INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998 (Senate - June 19, 1997)

[Page: S5965]

[EXCERPT]

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I rise to support S. 858, the fiscal year 1998 intelligence authorization bill. The legislation comes to the floor having been reported out of the Select Committee on Intelligence earlier this month and approved, on referral, by the Armed Services Committee. As a member of both committees, I believe S. 858 is a responsible, bipartisan bill which reflects our mutual oversight concerns and policy priorities...

Also included in the intelligence authorization bill is a provision I sponsored asking that the Director of Central Intelligence examine the full range of threats to the United States from weapons of mass destruction, not just the threat from ballistic and cruise missile weapons, which formed the basis of the last intelligence estimate of this kind in 1995. The intelligence threat assessment required by S. 858 will be submitted to Congress annually beginning February 15 of next year and provide us with our first comprehensive understanding of the emerging `nontraditional' threat facing our Nation, including the ability of terrorist groups and hostile governments to produce and deliver nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons into the United States, the probability that such an attack would come from ballistic missile, cruise missile, or any other means of delivery, and the vulnerability of the United States to such an attack. One month after the completion of the intelligence community's threat estimate, the President is required to submit a report to Congress identifying how Federal funds are dedicated to defending against this full range of threats. Linking the probability of a certain type of attack using a weapon of mass destruction, such as a terrorist chemical attack versus a Russian ballistic missile attack, with the level of funds being spent to defend against such a threat will be extremely helpful, in my view, as the Senate debates national defense spending priorities in the upcoming years...