Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I announce to my colleagues that one of the resolutions just adopted relates to necessary committee ratio changes for the 105th Congress. I note this allows for an increase of one seat on the Intelligence Committee from both sides of the aisle. The Democratic leader and I are allowing for this increase in the size of the Intelligence Committee for this Congress only due to the great interest in serving on this important committee from Members on both sides of the aisle and also because of the seriousness of some of the matters they will be considering and wanting to make sure that we are complying with the statute.
One of the things we have been trying to do as we started this year is to take a look at what the rules are and what the statutes require and try to comply with that. The statute is clear about wanting to have at least two from the Armed Services Committee, two from the Judiciary Committee, and two from Foreign Relations. I think it is particularly important that we have Members from the Armed Services Committee on Intelligence because so much of what they do has an Armed Services Committee relationship. In fact, the hearings on the funding for that committee, I believe, always have to report to the Armed Services Committee.
This change in the numbers will be only for this Congress, and then we will work in the next Congress back toward the statutory number of 8-7. We may want to come down maybe two steps, 9-8, but we should try to be in compliance with the statutes on the numbers as well as the committee jurisdiction and representation on that committee.
Again, I state that following this Congress it would be our intention to reduce the size, but we will do that only in working with the Democratic leader. This is the only committee, also, that only has a one-seat difference, and the statute requires that. All the others have two.
I wonder if the Democratic leader would like to comment on that?
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, the majority leader and I have had a number of conversations about this particular issue, and I have discussed the matter in great detail with the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. He shares the view, given the agenda and given the legal need to ensure the representation as is required by law, that only on a one-time interim basis an additional Armed Services Committee member needs to be placed on the committee.
As the majority leader has indicated, this is one time and one time only. This is an interim assignment. We intend to work with him to bring the committee size down to its legal, permanent size in the ensuing Congresses. So I urge people to recognize the intention here, and that is to accommodate the chair and the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee and to accommodate their agenda.
I am certainly in agreement with this approach and appreciate the opportunity to work through this particular matter as we have.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I want to thank the Democratic leader for the attention he has joined me in giving to the Intelligence Committee. It is a very important committee, and I am not sure we have always given it the consideration that it should have, but we have done it this time. I am very pleased with what the result has been.