The Senate continued with the consideration of the bill.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, it seems rather obvious we are not going to be able to complete action on the antiterrorism bill, S. 735. I have been notified that there are at least probably 60 or more amendments to a bill that we thought the President requested and that we wanted to cooperate with the President to try to get to him, as I indicated, before the Memorial Day recess.
But, in view of the 50-some votes we had on the budget, we lost a day, and in view of the list of amendments, even though there may be a number of amendments which may not be offered, it is now very clear that we cannot complete action on this bill today. I think the next best thing is to try to get some agreement to at least limit the number of amendments.
I do not know how you can have many more than 60, but I assume staff listening in could probably get it up to 90 in 20 minutes if they really tried.
But I would just say to the President and particularly the people of Oklahoma, those who have suffered the tragedy, that we are serious about this legislation. I am not certain whether we can finish on the Monday we are back. I do not want to delay telecommunications. We have promised and promised both Senator Pressler and Senator Hollings we would address that very important issue. So I will have to decide what course of action to pursue.
I know the House has not acted on this, so even if we did complete action today, we could not get the bill to the President until after the Memorial Day recess.
And having discussed this with the Democratic leader, I think many of these amendments on both lists are just--there are some that say `relevant.' We do not have any idea what it is or even what it is relevant to. But it is relevant as far as not being able to finish the bill if everybody intends to offer their amendments. One Member has 10 amendments; another on our side has 7, or whatever.
So I am going to ask consent that we enter into some agreement that we limit the number of amendments to those that have been identified, if that is satisfactory with the Democratic leader.
Mr. DASCHLE addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, like the majority leader, I also would like to be able to accommodate the schedule to move this legislation as quickly as we can. We need to send a clear message, not only to the people of Oklahoma, but others as well, that this is important.
As the majority leader knows, we just received a copy of the draft last night. As I understand it, it has not yet been printed in the Record. We will be taking a closer look at it.
I think, in spite of the fact that there may be some questions relating to the draft itself, we would be willing to enter into an agreement on the list of amendments so we can work through them. There are a lot of amendments there that may or may not be offered, but I think it does protect Senators since they have not had the opportunity to look at it more carefully. Certainly, over the course of the next several days, everyone will do that. But we want to expedite our progress on this and, hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, we can resolve what outstanding differences remain and come to a point where we can vote on final passage.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I hope we can obtain a consent agreement and the managers of the bill can stay here. There may be amendments on each side that can be taken, indicating we are making an effort to move forward, even though we have only had one vote today and opening statements yesterday. That, I think, will be helpful if we can take a few minutes on each side.
I ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be the only first-degree amendments in order; that they be subject to relevant second degrees after a failed motion to table, with the exception of the amendments described only as `relevant,' and they be subject to relevant second degrees prior to any motion to table; and that the amendments be limited to the following time agreements where designated, to be equally divided in the usual form.
I just suggest, if there is no objection, I understand they are working on a final draft of amendments on that side. I think we have a final draft. I will not read each of the amendments and the sponsors, but I ask unanimous consent that the amendments on the Democratic list be printed in the Record, as well as those on the Republican list.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Mr. EXON. Reserving the right to object, and I shall not, but in the spirit of trying to help the two leaders, especially on this type of legislation, obviously with the rights of every Senator that are well known and abound and are used more than infrequently, on legislation like this I think it possibly would be wise to at least consider a set number of amendments and then seek a unanimous-consent agreement that the Republican leader and the Democratic leader--depending on how many they want--would ask to be the final authority on what amendments and in what order are offered on something I think as critically important as this piece of legislation.
If we had not had the 50-hour time limit on the budget resolution, obviously we would have been here this weekend and through next Wednesday. I was one who had to wrestle with it.
I guess somewhere along the line we have to appeal to all the Members with the idea of moving things--not in all cases--but in cases like this, maybe we could have some kind of appeal to have the leaders say how many amendments will be called up and in what order and the others would not be in order.
Mr. DOLE. I thank the Senator from Nebraska. I hope we will be able to do that indirectly, maybe working with the managers. I think many of these amendments will not be called up. Many are acceptable, many are improvements on the bill. Some are going to be debated.
I do not see any partisan effort on this legislation. I think it is a question of trying to find how do we get a good bill, how do we protect constitutional rights down the road. I am hopeful we can do that rather quickly once we get all these in a net here. I can see they are growing as we speak, and as fast as they can write, amendments are being added to the list. So I hope quickly we can stop the bleeding.
Mr. BIDEN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the majority leader's request?
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, if the Republican leader will yield for a moment, reserving the right to object. I am confident the reason why the list is growing is because no one has seen the bill. It has not been printed in the Record. There have been several of us who have seen the bill. Our colleagues have not seen the bill. Their staffs have not seen the bill.
So I am absolutely confident that a significant portion of the amendments that are being added are being added in the blind. They just want to make sure that the bill does not do what it is rumored to do in the press.
I think this is one of those cases where we should not spend a whole lot more time trying to narrow it. If we can get a list now, great, do it, but I am confident that the Senator from Utah and I, over the period of the remainder of the day and during the recess, will be able to go a long way to narrowing down that list as our colleagues get a chance and their staffs get a chance to read this bill, which is not in the Record yet.
We always spend time weighing bills around here. This is a 150-page bill that no one has seen other than me, and I have not read it yet. I got it at 6 o'clock last night. I am not being critical of anyone, but that is just by way of explanation.
I do not think amendments being added are added for any other reason than to protect some issue Members are concerned about in this legislation.
I beg your pardon, it is in the Record. I stand corrected, it is in the Record as of last night. Based on the last vote, 15 to 20 people are gone. That is the only point I make. I am sure we can work that through.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the request? Without objection, it is so ordered.
The list of the amendments is as follows:
Kyl: Habeas corpus.
Abraham: Alien terrorist removal.
Pressler: Federal building.
Pressler: False identification of documents.
Craig: Mandatory minimums.
Brown: Sanctions on terrorist countries.
Specter: Secret proceedings/deportation.
Specter: Attorney generals classification of terrorist organizations.
Specter: Habeas corpus exhaustion of remedies.
Specter: Habeas corpus/full and fair determination.
Specter: Habeas corpus.
Coverdell: I.D. cards.
Helms: International terrorism.
Helms: International terrorism.
Helms: International terrorism.
Cohen: Posse comitatus.
Ashcroft: Citizen rights.
1. Habeas corpus.
2. Habeas corpus.
6. Firearms enforcement.
7. Foreign sovereign immunity.
1. Criminal proceedings.
2. Para-military activities.
Bradley: Cop killer bullets.
4. Distribution bomb making materials.
Graham: Habeas corpus.
2. ATF study w/Shelby.
Hollings: Funds telephony.
1. Immigration/use secret evidence.
2. Immigration/use secret evidence.
3. Crime: multiple gun purchase.
4. Crime: assist local law enforcement.
5. Immigration/judicial review deportation.
6. Habeas corpus.
Kerrey: Funds for ATF/Secret Service.
Kohl: Gun free school zone.
1. Civilian marksmanship.
2. Felon-gun-explosive purchasing.
1. Crime victims.
2. Digital telephony.
4. Foreign policy.
Moynihan: Ammunition regulation.
1. Military assistance.
2. Military assistance.
3. Lying to federal officials.
1. Gun dealers.
3. Secret evidence.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, let me indicate, I think I count 89 or 90 amendments--they went up 30 as I was getting ready here. Obviously, they will not all be offered. If they will, I just will not bring the bill back up again.
I further ask unanimous consent that no assault weapons amendments be in order to the terrorism bill, and that following the disposition of the above-listed amendments, the Hatch substitute be agreed to. That is as far as we can go, I think, at this point.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DOLE. I thank my friend, the Democratic leader, and the manager of the bill. I hope maybe in the course of the next hour or two, they may be able to dispose of 30 or 40 of these amendments.
Mr. BIDEN. Fifty or sixty, Mr. President, I am sure we could, if we work extra hard.
Mr. DASCHLE addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I ask the majority leader if he can give us some indication as to the schedule for the remainder of the day and perhaps on Monday when we return.
Mr. DOLE. There will be no more votes today, and on Monday, June 5, I suggest, I hope there will be votes, but any votes ordered not occur prior to 5 p.m., so some Members coming from a distance will be able to be here if they leave their homes early Monday morning.
At that point--and I will advise the Democratic leader hopefully this afternoon--maybe we will move to the telecommunications bill or stay on this bill, and much will depend on whether or not the managers believe we can finish this bill rather quickly, say, by Tuesday afternoon. Then we can still go on the telecommunications bill for the remainder of the week.
Mr. DASCHLE. I thank the majority leader.
Mr. DOLE. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I think we have just concluded that it would be a better procedure if we would give the managers, starting today, an opportunity to go through these amendments. Some they may be prepared to take, but they have not been fully reviewed; some have not been fully drafted, but they have the concept. We have to see the exact language.
The leadership of both sides suggest that we start that process today and, in the meantime, I am going to suggest that we now have a period for the transaction of routine morning business, with Senators permitted to speak for not more than 5 minutes each.
Mr. HATCH. Before the leader does that, I want to say I think the majority leader is right. We are going to get our staffs together and sift through the amendments and see which ones we can agree on and dispose of quickly. Hopefully, we will get that done.
Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, `Justice delayed is justice denied,' so writes Montana State Senator Ethel Harding of Polson. On January 21, 1974, Senator Harding's daughter, Lana, was brutally murdered. It was not until just 2 weeks ago, over 21 years later, that justice was finally carried out and Lana's murderer was executed by the State of Montana.
This tragedy has haunted Senator Harding and her family for far too many years. The unfortunate thing is that the Harding family is not alone.
And so it is encouraging to see the Senate act upon true habeas corpus reform as part of the overall Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention Act of 1995.
I cannot agree with some of my colleagues who would suggest that habeas corpus reform should not be a part of this legislation. No one, including the families of the 167 innocent people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, should have to wait as long as the Harding family to see that justice is carried out.
Habeas corpus reform is long overdue in my opinion and the quicker we can bring about change in this area of the law the better. I appreciate the efforts of Montana's attorney general, Joe Mazurek, who along with 11 other attorneys general from around the country wrote to the President in support of habeas corpus reform. This is not a partisan issue and should not get bogged down in partisan politics.
In addition, I am encouraged that Senators Dole and Hatch have taken great pains to ensure that this legislation reaffirms our longstanding commitment to constitutional protections, and that any provision of the act which is held unconstitutional, will be severed from the act and will not affect the remaining provisions.
I am also pleased to see that we have not weakened the prohibition on the use of the U.S. Armed Forces for domestic police purposes and that we have not expanded the authority of roving wiretaps by removing the requirement of intent.
In the wake of this great national tragedy, it is critical that we unite behind our law enforcement personnel. From the local, to the State, to the Federal authorities, law enforcement and public service personnel should be commended for the fine work they have done thus far.
At the same time, it is important that we do not overreact out of fear or heightened emotions. In Montana, we continue to have situations in which individuals feel threatened by an imposing, uncaring, and overwhelming Federal Government and bureaucracy. As a result, some individuals have been driven to illegal acts such as a variety of Federal and felony charges, including gun violations, threatening and impersonating public officials, and tax evasion.
Such actions cannot be condoned for we are a civilized nation of laws. The Montana law enforcement community has responded cautiously but appropriately to these situations. They have taken a nonconfrontational approach, responding swiftly and
firmly to any activities that have resulted in a violation of the law. And they have done so without jeopardizing human lives.
If we can help our local law enforcement community detect and prevent future violations of the law by providing our law enforcement community with the resources to effectively carry out their responsibilities, we should do so. This legislation is a reasoned, balanced approach in that regard.