[Congressional Record: June 3, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the
Senate will now proceed to the consideration of H.R. 4775, which the
clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
A bill (H.R. 4775) making supplemental appropriations for
further recovery from and response to terrorist attacks on
the United States for the fiscal year ending September 30,
2002, and for other purposes.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the text
of S. 2551 is inserted in lieu thereof and considered as original text.
The Senator from Nevada.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for
the quorum call be rescinded.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, in September of 1862, in a sun-drenched
cornfield near the Mason-Dixon Line, a devastation called Antietam
happened. Twelve thousand young Americans on each side perished.
Antietam is a name forever soaked in blood. It has come to symbolize
the tragic nature of a domestic conflict called the Civil War--or the
War Between the States.
Now this Nation is challenged once again by war on our own shores.
Another tragic loss of life on another sunny morning in the September
of another century has recalled for us the special trauma of war on our
homeland. This time the violence on our own land has roots in a
cultural clash of worldwide proportions. It is, at once, a war at home
and a war abroad.
While we must fight on both fronts, these are conflicts of a very
different nature. The brave men and women who serve in our military
volunteer for that duty. They have the unquestioned support of the
American people and, through the American people, of their Government.
They fight aided by technology which is the envy of the world. Our
military personnel accept and understand the discipline imposed on them
while they serve for the cause of freedom. The weapons of destruction
which engage them are easily discernible and their lethal potential is
The war on our own shores is much more complex. We know that
terrorists live among us and that they traverse our open borders with
relative ease. We know the new enemy among us prefers weapons fashioned
from the ordinary infrastructure of modern life--trucks, trains,
planes, mail delivery systems, ports, energy sources, cyberspace, spent
nuclear material. All of these, we are told, can be easily adapted to
cause death and destruction, fear and panic. At home, our technology is
deficient, with outdated computers in key government agencies unable to
easily transmit vital information back and forth. In April and May, the
Appropriations Committee heard testimony that indicate that our
adversaries could cripple the U.S. economy without great difficulty or
enormous cost. Yet we do not know much more. We do not know where this
new shadowy enemy will strike, or when.
Within the past few weeks, the concern seems to have grown. The Vice
President has warned that a strike is ``almost certain.'' Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld has stated that it is inevitable that
terrorists will acquire weapons of mass destruction. Secretary of State
Colin Powell has warned that ``terrorists are trying every way they
can'' to get nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Security has
been tightened around New York City landmarks. The FBI has warned that
sites, such as the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge, might be
With all of these warnings in mind, and with a realization of the
many gaps in our homeland security network, the men and women of this
Congress have an obligation to take immediate steps to protect American
lives and to try to prevent future tragedies such as the one we
witnessed last September.
After several days of hearings by the Senate Appropriations Committee
on the urgent supplemental request for defense and homeland security,
what emerges is a picture of a nation conflicted. While united in the
goal of fighting terrorism, we are conflicted about how to do so, how
to go about it.
Finite resources must be stretched to fulfill the mission of a
military on a worldwide hunt for terrorists and a less defined, but
just as urgent, need to protect our people here at home, which
must be executed by layers of bureaucrats responding to hundreds, if
not thousands, of vulnerabilities.
When the North wrestled the South for the soul of this Nation in the
19th century, America stood at a crossroads. Then, as now, transcendent
and solid leadership was essential to our ultimate success.
In the 1860s, this Nation was blessed, as it often has been in its
brief history, with a gifted leader, able to quiet the squabbling
generals and calm the bureaucratic struggles that threatened to consume
his single-minded effort to preserve the Nation and restore the peace.
Abraham Lincoln was a giant. He saved the Nation.
But what we as leaders are now faced with may well be without
parallel in U.S. history. I say that because the events surrounding
September 11 have underscored a revolutionary blurring of the lines
between domestic danger and international danger for our people. We can
no longer sit safely in our large and prosperous country, confident
that we need not fear foreign attack. True, our military might on the
battlefield is the envy of the world, but the enemy now lives and works
He is here. He crosses our borders with relative ease. He boards our
airplanes. He rides our trains and hides in our ships. No longer is the
enemy only on a far away and distant foreign shore.
The question for all of the leaders of this Government is, Can we
adapt? Can we restructure where we need to do so? Can we even fully
comprehend at this point the intertwining nature of the dual conflict
in which we find ourselves? Can we sustain military action on so many
fronts and not shortchange a defense of the homeland? Can we be steady
enough to know that, even if public attention strays from the dangers
here at home, our attention must not stray from the dangers here at
home? In many cases, the answers come down to funding questions.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is doing its part. Senator
Stevens and I are proud of our record on homeland defense. Last fall,
we approved $10 billion for homeland defense programs, $4 billion more
than had been requested by the President, and that $4 billion has made
Over 2,200 more INS border agents and Customs inspectors are being
hired on the northern and southern borders; the Immigration and
Naturalization Service is now implementing a system for tracking
foreign students in this country; our police, fire, and medical
personnel are getting better training, better equipment for detecting
and responding to potential biological, chemical, or nuclear attacks;
the FBI is hiring hundreds of new agents; 750 more food inspectors and
investigators are being hired; the number of ports with Food and Drug
Administration investigators is being doubled; 324 additional
protective personnel are being hired to protect our nuclear weapons
complex. Additional resources are being spent on efforts to destroy or
secure nuclear materials overseas.
However, a great deal remains to be done. In recent weeks, the
Appropriations Committee in the Senate held a series of hearings on
homeland defense. Senator Stevens and I joined in identifying and
inviting the witnesses. We heard from terrorism experts about the
continuing threat to our Nation. We heard from Governors. We heard from
mayors. We heard from first responders--our police, fire, and medical
personnel. They all testified to a continuing need for resources to
expand our capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to terrorist
We also took testimony from seven Cabinet officers and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. Our former colleagues, Sam Nunn and Warren
Rudman, testified on the very real threat this Nation faces. The
compelling message from our witnesses was that we need to do more and
that we need to do more now. They also stressed the need for better
Federal coordination and clearer standards for such efforts as securing
our ports and making sure we have interoperable equipment that will
allow our first responders to communicate with each other.
The legislation before the Senate today, which totals $31 billion,
fully funds the President's $14 billion request for defense programs.
It provides over $8.3 billion for homeland defense programs. It
provides $5.5 billion to augment the Federal response to New York City
in response to the events of September 11. It approves $1 billion for
the Pell grant shortfall. It includes $417 million for veterans'
medical care. In addition, the bill includes $1.1 billion of mandatory
spending for the Veterans Compensation and Pension Program.
This bill contains $8.3 billion for critical homeland security
efforts, efforts that we should not delay until the next fiscal year or
the next calendar year.
Within the homeland security package, more than $1 billion is
directed to first responder programs. These are the people at the local
level. They are the people who would be first on the scene. This
funding will help to address those gaps that can endanger lives in case
of an emergency.
For instance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received
grant requests from 18,000 fire departments across the country,
requests that total more than $3 billion. The Senate legislation would
begin to address this critical need for training and equipment. So we
have equipment funds providing $300 million for our firefighters.
Another $200 million is in the legislation to improve the ability for
first responders to talk with each other. Currently, too many local
police and fire departments have radio systems that are incompatible.
They simply cannot talk with each other when responding to a crisis.
The Appropriations Committee has included funding for the National
Institute of Standards and Technology to establish uniform standards
for interoperable equipment. We had several witnesses who testified to
the need for such.
Recently, the Brookings Institution released a report critiquing the
administration's homeland defense strategy. One of the report's
authors, Michael O'Hanlon, stated that the threat posed by terrorists
using cargo containers entering our seaports ``may be our single
greatest vulnerability that we have not yet made much progress towards
addressing in this country.'' We heard from several witnesses to this
To take steps to address this danger, the committee has provided $666
million for the Coast Guard for port and maritime security. This
funding would expedite vulnerability assessments at our Nation's ports.
It would expand the number of port strike teams trained to respond to
biological, chemical, and radiation incidents. It would create two new
maritime safety and security teams and purchase homeland security
response boats, and it would expand surface and aviation assets, as
well as the shore facilities to support them.
Two hundred million dollars is included for port security grants.
Fifty seven million dollars is provided to the Customs Service to
improve cargo container inspections overseas, and $28 million is
included to improve our technology on inspecting cargo containers.
We cannot ignore looming gaps in our homeland security efforts. These
gaps were exposed during those hearings. The committee listened. The
committee has acted. The committee is going to do something about the
problems that were brought to our attention by the witnesses who came
before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
That is why this legislation provides $387 million for bioterrorism,
including funds to improve our toxicology and infectious disease lab
capacity at the Centers for Disease Control.
Our committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, is responding to
the needs of the country as expressed by the men and women who appeared
recently before the Senate Appropriations Committee in those very
important hearings. Congress has approved a $3 billion bioterrorism
response authorization bill. This funding will move us toward meeting
that bill's goal.
The supplemental bill provides $200 million for security at our
nuclear weapons facilities and nuclear labs. The bill provides $154
million for cyber-security with a special emphasis on helping the
private sector defend itself from attack.
No witness before that committee was more impressive than the
distinguished Senator from Utah, Bob Bennett, who testified as to the
need for the private sector to be prepared against attack. He
emphasized the dangers that confront the Nation. So the committee has
responded by, as I say, appropriating $154 million for cyber-security.
Then there is in the bill $125 million for border security, including
resources for Immigration and Naturalization Service facilities on the
borders of the Nation, and for deploying the system for rapid response
criminal background checks to 30 more ports.
The bill provides $100 million for nuclear nonproliferation programs.
The bill provides $265 million for airport security, including $100
million to help airports meet the new Federal standards for airport
The bill before the Senate provides $200 million to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture for food safety labs, additional food
inspectors, and for vulnerability assessments for rural water systems.
The bill before the Senate provides $100 million for the EPA to
complete vulnerability assessments on the security of our water
The bill before the Senate today provides $286 million for other
homeland defense items such as Secret Service efforts to combat
electronic crime, FBI counterterrorism efforts, and funds for the
Justice Department to develop an integrated information system.
The bill fully funds the President's $4.4 billion request for the new
transportation security administration.
The bill includes $1.95 billion for international programs. We have
included $200 million for Israel and $50 million for disaster
assistance for the Palestinians.
The legislation contains $1.069 billion for nonemergency programs,
with offsets to pay for them. The major items include $450 million for
election reform grants, $100 million for the global AIDS trust fund,
and $75 million for WIC. The bill also provides $110 million for flood
relief and $55 million for Amtrak repairs and security.
I could go on, but Senators and the American people already know we
are vulnerable, and in many instances they know where we are
vulnerable: Anthrax, smallpox, dirty bombs, border security, nuclear
labs, powerplants, cyber-security, food safety, airport security,
So we do understand the gaps in our security structures. If we know
where those gaps are, we can be sure terrorists know where they are.
Many decisions, large and small, lie ahead. One thing is certain: We
cannot afford delay. So I urge Senators to offer amendments, debate,
vote, and help members of the Appropriations Committee expedite this
much-needed assistance for our Nation. We say, ``May God bless
America,'' but we can do a lot to help God to bless America.
We must quickly enact this bipartisan effort to bolster our
weaknesses, address our shortfalls, and protect American lives.
I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Dorgan). The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the
quorum call be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
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