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[Congressional Record: June 30, 2000 (Senate)]

[Page S6225-S6243]

From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


   Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, if I could turn to the military construction 
appropriations conference report, that is a very good bill that passed 
way back in May, I think it was May 18. This important military 
construction conference report passed the Senate under the leadership 
of Senator Conrad Burns, but from the very beginning, it was a bill 
that did have some emergency provisions attached to it. We did have the 
funds for the costs, the money that has been already spent for the 
defense for Kosovo, and some additional funds for costs associated with 
  Over a period now of almost 6 weeks, there has been a process 
underway between the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle to 
get an agreement on this conference report that included a title II 
that had the emergency funds for the Kosovo situation, for the Colombia 
drug war, and also for emergencies associated with Hurricane Floyd, the 
fires, and other issues.

  During the process of the conference, other issues were added. Some 
issues that were in were taken out. That is the way a conference works. 
I must confess that I didn't get a look at the final product myself 
until this morning. I think we actually had access to it last night. We 
did get access to it. Senators had an opportunity to review that. If 
points of order need to be made, they can be made. But this is for 
military construction and for emergencies. We need to get this done. It 
is already late. There are a lot of people, there are a lot of 
different reasons for how that happened, but here we are. As majority 
leader, I have a responsibility to try to bring it to a conclusion and 
take whatever time that requires.
  I want to outline the situation as it now stands. I ask unanimous 
consent that the Senate now proceed to the conference report and it be 
considered as having been read. I further ask unanimous consent that 
following 10 minutes for debate between the two managers, and the 
chairman and ranking member, Senator Gramm be recognized to raise a 
point of order. I further ask unanimous consent Senators Stevens and 
Byrd be immediately recognized to make a motion to waive and, following 
10 minutes equally divided on the motion to waive, the Senate proceed 
to a vote on that motion with or without any intervening action or 
[[Page S6226]]
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Alaska.
  I obviously am disturbed about much that was put into this 
legislation. But I see a $6 billion savings here. So I think it is a 
reasonable compromise. I intend to put in the Record as well as on my 
web site and many other places some of the really egregious projects 
that are in this bill. At the same time, this significant savings I 
think is a very important move.
  I will not object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The report will be stated.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:
       The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the 
     two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 
     4425) ``making appropriations for military construction, 
     family housing, and base realignment and closure for the 
     Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 
     30, 2001, and for other purposes,'' having met, after full 
     and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do 
     recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
       That the House recede from its disagreement to the 
     amendment of the Senate, and agree to the same with an 
     amendment and the Senate agree to the same. Signed by all of 
     the conferees on the part of both Houses.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will proceed to the consideration 
  of the conference report
  The conference report is printed in the Record of Thursday, June 29, 
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I am pleased to bring before the Senate the 
Military Construction Conference Report for fiscal year 2001.
  The Senate and the House went into conference with very different 
recommendations for projects and unfortunately, not enough money to go 
  We have worked hard with our House colleagues to bring the Military 
Construction Conference to a successful conclusion.
 [[Page S6228]]
 We have sought to recommend a balanced bill that addresses key, 
military construction requirements for readiness, family housing, 
barracks, quality of life and funding for the reserve components.

  In the final conference agreement relating to military construction, 
we met our goals of protecting quality of life and enhancing mission 
readiness throughout the Department of Defense.
  It provides a total of $8.8 billion in spending, an increase of $200 
million over the levels recommended by both the House and Senate, and 
an increase of $800 million over the President's budget request.
  It is my hope that we can move this bill forward very quickly and 
send it to the President.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, late Thursday, the conference concluded 
on H.R. 4425, the Fiscal Year 2001 Military Construction Appropriations 
  Mr. DeWINE. 
  First, though, let me say a few words about the Coast Guard's 
current--and precarious--budget situation and how this Conference 
Report will help keep it afloat--at least for the remainder of this 
fiscal year. The reality is that our Coast Guard has been forced to cut 
back on its current services this year and could be forced to cut back 
even more next year. These reductions make it far more difficult for 
the Coast Guard to meet its many missions. They put at risk the 
sustainability of valuable fish stocks in the North Atlantic and 
Pacific Northwest. They reduce the Coast Guard's capability to stem the 
flow of illicit drugs and illegal immigration into the United States. 
And they can work against the Coast Guard's ability to respond quickly 
to search and rescue situations, which often in fishing grounds and 
high traffic migrant areas.
  As early as last February, the Coast Guard began reducing its 
operating hours in the air and at sea. In some parts of the country, 
operating hours have been reduced as much as 20 to 30 percent.
  Fortunately, Mr. President, the Conference Report we passed today 
will carry the Coast Guard through the current fiscal year. In total, 
more than $700 million is provided to help restore the Coast Guard's 
aircraft and vessel spare parts supply; cover the cost of rising fuel 
prices; pay for rising health care costs and quality of life 
improvements for Coast Guard personnel; and increase by six its fleet 
of C-130 aircraft--assets critical to the Coast Guard's counter-drug 
and search and rescue capabilities.
  The Coast Guard's law enforcement skills extends as far as the Middle 
East, where Coast Guard cutters and tactical law enforcement teams 
enforce the continuing U.N. embargo against Iraq.
  Perhaps one of the Coast Guard's toughest jobs is the day to day 
enforcement of U.S. immigration law. It is an emotional and gut 
wrenching mission. It challenges Coast Guard men and women daily to 
carry out their responsibilities with due regard for the law, human 
dignity and, above all, safety of human life. It is a tough job. But, 
day in and day out, the Coast Guard continues to carry out its duties 
with professionalism and a never-ending commitment to the people it 
    The bill includes a $12 million one-time appropriation to be split 
equally between Arizona, Texas, California, and New Mexico to help 
cover the overwhelming costs associated with processing criminal 
illegal immigrants and the significant number of border-related drug 
  It also includes a one-time, $2 million appropriation for Arizona to 
assist Cochise County and other affected jurisdictions along the U.S.-
Mexican border that are incurring significant costs for local law 
enforcement and criminal justice processing because of record-breaking 
levels of illegal immigration and smuggling of drugs and people into 
the state.
  Dr. Tanis Salant, a professor at the University of Arizona, is close 
to completing a study on unreimbursed costs that occur as a result of 
increased illegal immigration in the area. He estimates that Arizona's 
border counties collectively spend $15.5 million to bring criminal 
illegal aliens to justice. Cochise County spends 33 percent of its 
overall local criminal justice budget to process criminal illegal 
immigrants. This does not even include incarceration costs, which are 
also severe.
    I think we have done a good thing today, an important thing. It is 
important we finish this work prior to the time we leave. This bill 
will now go to the President, as it should. I know he will sign it. I 
think we are ending the way we should have ended, on a high note with a 
good deal accomplished.