometimes.

Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], chairman of the committee.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] for his support in pushing this rule. I also thank the Committee on Rules for granting the rule that was requested by myself and the ranking member, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks]. I also want to thank the gentleman from Florida for this active role in the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he as well sits, and the gentleman from California, former chairman of the committee, for his continued interest in intelligence activities; for his continued help in the rules process; and, for his continued friendship.

Mr. Speaker, I would certainly urge passage of this rule. I strongly support it.

Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I urge support of the rule, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, we had other speakers, but they are not on the floor. Since the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson] has yielded back all time, I will yield back all time also, and I move the previous question on the resolution.

The previous question was ordered.

The resolution was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 1655) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1996 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. Government, community management account, and the Central Intelligence Agency retirement and disability system, and for other purposes.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state it.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I would inquire as to whether the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], the ranking Democrat, is in favor of this conference report and would yield to the gentleman for the purpose of answering that question.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I am in favor of the conference report.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, therefore, under the rules, I claim the 20 minutes to be allotted to a Member in opposition when both the other Members are in favor.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to rule XXVIII, the time will be divided three ways. The gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] will be recognized for 20 minutes, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] will be recognized for 20 minutes, and the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] will be recognized for 20 minutes.

The gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] is recognized for 20 minutes.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 1655, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996. The conference report, and the House and Senate bills that led up to it, were the product of a great deal of hard work. As I stated when we debated the original authorization bill, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held 11 hearings, 20 Member briefings, and even more staff briefings to craft this legislation.

I wish to take a moment to thank our staff for their hard work. In the course of this year, they have not only helped prepare an authorization bill that will lead us in new and positive directions, but also have had a full agenda of such issues as the Ames damage assessment--which remains the subject of wild claims and few concrete findings in terms of the effects of U.S. policy decisions; allegations about activities in Guatemala; and our major effort for the 104th Congress, `IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century.' I am pleased to report that IC21 is on time and on schedule, and we hope to be back before you next year with legislative proposals that will strengthen and modernize our intelligence community.

I want to thank our colleagues in the Senate. I have been engaged in ongoing negotiations with Chairman Specter and Vice Chairman Bob Kerrey of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. They were always dedicated, gentlemanly, and forthcoming as we worked out the necessary compromises. It was a pleasure working with them and the rest of the Members and staff of that committee. I have enjoyed working with the ranking member, Mr. Dicks. Although we have had our differences, we have worked them out to present this report.

I would like to say a few words about the authorization we have just completed. This bill authorizes funds for all U.S. intelligence and intelligence-related activities. It is integral to our national security. As I said earlier this year, the original submission we got from the administration was a disappointment. It was a very static bill, preoccupied with this year's funding, but showing no sense of vision, no sense of where they would like the intelligence community to be as we enter the 21st century. That is why we are excited about the new directions we have forged in such areas as the national reconnaissance program.

As my colleagues know, a great deal of this authorization is, of necessity, classified. I once again urge my colleagues to take the time to visit our committee offices and go over the classified portions of the bill. You will not only come away better informed, but you will also have a much better sense of the breadth and depth of the intelligence community. What you will not get, unfortunately, is a sense of the thousands of dedicated employees who make it work. It was with some surprise and no little dismay that I read, only a few weekends ago, that the Director of Central Intelligence said he `did not find many first class minds in the ranks.' He said that `compared to uniformed officers, [intelligence officers] certainly are not as competent, or as understanding of what their relative role is and what their responsibilities are.' That may be the DCI's benighted view of the intelligence community, but it is not one that I or, I am sure, most of my colleagues share.

I want to highlight one provision of our bill that is in the classified annex only because of how the bill is structured, but is not classified in and of itself. Members may be aware of an agreement by the Director of Central Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to merge a large number of agencies and offices that deal with imagery, into something that they are calling the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, or NIMA.

This is a major proposal, involving as it does some of our most useful collection assets and a large amount of the intelligence budget. To date, we have not received any necessary details on what is involved, how this would operate, how this would affect all of the policy makers who rely on this valuable intelligence. I wish to assure my colleagues that we in the Intelligence Committee and they here on the floor will have a full opportunity to review and vote on any such major change. That is why my colleagues in the Senate and I inserted a provision in this bill requesting that no funds be used to begin implementation of such an agency until Congress has had the opportunity to review detailed plans.

Let me turn briefly to the prospects for the fiscal year 1997 intelligence authorization. As I said, the fiscal year 1996 administration proposal was lacking in vision and was a disappointment. I have made it very clear to the Vice President and to the Director of Central Intelligence that if the fiscal year 1997 authorization request is similarly lacking in vision for the next several years, then that bill will be dead on arrival.

I am also concerned by briefings that we have begun to receive about upcoming intelligence funding. The Director of Central Intelligence is apparently considering large cuts in his own budget in order to fund nonintelligence defense programs. Too often intelligence has been made a bill payer for these other programs. Earlier this week, DCI Deutch testified before our committee and stated that he disagreed `with people who say where you take the money doesn't matter. It does matter.' He also said that he wanted to see an `honest competition between platforms in the defense budget.' We intend to hold him to these views. Thus far, his actions speak louder than his words. I would hate to see the work we have begun to do on intelligence so quickly undone.

Mr. Speaker, the conference report for the fiscal year 1996 intelligence authorization gives the Nation a necessary beginning in reshaping and strengthening our intelligence capabilities. I urge all of my colleagues to support it.

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Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. DICKS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 1655, the intelligence authorization bill for fiscal year 1996.

I want to begin by commending Chairman Combest for his perseverance in pursuing a resolution to the several contentious issues which separated the House and Senate on this legislation. His commitment to completing action on this measure this year has resulted in an agreement which strengthens the bills previously considered by the House and Senate.

Largely because the conferees agreed to endorse a reduction, made earlier in the Defense Appropriations Act in certain funds available to the National Reconnaissance Office [NRO], the authorization level in this conference report is below the level not only in the House-passed bill and the President's request, but the amounts authorized and appropriated in fiscal year 1995 as well. The reduction in the NRO's carry-forward funds made possible some increases in intelligence activities in other agencies, without an increase in the overall size of the fiscal year 1996 intelligence authorization.

The conferees believed that the amount of carry-forward funds accumulated by the NRO was excessive, either to the needs of NRO programs in fiscal year 1996 or, at some level, to its programmatic needs in the future. I want to emphasize that there is uncertainty over how much of the carry forward funding will be necessary to complete the satellite architecture currently envisioned by the NRO, and the restoration of some of the funds eliminated in the conference report may be necessary in the future. Director of Central Intelligence [DCI] Deutch has made a commitment to resolve this uncertainty so that a better understanding of the NRO's financial needs can be defined. I want to caution against any further significant reductions in the carry-forward funds until the DCI has provided additional, clarifying information. He is also, by the way, putting in a new financial officer at the NRO, which I think is a good move and should be supported by the Congress.

The needs of the United States for intelligence collection systems, particularly those which present complex engineering challenges, are influenced by advances in technology, changes in requirements, and available resources. It is important that decisions on the acquisition of new systems, particularly those which will replace systems of proven capability, be made with a full appreciation of the ramifications of those decisions. The conference report ensures that judgments on the advisability of proceeding with a new satellite collection system will be made in a measured, deliberative manner. I believe that will ensure that the DCI will be able to make a much more informed judgment on collection architecture options than might otherwise have been possible.

As important as collection is to our intelligence needs, it is just as important that the information collected be thoroughly processed and quickly disseminated. In my judgment, we have not devoted enough attention to these areas in the past, and I am pleased that DCI Deutch intends to commit more resources to them in the future. I look forward to working with Chairman Combest in the fiscal year 1997 budget cycle to make certain that processing and dissemination are adequately addressed.

Recently, the DCI, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed the consolidation of imaging resources and management in a single agency within the Department of Defense. In their letter informing Congress of the proposal, these national security leaders promised to consult closely with Congress before proceeding with a comprehensive implementation plan. In fact, they have said in our meetings that legislation is required before the agency can be created. The consultation process has begun. I am pleased that the conferees recognized not only the importance of Congress being fully involved in working out the details of this proposal, but in allowing the necessary studies, planning, and coordination to take place while the process of consultation is underway. I believe this will ensure that the new agency is able to begin to function as soon as all necessary approvals are obtained.

Mr. Speaker, with United States Forces beginning a significant deployment in Bosnia, the importance of timely and accurate intelligence is underscored once more. This conference report authorizes many of the programs and activities on which the success of operations like the one in Bosnia will depend. I commend this legislation to my colleagues and urge that it be adopted.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to compliment the staff. Both the majority and minority staff on this committee have done a good job this year. I think they have worked very hard, and I am pleased that on a bipartisan basis we have been able to put together this bill and to work out some very difficult issues.

I would say to some of the other Members of this body that this may be a model for how the majority and minority work together to enact important legislation in a timely way. I want to again thank the chairman for his help, cooperation and his fair-minded approach to dealing with these controversial issues.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I have to differ with my colleague who just spoke when he said this should be a model for how to deal with important legislation.

I do not think there is a less becoming example of how this Congress deals with fundamental issues than the way we have historically dealt with intelligence. First, let us underscore one point: One of the most important facts about this debate will go unuttered: How much are we authorizing? Because we have enforced upon ourselves an extraordinary stupid rule by which we cannot publicly say what the overall amount of the intelligence budget is, apparently because we think the enemy may know.

Now, of course, virtually any enemy interested in being an enemy knows. What we do here is to keep this from the average American. There will be figures presented in the newspaper. They will probably be accurate. We will look the other way.

It seems to me we bring a lot of disrespect when we wink at that. Actually, I was surprised when my friend from Washington said we were reducing the authorization this year. From what to what? We cannot tell you. How much? We cannot tell you.

The American people cannot be trusted with anything as potentially dangerous as a number, but we can tell then we are reducing it.

I am actually encouraged the Committee on Intelligence is telling us if we announced we were reducing it, we would be encouraging the enemy. I am pleasantly surprised. I do not think anything negative will happen. We are gong to see now. We have announced we are reducing it. I do not think the enemies are going to come forward.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. I want to say to the gentleman, our former chairman, Congressman Glickman, and I both supported making this number public and have voted for it on several occasions. I think we have even joined with the gentleman from Massachusetts in that respect.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I agree

Mr. DICKS. I concur. I do not see a major national security problem with that number being made public.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I thank the gentleman. As you know our former colleague, Mr. Glickman, now Secretary of Agriculture, I understand he is interested in trying to hide the number of agricultural subsidies. That is, I think, one that angers many more Americans, what we are going to pay the farmers to do whatever they want anyway. That is probably one they ought to hide and not this one.

I acknowledge what the gentleman from Washington said. But the majority has enforced this rule. So the American people can know, I think I can say without fear of indictment, that we will be spending many billions of dollars in this bill. I think national security will survive by mentioning the figure, many billions. The American people will not know how many billions and how many less billions than we used to before.

Mr. DICKS. If the gentleman will yield further, the gentleman is right? It is many billions.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I thank the gentleman for that. I hope he has not endangered his standing as a member of the national security community prepared to help protect our secrets. But this is an example of the silliness.

There are further examples of how this is not the best way to deal with it. We are talking here about one of the most fundamental issues facing this country. We are about to adopt a budget which will severely limit spending over the next 7 years. We are going limit overall discretionary spending.

The amount we spend on national security, on intelligence and its various forms, on the military, and this is all intricately connected, will be a severe check on what we can spend elsewhere. The more we spend in this budget the less environmental protection we will have, the less we will have for education. It all becomes zero sum.

In the past we would say to ourselves, well, when

it comes to the national security, we will err on the side of safety because, after all, the very security of the Nation is at stake.

We also have not been operating for many years in a limited zero-sum situation. We had a deficit, a continuing deficit. It was harder to argue then that an extra billion or two or three in this budget would come out of efforts at local enforcement where we supply money for communities to hire police officers, loans for people to go to college who could not otherwise afford to go, environmental protection. We use to be able to be more casual about this.

But today every dollar that we appropriate for this and other national security measures reduces our capacity as a society to deal with other important public problems.

Now, for many years we argued that we, if we were going to err, we should err on the side of spending money on national security because the very survival of the Nation was at stake. And it was. Beginning in the late 1930's, with the rise of Hitler and his allies and then after this Nation played a major role in defeating Hitler, beginning in 1945, with Stalin and his, not allies but vassals, we faced for 50 years outside powers that did not share our belief in freedom, that were regressive in their desire to diminish freedom elsewhere and which possessed the physical capacity to damage the United States.

Fortunately, for a combination of reasons, by the early 1990's, that situation had changed, and one thing that this budget reflects is the view, and Members have said it time and again here, the world is no less dangerous today than it was 10 years ago from the standpoint of the United States. I cannot think of a single proposition less intellectually valid, less in consonance with the real facts in the world and more damaging to the social fabric of this country.

In fact, there has been a qualitative increase in our security in the world. Yes; there are in the world today very unpleasant people running countries. You look at Iran, you look at Iraq, you look at North Korea and in a rational world the people running those countries would not even be allowed to drive cars. Sadly, they are in charge of countries. They make miserable the lives of millions, and if they could they would do great damage. But, collectively, they simply do not rise to the level of a threat of the United States.

We fought a few years ago against Iraq. We were told, and some of us took that apparently more seriously than it turned out we had to, that there would be a terrible problem because Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world. We went to war against the fourth largest army in the world, and that war was over, fortunately, very quickly in a very, very one-sided win for the United States. Then we were told, even after Iraq, there are other countries that are a threat. There is Iran. Well, Iran is run by people who are appalling in their lack of respect for the rights of others. They are clearly people who, if they could, would substantially diminish freedom. But they have not got the capacity to threaten us physically.

Iran lost a war to Iraq, which suggests to me that our fear of their overall power has been exaggerated. Again, we are talking now not about whether the United States ought to be strong, not whether the United States ought to be by far the strongest nation in the world with the best intelligence in the world, the best weapons in the world; the question is, now the Soviet Union has collapsed, that Russia is now a small part of what the old Soviet empire was, now that Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria have moved away, now the Soviet Union itself has been broken into smaller parts, the nature of the threat has substantially diminished.

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Yes, there are still problems in Russia, but the capacity, and people in the military have always said, you do not look at the intention of the enemy, you look at the capacity, that capacity is rapidly diminishing.

The Russians are now trying to sell their last remaining aircraft carrier to India, because they cannot afford to keep it up. Their fleet is in disuse and they are trying to sell that off. There has been denuclearization in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus. The question is not whether America should be strong.

The question is, and this is, as I said, the central proposition, those who are looking to prop up excessive defense spending, which comes inevitably at the cost of environmental protection and education and health care and other important needs, local law enforcement, local transportation, their argument is the world is no safer.

They are wrong. There is a qualitative difference between the Soviet Union of 10 years ago, leading the Warsaw Pact, with its capacity to inflict absolutely terrible physical damage on this country, and, on the other hand, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. Immoral societies, societies that oppose freedom, but which simply do not have the power.

Members have said, you know, the military budget has dropped since 1990. Yes, it has. But the point is that it has not dropped nearly enough, given the drop in the threat. If, in fact, we were lucky enough to see cancer as an illness diminish in its scope the way the Soviet Union has diminished, I would predict you would see a greater drop in the National Cancer Institute. We do not spend a lot of money today combating polio. It is a terrible thing, but fortunately, we have diminished it.

The problem is that military spending survives far after the threat has diminished, and the proof of that is that people who defend this level of spending, this relatively minor cut, talk about, and I really feel at a disadvantage, because, unlike the gentleman from Washington, the majority has insisted on keeping the number secret, so they are going to tell you they cut it, but they cannot tell you how much they cut it. But that is because they do not want to tell you how much they cut it, which is, of course, silly. But it also helps them keep it at a much higher number than it should be. We have got an overly inflated national security expenditure. The world is very different.

As a matter of fact, what we are suffering from is a severe case of cultural lag. For about 50 years, from 1940 to 1990, it is true, this Nation faced, first from the Nazis and then from the Communists, physical threats to our very existence.

Today the major international problem for Americans is not that we face a physical threat to our existence; it is that we face a threat to our ability to maintain the standard of life to which we have become accustomed in a world in which you can make anything anywhere with great technological change.

That is the challenge. That is the challenge that is destabilizing France. That is the challenge that is causing grave problems in America, as company profits go up and workers are treated worse.

The problem we have is that we are using tens of billions of dollars of our resources to act as if we were still under major physical threat from the Soviet Union or some comparable force, and depriving ourselves of the ability to deal with the current threat. It is a severe case of cultural lag.

So, I hope we will reject this particular budget, because it is a reflection of the mistaken policy that says the world is just about as dangerous as it used to be. Let me say this. They said, you know, the world is just as dangerous because we have Iran, Iraq, North Korea.

None of those countries, as I recall, sprang into existence for the first time in 1992. Eight or nine years ago we had the fully nuclear-armed Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, and Iran and Iraq and North Korea. Now we have these smaller nations and we continue to pump it up.

As far as the intelligence agencies are concerned, what are they doing? Well, they are into, we have talked about mission creep, they are into mission search. Mission creep is when you gradually begin to do more. Mission search is when you do not have enough things to do and you look for new things to do to justify your budget. So now we are being told we need them to do economic intelligence.

Where are the free enterprisers? You want to have the Federal Government now serving as the economic research bureau of corporate America? These are people who are charged with protecting our national security. The notion that we will now transfer over and pay them billions of dollars to do economic analysis is hardly consistent with free enterprise, and also not a very

good use of our money, since they are not going to be the ones you would reply on. Paying our highly trained intelligence force to be market researchers does not make a great deal of sense, but that is the direction they are moving in.

I stress again that we do this at very specific cost to everything else. Every billion dollars we spend unnecessarily in this area means you cannot spend money on student loans, for working class young people to go to college; cleaning up Superfund sites, providing adequate transportation; providing health care.

My Republican colleagues have said with regard to some of the cuts that are being made, we do not like to make them, but we have to, because we have the goal of balancing the budget. You make it much harder with this kind of legislation. To the extent you continue to pump unnecessary funds into the national security apparatus and do not recognize the extent to which there has been a diminution in the threat of a qualitative sort, you cause your own problems when you reduce spending in many other places.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California [Mr. Dornan].

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Speaker, you can never do too much reconnaissance. That is General George S. Patton from his book `War as I Knew It.'

This excellent intelligence conference report provides our military and our intelligence support troops what they need today in Bosnia and the intelligence capability we will need tomorrow and as far as we can recon into the future in North Korea, Iran, South America, Eastern Europe, and everywhere else on an increasingly complicated global situation.

This report provides, as has been stated several times, a 4-percent increase in tactical intelligence funding. The gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] has made me the chairman of the Subcommittee on Tactical and Technical Intelligence, and in a situation like Bosnia, everything, from our highest satellite architecture, to unmanned aerial vehicles, to everything we can do technically to detect some very difficult-to-find land mines, a great percentage of them made just across the Adriatic in Italy, it is not all Chinese plastic mines, we need all the funding we can get to truly `support our men and women in harm's way.'

This is direct intelligence for the war fighters,

or peace forgers, or peace hammerers, or peacekeepers, or nation builders, whatever we call our young defenders in the field.

It increases funding for, as I said, unmanned aerial vehicle programs, UAV programs, including the highly successful Predator, already supporting operations in Bosnia. The staff of our committee and myself, together with a former member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Col. Greg Laughlin, the Congressman from Texas, we went to Albania, saw our growing friendship there, and how excellent this Predator program is.

It provides funding to reengine the existing workhorse of strategic manned reconnaissance, the RC-135 rivet joint aircraft. One of our staffers who went with me on that trip last August, Mike Meermans, spent many years on active duty in the Air Force in the infancy of this rivet joint incredible program.

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you, this is a great effort to enhance the tactical and technical intelligence capability of the U.S. military. I want a big and vigorous vote on this, to show that when you are drawing down your military to the tune of almost 700,000 patriotic men and women who planned on a career, you should be upping your intelligence.

A nation that suffered such drama in this Chamber on December 8 of this month 54 years ago, the last time we ever declared war on anybody, it was a result of Pearl Harbor, of course, I am speaking about, it was a result of a total breakdown of intelligence. We will never have that major a lapse again, but we are still now in a dangerous world where even fine tuning of intelligence makes the difference.

I encourage a massive vote by the Members of this Chamber for this excellent intelligence conference report.

Mr. Speaker, may I please add a few more key points. Our focus is to posture for the future without detriment to current fielded systems. Our intent is to invest in latest technologies to determine potential without sacrificing existing, proven programs, for example, new satellite technology initiative, while funding for existing programs; funds new UAV ACTD efforts while ensuring U-2 Dragon Lady upgrades.

Although the budget's total intel authorization is .08 percent less than the President's request, it actually, increases funding for every major national intel program except the NRO. The overall decrease is result of the large decrease in carry forward funds from NRO.

Our conference approved bill provides a 4 percent increase in TIARA-JMIP--direct warfighting--intelligence support. This reflects a turn around of continual decreases in direct military intelligence support funds since 1990.

I repeat, we fund many new UAV efforts.

We increase funding for the PREDATOR Medium Altitude endurance UAV--proven in Bosnia, where it provided direct operational support, with unprecedented real-time imagery, to NATO forces participating in the air campaign.

We increase funding for the Low Observable High Altitude Endurance UAV which will begin flight testing this January 1996.

We Fund Conventional High Altitude UAV.

I repeat, we provide funding, not included in President's request, for reengining the `strategic manned reconnaissance workhorse', the RC-135 rivet joint.

Much of this authorization focuses on processing and dissemination of collected intelligence. These have been where the intel community has been perceived as weak in the past.

This bill, Mr. Speaker, will ensure a continuing strong intelligence capability to support policymakers and our deployed military forces worldwide.

[Page: H15498]

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New Mexico [Mr. Richardson], one of the senior members of the Committee on Intelligence, one of our most important Members of the House, one of our leadership Members, and a man who travels around the world bringing back people who are in trouble and does a great job for this country.

(Mr. RICHARDSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Speaker, let me say in these days of budget impasse, there is a lot of talk of bipartisanship that does not exist, but I think this committee is a model for bipartisanship. I want to commend the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] for the way they handle this committee. I especially want to thank the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] for the support he gives me on many of my trips and other initiatives.

Let me just say this conference report is a good one. There are some good bipartisan compromises on the National Recognizance Office, on some of the covert action programs. There are good initiatives here that deal with international terrorism, good initiatives allowing also the Department of Defense to get more into the intelligence areas, recruiting women and minorities. There are some good initiatives here that deal with Bosnia.

Let me just address some observations that I have had as probably the longest serving member of the Committee on Intelligence of anyone here.

First, I think we have a very good CIA director, John Deutch. I think we should support him. He is a reformer. He is trying to make things better. He has brought some good people in. He is trying to consolidate. I think we should support him as he tries to bring the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency under his rubric. I think we should, because what we have is a Director of Central Intelligence, we should make him. We should give him the authority to appoint those people. He has dealt with the Ames problem effectively. He is trying to clean things up.

But in this effort of reforming the agency, we have to be sure we do not hurt morale over there. There are still a lot of good people that perform good intelligence work, that have been there for many years, that are either mid-career officers, that are younger officers. Let us support them. Let us reform the agency, anything can be done better. Let us made them justify their fund. I think the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] brings in some very healthy skepticism. But at the same time, let us not decimate it.

It is an unsafe world out there, maybe not as unsafe as it used to be, but there are threats of nuclear proliferation, there are threats of terrorism, tribal ethnic conflicts, international narcotics. And we do have a need for economic intelligence. I want my trade negotiators to know what the position of another country is going to be before they get to the negotiating table. We are not talking about freebies for corporations. We are talking about implications, intelligence work that is valuable for our national security; that is, our trade negotiators.

Let me also say that I think the National Security Agency, the NSA, has too many people there. They have an effort that collects data with a very broad sweep. They do not target it. They need to do betters in that area.

I do think we need more human intelligence. We need more spies. We need more people getting us intelligence. Now, that may not be popular in some circles, but we do. We need more James Bonds. We need more people out there that perform services that sometimes are not the safest and sometimes are not considered the purest of objectives. But we need covert action. There are instances where we probably should have used it, and we did not.

It has got to be carefully monitored by the Congress. It has got to be approved by this body. Let me say also the new DCI, the Director of Central Intelligence, has consulted with the Congress a lot better than his predecessors. That has always been a problem. But I think the committee and the staff have a good system of knowing what is going on, disseminating the information, and finally acting on it.

Mr. Speaker, again, we should approve this vote with a strong margin. There is strong bipartisan support for this bill. We are downsizing our military. But that does not mean that we should not give our military that intelligence that they need to deal with threats. And the world is not safe. Perhaps it is not as unsafe as it used to be, but these new threats have to be dealt with by new initiatives, consolidation. They have to be dealt with with a stronger thrust, as I said, in the human intelligence areas, and that is people. That is people that know Arab countries, that know about North Korea, that know about some of the threats that the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] posed, and he is right. The Soviet Union is not that much of a threat. We do not need to know how miserable the economy of the Soviet

Union is. It already is. We know that. So we should know about the intentions of other nations.

So again, I think this is a good bill. We should support it, but with a good healthy skepticism that some of our colleagues have discussed.

[Page: H15499]

[TIME: 1130]

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders], because he will need that for his introductions.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders], and I want him to know I have enjoyed working with him on the defense appropriations subcommittee on some important issues there, and I am delighted to yield to him.

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlemen for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, all over this country today, the American people are frightened and alarmed and upset that the Government has closed down. Last night at 10 o'clock on the floor of this House we managed to pass a bill that got checks out to wounded veterans, but yet right now we do not know whether 8 million low-income kids, whether their families will get checks so that they can eat this Christmas week.

People here are talking about major cuts in Medicare, forcing low-income elderly people to pay more for health insurance when they just do not have the money to do that. People in this Chamber are talking about savage cuts in Medicaid, which could throw millions of low-income kids, elderly people, working people off of health insurance.

In America today millions of working class families cannot afford to send their kids to college. Today, 22 percent of our children are in poverty, by far the highest rate of children in poverty in the industrialized world.

For God's sake, let us get our priorities straight. We do not need to be funding the CIA and the intelligence budget at anywhere near the level that we funded them at the end of the cold war.

The Soviet Union, in case some of my colleagues have not heard, no longer exists. The Warsaw Pact no longer exists. But our children are still hungry, our elderly people still cannot afford their prescription drugs. Millions of kids still cannot go to college because they lack the funds.

When we talk about moving toward a balanced budget, and every day I hear people coming up here and telling us how important it is to move toward a balanced budget and how we have to cut so much from the needs of the elderly and the low-income people, what happened to the discussion of the balanced budget today? How come it is not important today?

Forty years ago Dwight David Eisenhower, a conservative Republican, said watch out for the military industrial complex. Watch out for the military industrial complex, said Dwight Eisenhower, a conservative Republican President, and was he right.

This year, with the end of the cold war, President Clinton signed a Republican defense budget asking for $7 billion more than the Pentagon requested, and the children go hungry. Today we are asking for an inflated intelligence budget, inflated CIA budget, and the elderly people cannot get the health care that they need.

Mr. Speaker, let us get our priorities right. Let us say no to this bill. Let us keep faith with the American people.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 1/2 minutes.

I want to remind our colleagues that since 1985 the defense budget has been reduced by $100 billion. We take this year's budget and this year's dollars and compare it to 1985, and we have come down $100 billion. We have reduced the defense budget by 39 percent in real terms. There is no other area of the budget that has been cut in that dramatic fashion.

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my friend from Massachusetts, the world has changed and we have recognized that change, but I also would point out that there are still significant problems, not only in Russia, where we still have a lot of nuclear weapons that have not been dismantled; but in China, a very strong assertive power in Asia that we must be concerned about; and, in Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, and other former members of the Soviet Union that present intelligence challenges.

Mr. Speaker, the intelligence budget is part of the defense budget and it, too, has been reduced. It certainly has not been reduced to the level that my friend from Massachusetts would accept, but I think prudent people who look at this from all cross-sections, understand that this Congress has cut it more than George Bush wanted it cut and it has cut it more than Bill Clinton wanted it cut. I think we have done a responsible job on a bipartisan basis.

We had extensive hearings both in the authorization and appropriations process, and we made cuts. When we found excess spending, like we did at the NRO, we cut it out. But we also have very serious requirements that must be met. So I urge my colleagues to continue to support this committee and this bill.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself my remaining time.

My friend from Washington said they found some extra spending in the NRO and they dealt with it. They did. They spent it somewhere else in that same budget. That is a good example.

The intelligence community hid a billion dollars from them. A billion dollars was being spent by the intelligence community and they did not know about it. And then they found out about it after the fact. Well, first, how many Federal agencies have the capacity to hide a billion dollars from the appropriators and the authorizers? The intelligence people did.

and what was the penalty, Mr. Speaker? Well, the penalty was they could not spend it the way they wanted to. But that billion dollars did not go into deficit reduction or into other purposes, it went back into this cold system because they just think they need this money.

I believe, in the first place, that when we talk about a 39-percent reduction, let us understand that that is differential accounting. Because when the Republicans talk about cuts or increases in future programs, they do not use real dollars. They do not

take inflation into account. They use nominal dollars. It is only the national security budget that gets the inflation factor put in.

But even if it is 39 percent, and let us just use that real dollar term elsewhere, and then some of the increases they talk about will become decreases in real dollars, but I believe the threat to the United States has dropped by more than 39 percent.

In 1985, a fully armed Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, and that is gone, and Iran and Iraq and those other countries do not add up to 60 percent of the threat we had. Yet there has been a drop.

It is also the case that 1985 was a great base year because that was after Ronald Reagan and Caspar Weinberger and a very quiescent Congress gave the Pentagon literally more money than even they knew what to do with. 1985, of course, was the most inflated possible base year.

I want to close by talking again about that billion dollars they hid from the Congress at the NRO. We have people today cold, endangering their health, because this Congress has refused to appropriate adequate funds for low-income home energy assistance. Let us be very clear. We have cut this back.

There are elderly people and families in a panic because in this cold they could not heat their homes because we cut back the money. The billion dollars that they hid from us that we rewarded them by letting it be spent elsewhere is more than we are going to give people to heat their homes. Crumbs, small change in this budget are essential elsewhere, and this is an example of the worst kind of priority setting.

[Page: H15500]

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from California [Ms. Pelosi], a valued member of our committee.

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to commend the Chair and the ranking member of our committee for the bipartisan manner in which the business of the Permanent Select Committees on Intelligence has been conducted.

I particularly want to thank the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] for his leadership and cooperation on the sanctions issue, on which we went into detail when the bill originally came to the floor. Simply said, if the administration chooses not to issue sanctions for reasons as are spelled out in the bill, this action would be rare and Congress would be looking closely at the actions they take.

I, too, agree with the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank], that as we cut spending across the board in the Congress of the United States, that our intelligence budget should be subjected to that same tightening of the belt. I wish that his amendment, which I thought was a very sensible one, because it left the discretion to the DCI and Secretary of Defense to do the cutting, was one that I had hoped this body would have accepted. It did not.

However, I still rise to support the legislation because I believe that the bill before us is one that, at least for this next year, is worthy of support. It is worthy of support, I believe, because of the work that has gone into it but also because of the new director of the Central Intelligence, Director Deutch. I believe he deserves the confidence of the Congress of the United States to attempt to change how the intelligence community relates to itself and to each other.

I also believe that we have to have appropriate funding in order to build the satellite architecture and make the determinations about the satellite architecture. I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, that the diversity issue be addressed more proactively in the Central Intelligence Agency, and I accept the director's assurances that that will take place.

I believe that our country is better served when all of its manifestations reflect the diversity of our country. It is very, very important in terms of intelligence. What country has greater diversity in terms of language, in culture, and representation than the United States? I think our needs in terms of intelligence are served by drawing upon that, diversity certainly not only in our recruiting, but in our advancement within the Central Intelligence Agency and the community. And in that I certainly include the participation of women. I am pleased with the appointment of Nora Slatkin as the executive director.

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned about the funding for their issues. We do need funds in order to declassify the material that we need to declassify. We need to prepare for a comprehensive test ban treaty verification. There are many reasons why we have to provide the resources to go forward, including the environment.

I share the concern of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] about economic espionage. I think that corporations should do their own intelligence. If the needs of the country are served by our economic intelligence, that is quite different than serving the needs of a particular company.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I again commend the chairman and the ranking member for their leadership. I, too, will fight again for cuts. I think we should have more declassification and more diversity in our intelligence services and will fight for that in the next year.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

I want to make clear the point on economic espionage. I think the DCI has made it very clear that we are not entering this on a company-by-company basis; that we are looking at agreements that have been entered into, economic agreements between the United States and other countries, to make sure that they are faithfully executed, sometimes using our intelligence resources for that purpose. We also verify on a government-to-government basis various negotiations that occur between countries. Some things are done there, obviously.

We have not engaged, and I think the DCI has been correct and the Congress has been correct to draw a line and say we will not go out and engage in these activities on behalf of any company. I wanted to make that point clear.

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentlewoman from California.

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that I have two concerns about the economic espionage. One is the one the gentleman just spelled out, that we are not here to be an extension of providing corporate welfare to corporations to help them do business internationally, and the gentleman makes the distinction very well in terms of what is in the interest of our country, trade, et cetera.

[TIME: 1145]

But I have another concern, and that is how many of my colleagues remember when we were young, what was the March of Dimes against polio, and then all of a sudden one day, who knows, the day when the March of Dimes was to fight birth defects. It happened at a time very appropriately, and I am saying that with great positive admiration for the work that is done there.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to see the intelligence community all of the sudden justifying its existence on the economic side, when what has been described by the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] and by the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] as real threats. And as we know, if we send our troops out, we have to provide the best intelligence, but I do not want the justification for this big budget, which I think should be cut, to be now economic espionage. That is part of my concern with this new mission.

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I completely concur with the gentlewoman on that.

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, certainly, economic espionage does not require the type of money that we are talking about here.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, could you tell me what the remaining time is?

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Chambliss). The gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] has 11 minutes remaining, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] has 1 1/2 minutes remaining, and the time of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] has expired.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to make some general comments, not specific.

Mr. Speaker, I will never forget when I first had the opportunity, actually my first trip to Washington, DC, in my life in my mid-twenties, when I went to work for U.S. Senator John Tower. One of the things that we have certainly lost in this House, and that I would like to return to, and I think the relationship with the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Pelosi] and with the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson] is exemplary, is in terms of the fact that we can work together. We may have some philosophical differences, but it is not a personal matter.

Mr. Speaker, I always had a great deal of respect for the fact that Hubert Humphrey, while I disagreed with him on many philosophical issues, there could be passionate debate in the Senate, and he and my boss, John Tower, would basically walk off the floor arm in arm because of a friendship that was there. They understood the passion with which people cared about issues.

Mr. Speaker, I have that same respect certainly for the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] and the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Sanders]. They are very passionate in their beliefs.

This is one of those issues in which there are some differences in priorities. It certainly is not that we want to see children starving. We could take all of the money in defense and in intelligence and spend it on other programs, and to many that would not be enough. And, certainly, we cannot do that.

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about a balanced budget. This Congress passed, and it may have been over the objection of many who have spoken, a budget earlier in the year and we conform to that budget. We fit within it. We will take those reductions as they come.

Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman from Massachusetts that we are substantially below where we were when this House passed this bill some months ago.

Mr. Speaker, I want to comment on what the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Pelosi] said. There is no Member of the House that has more of a concern, a very dedicated concern in the areas that she has those concerns in our foreign relations policies. I have stated on this floor as well that we should not, and we

cannot, justify expending money in the intelligence budget on economic intelligence. I would have a very difficult time coming and suggesting that that is what we ought to be doing.

Mr. Speaker, if there is information in the bigger national security issue that we would gain and glean from that, I think that is as well, as the gentleman from New Mexico [Mr. Rchardson] so ably pointed out, an area in which we can be very helpful to our own commerce. But it is not company-specific; it is not giving one company advantage over the other.

Mr. Speaker, it is not that just the agencies within the intelligence community are going out and searching for new roles in order to justify their existence. They are being asked to do these things.

The Vice President is very concerned about the role that intelligence can play, and past intelligence information that has come together, on the environment. And if there is information that we can get on the environment, and information we can get about economic intelligence and other areas, I think that is a very legitimate cause. I think it would be very difficult to justify expenditures solely for those purposes. They are not the major priority and role of the intelligence community. They are an offshoot. The country is better served by it. And as long as it does not infringe upon or become more significant or important than that dealing with national security and the intelligence community, I will continue as well to support it.

Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Washington only had 1 1/2 minutes remaining. Does the gentleman need additional time?

[Page: H15501]

Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, no. I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the conference report.

The previous question was ordered.

The conference report was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.