Index

OPENING STATEMENT

THE HONORABLE JERRY F. COSTELLO

HEARING ON THE RUDMAN REPORT

TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 1999

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for calling this to discuss the findings in Senator Rudmanís report on security problems at the Department of Energy. Nothing is more critical than our national security, and DOE must place pro-tecting our technology secrets at our laboratories as one of its highest priorities.

As you know I have been working to develop legislation that holds all DOE lab contractors accountable for security violations, so that we treat all DOE contractors equally. When Secretary Richardson testified before this Committee last month he agreed with me that penalties should be imposed for national security infractions for all lab contractors. Last month, the full House accepted my amendment during consideration of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill.

I offered an amendment to the DOE Reauthorization Bill to impose a temporary moratorium on classified laboratories, lifted only after appropriate safety certification by the FBI, on the Department of Energyís foreign visitor program was approved by this Committee. I am hopeful we will continue to work together to ensure our national security is not jeopardized.

 

I would caution that this Committee should not do anything that will put at risk our ongoing national security and nonproliferation programs that we have with Russia and other nations. Some of my colleagues have offered legislation to impose a permanent moratorium on all foreign visitors, which I believe is unwise to our national security interests. This committee and hte Congress must continue to do everything we can to keep our commitments to international cooperation while safeguarding our laboratories.

I look forward to hearing Senator Rudmanís testimony.