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[Congressional Record: October 27, 2000 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2001--CONFERENCE REPORT
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Collins). The clerk will report the
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
The Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the
two Houses on the amendments of the Senate on the bill H.R.
4942, ``Making appropriations for the government of the
District of Columbia and other activities chargeable in whole
or in part against revenues of said District for the fiscal
year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes'',
having met, have agreed that the House recede from its
disagreement to the amendment of the Senate, and agree to the
same with an amendment, signed by a majority of the conferees
on the part of both Houses.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will proceed to the consideration
of the conference report.
(The report was printed in the House proceedings of the Record of
October 25, 2000.)
Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I want to thank the managers of
this bill for their hard work in putting forth annual legislation which
provides federal funding for numerous vital programs.
This bill provides funding for fighting crime, enhancing drug
enforcement, and responding to threats of terrorism. It further funds
the operation of the District of Columbia, addresses some of the
shortcomings of the immigration process, funds the operation of the
judicial system, facilitates commerce throughout the United States, and
fulfills the needs of the State Department and various other agencies.
Unfortunately, for the second time in a month, I must express my
dismay over the process whereby the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act
(LIFA) has been considered by this Congress. Like many Americans who
believe policies that reflect compassion and family values should apply
to immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, I welcome inclusion of the Legal
Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act in this bill. But I had hoped that
this legislation would supplement, rather than substitute for, the
Fairness bill, which is far broader. I am disappointed that members of
my party refused to include LIFA in this bill. As a consequence,
hundreds of thousands of hard-working, tax-paying members of our
society will be denied the amnesty, parity, and family-unification
protections of LIFA. I will continue to work for passage of the Latino
and Immigrant Fairness Act and trust that, next year, we can pass it on
the Senate floor.
Regretfully, I must oppose this measure.
There are hundreds of millions of dollars in pork-barrel spending and
the legislative riders that are riddled throughout this bill. The
multitude of unrequested earmarks buried in this measure will
undoubtedly further burden the American taxpayers. While the amounts
associated with each individual earmark may not seem extravagant, taken
together, they represent a serious diversion of taxpayers' hard-earned
dollars at the expense of numerous programs that have undergone the
appropriate merit-based selection process.
For example, under funding for the Department of Justice, some
of earmarks include: $130,000 to Jackson City, Mississippi, for public
safety and automated technologies related to law enforcement; $2
million for the Alaska Native Justice Center; $15 million for an
education and development initiative to promote criminal justice
excellence at Eastern Kentucky University in conjunction with the
University of Kentucky; and $4 million for the West Virginia University
Forensic Identification program.
Under funding for the Department of Commerce, some of the earmarks
include: $500,000 for the International Pacific Research Center at the
University of Hawaii; $855,000 for weather radio transmitters in
Kentucky; $2.5 million for the Center for Spatial Data Research at
Jackson State University; $500,000 for the South Carolina Geodetic
Survey; and $500,000 for the California Ozone Study.
And the list of questionable spending goes on with even more funding
for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. For example:
$3 million for the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command to implement the
public safety master plan for the Olympics; $5 million for the Utah
Communication Agency Network for enhancements and upgrades of security
and communication infrastructure to assist with law enforcement needs
of the Olympics; and $590,000 for the NOAA Cooperative Institute for
Regional Prediction at the University of Utah to implement data
collection and automated weather station installation in preparation
for the Olympics.
There are many more projects on the list that I have compiled, which
will be available on my Senate Website.
I also want to address the legislative riders in this bill. In
particular, I want to express my disappointment that legislation
restricting low-power FM services has been added behind closed doors to
this appropriations conference report. The addition of this rider
illustrates, once again, how the special interests of a few are allowed
to dominate the voices of the many in the back-door dealings of the
Low-power FM radio service provides community-based organizations,
churches and other non-profit groups with a new, affordable opportunity
to reach out to the public, helping to promote a greater awareness
within our communities. Low-power FM is supported by the U.S.
conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the Consumers'
Union and many religious organizations, including the U.S. Catholic
Conference and the United Church of Christ. These institutions support
low-power FM because they see what low-power FM's opponents also know
to be true--that these stations will make more programming available to
the public, and provide outlets for news and perspectives not currently
featured on local radio stations.
But, the special interests opposed to low-power FM--most notably the
National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio--have
mounted a vigorous behind-the-scenes campaign against this service.
Their stated objection to this service is potential interference, of
course, not potential competition. They claim that a 10 or 100 watt low
power station that can only broadcast a few miles will ``bleed into''
and overpower the signal of nearby 100,000 watt full-power radio
stations that broadcast about 70 miles. Interestingly, the FCC, the
expert government agency that evaluates such radio interference claims,
does not share this claimed concern. To the contrary, after developing
an extensive record and evaluating these alleged technical concerns,
the FCC proceeded with licensing and established procedures to address
any interference issues that actually arose.
Moreover, competitors' speculations about potential interference from
low-power stations were given a fair hearing not only in the FCC, but
also in this Congress. Earlier this year, Senator Kerry and I
introduced the Low Power FM Radio Act of 2000, which would have struck
a fair balance between allowing low-power radio stations to go forward
while at the same time protecting existing full-power stations from
actual interference. Under our bill, low-power stations causing
interference would be required to stop causing interference--or be shut
down--but non-interfering low power FM stations would be allowed to
operate without further delay. The opponents of low-power FM did not
support this bill because they want low-power FM to be dead rather than
Congress should not permit the appropriations process to circumvent
the normal legislative process. Every time we do this, the American
people lose more faith in us. And in this context, they will become
even more cynical when they learn that special interests like the NAB
were able to use the appropriations process to highjack and overturn
the sound technical decisions by the government radio experts that
would have authorized new outlets for religious and political speech--
and new outlets for their local churches and community groups.
Low-power FM is an opportunity for minorities, churches and others to
have a new voice in radio broadcasting. In the Commerce Committee, we
constantly lament the fact that minorities, community-based
organizations, and religious organizations do not have adequate
opportunities to communicate their views. Over the years, I have often
heard many members of both the Committee and this Senate lament the
enormous consolidation that has occurred in the telecommunications
sector as a whole and the radio industry specifically. Here, we had a
chance to get out of the way, and allow non-interfering low-power radio
stations to go forward to combat these concerns. Instead, we let
special interests hide their competitive fears behind the smokescreen
of hypothetical interference to severely wound--if not kill--this
service in the dead of night.
This report also contains legislation establishing a rural loan
guarantee program intended to help bring broadcast signals to the most
remote areas in this country. While I support this legislation, and I
commend my friend, Senator Burns, for his leadership in this area,
there is one aspect of this legislation that still causes me concern.
This legislation would let incumbent cable monopolies qualify for
U.S. taxpayer subsidized loans in the name of ``technology
neutrality.'' Unfortunately, this approach will fail to achieve any
real ``technology neutrality'' while simultaneously expanding a limited
loan guaranty program into an unnecessary corporate welfare program.
In a perfect world, a loan guaranty program would be equally
available to every competing industry segment because this would ensure
that no industry segment would benefit from a government-sanctioned
advantage in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, telecommunications law has already departed so
significantly from principles of ``technology neutrality'' that
``neutrality'' in the narrow field of taxpayer-subsidized loan
guaranties will only increase the cost of the program for the benefit
of previously favored technologies. Indeed, my experience has shown
that in telecommunications technological neutrality has been sacrificed
by a misplaced focus on protecting competitors at the expense of
competition and the American consumer. For example, the broadcast
industry has been given 70 billion dollars of free spectrum, yet the
wireless industry must compete for spectrum at auction. And certain
industry sectors, such as cable, have been given government-franchised
monopolies. In the telecommunications world, some are already more
equal than others.
It is against this reality that any claims of ``technological
neutrality'' must be evaluated. In the real world, cable companies not
only have a government-sanctioned advantage--they have a government-
franchised monopoly. Monopolists, almost by definition, need no more
government protection against competition. Perhaps it is just a
coincidence, and not due to a lack of competition, but cable companies
have been able to raise their rates approximately three times the rate
of inflation (for about a 30 percent total increase) since the 1996
Telecommunications Act. This scenario hardly requires the helping hand
of the U.S. taxpayer.
``Technology neutrality'' is a fine phrase, but not if it means that
the American taxpayers must further subsidize industries that have
already received undue and unnecessary market advantages sanctioned by
In closing, I urge my colleagues to curb our habit of directing hard-
earned taxpayer dollars to locality-specific special interests and our
inclusion of legislative riders which thwart the very process that is
needed to ensure our laws address the concerns and interests of all
Americans, not just a few who seek special protection or
Mr. GORTON. Madam President, one of my priorities in this bill was to
make sure that Washington seniors continue to have access to their
Medicare+Choice program and to expand choices for other seniors who
have been dropped from the program due to low payment rates in
Washington state. We need to make sure Medicare+Choice is a stable
option in the Medicare program for our seniors.
I am concerned, however that the new requirements on the submission
of adjusted community rate ACR proposals for 2001 may interfere with my
goal of ensuring the stability of this program for seniors in my state.
Under this bill, plans that have ensured seniors have consistent access
to the Medicare+Choice program cannot use the increased funds to
stabilize the benefits they already provide or to ensure adequate
payments to providers such as doctors and hospitals--even if they are
losing money on providing those benefits right now.
In Washington State we have plans that are operating at a deficit
every year but they continue to stick with this program and offer
health care to our seniors. They need this money simply to stabilize
and maintain current benefits. Without these funds, there will be no
basic programs for seniors at all. Plans cannot offer enhanced benefits
or lower premiums if there is no program in existence, in Washington
state, that is what we are facing--the possibility of no
Medicare+Choice programs at all.
I don't disagree with the intent of the provision to ensure that
seniors benefit from this new funding in the form of reduced premiums
or increased benefits. My point is that there are more ways to help out
seniors and one way is to ensure that their plan will not only be there
this year, but the next year and into the future. One way to do that is
to simply add a provision to the current language that allows plans to
stabilize or enhance patients access to providers such as doctors and
You can spend millions of dollars on the fixtures of a new house, on
antique furniture, on expensive paintings, and the like but if there is
no foundation the house will fall to the ground and no one will
benefit. Our first priority should be to ensure that the
Medicare+Choice program is stabilized that at a minimum seniors
continue to have the choice we promised them.
Mr. BURNS. Madam President, I support the passage of the
Commerce-Justice-State conference report, which includes a bill of
critical importance to rural America, the ``Local TV Act.'' The Local
TV Act will create a $1.25 billion loan guarantee program that will
bring local TV signals to Montana and other rural states, over
satellites or other technologies, in a fiscally responsible way.
I want to thank the distinguished Chairman of the Senate Banking
Committee and the Majority Leaders in both the Senate and the House for
helping to reach completion on this issue. I should add that Senator
Leahy, Senator Hollings, Senator Thomas and Senator Grams have worked
tirelessly on this matter. I would also like to thank my colleagues in
the House for their efforts. Representative Goodlatte was involved in
every stage of the complex negotiations that took place on this bill,
as were House Commerce Committee Chairman Bliley, House
Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Tauzin, House Agriculture
Committee Chairman Combest and Representative Boucher. I thank them all
for helping to reach such a positive result, which was only possible
through an extraordinary, bipartisan effort.
Providing access to local television signals is crucial to rural
states. With over-the-air broadcast signals and cable delivery limited
by the geography of my own state of Montana, satellite television has
been a staple of our so-called ``video marketplace'' for many years. In
fact, Montana has the highest penetration level of satellite television
in the country at over 35 percent.
I initially proposed legislation in this area because I was concerned
that without it, only the largest television markets in America would
receive local-into-local service authorized by the Satellite Home
Viewer Improvement Act. These are the profitable cities like New York
and Los Angeles with millions of television households. Currently, only
the 20 largest television markets are being offered local TV signals
via satellite. The two largest direct broadcaster satellite providers
have announced plans to offer service to an additional 20 or 30 large
markets over the next few years.
What about the other TV markets? There are 16 states--including my
own--that do not have a single city among the top seventy markets.
Because of the ``Local TV Act,'' they will now no longer be left out of
the information age just because they are smaller.
The ability to receive local television signals is more than just
having access to local sports or entertainment programming. It is a
critical and immediate way to receive important local news, weather and
community information. Access to local signals is particularly critical
in Montana, where we experienced severe flooding last fall and sudden
blizzards are always a possibility.
The ``Local TV Act'' reflects the belief that the loan guarantee
program should not favor one technology over another and it should not
pose a burden to the taxpayer. The ``Local TV Act'' is a win for
consumers and for taxpayers. Earlier this year, the bill passed the
Senate 97-0, a similar version passed the House by an overwhelming
margin and I again thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for
reaching agreement on this critical matter.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Madam President, I would like to take a moment and join
my subcommittee chairman and colleague, Senator Gregg, in commenting on
the fiscal year 2001 Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and
related agencies appropriations portion of the conference report before
the Senate today. Once, again, I would like to commend Chairman Gregg
for his outstanding efforts and bipartisan approach in bring an
appropriations bill to the floor that is good and balanced.
Putting together the conference report is always a tremendous
challenge, and this year has proven to be no different. We face the
challenge of adequately funding a host of varying missions, This bill
funds efforts to fight crime and drugs on our streets. This bill funds
initiatives that enhance business opportunities for small and large
companies at home and abroad. This bill funds agencies like the FTC and
the SEC that protect consumers from fraud. This bill provides funding
for scientific research needed for better fisheries management. This
bill provides free and accurate weather forecasting to farmers who rely
on it day by day for tending their crops and to families who live in
areas where timely and accurate forecasts can save their lives from
violent tornadoes, torrential rains, floods, and hurricanes. While the
missions funded through this bill may vary, one point remains constant:
The funding provided in this bill seeks to improve the daily lives and
safety of all American at home and abroad.
In total, the conference report provides $38.0 billion in budget
authority which is about $1.7 billion less in total budget authority
than the fiscal year 2000 levels. The bill is $12.9 billion less than
the President's request level; however, his request level, as in past
years, included advanced appropriations, which the CJS Subcommittee
traditionally does not provide.
Senator Gregg has mentioned many of the funding specifics in this
bill, so I will not repeat the details; however, I would like to point
out to our colleagues some of the highlights of this bill:
justice and law enforcement
The conference report provides $21.1 billion for the Department of
Justice, including $3.3 billion for the FBI, $1.3 billion for the DEA,
$4.8 billion for INS, $4.3 billion for BOP, and $4.6 billion for the
Office of Justice Programs. This conference report funds both block
grant programs--such as Byrne, local law enforcement, and juvenile
justice--and the COPS Program--such as the universal hiring and
technology components. Our colleagues in the Senate
only need to review the FBI's preliminary annual uniform crime report
released this past May to appreciate how well all these programs are
working. According to the FBI's report, in 1999, serious crime dropped
for an eighth consecutive year, down seven-percent from the year
before. This is the longest running crime decline on record. The
successful reduction in crime in no small way must be attributed to the
bipartisan efforts to fund DOJ's crime fighting initiatives during the
past ten years.
In an effort to continue the decline in serious crime, we continue to
fund many of the programs that are working. Not only are we funding
cops on the beat, we also continue the safe schools initiative which
Senator Gregg and I started two years ago. This bill provides $227.5
million for this initiative. Madam President, we cannot allow violence
or the threat of violence to turn our schools into a hostile setting
that prevents our students from obtaining the education they deserve.
The bill before the Senate provides increased funding from last year's
levels, through the Office of Justice programs, to continue the hiring
of school resource officers, and the implementation of community-based
planning and prevention activities. This initiative is working but
there is much more that has to be done, and this increased funding will
continue our efforts to return our schools to a safe place for children
I am pleased to see in this year's conference report $1.3 billion
funding for the DEA, which is a $69.45 million increase from last
year's level. This funding is aimed at combating the latest battle in
the war on drugs--methamphetamines. Included in the DEA fundings is
$25.9 million for personnel and operations to combat the production and
use of methamphetamines. Also included in the bill is $28.5 million for
State and local law enforcement to combat methamphetamine production
and $2.5 million for equipment. Another $20.0 million will be
transferred from the COPS Hot Spots Program to reimburse the agency for
the costs associated with assisting State and local law enforcement in
meth lab cleanup.
The conference report also includes $288.7 million for the violence
against women program, which includes $31.6 million for civil legal
assistance, $25 million for rural domestic violence programs, $11.5
million for court appointed special advocates, and $11.0 million for
college campus programs.
There is one issue within the Department of Justice for which I am
disappointed we did not provide funding--the Justice Department's
Lawsuit against the Tobacco industry. I appreciate Senator Gregg's
effort to reach a middle ground between those members who want to
prevent DOJ from bringing a lawsuit, and those who want to provide DOJ
with adequate resources to do their job. It is the U.S. court's
responsibility to weigh the evidence and decide whether the tobacco
companies have broken the law, not Congress's responsibility. In fact,
just recently, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
rules that DOJ does have standing to bring a suit against the tobacco
companies under the RICO (racketeering, influence, and corrupt
organizations) Act. It is Congress's responsibility to provide the
Justice Department with the tools and adequate resources it needs to do
its job. This conference report does not do that.
department of commerce
The conference report provides $4.7 billion for the Commerce
Department, an increase of $460 million above last year's funding
level. We provide $337.4 million for ITA, and while we could not fully
fund all of the President's request for this important administration,
we did provide funding for the trade compliance initiatives. I also
appreciate Senator Gregg's support for language requiring the USTR to
assist the Import Administration with office space in Geneva given the
importance of the Import Administration's responsibilities relating to
antidumping and countervailing duties.
While we did not fully fund the administration's new internet access
initiatives for NTIA, we did provide more than $100 million in funding
for the NTIA to continue its core missions--funding for digital
conversion, and funding for infrastructure grants.
Regarding technology, the bill includes $312.6 million for NIST
scientific and technical research and services. Under NIST, the
Advanced Technology Program (ATP) is funded at a program level of
$190.7 million, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
Program is funded at $105.1 million.
The conference report also provides $3.1 billion for NOAA, more than
$700 million above last year's level, and $850 million above the House
level for FY 2001. I appreciate Chairman Gregg's support and efforts to
insure that we maintain a focus on our oceans and coast. I have made it
clear this year that I am disappointed in the administration's request
for NOAA. Most of the funding increases requested this year were for
community assistance type programs--making NOAA a mini-EDA--and not the
science and research missions that have been NOAA's trademark during
the past three decades. The budget request was particularly
disappointing given the one hundred plus lawsuits currently pending
against NOAA due to a lack of scientific data.
Madam President, at present, we generate more than 30% of our gross
domestic product from coastal areas, and nearly one out of every six
jobs is marine-related. By the end of this decade, about 60% of
Americans will live along our coasts. We cannot ignore the stress and
strain of this growth on our coastal environment, and we must continue
to strive for better management of our marine resources. Of course,
these efforts are nothing new. Three decades ago, our nation roared
into space, investing tens of billions of dollars in that effort.
During that golden era of science, some of us also recognized the
importance of exploring the seas and protecting the coasts on our own
planet. In 1966, Congress enacted the Marine Resources and Engineering
Development Act in order to define national objectives and programs
with respect to the oceans. One of the central elements of the 1966 act
was establishment of a Presidential commission, called the Stratton
Commission, to develop a plan for national action in the oceans and
atmosphere. The Stratton Commission laid the foundation for U.S. ocean
and coastal policy and programs and has guided their development for
three decades. Their report led to the creation of NOAA and laid the
groundwork for science and research and for management regimes that are
the cornerstone of our efforts to properly manage our fisheries, and
protect our coasts today. This conference report fully funds all of
NOAA's base science and research missions.
FY 2001 funding for NOAA also includes additional funds for coastal
conservation reflecting this year's coastal funding proposals in
Congress (``CARA'') and the administration's budget (``lands legacy'').
The $420 million in increased funding includes $135 million for
specific conservation projects and $135 million to strengthen NOAA's
efforts to conserve and protect our coral reefs, national marine
sanctuaries and reserves, as well as fisheries and coastal habitats.
This $135 million infusion of funding in the coming year will greatly
benefit NOAA's important coastal stewardship programs throughout the
Nation. The increased coastal funding also includes $150 million to
assist those States whose coastal areas are adversely affected by
offshore oil development.
department of state
The conference report includes a total of $7.1 billion for the
Department of State and related agencies, an increase of $1.3 billion
above last year's funding level of $5.8 billion. Within the State
Department account, $1.1 billion has been provided for worldwide
security upgrades of State Department facilities. Additionally, the
bill provides $846 million to continue our Nation's international
In closing let me say again that except for a one or two major policy
issues this is a decent bill. Many--but not all--of the
administration's priorities were addressed to some extent. Likewise
many--but not all--of the priorities of our colleagues were addressed
to some extent. It is with regret that I cannot support this bill at
this time. I cannot support an effort that starts down the slippery
slope of the U.S. Congress telling the Department of Justice who they
can and cannot sue. It is my hope that this issue will be corrected
should this conference report pass the Senate and be vetoed by the
I would like to take a moment before closing to acknowledge and thank
Senator Gregg's staff--Jim Morhard, Kevin Linskey, Paddy Link, Dana
Quam, Clayton Heil, and Katherine Hennesey--and my staff--Lila Helms
and Sonia King--for their hard work and diligence in bringing together
a bill that does everything I have just mentioned and more. They have
worked nonstop in a straightforward and bipartisan manner, to deliver
the bill that is before the Senate today. This bill could not have come
together without their efforts and I thank them for all of their hard
Mr. GREGG. Madam President, I want to speak about the appropriations
agreement for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the
Judiciary, and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2001. This bill is part
of the D.C. Appropriations bill and I thank the Senator from Texas for
her help on this matter and everyone else on the subcommittee.
I cannot tell you how hard we have tried to work with OMB and the
White House on this bill. I find it hard to believe that they want to
veto the bill based on what is in here. The main issue they have
difficulty with is on immigration and it was never requested by the
President and is not an appropriations matter.
This bill does include $38.0 billion for these agencies. I believe
the funding levels in this bill will allow the departments and agencies
funded by it to fulfill their mandates.
The first title in this bill is the Department of Justice. We provide
$21 billion, an increase over last year's level. Within Justice, there
are a number of issues that stand out.
This bill provides comprehensive counter drug funding. It is our goal
to provide the resources to protect our communities from the violence
associated with illegal drugs. One of the most prevalent concerns in
this area is the production of methamphetamine. The Drug Enforcement
Agency (DEA) has reported an increase in clandestine lab seizures
nationwide. In 1997, 3,327 labs were seized by Federal, State, and
local law enforcement. By 1999, that number had escalated to 7,060.
Although the number of clandestine methamphetamine labs has almost
doubled since 1997, the President included no funding to combat
methamphetamine production, trafficking, and use in his FY 2001 budget
request. We remedy that mistake here.
Our recommendation includes a total of $76.9 million for
methamphetamine initiatives. We provide $25.9 million for
investigations and day to day operations on methamphetamine cases,
including maintaining a database of labs around the country.
Since the bi-products from methamphetamine production are hazardous,
explosions or fires often result and specially equipped teams are sent
in to clean-up the lab sites. We provide $20 million to the DEA through
the COPS Methamphetamine Drug Hot Spots Program for clean-up
activities. We have also made available for State and local law
enforcement agencies $28.5 million for their methamphetamine
enforcement and cleanup efforts.
Of course, methamphetamines are not the only problem. We provide
$28.8 million to DEA for its heroin-related efforts. Because drug
traffickers are highly adaptive, we must have the ability to respond
where ``hot spots'' arise. The bill provides $24.2 million for Regional
Drug Enforcement Teams and $53.9 million for Mobile Enforcement Teams.
To aid those communities that have suffered because of the presence
of drug dealers, we provide $34.0 million in direct funding for the
Weed and Seed program. This program distributes grant funding to
qualified neighborhoods so that they can weed out criminals in their
communities while seeding new prevention and intervention services to
help revitalize the neighborhood.
The drug problem in the United States is so pervasive that over 480
drug courts have evolved to handle these particular cases. This bill
includes $50.0 million through the Office of Justice Programs for drug
courts; additional funding can be obtained through the Local Law
Enforcement Block Grants or the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants.
Moving on to another important program in this bill, we continue the
Safe Schools Initiative. This initiative was one the Ranking Member and
I sponsored in 1999 just after the Columbine massacre. For fiscal year
2001, we provide a total of $227.5 million for State school programs
with $180.0 million for school resource officers and $15.0 million for
school technology. This program gives school administrators resources
to enhance safety measures. It grants them the flexibility to implement
decisions on how best to maintain a safe learning environment without
impacting funding for educational programs.
The final agreement contains funding for after-school youth programs.
A leader in this category is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. For
this reason, $60.0 million is available for their programs.
Additionally, Juvenile Mentoring Programs, JUMP, receive $16.0
million. These programs, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, foster
healthy relationships between at risk youth and responsible adults.
The next item is of particular interest to me. The Missing Children
program is one that continues to show positive results, and is funded
at a level of $23.0 million. Within this amount, $6.5 million is
provided for investigative cyber units for State and local law
enforcement agencies and $11.4 million for the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children.
One of the Center's most valuable resources is the Cyber TipLine,
which allows individuals to report information about missing children
on-line. Information reported to the Center is compiled and made
accessible to law enforcement officers all over the continent. The
Center dedicates significant resources to preventing and responding to
incidents of cyber stalking. Overall, this bill includes more than
$830.0 million for juvenile programs through the Office of Justice
programs, the juvenile justice budget, and the COPS program.
Our dedication to communities and families is also captured in our
support of the Violence Against Women Act programs, which address
domestic violence and its effects. For fiscal year 2001, we fund the
program at $288.7 million. This includes funding for legal assistance,
rural domestic violence initiatives, and court-appointed-special
At my request, this bill also recommends $11.0 million for grants to
address violence on college campuses. Grantees use these funds to
expand defense classes; to make capital improvements, such as
installing emergency phones and improving lighting on campuses; and to
train campus administrators and students on how to deal with violence
and its after effects.
On a related topic, the conference agreement directs the Center for
Sex Offender Management to develop a system through which local law
enforcement can notify communities when a sex offender has been
released and is living nearby.
Law enforcement is Justice's primary mission, and there are several
key components. The U.S. Marshals are responsible for protecting our
Federal judges and courthouses, for serving legal papers in Federal
cases, and for recapturing fugitives. The $604.3 million recommended
for the Marshals provides funds for new initiatives to apprehend the
most dangerous fugitives; outfit and man new courthouses; and reduce
the backlog of security upgrades at old courthouses.
The recommendation provides $4.6 billion for the Immigration &
Naturalization Service, INS; $1.5 billion of this is derived from fees.
The amount provided improves our posture on the border, expands efforts
to apprehend illegal aliens in the interior, increases resources for
naturalization backlog reduction, and begins to tackle the nationwide
backlog on INS construction, maintenance, and repair.
An appropriation of $3.2 billion is dedicated to the FBI. This
includes $67.5 million for the National Instant Criminal Background
Check System, NICS, used by gun dealers to prevent the sale of weapons
to individuals who are prohibited from owning a gun. We have reiterated
the Senate recommendation that no fees be charged to conduct these
The FBI Crime Lab is famous for its forensic capabilities, and many
States rely on its scientific expertise. The bill provides $137.3
million for forensic services within the Bureau.
DNA testing is just one example of an important emerging forensic
science. The FBI reported a 15 percent increase in the number of cases
aided this year by having DNA profiles available in a national
database. Our recommendation includes $1.4 million for the National
Offender Database, which stores the DNA profiles of convicted
The Internet has created numerous social and economic benefits in the
United States and around the world. Unfortunately, it is also an
efficient medium by which crimes can be committed.
The conference agreement includes an increase to $3.9 million for the
FBI's Computer Analysis and Response Teams and $30.5 million for its
digital storm program. In addition, we continue funding levels for the
Field Computer Crime Intrusion Squads, which are highly trained
computer experts available on demand to field offices. Finally, $5.5
million is recommended for the Special Technologies Applications Unit
of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, a clearinghouse for
Federal cases dealing with cyber crime.
We aggressively fund State and local law enforcement assistance,
providing $2.8 billion.
COPS is funded at $1.03 billion. A large portion of this amount is
for hiring initiatives. This high level of funding also allows law
enforcement agencies to upgrade technology. For programs funded under
the Crime Identification Technology Act, $130.0 million is available.
There is an additional $140.0 million for non-CITA technology needs.
In order to get this bill passed without a veto, we have also
provided $25.0 million for community prosecutors and $75.0 million for
gun prosecutions. The agreement limited these funds to prosecutions of
individuals who committed crimes with firearms.
Separate from COPS funding we provide funding for the programs that
Congress traditionally supports. There is $523.0 million available for
the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants, $569.0 million for the Edward
Byrne Grants, and $686.5 million for State Prison Grants.
The last item I want to talk about in the Justice section of this
bill is my proposal on how to prevent misuse of Social Security
We have incorporated language that will protect people from the
improper use of Social Security numbers. We must protect individuals
when access to an individual's most personal information is wrongly
A recent example of the gross misuse of a Social Security number
happened in Nashua, New Hampshire, just one year ago. Amy Boyer was
murdered by a stalker who was able to purchase her Social Security
number on the Internet. The social security number gave him access to
information so that he was able to track her down and kill her.
We have named the incorporated provision after Amy because its goal
is to ensure that no more stalkers can easily use Social Security
numbers for their nefarious acts. Amy Boyer's Law prohibits the display
or sale to the public of any person's Social Security number without
that individual's consent. It imposes civil and criminal penalties on
those who violate this law.
This legislation, while banning improper or fraudulent uses of social
security numbers, does preserve the legitimate uses of Social Security
numbers by such groups as the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, and the Association
for Children for the Enforcement of Support, ACES, as well as banks,
insurance companies, and others who use these numbers to prevent fraud.
I am confident that this legislation is crafted in such a way as to
balance the many concerns surrounding the use of Social Security
numbers. I believe that passing Amy Boyer's Law is one of the most
important things that Congress can accomplish this year.
The next title in the bill is the Department of Commerce and its
related agencies. Title II is funded at a level of $4.7 billion.
One of the primary functions of Commerce is to generate a
comprehensive international trade policy for our country. Many agencies
play a part in this effort. For the agency that has the lead on
negotiating trade agreements, we provide $29.5 million for the United
States Trade Representative, USTR.
To one of its supporting agencies, the International Trade
Commission, we provide $48.1 million. Their statutory mandate also
includes enforcing dumping and counterveiling duty actions in
accordance with the World Trade Organization and General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade.
The International Trade Administration is responsible for promoting
exports and provides information on Federal Government export
assistance to individuals and businesses. We provide $337.4 million.
This level includes additional funding to increase trade enforcement
and compliance activities, in concert with USTR. Of particular
importance are the funds included in this bill for compliance
activities with respect to China, Japan, and the European Union. The
bill also continues funding for the core programs within the agency.
The bill includes $64.9 million for the Bureau of Export
Administration which is an increase of roughly $10.8 million over the
fiscal year 2000 appropriation. The Committee increases funding for
export cooperation for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons
Also, increased funds are provided to assist in export enforcement in
the area of counterterrorism and computer export verification to ensure
that high technology exports are being used for peaceful purposes and
not for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
We are providing significantly less money this year for the census
because most of the activities supporting the decennial census have
been concluded. The Committee provides $433.6 million to conclude
Census 2000 and maintain normal operations for fiscal year 2001.
The conference agreement provides funding to permit the initiation of
an effort to include a measurement of electronic business in the fiscal
year 2002 economic census. The Committee's funding level should also
permit the Bureau to continue issuing key reports on manufacturing,
general economic, and foreign trade statistics which are so important
to the U.S. business community.
Moving on to the scientific side of the Commerce Department, this
bill includes $100.4 million for the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration. From within this funding, $43.5 million is
for the public telecommunications grant program and $45.5 million is
for information infrastructure grants.
The President believes solving the digital divide is a government
obligation. He requested $50.0 million to provide new Home Internet
Access grants. Neither the House nor Senate bills included funding for
this program. However, the President made this a priority and raised it
in discussions with us, so we have directed $30.0 million into the
Information Infrastructure Grants as a compromise position.
However, I note that in an earlier age, public libraries were created
to give those without the resources to maintain a personal book
collection access to information. The Schools and Libraries program was
created in 1996 to provide access to the Internet for every American
visiting a library and to school children.
Just as Enoch Pratt and Andrew Carnegie endowed public libraries
throughout the country, the high tech industry has the ability and the
wealth to create an endowment for addressing the so-called digital
divide. Every person in America who has a phone contributes to the
Universal Service fund, which provides funds for the Schools and
Libraries program. I do not believe that asking Americans to contribute
additional funds to bring Internet access to homes is the way to solve
the so-called digital divide.
One of the agencies whose goals is to stimulate economic competition
and innovation is the National Institute for Standards and Technology,
NIST. This agency provides industry with assistance to leverage their
efforts in technological advances and infrastructure enhancements that
benefit all of us by keeping U.S. companies on the cutting edge.
NIST's funding level is $598.3 million for fiscal year 2001. Of this
amount, $312.6 million is for scientific and technical research and
services programs; $155.0 million and carryover funding
are available for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and $105.1
million for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP).
Also, $10 million is provided to develop new measurements, test
methods, and guidelines to better protect the information technology
elements of the Nation's critical infrastructure, of which our cyber
infrastructure is a key component. NIST's research results are made
publicly available so that all may benefit from its findings and
Another agency within the Department with scientific expertise is the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The bill before you
includes $2.6 billion for NOAA, and the five major line offices within
NOAA are funded as follows: the National Ocean Service at a level of
$290.0 million; the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) at $517.0
million; the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research at $323.0
million; the National Weather Service at $630.0 million; and, the
National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service at a
level of $125.0 million.
Within the National Ocean Service, $28.25 million for the National
Estuarine Research Reserve program. We continue the efforts to reduce
the backlog of NOAA mapping and charting as well as to map shorelines.
The bill supports the Coastal Zone Management grants at a level of
$52.0 million and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab at the
Senate level of $7.0 million.
Under the National Marine Fisheries Service, we assist the collecting
of scientific data on healthy fisheries as well as those that are
threatened. Protection for threatened and endangered species continues.
For NMFS Information, Collection, and Analysis programs, the bill
provides $120 million.
The funding levels included in the bill for the Office of Oceanic and
Atmospheric Research support several important programs of interest to
the Senate. The Sea Grant College program continues at a level of
$62.25 million and $15.8 million for the National Undersea Research
Climate and Air Quality research is funded at $68.5 million. A new
climate initiative was requested for fiscal year 2001, and while the
conference could not support the total request of $24.0 million, there
is a recommendation of $9.25 million for initiating the ocean
observations component of the proposal.
The National Weather Service touches all of our lives, and provides
the warnings to protect life and property. The Committee funds Weather
Service Operations and Research and systems acquisitions at $630.8
NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
operates the satellites which provide data used by the Weather Service
to track hurricanes and to provide guidance for forecasts and warnings.
Funding of $125.0 million is provided for this office within NOAA in
fiscal year 2001. In addition, funding is provided elsewhere in the
bill for the acquisition of both geostationary and polar-orbiting
The next title in our bill covers the Judiciary. For the third branch
of government we provide an increase to $4.25 billion. We provide
conditional funding for the cost of living adjustment for the justices
and judges. However, the Senate Committee language ending the ban on
honoraria for judges was not incorporated into this final agreement.
Now, for the last department in this bill, we provide $6.6 billion to
the State Department. This is an increase over the fiscal year 2000
level for the department.
After the Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi bombings, we poured funding into
State Department security, but we emphasized the need for a cohesive
plan that had the capability of being effective. The past performance
of the Department and resulting plans have not allayed the misgivings
we have about their handling of the billions of dollars we appropriate
We are disturbed by the security breaches. The State Department was
not just lax with security overseas, but that it has been less than
stellar at its headquarters here in Washington. From losing 16 laptop
computers and letting press agents roam unattended through its
corridors, the State Department's security plans remain of grave
concern. We are providing the funding but are not seeing improvements.
This bill gives the State Department substantial resources to address
its requirements. The funding levels include $410 million for worldwide
security under Diplomatic and Consular Programs. We also provide $663.0
million in security-related construction under the Embassy Security,
Construction, and Maintenance account.
The agreement includes a sizeable increase over last year's levels
for Cultural and Educational Exchange Programs, providing $231.6
million--an amount above the President's original request and the
Senate and House levels. The funding is used to bring individuals
together, professionally and culturally, to share experiences to foster
peace and understanding among multiple countries and the United States.
My colleagues may be familiar with the Fulbright, International
Visitors, and English Teaching Fellows programs that are included in
Lastly in State, we provide $299 million to cover our country's
regular dues to the United Nations and $846 million for U.N.
We remain concerned that the United Nations continues to levy
peacekeeping payments against us based on a percentage system setup
during the 1970s connected to estimates on what member countries could
afford to pay for such ventures at that time. The United States
contests millions of dollars in payments to the United Nations because
their billing procedure is outdated and does not reflect the fiscal
capacities of the current member states.
For decades, the United States has been levied to pay roughly one-
third of peacekeeping efforts even though it is an obligation of all
188 United Nations members. We will continue to encourage other members
who have rebuilt and financially recovered from the ravages of the
Twentieth Century's wars. They must step up and take over a more
proportionate share of the financial burden of current peacekeeping
This bill contains a handful of related agencies that act
independently of the departments within this bill, and comprise $2.2
billion of the total of this bill.
The first of these agencies is the Maritime Administration which is
responsible for administering several programs for the maritime
industry relating to U.S. foreign and domestic commerce and our
national defense. The bill includes a total of $219.6 million for its
efforts. Within this level, the Maritime Security Program receives
$98.7 million. The Maritime Guaranteed Loan Program (Title XI) is
funded at $34.0 million. In addition, $10.0 million in carryover
balances from prior fiscal years are available for this purpose.
The final bill before you includes an increase over last year's
funding level for the Federal Communications Commission to $230.0
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is one of the larger
independent agencies in this bill. We provide $837.0 million for the
SBA. Within this amount, $88 million is appropriated for the Small
Business Development Centers; $15.0 million for PRIME; $3.8 million for
SCORE; and, $4.0 million for the Veteran's Outreach program.
For SBA's business loan program account, the bill provides a total of
$294 million in fiscal year 2001. This funding level provides a program
level of $10.4 billion for 7(a) loans.
For the SBA disaster loan program, a total of $186.5 million is
included to cover loans and the administration of the program.
The last two agencies I want to mention are the Federal Trade
Commission, FTC, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC. We
have given both these agencies increases this year, funding the FTC at
a level of $147.2 million and the SEC at a level of $422.8 million. The
Internet has caused a fundamental change to both these agencies as they
try to put in place mechanisms to prevent fraud in the electronic
The FTC has brought 100 cases against 300 companies and individuals
for Internet fraud. As Internet access expands and more Internet
businesses come on-line, the need for these agencies to have a strong
presence in the market increases. There is a need to
protect consumers, and particularly elderly consumers who are prone to
attacks, from ever varying fraudulent schemes. In 1999, consumers were
estimated to have spent $20.2 billion on line, and the expectation is
that this number will grow almost exponentially over the next 4 years.
We are providing additional funding for investigators and prosecutors
within both the SEC and FTC to grow with the impending surge of
activity. We provide funding to expand Consumer Sentinel so that
international law enforcement officers will have access to it.
The strong presence we promote throughout this bill in the cyber-
world is not one derived from statutory and regulatory restrictions,
but achieved instead through the presence of enforcers of existing laws
that will aggressively seek out those who abuse the Internet. I have
made a point of mentioning throughout this summation the key Internet
initiatives within the agencies and departments because it is such a
critical issue for all of us.
Its importance will continue to grow. We have bolstered Federal
agencies' efforts to stay on top of Internet advancements and maintain
functionality in the technological world.
This bill effectively uses our resources to provide adequate funding
for the agencies under our jurisdiction. It addresses the most pressing
needs that were brought to our attention by the Administration and by
my colleagues. Chairman Rogers, the Ranking Members, and I have worked
together with the members of the Committee to craft a bipartisan bill
to recommend to both our houses. I do want to thank my colleague from
South Carolina for his efforts in creating this bill. He remains a
leader on many of the issues we address. I urge my colleagues to adopt
this funding agreement.
Madam President, I would also like to acknowledge today the
dedication of one of the staffers who drafted portions of this effort
who has retired from Federal service.
Paddy Link served on the Committee for 4 years dealing with the
Federal Communications Commission, FCC, the Commerce Department, the
Small Business Administration, and many other agencies. She was an
expert in FCC and NOAA. Her astute evaluation and handling of technical
concepts made her a valued part of the Committee. She has in-depth
knowledge of the people and issues in the areas she worked on which
gave her much appreciated insight on the issues the Committee had to
She provided decades of Federal service, starting as staff in the
House of Representatives, moving to the Department of Commerce as a
congressional liaison officer and then to be the director of the office
of legislative affairs for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration. Most recently before her time with Appropriations,
Paddy was the staff director of the Senate Commerce Committee under
former Chairman Larry Pressler and had a critical role in writing and
passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
We miss her political acumen as well as her sense of humor. We wish
her the best of luck in the future.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, the Broadwave affiliates of Northpoint
Technology proposes to share the spectrum currently being used by the
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) services in the 12.2-12.7 GHz
frequency bands. Through the use of its technology in the 12.2-12.7 GHz
band, Northpoint has the potential to provide much needed competition
to cable by offering low cost multichannel video services and high-
speed Internet access.
A provision, however, addressing sharing issues in the 12.2-12.7 GHz
band has been added to the ``Launching Our Communities' Access to Local
Television Act of 2000'' (also referred to as the Rural Loan Guarantee
bill). Section 12 of this Act imposes three general requirements.
First, it requires that a terrestrial wireless applicant proposing to
use the 12.2-12.7 GHz band have its technology subjected to an
independent demonstration or have its technical showings subjected to
an independent analysis to determine whether the technology will cause
harmful interference to DBS operators. Second, the Federal
Communications Commission is required to select an independent
engineering firm recommended by the IEEE or other similar body to
analyze the technologies proposed in the pending wireless terrestrial
applications. Third, the demonstration or analysis must be concluded
within 60 days of enactment of the Rural Loan Guarantee bill and the
comment cycle cannot exceed an additional 30 days. Lastly, I want to
note that enactment of this provision by Congress does not release the
FCC from its obligations under section 2002 of SHIVA.
In my home state of South Carolina, there are Broadwave affiliates
awaiting regulatory approval so that they can begin to provide service.
Therefore, I expect that the testing required under the Rural Loan
Guarantee legislation will constitute the final interference analysis
needed to evaluate sharing requirements between terrestrial applicants
with pending applications and existing DBS service providers. Moving
this proceeding forward is important, because if Northpoint is able to
obtain the necessary regulatory authorizations, it will not only be
able to provide competition to cable, but through its affiliate
structure, it also will afford small businesses an opportunity to
participate in a vibrant segment of the communications marketplace.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, in 1992, Congress enacted legislation
regulating the cable industry because of the lack of competition and
the resulting high rates. In 1996, Congress anticipating that
competition would replace regulation in restraining prices, passed
legislation terminating the FCC's right to regulate the price of basic
cable in March 1999. Unfortunately, competition has not emerged as
fully as I would have liked. According to the FCC's latest report only
157 communities out of 33,000 communities across America have
``effective competition.'' In fact, in many communities in Hawaii,
consumers have no cable service at all.
Northpoint Technology and its Broadwave affiliates want to provide
low cost multi-channel video and data services in every television
market in the United States. Therefore, it is critical that Congress
and the FCC take the actions necessary to resolve sharing and other
technical and policy issues quickly with respect to the applications of
the Broadwave affiliates. Furthermore, these applications are subject
to a Congressional mandate (Section 2002 of S. 1948, the Satellite Home
Viewer Improvement Act) that requires the FCC by November 29, 2000 to
grant or deny applications such as those of the Broadwave affiliates,
that can provide television service in rural areas. The technical
sharing analysis required by the ``Launching Our Communities' Access to
Local Television Act of 2000'' does not obviate the legislative
obligation imposed by S. 1948. Therefore, the FCC should do whatever is
necessary to meet its November 29, 2000 obligations.
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I am pleased that the controversy
surrounding Section 12 of this bill, Section 1012 of Commerce, Justice,
State and the Judiciary Appropriations conference report, has been
resolved. Although I believe the new provision is unnecessary, I hope
that requiring a technical demonstration to resolve harmful
interference questions in the 12.2 GHz band will put this issue to
rest. However, let me be clear that I support Section 12 with the
understanding that it does not supercede or otherwise impact relevant
provisions in the Satellite Home Viewers Improvement Act (Public Law
106-113, 113 Stat 1501)) which require the FCC to complete by November
29, 2000, the processing of applications and other authorizations for
local facilities that can provide local television and broadband
services to rural and underserved areas.
Northpoint Technology and its 69 Broadwave affiliates applied on
January 8, 1999, to provide lower cost multi-channel video and data
services in every television market in the United States. Northpoint's
technology is particularly innovative and accomplishes something that
is unique in telecommunications history. Using Northpoint's patented
system, the Broadwave affiliates will be able to re-use the 12.2-12.7
band without the need to relocate existing users DirecTV and Echostar.
Northpoint Technology through its Broadwave affiliates will offer
consumers in Boston and several other markets the benefits of true
competition in the marketplace for multichannel video programming and
data services. In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress
established March 1999 as the sunset on the FCC's authority to regulate
the price of basic cable service. Congress took this action with the
anticipation that competition would replace regulation in restraining
prices and improving quality in the video programming marketplace. The
rapid introduction of Broadwave service to communities across America
will go a long way toward achieving the goals of the 1996 Act and
ensuring that consumers enjoy the fruits of competition including
greater choice, lower prices and quality service.
Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I rise today in support of the Hart-Scott-
Rodino Act reform included in the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations
Bill. Our provision updates the law, which hadn't been adjusted for
inflation since it was enacted in 1976, and makes several improvements
to the merger review process undertaken by the Antitrust Division of
the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. It is a
bipartisan measure, authored by Senators Hatch, Leahy, DeWine and
myself and Representatives Hyde and Conyers, and it deserves our
The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act is crucial to the enforcement of
competition policy in today's economy--it ensures that the antitrust
agencies have sufficient time to review mergers and acquisitions prior
to their completion. The statute requires that, prior to consummating a
merger or acquisition of a certain minimum size, the companies involved
must formally notify the antitrust agencies and must provide certain
information regarding the proposed transaction. For those transactions
covered by the Act, the parties to a merger or acquisition may not
close their transaction until the expiration of a waiting period after
making their Hart-Scott-Rodino Act filing. It also authorizes the
government to subpoena additional information from merging parties so
that the government has sufficient information to complete its merger
While this statute has a very laudable purpose, especially with the
tremendous numbers of mergers and acquisitions taking place in recent
years, some of its provisions are in need of revision. Most
importantly, while inflation has caused the value of a dollar to drop
by more than a half in the past 25 years, the monetary test that
subjects a transaction to the provisions of the statute has not been
revised since the law's enactment in 1976. As a result, many
transactions that are of a relatively small size and pose little
antitrust concerns are nevertheless swept into the ambit of the Hart-
Scott-Rodino review process. This legislation updates this statute to
better fit into today's economy by raising the minimum size of
transaction covered by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act from $15 million to
$50 million. This will both lessen the agencies' burden of reviewing
small transactions unlikely to seriously affect competition and enable
the agencies to allocate their resources to properly focus on those
transactions most worthy of scrutiny.
Further, exempting smaller transactions from the Hart-Scott-Rodino
process will significantly lessen regulatory burdens and expenses
imposed on small businesses. The parties to these smaller transactions
will no longer need to pay the $45,000 filing fee--or face the often
even more onerous legal fees and other expenses typically incurred in
preparing a Hart-Scott-Rodino filing--for mergers and acquisitions that
usually don't pose any competitive concerns.
In exempting this class of transactions from Hart-Scott-Rodino
review, however, it is important that we not cause the antitrust
agencies to lose the funding they need to carry out their increasingly
demanding mission of enforcing the nation's antitrust laws. This bill
will reduce the number of Hart-Scott-Rodino filings and therefore
reduce the revenues generated by these filings if the filing fees were
kept at their present level. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn't
finance the Antitrust Division and the FTC on the backs of these filing
fees. But because they are a fact of life, the antitrust agencies
should not be penalized by these reforms by suffering such a reduction
in revenues. As a result, in order to assure that this reform is
revenue neutral, we have worked with the Appropriations Committee to
ensure that this bill raises the filing fees for the largest
transactions. Consequently, filing fees are to be increased for
transactions valued at over $100,000,000, which makes sense because
these transactions require more scrutiny.
This legislation makes other changes designed to enhance the
efficiency of the pre-merger review process. The waiting period has
been extended from twenty to thirty days after the parties' compliance
with the government's request for additional information, a more
realistic waiting period in this era of increasingly complex mergers
generating enormous amounts of relevant information and documents. And,
as in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, when a deadline for
governmental action occurs on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is
extended to the next business day. This simple provision will eliminate
gamesmanship by parties who currently may time their compliance so that
the waiting period ends on a weekend or holiday, effectively shortening
the waiting period to the previous business day.
Finally, in recent years many have expressed concerns regarding the
difficulties and expense imposed on business in complying with
allegedly overly burdensome or duplicative government requests for
additional information. So our legislation also contains carefully
crafted provisions to ensure that business is not faced with unduly
burdensome or overbroad requests for information, while assuring that
the antitrust agencies' ability to obtain the information necessary to
carry out a merger investigation is not hampered. Specifically, our
legislation mandates that the FTC and Antitrust Division designate a
senior official who does not have direct authority for the review of
any enforcement recommendation to be designated to hear appeals to the
appropriateness of the government's information requests the so called
``Second Requests''. The bill also sets forth the specific standards
that this senior official is to utilize when considering such an appeal
and mandates that these appeals be heard in an expedited manner.
In sum, I believe this legislation to be a reasonable and well
balanced reform of our government's vital merger review procedures. It
will make long overdue adjustments in the filing thresholds--ensuring
review of those mergers in most need of governmental scrutiny while
reducing the burden and expense on government and private parties by
exempting smaller transactions from often expensive and time consuming
pre-merger filings. It will also significantly reform the merger review
process to ensure that the government has sufficient time to analyze
increasing complex merger transactions, while also adding protections
so that private parties do not face unduly burdensome or duplicative
information requests. I urge swift passage of this measure.
Mrs. HUTCHISON. Madam President, today we are considering the
Conference report for the District of Columbia. This conference report
also includes the Commerce, Justice, State appropriations act.
We crafted a good bill in conference.
We have fully funded the D.C. tuition program--which allows D.C. high
school students greater educational choices beyond the border of this
We have fully funded the new metro station in the New York Avenue
corridor, which I know is important to the economic development of the
We have $3 million in funding for the Poplar Point environmental
We have increased funding for the Courts. The salaries of Court
employees are 19 percent below the level of federal court employees--
thus--it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep a quality
Our bill also increases the budget for offender services so that we
continue the program of drug testing and treatment for offenders who
are on probation or awaiting trial.
Much as been said in the past about ``riders'' to the District
budget. This year, we have eliminated over 30 of last year's riders.
The bill will authorize the District's planned tobacco securitization
program--the proceeds of which will be used to reduce debt or build
With respect to the District's reserves, we have restructured the
reserve funds of the District so they can function more efficiently.
This is probably the most important reform in this bill.
The District is supposed to hold a $150 million reserve now--and a
budget surplus of 4 percent of revenues.
But we found last year that the District wanted to dip into the
emergency reserve funds for things that are considered ordinary
expenses. We also found that the reserves were really hollow--entirely
dependent on how much cash flow the District had on any given day.
I didn't think this was good enough for this City. The bond markets
want and need reassurance that the District's financial turnaround is
We have restructured the District's reserves so that they will have
both an emergency reserve and a contingency reserve. This is modeled on
the practices of other cities. And, most importantly, when established,
these reserves will be in cash and will be held in separate accounts,
The contingency reserve, which will be 3 percent of their budget, is
for unanticipated expenses, like court orders, new federal mandates or
extremely bad weather. It will be more flexible.
The emergency reserve, which will be 4 percent of their budget, is
for extraordinary needs, like natural disasters. It will be the backing
for the financial soundness we seek.
In consultation with the CFO and the Mayor, we allow the District a
seven year glide path to establish these reserves, but both have
assured me the tobacco securitization program will be used to fund this
emergency requirement now. There could be no better use than this and
The District has had a dramatic financial recovery. I consider this
the last leg of the financial plan. This will serve as a true ``rainy
day'' fund--one that is ready and able to be tapped in those
To conclude, although the President has indicated he has reservations
about the CJS bill--he has indicated that the D.C. portion of the
conference report is a bill he would sign.
Madam President, let me now turn to the Commerce, Justice, State
I want to thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member for their work on
this bill. They have worked very hard to put more federal resources on
our border, though we still have a long way to go.
These are not resources just for Texas. The drugs that come into the
United States along the Southwest border will find their way into every
city in the United States. The Southwest border is ground zero in the
war against drugs.
Making our border more secure--makes every American city more secure
from the scourge of drugs.
The Conference report provides for the hiring of over 400 new border
agents. I would have preferred a higher number--but the Administration
has dragged its feet on higher agents in the past--so we know this is a
realistic goal for next year.
It provides $15 million in equipment upgrades for the border patrol.
It provides greater funding for DEA, with emphasis on helping drug
threats at the State and local level.
The Conference report also addresses the ``upstream'' effect of more
law enforcement on the border.
What has happened is this: as we have increased our law enforcement
presence on the border--a strain has been felt on our judiciary system.
This bill provides for 13 new U.S. Attorneys along the Southwest
border--where they are desperately needed. The five U.S. courts along
the border are the busiest courts in the Nation--handling 26 percent of
all the criminal cases in the United States. These new positions are
The bill also provides for two new Federal judges one in the Southern
and one in the Western judicial district in Texas. I sponsored the bill
to create 13 new judgeships along the border. I would have preferred
the full number of judgeships, but I am pleased the Committee has
accommodated the need for new judges in my State.
The bill does not provide badly needed salary increases for border
patrol agents, which the Senate has passed and fought to produce. I
will continue to press to bring our Border Patrol in line with all
other border government salary schedules.
It is regrettable that the President has threatened to veto this
bill, particularly over the immigration provision. I believe we have
struck a balanced approach on this issue in this bill.
President Clinton's plan would grant broad amnesty to immigrants that
arrived between 1982 and 1986. Our Border Patrol Officers have said ``a
new amnesty would encourage innumerable others to break our laws in the
future.'' I couldn't agree more.
Our proposal would provide greater due process to those who believe
they were wrongly denied amnesty. We also shorten the waiting period
for spouses and children to join their relatives in the United States.
These relatives will likely be able to immigrate legally soon, but we
allow them to come to the U.S. while their petitions are awaiting
action. This is a reasonable proposal the President should accept.
Madam President, I will yield the floor and urge my colleagues to
support the bill.
Mrs. HUTCHISON. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There is a sufficient second.
The question is on agreeing to the conference report.
The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Missouri (Mr.
Ashcroft), the Senator from Montana (Mr. Burns), the Senator from
Minnesota (Mr. Grams), the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Helms), the
Senator from Arizona (Mr. McCain), and the Senator from Delaware (Mr.
Roth) are necessarily absent.
I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from
Montana (Mr. Burns), and the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Helms)
would each vote ``yea.''
Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Durbin), the
Senator from California (Mrs. Feinstein), and the Senator from
Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are necessarily absent.
I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from
Illinois (Mr. Durbin) would vote ``no.''
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber
who desire to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 49, nays 42, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 289 Leg.]
The conference report was agreed to.
Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote.
Mr. GREGG. I move to lay that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
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