Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to offer an amendment that was printed in the Record. I ask unanimous consent because I, relying on advice I was given earlier, thought that we were going to have amendments in order at any time. Therefore, I missed the specific time. I ask unanimous consent to offer an amendment which is covered by the time agreement articulated by the gentleman from Florida.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to amending title I of the bill at this point?
There was no objection.
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment No. 3 offered by Mr. Frank of Massachusetts:
Page 6, after line 24, insert the following new section:
SEC. 105. REDUCTION IN FISCAL YEAR 1998 INTELLIGENCE BUDGET.
(a) Reduction: The amount obligated for activities for which funds are authorized to be appropriated by this Act (including the classified Schedule of Authorizations referred to in section 102(a)) may not exceed--
(1) the amount that the bill H.R. 1775, as reported in the House of Representatives in the 105th Congress, authorizes for such activities for fiscal year 1998, reduced by
(2) the amount equal to 0.7 percent of such authorization.
(b) Exception: The amounts appropriated pursuant to section 201 for the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability Fund may not be reduced by reason of subsection (a).
(c) Transfer and Reprogramming Authority: (1) The President, in consultation with the Director of Central Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense, may apply the limitation required by subsection (a) by transferring amounts among accounts or reprogramming amounts within an account, as specified in the classified Schedule of Authorizations referred to in section 102(a).
(2) Before carrying out paragraph (1), the President shall submit a notification to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate, which notification shall include the reasons for each proposed transfer or reprogramming.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Massachusetts?
There was no objection.
The CHAIRMAN. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] and a Member opposed, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss], will each control 15 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank].
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I thank the chairman and ranking member for allowing me to offer this amendment, although because of the misinformation I missed the time.
We had a long debate about cutting this. We now have a shorter one because we have got a time agreement. The amendment I offer would reduce the authorization by 0.7 percent, seven-tenths of 1 percent. I cannot tell the Members how much that is in dollars because there might be a spy that knows algebra and if a spy knew algebra he could take 0.7, he could multiply, he could do some other things and he would know the total. I certainly would not want to violate the law by indicating the total. So in deference to the algebraic literate Iranians who may be lurking, I will tell any Member who comes to me privately what the dollar amount is. Let me say it is significant. Seven-tenths of 1 percent does not look like a lot, but we are not dealing here with the NEA or the CPB or low-income fuel assistance. We are here dealing with national security, which means it is serious money. So I will be glad to tell people how much we are talking about. I cannot tell it publicly because they are listening. What I am proposing to do is to reduce this to the amount the President requested.
We have had conversations about how the amount was reduced. Ten years ago, we faced a heavily nuclear armed Soviet Union. Fortunately, we no longer have that serious problem. Indeed, the greatest intelligence problem in Europe in the months and years ahead may be to keep track of just how many countries have joined NATO. We certainly have had a substantial reduction in the threat, and we have not had a remotely commensurate reduction in the spending.
I happen to believe that the administration has given in and asked for too much in the national security area, but I accept the judgment of the House, we are not going to make any substantial reduction of the sort I voted for. But I do not understand how we could vote to raise what the President has requested for this item. Because, remember, we are in the zero sum game situation of the budget deal, and every $10 or $100 or $200 million by which we raise what the President has asked for in this account, we must reduce somewhere else. We must reduce elsewhere in defense or we must reduce in transportation. Members here almost voted to increase transportation. So the question before us is, shall we at this point increase by a significant albeit unstatable sum what the President has asked for for intelligence, knowing that we do this at the cost of other important items?
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Young], the distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security of the Committee on Appropriations.
Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. The proponent of the amendment is suggesting it is a small amount, it is only 0.7 percent, but what the gentleman assumes with this amendment is the members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence did not pay attention to what was being done when this bill was being marked up. The truth of the matter is that under the chairmanship of the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] and the leadership of the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], the ranking minority member, the members of this committee, and the staff looked at every item in this bill and looked at it closely to see where we needed to add or to see where we could save a few dollars to try to come in with as low a number as possible. I think we did a pretty good job. My job as chairman of the appropriations Subcommittee on National Security, the chairman's responsibility, and all the Members of this Congress, our responsibility to our Nation, to the people that we represent, is to keep the Nation secure, and that requires a very effective intelligence community to establish worldwide information that we need. And who needs it? Not only do people at the Pentagon, not only the people at the CIA but the soldiers in the field need it, the people that we send to battle need intelligence. Would it not be a shame to send somebody into combat and not provide them the necessary intelligence?
That is what we are trying to do, is to have an effective intelligence operation, to guarantee a commitment that I and many of my colleagues have made over the years that we are not going to be willing to send an American into a hostile situation unless we know we have done the best to provide him with the best training, with the best equipment, the best technology and the best intelligence, and knowledge of the situation. That is what we are doing here today. We are trying to guarantee that our soldiers and those responsible for our Nation's security have the intelligence, the knowledge that they need. We have done the very best we could to get as much for the money. I would say that the committee has done a good job, and I compliment the leadership of the committee. I would hope that the Members of the House would be willing to vote a strong no on this amendment as they did on the Sanders amendment earlier this evening.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 3 minutes. I understand that the chairman, a hardworking diligent chairman of an appropriations subcommittee would argue that we never should change what his committee does. I understand that. I do not think, however, that we should treat every amendment to an appropriations or an authorization bill as a vote of confidence.
I have great confidence in the gentleman from Florida and the gentleman from Washington, but the argument of the gentleman from Florida is that once the committee has done the work, in fact, I do not know why we are here, let us just ratify what the committees do. He argues that my amendment would endanger the troops. Apparently General Shalikashvili did not think so. Secretary Cohen did not think so. The Director of the CIA did not think so, assuming we had one at the time. You are never sure over there.
The fact is that I am proposing what the administration asks for. As much as I agree that the committee did its work, I am unprepared to conclude that the administration and the National Security Council and the Secretary of Defense and all the others did not do their work. So we are not talking here about blind guesses. We are talking about choosing between the administration's figure and this figure.
Second, it is very clear that we could cut 0.7 percent without in any way endangering military intelligence. The intelligence agencies, the CIA in particular, went on a little job hunt after the Soviet Union collapsed. They were a little underemployed, I think. They have now become the source of economic intelligence. I believe we do better with the free market in terms of economic intelligence.
This amendment says the President will reduce after reporting to the committees, and I want to make one statement that I promised betrays no national security. We can cut 0.7 percent of this without in any way endangering military intelligence, tactical, strategic battlefield, global, et cetera. The CIA does a number of other things. It does some better than other intelligence agencies do.
The President and the national security advisers, I believe, cannot be accused of endangering the troops, and that is what this amendment would carry out.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Spence], the distinguished chairman of the Committee on National Security.
(Mr. SPENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SPENCE. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
Mr. Chairman, H.R. 1775 specifically supports future military needs in terms of planning, operations, and force protection. Part of this support includes making sure that this Nation understands the nature of the threat that we face. For tomorrow's forces as well as the population at large, our major concern is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The intelligence community plays a vital role in detecting and monitoring the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Numerous intelligence sources, including imagery, signals and human intelligence, provide vital information to policymakers and military commanders who must determine ways to deter, prevent, halt or seize the transfer of weapons of mass destruction and associated technologies.
A recently released CIA report on foreign countries' acquisition of technology useful for the development or production of weapons of mass destruction highlights the national security threat posed by the spread of such weapons of mass destruction and technology. This report reveals the following, and I would like to take it one at a time.
Iran aggressively continues to acquire all types of weapons of mass destruction, technology and advanced conventional weapons. China and Russia have been primary sources for missile-related goods, while China and India supply the bulk of Iran's chemical weapons equipment.
During the last half of 1996, China was the most significant supplier of weapons of mass destruction related goods and technology to foreign countries, especially to Iran and Pakistan. China provided a tremendous variety of assistance to both Iran's and Pakistan's ballistic missile programs and to their nuclear programs.
In the last half of 1996, Russia supplied a variety of ballistic missile-related goods to foreign countries, especially to Iran. Russia also was an important source for nuclear programs in Iran and to a lesser extent India and Pakistan.
The intelligence community must focus a great deal of effort on monitoring such activities. The fiscal year 1998 intelligence authorization bill will help the intelligence community in its nonproliferation efforts by encouraging investments in new technologies and encouraging the community to work together as a more flexible corporate whole.
Mr. Chairman, I do not believe that it is prudent to make indiscriminate cuts to intelligence programs that the oversight committees have carefully reviewed and recommended to this body.
Consequently I oppose the gentleman's amendment, and I encourage my colleagues to vote `no' as well.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Pelosi], a current member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, I was afraid the gentleman from Massachusetts was announcing my resignation from the committee without my knowledge. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me, and, yes, I do rise as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in support of the gentleman's amendment. I think it is a commonsense amendment that is well-thought-out and worthy of the support of our colleagues.
As a member of the committee I with great reluctance voted against the Sanders amendment, which I think deserved this House's attention because it was a big cut, an across-the-board cut, not giving the discretion to the director or to the community to designate where that cut would come from. That was a 10-percent cut; this is a 0.7-percent cut, less than 1 percent.
Certainly, while every other aspect of this budget is subjected to the harsh scrutiny of fiscal responsibility, certainly there is 0.7 percent in the intelligence budget that can be cut, and that will be done, according to this amendment, by the intelligence community, by the director reporting to the committee and, of course, with the approval of the President of the United States, the No. 1 consumer of intelligence in our country, and this figure, the 0.7 percent reduction in the budget, represents the President's request.
Mr. Chairman, certainly we want the President to have all of the intelligence he needs to make the important and crucial decisions for our country, whether they relate to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or issues relating to our own military and their activities. So by giving the discretion to the Director of Central Intelligence, our colleague, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] says that this cut can be nonmilitary. Certainly there is 0.7 percent in nonmilitary spending, answering the challenge that one of our other colleagues made that this will hurt our troops in the field. I do not think that General Shalikashvili had that in mind when he supported the administration's request for this figure which I cannot mention, but that it is a 0.7 percent reduction.
As some of my colleagues have mentioned, we need information. Intelligence is information, but it is not raw data. It is information that is gathered and then has analysis performed upon it, and then when it is intelligence it is presented to its consumers, which are the military and policy makers in our country. And as I have said, our commander in chief, our President of the United States, is the biggest consumer of this intelligence information and the most important one. So why would the President be asking for an intelligence budget that was less than he needed?
I supported the Conyers amendment earlier to disclose the aggregate figure of the intelligence budget because I thought, I believed, that the intelligence community should make that figure known to the American people so that it can be accountable for that figure, only the aggregate figure. While every other, as I say, item in this budget has to answer and be accountable to the American people, why does not the intelligence community have to do that as well? Is it because it cannot, in order to resist a small cut of less than 1 percent, if the full figure were divulged, it would have to justify why it could not absorb a 0.7 percent decrease.
I think today we are making some mistakes here. We should be accountable to the American people by disclosing the aggregate figure. We rejected that. But certainly this body should be able to support the administration's request, the request of the leading consumer of intelligence in this country, the President of the United States, for his budget number, and I urge my colleagues to support the Frank amendment.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Bereuter], a former member of the committee, a very valuable member of the House Committee on International Relations and the chairman of the North Atlantic Assembly Delegation of this body.
(Mr. BEREUTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I oppose the Frank amendment. This is a case of data-free analysis. It is not based on an assessment of the work of the committee or the needs of the intelligence community. Now admittedly it is difficult for Members to make that kind of an assessment, but we give a special responsibility and privilege to Members of this House to serve 6, now 8 years on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to make the tough decisions, to make an assessment about what is appropriate. And we rotate them off the committee so they cannot become co-opted, so they are objective. Also I would point out that this is the recommendation of the intelligence authorization committee by unanimous vote.
Now some supporters of cuts in intelligence funding say that since the end of the cold war there is no longer the national security threat. Actually there is, but it is more diverse. The one that we face today is more complicated. Today's problems include terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, instability, and the foreign intelligence threat which has not gone away.
Now in May of this year I had the privilege of leading a North Atlantic Assembly delegation to the Aviano NATO base in Italy, and I saw some dramatic improvements we are making which are going to help our tactical leaders on any future battlefield. There have been big changes since the Persian Gulf war. If we ever have to face combat again, in the Balkans or wherever, the kind of intelligence changes we are spending our money on now are going to be making a big, big difference on the safety and success of our troops and other military, naval, and air force personnel.
When I was on the committee I focused during the last 3 or 4 years on high-technology issues, and I would tell my colleagues that our intelligence expenditures in that area protects and serves well our military and our intelligence community. We must protect against the espionage or theft of advanced technologies that represent huge investments of our defense dollars. The files of the Intelligence Committee are replete with stories of how the intelligence community saved tens of millions of dollars for the defense acquisition community by protecting against our technological lead in military and intelligence matters.
I would also say that we cannot talk much about the security threats that we have solved, and about the terrorism threats that we have met. But, for example, we can talk about Ramsi Youssef, who was involved in the World Trade Center bombing. Without the intervention of the Intelligence Committee he successfully would have simultaneously bombed a number of planes crossing the Pacific. We were able to intervene there because of our intelligence capability to stop that threat and save not just hundreds of lives but probably thousands of lives.
So the intelligence protects against the intelligence theft of valuable proprietary investments. The committee has repeatedly encouraged us to adequately fund this area.
Let me say that what committee assessment has shown in budgetary and programmatic shortfalls. Clearly in the current budget environment the President of the committee cannot address all of the needs. What this budget represents is a good-faith effort by the Members we have given the responsibility for this whole House of Representatives to make an assessment about the kind of increases or modest adjustments in our intelligence budget meets the most critical needs. If the Frank amendment passes, funding for some modernization, for training and improved intelligence collection, and especially analysis, will be sacrificed. We are not going to lose it all for we are making progress, but there are dramatic improvements that can be made without this amount of additional money that the committee has recommended.
I urge my colleagues to support the recommendations of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously approved by this authorizing committee and approve them.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.
The argument for committee infallibility continues to lack any persuasive effect. The gentleman said I am offering an amendment without analysis. I am offering the President's budget. I very much have to disagree that the President and the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs did no analysis. That simply is not worthy of consideration. The argument is that our committee, which we designated, is infallible, and the administration and all of the people involved in national security did no informational work here at all.
The gentleman mentioned that we need to protect private investment. Well, I would disagree that that is an absolute national security priority. I just voted in committee for the Export-Import Bank, to protect it, but the argument that we have got to in a secret budget fund economists and others to analyze economics and that once the committee has put its imprimatur on the figure it is unchallengeable is simply not sensible.
I do think we have a right to say given the priorities, given priorities in the environment and law enforcement on the streets and other things, all of which are hurting in this budget, we would rather not put an extra x hundred million dollars into economic analysis by the intelligence people. We may tell people that they can do their own security checking when they are investing. And no, I do not equate terrorism with economic investment, and I insist that the 0.7 percent can come out of areas that have zero, zero to do with physical security, zero to do with the military, zero to do with proliferation. They clearly are doing much more than 0.7 percent in a whole lot of other areas.
But I simply have to reject this notion that what the committee did must be accepted and we dismiss as somehow totally improvident and endangering our troops what the administration proposed.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished ranking member himself, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks].
Mr. DICKS. I appreciate the gentleman's yielding this time to me, and without fear of disclosure here my good friend from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank], and he and I voted together on disclosing the overall number, but he asked me a very important question. He asked me how much the intelligence budget has been cut in nominal terms and figuring inflation.
Now this does not violate any intelligence prohibitions. I want to tell my colleagues that between 1992 and 1997 in nominal terms the cut is 13.4 percent. In real terms, considering a 2-percent inflation rate, which is very, very low, the cut has been 21.4 percent. So I would point out to our colleagues we have cut this budget. We have also cut defense by about 40 percent.
Now I still believe that intelligence is a force multiplier. By being able to use these national technical means, being able to use UAV's, by getting this information to our commanders, we can save American lives, and I believe that we carefully went through this budget. We added some money, we cut some money, and Mr. Young is here. We did the same thing over the last 2 days in the Appropriations Subcommittee on National Security. So we do not always agree with everything the President does. We see some areas, for example, in analysis where we think more needs to be done. We added money for that.
So I would urge the committee to stay with the recommendations of our bipartisan Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Fifteen members voted for this, and I think that the right thing to do is to stay with that recommendation, I would stress again when you consider inflation, we've cut this budget by 21.4 percent since 1992.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] is recognized for 4 minutes.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Washington for his candor. He just said the committee, the infallible, highly respected committee, added money in analysis. So that means we can cut their additions without affecting technical means, without affecting battlefield intelligence. So we are fighting now over the sanctity of the economic and political analysis.
I submit to those of us who have seen this that we are not here endangering anybody's security. We are talking about the extent to which we get political judgments made and economic judgments made. That is what is at issue.
The gentleman said that the amount has been cut in nominal terms, in dollars, 13 percent. He also used a 21 percent real figure, but I have to tell the gentleman, as he knows, his Republican colleagues with whom he is allied on this measure do not accept that. We have people who say, none of this inflation stuff, a cut is a cut. So the argument that we cut by not meeting inflation, he should understand, is repudiated by the honest gentlemen on the other side.
They would certainly never claim that we give an inflation factor for defense and not for Medicare. These are people who repudiate the notion that we fail to keep Medicare up with inflation, you are cutting it, and the gentleman would not want to get them in trouble by arguing contrariwise here.
So then the question is, is it outrageous that we reduce in dollars 13 percent from 1992? The 1992 budget formulated in 1991 was still formulated at a time that was the height of the cold war. The Soviet Union was crumbling. We were not sure of that then.
I agree that terrorism is a problem, but terrorism is not a new problem. There was terrorism in 1982. There was terrorism in 1989; the bombing in Lebanon; terrible things have happened. Terrorism is not a new problem. Nuclear proliferation is not a new problem. India and Pakistan did not get their nuclear weapons a week ago. All those things were there, and we had the heavily armed Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. So I would submit that there has been a reduction in the physical threat the United States faces of greater than 13 percent.
I think the capacity of our enemies, particularly the Soviet Union, to damage us has been more than 13 percent. I think when the Warsaw Pact nations switched sides, when Poland, and Hungary, and the Czech Republic go from being our enemies, as we consider them to be in 1980's and early 1990's to being on our side, that is more than a 13 percent reduction in the real threat.
We have a difficult budget situation. We will be underfunding by most measures COPS on the streets. Yes, there are dangers to Americans, but there are dangers to most Americans more immediately, unfortunately, in their own communities from a handful of criminals who terrorize them. We have provided in the past the Federal money to help that. That competes with this.
Money for transportation safety competes with this. Money to clean up the environment, to undo Superfund, competes with this. Money to help poor elderly people heat their homes competes with this.
The question is not in the abstract, is it a good idea to have an extra couple of hundred million, $300 million, whatever, $150 million, I have to disguise it, million. The question is, do we increase the analysis capacity, the economic analysis capacity of the intelligence community over the recommendation of the administration, and take that money from other programs?
If Members vote against this amendment and they vote to give the intelligence community this extra analysis money, I hope Members will be good enough to make that clear when people come to them and say, I would like more money for NIH, more money for cancer research, for COPS on the streets. When Members say to them, I am sorry, I agree but I cannot afford it, have the grace to tell them that one of the reasons we cannot afford it is that we gave this money to the intelligence community over and above what was asked for, because that is what is at issue.
We are talking about a zero sum game. If Members vote to give more than was asked to the intelligence community, more than was asked by the enemies community and the President and his national security advisors, explain to people what we are taking that away from.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 minutes to the distinguished ranking member, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks].
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, the only thing I would want to maybe say to my friend, the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank], is that if we take the money away from the intelligence community, that money is not going to go to NIH, it is not going to go to Medicare or Medicaid. It is going to go to defense spending. That is where it is going to go. It is going to go to somewhere else in the defense budget, because under the 602(b), the defense budget is there. We do not take money from it and move it somewhere else. It is going to be either intelligence or something else in defense. We think that this is the right balance between the two.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, this amendment assumes that the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence just simply plussed up the program funding without regard to the merits of the program, without due deliberation, and simply because we wanted to increase the numbers. That is not true. If we cut 0.7 percent, we do not get the President's budget. We added, we cut, we changed programs, we did all kinds of things. We are not at the President's budget. We are not at the President's program. There may be a number that is similar but we do not have a program that is similar.
We have a program that provides more security for Americans, American interests, whether they are here or abroad, than the President's program does because this House and our Founding Fathers in their divine wisdom created balance of power, oversight, and our opportunity to check and balance with each other. We have a better product as a result of this.
I am proud of our product and I think it is better than what I believe is not thoughtless, a well-intentioned, but an amendment that does come out without sufficient thought to what happens, because a disproportionate share of the gentleman's amendment will fall to important parts of the program; because we have to spend a very large part for architecture, which everybody knows. And 0.7 percent of architecture means one thing, and 0.7 percent of something else which is very small but vital means something else. I do not want to get in that position.
I think we have been extremely thoughtful, and I think that as the gentleman understands the classified documents that we have worked with, as well as the nonclassified, and goes through them all, he would have to come to the same conclusion.
Mr. Chairman, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence looked at all the programs we went into. I tried to explain that across-the-board cuts like this do not get into the kind of cost-benefit assessment we did on a program-by-program basis, which is what we do and what we certainly did, and the record will show.
I think to be totally honest, when we go across the board in a cut like this, basically, to be honest, I think an approach that goes to a 0.7-percent reduction gets us to a lack of critical examination and intellectual rigor. It just simply is a number, like 10 percent, 5 percent, 50 percent, or any other percent, it is a number. It is not an intellectual cost-benefit program by program, which is what we have done.
I think that the gentleman's amendment puts the authorization at the level of the President's request but it does not get the President's program, as I said. I want to congratulate the President because I think he made a pretty good effort. But I think we have done a value-added approach, which is what our job is, value-added, next branch of government. We did it.
Mr. Chairman, the other thing I have to say is that unanimously on the committee every Republican and every Democrat saw areas where funding was clearly inadequate for intelligence needs. We are short on some programs that I worry about. I think the ranking member would say the same.
We could have done much more. We would love to have done much more. The gentleman mentioned a 13-percent reduction. Boy, I would hate to be one of the casualties in that 13-percent area that I had to go to the parents and say, gee, we just picked a number and we reduced it, and unfortunately you were in the target zone; oh, gee, that is too bad. The fact of the matter is we could have done better. The fact of the matter is we did do better. Where we did better was in our bill.
Mr. Chairman, I think that it is fair to say that for the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] and myself, that we have made painful decisions to forego funding for some very important intelligence activities, but we both agree that we do not have all that we would like to have. I think we are down at the point now where my conscience says, any more and we are in deep trouble.
I have talked about the disproportionate problem because we do have fixed infrastructure, fixed overhead, as the gentleman well knows. We cannot accept reductions in our efforts to detect weapons proliferators, I am sure the gentleman would agree, locate terrorists, I am sure the gentleman would agree, determine nefarious activities from rogue states, and on and on. We just cannot give up anymore.
The CHAIRMAN. All time on this amendment has expired.
The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank].
The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote, and pending that, I make the point of order that a quorum is not present.
The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the previous order of the House, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] will be postponed.
The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.
Mr. DICKS. I have a parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, does that mean that the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] has to re-request a recorded vote when we go back to vote on this at a later point?
The CHAIRMAN. The request for a recorded vote will be the pending business.
Mr. DICKS. I thank the Chair.