[Congressional Record: September 15, 2008 (Senate)]
[Page S8506-S8513]                        


  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will resume consideration of S. 3001, which the clerk will 
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3001) to authorize appropriations for fiscal 
     year 2009 for military activities of

[[Page S8507]]

     the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for 
     defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe 
     military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for 
     other purposes.


  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I begin by commending the chairman and the 
ranking member on working very hard on an extremely important bill. I 
rise in my position as the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee 
to ask consent that we be able to add an amendment which deals with the 
intelligence portion of the Defense authorization and appropriations 
bills that I feel must be addressed.
  I ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendments and call 
up amendment No. 5387.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
  Mr. LEVIN. I object, Mr. President.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I am not surprised. I am disappointed that 
my effort to simply call up one of seven amendments I filed to the 
Defense authorization bill is being denied. Our very distinguished, 
articulate majority leader has said it is not his fault if people can't 
get votes. I should note that he has filled up the tree, a procedural 
move that denies a vote on any nonmajority leader-approved amendment.
  I now will explain why I think these provisions are vitally 
important. These are measures that have been dealt with and approved by 
this body and the other body in some instances, by this body in some 
instances, and by the Intelligence Committee in other times.
  The amendment I tried to call up, as well as the other six I filed, 
is important not only for the intelligence community but for 
congressional oversight as we continue to fight this war on terror.
  Unfortunately, for reasons that make no sense to me, I have been 
informed there is a desire not to entertain any amendments relating to 
the intelligence community on the bill. We have seen from the 9/11 
Commission and most other observers of the legislative process that the 
one area of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, on a bipartisan basis, 
that has not been adopted has been to combine the intelligence 
authorization and appropriations process. I am here today to offer some 
amendments that would effect that coordination.
  I join with my other colleagues who have indicated they refuse to 
acquiesce in a UC agreement until such time as we can work out a 
reasonable accommodation. I want to see this bill passed. Obviously, it 
is critically important, but so is stopping the waste of billions of 
dollars and improving the operations of the intelligence community. It 
is a mistake, and I cannot agree to a UC agreement until we have had 
some resolution of these questions.
  It is certainly no surprise to the occupant of the chair, who is a 
valued member of both the Defense authorization committee and the 
Intelligence Committee, that the intelligence community has been 
without essential oversight as ordinarily provided in the authorization 
  Our efforts in the Intelligence Committee to have a bill signed into 
law last year were derailed by partisan provisions that ultimately 
resulted in a Presidential veto. The same poison pills were put into 
this year's intelligence authorization bill. So it will not move 
forward. As vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I believe it 
is time to take partisan games out of the intelligence oversight. I 
believe it is high time to return to congressional oversight of 
intelligence activities by the executive branch.
  It is ironic that some of my colleagues have been so vocal, and at 
times biting, in their criticism of the administration's intelligence 
spending programs. Yet when we now have the opportunity to seek 
congressional oversight over them, they seek to deny us the opportunity 
to do so. It is almost as if some would rather have a reason to 
criticize the system rather than the opportunity to fix it.
  I am here today to ask for the opportunity to begin to fix it. So I 
filed these amendments--good, sound provisions that have good 
bipartisan support and I believe will improve not only our oversight 
but the work of the Intelligence Committee.
  Each one of these amendments was included in the Intelligence 
Committee's 2009 authorization bill, and almost all were part of the 
2008 bill. So there are no surprises here.
  First among them is amendment No. 5387 that authorizes funds for the 
intelligence community's budget. How much more fundamental can we get? 
That sets out the parameters for the intelligence community, just as 
the overall Armed Services Committee bill sets out parameters for 
appropriations by the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on defense 
  The first amendment combines five sections from the Intelligence 
Committee's 2009 authorization act and authorizes different types of 
funding for the intelligence community--the National Intelligence 
Program funds, funding of the intelligence community management 
account, and funding the CIA's disability and retirement accounts.

[[Page S8508]]

These are all basic budgetary authorizations on which I hope we can 
agree. I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment.
  My remaining amendments include a number of what I can call, I 
believe without challenge, ``good government'' provisions. These 
provisions will ensure that the Director of National Intelligence has 
the authority he needs to manage the intelligence community and will 
ensure that American taxpayers are actually getting the best bang for 
their buck and not wasting billions and billions of dollars, which I 
have addressed on the floor previously.
  The next amendment is No. 5388. What is this good government 
amendment? This amendment is aimed at discouraging cost overruns on 
intelligence satellites and other expensive intelligence programs and 
is modeled after the longstanding Nunn-McCurdy provisions that apply to 
Department of Defense major acquisitions.
  Last week I stated on the floor that billions and billions and 
billions--I won't tell you how many because it is classified--of 
dollars have been wasted on overhead programs because they were not 
effectively managed.
  The next amendment, No. 5389, requires the DNI to conduct 
vulnerability assessments of our major systems used by the intelligence 
community. This provision has been in the past two intelligence 
authorization bills. It requires the DNI to conduct initial and 
subsequent periodic vulnerability assessments of each intelligence 
community major system. These assessments should identify system 
vulnerabilities and exploitation potentials and should make 
recommendations for reducing risks.
  We all know there are those who seek to do us ill who have the 
ability to compromise many of our programs. Those of us who are 
familiar with it know how many ways this can happen. I am not going to 
give anybody any ideas by telling them how to do it. Too many people 
already know. If we have learned anything during this election cycle, 
it is that the American people are tired of having their money wasted. 
They are demanding better spending habits and better accountability 
from their Government, which brings me to my next amendment, 
accountability reviews by the Director of National 
Intelligence. Amendment No. 5390 allows the DNI to conduct 
accountability reviews of elements of the intelligence community or 
personnel of such element in relation to a significant failure or 
deficiency within the intelligence community.
  My amendment, agreed to by the Intelligence Committee, would 
strengthen the DNI's authority and influence in this area, as well as 
congressional oversight. This amendment confirms the DNI's ability to 
recommend disciplinary action against persons within the Office of the 
DNI who have failed to measure up to expectations and are under his 
jurisdiction. I believe this is a reasonable place to start.
  The next one is a future-year budget plan, amendment No. 5391. I 
think it is reasonable for Congress and our intelligence community to 
stop wasting billions of dollars on intelligence programs that prove 
too costly to complete. How does this happen? One reason is that we 
have never required the intelligence community to show us the full cost 
of these expensive programs in the budget. My fifth amendment would 
ensure that this would not happen again.
  Now, I will tell the occupant of the chair and my fellow Intelligence 
Committee member, the distinguished Senator from Virginia, as well as 
the chairman of the committee who has staff who sits in as frequently 
as he can on our Intelligence Committee oversight hearings, that there 
are many wonderful programs that come to us with maybe a couple-
hundred-million-dollar budget expenditure the first year. But when you 
look out to the future years, that number goes up, potentially 
swallowing the entire intelligence portion of the budget.
  I think we in Congress ought to say: Wait a minute. Before we spend 
that first couple hundred million dollars, tell us what the cost is 
going to be and what it is going to take out of the budget in future 
years to accommodate it.
  This amendment would require the intelligence community to provide 
Congress with a future-year intelligence plan that is a 5-year budget 
and a long-term budget projection that covers 10 years beyond the 
future intelligence plan. These requirements would ensure that Congress 
would not appropriate or legislate in the dark without knowing what 
these wonderful new ideas--and there are some great ideas--are going to 
cost in the future and how we are going to pay for them.
  Next, my final good government provision, No. 5392, requires annual 
personnel level assessments for the intelligence community. As with 
most all of my amendments, the provision has been included in the last 
two intelligence authorization bills.
  So why the need for this amendment? These assessments will help 
Congress get a better sense of the personnel growth in the IC before we 
mark up annual authorization bills. For some time now both the Senate 
and House Intelligence Committees have been concerned with rising 
personnel growth in the IC.
  Finally, I have also just filed an amendment relating to a classified 
technology demonstration program. I talked about that last week. My 
amendment, which has bipartisan support in both the House and the 
Senate and has been passed by both bodies in the past, will ensure that 
billions of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted through poor 
management and oversight will not be followed by more in the future.
  This amendment, as I described last week, would say that before the 
National Reconnaissance Organization embarks on spending billions of 
dollars on a program, it needs to do a demonstration program in the 
millions of dollars category to see if all the systems work so that we 
have a good idea before we get a system that has wasted billions and 
billions of dollars to find out only then that it can't work.
  I think Congress has a reasonably high expectation of the DNI and of 
his ability to reform the intelligence community, but we cannot expect 
great results if we don't give the authorities and the support he needs 
to demand performance and accountability. My amendments will give him 
these authorities and will also allow Congress to perform our real 
effective oversight duties.
  These amendments have been vetted with the Intelligence Committees 
over the past 2 years and most were contained in the 2008 Intelligence 
Authorization Act that passed both Houses of Congress. I believe and I 
think my colleagues' votes over the past 2 years have shown that they 
make sense and are reasonable.
  If there is no consideration of including these amendments or simply 
allowing a vote on the budget amendment, which is the most important of 
all, then I am left with little choice but to continue to object to any 
UC agreements on this bill.
  I thank my distinguished colleagues, the Chair, and the ranking 
member, for listening to my comments, and I look forward to being able 
to work out with them a reasonable accommodation of these very 
important matters that I think are essential to ensuring effective 
intelligence oversight of the money that we spend in the National 
Intelligence Program.
  Mr. President, I thank the Chair. I yield the floor, and I suggest 
the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that 
the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. McCaskill.) Without objection, it is so