Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Combest: In the matter proposed to be inserted by section 401, strike `Make' and insert in lieu thereof the following: `Subject to such amounts as may be provided in advance in appropriations Acts, make'.
Mr. COMBEST (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
Mr. CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?
There was no objection.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, this amendment simply provides the opportunity for the Central Intelligence Agency to execute multiyear leasing authority. The CIA has routinely signed multiyear leases since 1949, relying on section 8 authority to expend appropriated funds of the CIA Act. The CIA inspector general now has concerns about the propriety of using that authority for overt leases.
CIA needs are such that it often requires space on a very short notice. If it can do so only for short-term leases, 1 year, landlords demand higher rental payments. GSA has difficulty meeting CIA's very specific needs: readily available space, special security and communications needs resulting in added cost for CIA and thus for the Government as a whole.
The CBO raises concerns about the availability of appropriations for multiyear leases. My amendment would require that multiyear leases be subject to the availability of funds. CBO is also concerned that this provision could cost several million dollars per year. We have to remember that without this authority, the CIA will continue to use 1-year leases that will inevitably cost more money. Our best estimate is that this provision will save more than a million dollars per year.
Mr. Chairman, it is technical. It is my understanding that my colleague, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], has no objection to this amendment.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
The amendment would amend section 403 of the bill, giving CIA the authority to enter into multiyear leases to require that the CIA have an appropriation for the total amount of the lease in advance.
I understand the concern of the Congressional Budget Office and the Budget Committee that section 401 as it appears in the bill would allow CIA to enter into long-term leases without being subject to appropriations action. This was not the intent of the committee.
However, I do have some concerns about the language of the amendment. Since these leases could easily run into many millions of dollars, it is not clear to me that there would ever be an authorization or appropriation for these leases in advance.
It is also not clear how funds could be made available for the entire term of a 15- or 20-year lease. Nevertheless, because I believe it should be possible to find mutually acceptable language in conference, I am prepared to accept this amendment for our side.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest].
The amendment was agreed to.